There’s been a spate of Greenpoint restaurant openings recently, as restaurateurs try their luck north of McCarren Park, and one recent entrant into the neighborhood is The Bounty, a seafood joint from Nika Carlson and Adam Collison–who also own The Drink–former Roberta’s baker Kevin Ang (who,in addition to baking bread for the restaurant, is also serving as the sous chef and chief cocktail creator), and Lance Hess, who last worked with André Balazs Properties.
The team initially came together through a friend, who introduced Hess and Collison when they were each thinking about opening a restaurant. “We [Adam and I] met, and we were like, ‘Let’s open a restaurant,'” recounts Hess. “Mika and Kevin came on later. Kevin is super passionate about cocktails; Adam met him at a bar. He was like, ‘We have this restaurant project and you should be part of it.’ So we started looking at spaces and just went for it. We were all independently thinking about it, and we decided to do it.”
At that time, the partners had a different concept in mind. “Originally, we were going to do a Maryland-style crab shack, because Adam is from Maryland,” explains Hess. “But it’s not as eco-friendly as you’d think, and we didn’t feel like we could offer it to people at a reasonable rate. So it didn’t seem like a responsible offering for the neighborhood.”
The team retooled and brought on chef Eric Mann, who previously ran the burners at Craft and Prune, to turn out a fish-focused menu. “The goal is to keep it at 70 percent seafood and 30 percent other,” says Hess. “We’re trying to source seafood that’s wild-caught and abundant, and we’re trying not to use farmed fish at all. Our chef and sous chef have decided not to use unsustainable fishes. So we’ll keep the menu small and tight, and it will change frequently.” He says that the burger, too, is worthy of your attention, even if it’s not from the ocean.
The sustainability focus in the menu was also reflected in the construction of the space, which the owners built out with as much consideration for the environment as possible. “Restaurants are not always eco-friendly, so we decided to build or re-purpose all of our materials,” says Hess. “Most of our materials have been re-purposed. We pulled woods out of scrap heaps and used it to build the bar. We have all LED lighting, and all of our kitchen equipment is used. We tried to be as eco-conscious as we could.” To wit, the back bar is made from old furniture, which is anchored to the walls intact, and an old 80-foot sail is strung across the ceiling. “It’s a little bit of a nautical theme, hence the name The Bounty,” says Hess. “We want it to feel like being on a rough ship that might capsize.”
And as for why this neighborhood during this surge of restaurant openings? “We were looking at Bushwick and Greenpoint,” says Hess. “Williamsburg is expensive and overrun. We’re on top of this next boom, and a lot is going open quickly. I want the neighborhood to become a destination for dining, and I think it’s on it’s way.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 21, 2013