South Williamsburg, New York
In Brooklyn’s buzziest neighborhood, right across the East River from Manhattan, former factories have been transformed into eclectic shops and restaurants that are destinations in their own right.
A.P.C. Surplus Store
This discount outlet of the simple, well-cut Parisian label sells items from last year’s collections at 50 to 60 percent off (A.P.C.’s covetable jeans are the only full-price pieces). The stock changes every six weeks. On the racks now: favorites from spring ’07. 33 Grand St.; 347/381-3193.
Green thumbs are rejoicing over a new East Coast outpost of Sprout Home, a popular Chicago shop that sells goods for the house and garden, including melamine plates with paint-by-number scenes, ergonomic pruning shears, and beautiful cut blooms. 44 Grand St.; 718/388-4440
The green-and-white awning announcing groceries, spirits, oysters gives only a hint of what you’ll find inside. By day, the general store in front doubles as a coffeehouse. After 5 p.m., locals gather at communal tables in the gourmet restaurant in back for pomegranate Sidecars and artisanal cheese plates. 81 Broadway; 718/384-1441; dinner for two $42.
D.O.C. Wine Shop
Tapestries hang on the walls, and vintage spirits, absinthe, and more than 90 Italian wines are displayed on 19th-century desks. Tastings, classes, and a mail-order wine club are in the works. 147 Broadway; 718/388-0087.
Chef Polo Dobkin earned a Michelin star for his seasonal dishes like spring-pea raviolini and inventive cocktails inspired by local spots (try the Gretsch, named after a former guitar factory, and made from gin and cucumber-infused vermouth). Sculptors from the Brooklyn Navy Yard studios created the metalwork in the urban Gothic room. 149 Broadway; 718/384-6343; dinner for two $90.