Update: This venue has now closed.
In the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge, at the quiet end of Broadway, Bridget has grown some new roots. Always a bit of a South Side secret, she has shed her old name—Bridge Vineyards Urban Winery—and spruced herself up for new business. By day now, its airy, sun-soaked café lures members of the freelance set who sip artisanal coffees while pecking away at laptops. And by night, it shifts into a sleek wine and tapas bar that gives out a cozy, classy vibe, void of any hipster pretension. Simply, Bridget is a communal epicenter for all things ripe and local.
The place is organic in the best sense of the word. Chef and manager Isaac MacDougal and owner Everard Findlay have rebuilt Bridget alongside a passionate, artistic and community-loving crew, and this is present in all aspects of the venue, from its farm-to-table food to the hand painted bricks (look closely: each is a slightly varied pigment) that make up its walls. “It came together in a sculptural way,” said Findlay. “No architects and contractors in and out; just artists coming together to create the space.” Bridget is quintessential urban rustic, encompassing both the gritty modernity of its location and the homey comfort of the farms that provide its delicious fare.
The food, like the atmosphere, is a bridging of two worlds: dishes to suit the cosmopolitan city-dweller palate while sourcing fresh-from-the-farm ingredients. MacDougal—who prefers to think of himself as less chef, more “steward from farm to table”—personally shops for everything from lamb to goat’s milk at the local green markets. All tapas items ($5-$12) on the seasonal carte du jour masterfully complement the superb local wines offered. Eight bottles rotate every other week, and prices range from $5 to $10. Their Bridge 01 Reserve Merlot and a sparkling wine Lenz Cuvee are popular choices. Bridget has the only tasting room in the city for New York wines and will soon be adding wine tours to its repertoire when trips to their North Fork vineyard are scheduled later this year.
Bridget is also a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) drop-off point, allowing Williamsburgers to buy into a local farm and receive produce twice a month. And those who are wine-inclined can opt for the wine CSA as well. They also promote community togetherness by having social events such as on Tuesday evenings, when local artists screen films under the glow of the bridge. A lot of “bridging” for one tiny tasting room, but Bridget handles it all with aplomb.
How to get there: Take the L train to Bedford Ave. Walk west on Bedford and make a right on Broadway. Take the J/M to Marcy Ave and continue west on Broadway. It’s worth the trip! (Bridget, 20 Broadway at Kent St., Williamsburg, 718.324.2800, bridgeurbanwinery.com)