New restaurant Cool World is set to open at 905 Lorimer Street, at Nassau Avenue, in Greenpoint, Wednesday, July 27. The new venture comes from Noah Bernamoff, Julian Brizzi, and Rachel Bailin, behind Dumbo waterfront spot Celestine, Rockefeller Center’s glitzy Pebble Bar, and Boerum Hill oyster favorite Grand Army.
Brizzi has billed the 120-seat restaurant as a sort of North Brooklyn “take on the Odeon” — the kind of brasserie that serves steak frites in equal measure with martinis. The kitchen is led by chef Quang Nguyen, formerly a sous chef at Wildair. This is his first time running his own kitchen, though recently he had been hosting pop-ups at the Wildair team’s Peoples wine bar.
“I want to take the parameters of brasseries, but perhaps not make them exactly as they were in the 1990s,” says Nguyen. “I’m Asian so inherently there will be some Asian ingredients on the menu, but I don’t want the food to be confined to those boundaries,” he says, referencing things like bordelaise cut with umeboshi. Likewise, he hopes to incorporate his New Orleans and Fort Worth youth on the menu, as well as techniques drawn from past restaurant postings.
At Cool World, he’s working alongside Amanda Perdomo, also formerly of Wildair, who will be in charge of the baked goods side of the menu. Highlights include the pretzel Parker House rolls, served at dinner service, as well as eventually for sandwiches, like a fried chicken version, in the forthcoming to-go window.
When Cool World opens it will be located right across from the entrance to McCarren Park, a street that gets plenty of traffic. But despite its prime location, in the past, restaurants have seemingly struggled to survive there. In 2020, French restaurant Sauvage closed its doors after four years, later to be filled by restaurateur Justin Bazdarich’s vegan Mexican spot Xilonen, which shuttered after just one year this past winter.
The owners of Cool World are hoping that a neighborhood restaurant “mixed with [Nguyen] and [Perdomo]’s stylistic references” will change the course of a potentially cursed space. And by that extension, wanting to keep a low profile, the team declined to allow Eater to shoot the space ahead of its opening as well as declined to share further specifics on the menu.
One might wonder whether the word “cool,” often predicated on being in or out, is at odds with a mission to create a dinner spot “for the neighborhood.” The restaurant is, after all, designed by the de facto hip interior design studio Green River Project LLC, behind go-tos amongst the downtown New York fashion world, including Dr. Clark, the River bar, as well as the Lower East Side clothing store Bode and its adjoining Indian-inspired cafe Aujla’s.
But Bernamoff tells Eater “Cool World is a place where people feel welcome and appreciated. To me that’s cool, not that you’re exclusive or hard to get into — it’s more of a low key feeling than anything else.”
To start, Cool World will have an abbreviated menu. From Wednesdays through Sunday, the restaurant is open 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. The bar stays open until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and opens at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.