Williamsburg is filled with old warehouses that over time have become empty buildings, but one such space has recently been reimagined into a spectacular Italian restaurant that features a gorgeous beer garden, wine bar, and rooftop.
The new restaurant, Ainslie, is a huge 10,000-square-foot space that can accommodate 340 guests. The Italian wine bar and beer garden features a 90-seat front wine bar, a 70-seat back beer bar connected to an outdoor beer garden, a 60-seat intimate living room is located in the mezzanine, and a 1,000-square-foot 50-person roof deck and bar. At the ground level front wine bar there is also an open kitchen that has a wood fired pizza oven with full views of the chef and kitchen staff.
According to the restaurant’s announcement, the Ainslie building was formerly home to a wire loom factory building. It’s actually the last remaining remnant of the factory complex, which once occupied the entire block, and has been reimagined to accommodate the rolling out of pizza and pasta dough instead of copper and brass.
“The building was originally designed to allow soft northern sunlight to enter through the operable scissor skylights, which let the heat from the manufacturing process naturally ventilate through the window transoms.The factory was altered around 1910 to its existing configuration with 120 skylight windows. The restoration continued with the feel and texture of the old factory and took the operable window concept to another level with a 30-foot wide hangar door that opens and flows into a private walled garden. Remnants of the old factory have been lovingly preserved and re-purposed. The old tin ceiling is now wainscot material and salvaged heavy timber turned into furniture and bars.”
The building’s history and modernized restorations give way to the general ambiance of the space, which is even more charming in the evening. But alas, what is all of this without amazing food? Luckily, Ainslie delivers when it comes to serving a delicious menu.
With a kitchen run by the well-known NYC chef John DeLucie—best known for his time at restaurants like Waverly Inn, Empire Diner, and Bedford & Co.—the team behind the Ainslie name are some of the best. At DeLucie’s side is the talented Erasmo ‘Mino’ Lassandro, a pizza maker from Puglia, Italy who mans the wood fired oven. The menu will include items such as crispy artichokes with aioli con Alice, the Ainslie burger with gorgonzola dulce served on a brioche bun, creatively crafted wood-fired pizzas, linguine vongole, housemade pasta (including spaghetti, ravioli, and pappardelle), and New York strip steak served with watercress, balsamic, cipollini, and truffle oil.
Additionally, the cocktails have been created Jessica Duré (who was formerly at Broken Shaker) with a menu that includes seasonally changing cocktails, 20 wines by the glass, four wines on tap, and 16 beers from local craft breweries on tap.
Located at 76 Ainslie Street, the restaurant will be open from Tuesday through Thursdays (5 pm-2 am), Fridays (4 pm-3 am), Saturdays (3 pm-3 am), and Sundays. (3 pm-2am).
featured image source: Ainslie
Also published on Medium.