In Japanese culture, an izakaya is a type of informal drinking establishment that serves small plates shared among friends. A tavern-style menu often includes sashimi, kushiyaki (grilled meat and vegetable skewers), and a variety of tofu-based dishes, but puts sake center stage.
Bringing this concept to the heart of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, is illustrious restauranteur duo George Padilla and JT Vuong, in partnership with Sunday Hospitality. Rule of Thirds is a new fashionable but accessible haunt located within Mini’s design incubator and co-working space A/D/O. The new eatery features a dynamic menu that blends Brooklynite and Japanese influences with a subtly playful flair.
Following a “home-cooked” approach, Rule of Thirds draws on the Japanese concept of mottainai, which connotes mindfulness, gratitude, and intention. A tiered menu works perfectly with a robust cocktail list as small binchotan bites work their way up to a substantial panko-breaded pork blade. Fresh takes on fish, meat, rice, and legumes pair perfectly with uniquely designed drinks with names like Jazz Lingo, Neon Geisha, and Umami Grog.
Regionally sourced ingredients are prepared using a range of Japanese culinary techniques and are served in locally sourced design accessories. An unmatched sake cellar is articulated in one-off bowls and carafes, specially designed for Rule of Thirds by Greenpoint artisanal practice Soto Ceramic while Erin Louise Clancy was responsible for the restaurant’s dishware. Bespoke metal pendant lamps by Studio Beson were inspired by a Japanese space-purifying ritual.
Love is Enough founder Loren Daye and her team carried out a scheme that focuses on cohesion and serenity. Douglas fir and jade velvet elements join a slew of decorative ceramic vessels to contrast with the existing nArchitects-designed building’s raw industrial character. Flexible wooden furniture and paneled inserts help distinguish this cozy saloon from the rest of A/D/O’s open-plan space.
Framed by a three-sided shadow box chandelier, the dusty mint tile and walnut counter bar offers guests direct access to an open kitchen. Curated by nearby nursery Tula House, an abundance of plants helps tie the project together.