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It’s a good time to visit Gowanus. Third Avenue is already home to exciting young newcomers like the Pines and Fletcher’s (where Robert recently found a “near-perfect” pulled pork sandwich). Now it hosts new bakery Runner & Stone.
Peter Endriss was formerly the head baker at Per Se, and we’ve been following him since he began peddling his own breads and pastries at the New Amsterdam Market and Smorgasburg: Sour rye ciabbata, soft pretzels, and buckwheat loaves, to name a few. To open Runner & Stone, Endriss partnered with Chris Pizzulli, who ran the kitchen at Blue Ribbon in Park Slope. Together, the two run the sort of smart, all-day cafe that serves coffee and pastries in the morning, sandwiches and salads at lunchtime, and shifts over to cocktails and savory dishes in the evening.
The pastry counter is excellent. You’ll find short, fat canelés ($3) with crunchy, shiny shells, thick and satisfyingly crisp, and a rich center that’s soft as bread pudding (those stalking Endriss at the markets might have tasted these already). And fresh, elegant palmiers ($1) with buttery, caramelized layers, and none of the stickiness caused by loading them up with too much sugar.
Endriss is particularly interested in whole grains, and even the dense, oddball brownies are touched with rye. (Coincidentally, the bakery is close to where a mill which harnessed the power of tidal waters in 17th-century Gowanus used to produce flour for the city.) There’s plenty of new stuff to try, and we expect to have some fun working our way through the menu. Come back soon for a longer report on the savory dishes and bread menu. Runner & Stone; 285 Third Avenue, Brooklyn; 718-576-3360