When chef Jamie Young opened Sunday in Brooklyn a little more than one year ago, he inherited a couple things: a beautifully rustic space carved out for the previous tenant, Isa, and the general neighborhood scepticism of a place named after what one might mistakenly imagine constitutes over-the-bridge interloping. While the former was certainly a bonus (there are few restaurants more inviting on a winter’s day than this one), the latter would require food that went absolutely above and beyond. Mea culpa on a plate, if you will. So it was a good thing that Young’s food was good, very good. So good, in fact, it had diners leaving in penance for ever doubting the potential of Sunday in Brooklyn in the first place.
Like the food, all you need to do to discover why this place is so great is to just dig in a bit. As far as bonafides, Young was most recently stationed at the Michelin-starred Atera. His co-owners, Adam Landsman and Todd Enany, are both seasoned restaurant vets, previously working for EMM and Major Food Group. The restaurant’s name, as the story goes, was about the three’s idea of the perfect day, eating and drinking with friends and family in the borough they called home. At Sunday in Brooklyn, they allow for diners to have that experience all day long, all week long.
Young’s menu, which changes seasonally and is sourced sustainably, offers itself as a welcome update to American fare. Vegetables, as fresh as they are inventive, are given their true and proper due. Fish and meat run the creative gamut, from black cod pastrami to bison tartare. And that’s just dinner. Brunch here is something of a scene, where diners cram elbow-to-elbow, tucking into stacks of malted pancakes and fluffy cheddar scrambles. Young knows just how much to push a diner’s boundaries, ensuring that you are always surprised as you are satisfied.
Below, we talk to Young about airplane pitfalls, Raymond Pettibon, and conversations had while foraging.
Place of residence:
East Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Chef-owner of Sunday in Brooklyn.
Quote to live by:
“None of the details is critical in and of itself. But it is the accumulation of these details that makes the difference between a mediocre dish and a successful one.” –Joël Robuchon
First job you ever had:
Romano’s Pork Store. Quintessential Long Island Italian specialties. Freddy, my boss, made the best fresh mozzarella!
Least favorite part of your day:
Emailing. I always forget to follow up.
Windows down, the song you’re playing is:
Radiohead, “Kid A.”
Three guilty pleasures:
Spicy Nacho Doritos, Will Horowitz’s pastrami sandwich, Late ’80s and early ’90s action movies (Seagal, Van Damme, Stallone, Mel Gibson). I can’t get enough!
If you had to watch one movie on repeat for eternity, what would it be?
Big Trouble in Little China.
You have a million dollars to spend on art, you buy…
Plane, train or automobile for a trip?
Train. Turbulence is terrifying.
What IS your favorite trip?
Driving cross-country in Spain: Barcelona to San Sebastian.
Personal travel ethos:
Always get lost. Worry later.
Drink of choice:
Any and all wines from Jura.
Beach house or tree house:
Where was the best meal you ever had and what was it?
La Grenouillère. Chef had cooked a tasting menu for us. The setting was perfect and the food was creative and fantastic–and this was just lunch. We then traveled for dinner to In de Wulf, which also blew my mind. It was really amazing to experience cuisine that was truly and perfectly regional.
What is the best news you ever received?
The day I was given a job at Eleven Madison Park.
Who or what is largely overrated? Explain.
I plead the Fifth. This would take too long.
Briefly describe the best concert you have ever gone to.
It was a Tool concert on Halloween. They sound even better live. Nassau Coliseum.
Where do you go for inspiration, peace of mind?
My buddy Will Horowitz (of Ducks Eatery and Harry & Ida’s) takes me foraging. We have great food conversations in the woods. He’s very inspiring and talented.