One of the city’s most acclaimed pastry chefs is now serving his wares in Downtown Brooklyn. François Payard, whose three NYC bakeries shuttered suddenly at the end of January, was recently tapped to be the new culinary director for European brasserie Karver. After opening a massive, 4,800-square-foot original location in Sheepshead Bay last year, Karver has now opened a second location in Downtown Brooklyn, serving pastries and bread overseen by Payard.
Payard, who used to make pastries at Le Bernardin and Daniel before opening his three now-shuttered bakeries, is known for his French pastries, particularly his macarons. Those won’t necessarily appear on the menu at Karver though. “It’s not a pastry shop,” Payard says, calling Karver more of a bakery/brasserie combination. Both Karver locations offer a limited menu of pastries like croissants, fruit tarts, and eclairs, which Payard oversees.
Located at 129 Livingston St., between Boreum Place and Smith Street, the new Karver is half the size of its Sheepshead Bay location. Due to the smaller space at Downtown Brooklyn, the pastries will be made at the Sheepshead Bay Karver and delivered every morning. But all of the breads — with flavored options like squid ink, everything bagel, and a pretzel-style bread dipped in lye — will be made on-site. As with the Sheepshead Bay location, the bread options are available for customizable sandwiches.
In addition to the build-your-own-sandwiches, the downtown Karver will offer the same menu of brasserie classics like croque monsieur, French onion soup, and escargot as the Sheepshead Bay location. The savory menu is overseen by executive chef Dipak Chudasama.
But the new location will also add more lunch plates to appeal specifically to the neighborhood’s office crowd. According to Payard, there will be more of a to-go focus at this location for that same reason. “It’s more compact, but it’s more simplified,” he says. The space will also feature an open kitchen like the Sheepshead Bay Karver.
The bakery portion of the new Karver is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The brasserie portion is open Monday through Friday from noon to 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
A bigger flagship location will open in Chelsea later this month. Check out the full menu for the Downtown Brooklyn location below.