905 Lorimer St at Nassau Ave, Greenpoint
The Place: A super lovely, trendy French restaurant/bar that’s run by the same folks as Maison Premiere, right on the Williamsburg-Greenpoint border.
The Time: Saturday September 17, 8:30pm. Guys. I’m at a bar alone in a hip neighborhood on a Saturday night. It’s terrifying. I’ll be up front in admitting that I’m only here by myself because a friend cancelled on me last minute, and instead of turning around and getting back on the G train, I decided to face my fears and go to Sauvage anyway. I’m a strong, independent woman. I can do this!
The Vibe: I’m trying to pump myself up with cool girl energy as I make my way into the bar, until the hostess stops me and asks the dreaded question: “Hi, how many in your party?” After a lengthy pause, I respond awkwardly, “Um, oh, I just wanted to get a drink at the bar, it’s just me.” She has to go and check if there’s room for me at the bar! As I’m contemplating running away from what seems like a dreadful situation, looking around at all the people sitting having dinner outside and all the people sitting having dinner inside, she comes back and leads me in. It’s a really beautiful space, with a marble bar top and a seafoam green back wall. I get to pretend I’m in France, and that takes away the horror of being out alone in what is arguably the trendiest part of Brooklyn. Everyone in here, customers and staff, is beautiful and under 35. Since it’s right on the edge of Williamsburg, I sense it’s mostly populated with Williamsburg spill-off, unlike Moonlight Mile, which none of these gorgeous hipsters probably know exists. There’s a super funky photo in the corner of two older people wearing sunglasses. I’ve decided these folks in the photo are now my dates for the evening, and we can all pretend to be French together.
The Bartender: A very nice woman who’s so busy, I can’t ask her about the photo of the sunglassed people or the spirits list. But she’s helpful in assuaging my fears and assures me that my drink would not be too sweet. She’s right.
The Drank: Sloe Moon’s Rose, a riff on a Sloe Gin Fizz, with sloe gin (duh), framboise, lime and gin, served over crushed ice. It’s bright pink with a paper swizzle straw, and I feel only slightly ridiculous until I taste it, and feel ridiculous no more because it’s delicious. The menu has a handful of low-proof cocktails like this, and a really interesting list of spirits, i.e. I don’t recognize any of them. I want to ask the bartender what the story is with this, but alas, she has a job to do.
Was I Hit On? Luckily I had my notebook on me so I could spend some time writing. After I’m here for a while, a guy sits down next to me, takes out a notebook and he starts writing. Journaling at a bar on a weekend is a weird thing; even weirder for two people who don’t know each other to be doing it side by side. The two guys at the end of the bar notice how strange this is. I see one of them mouth to the other, “is this Improv Everywhere?” and his friend looks around for other people who might also have notebooks. Eventually, Writer Guy breaks the ice and mentions the coincidence, asked with a sly “Excuse me, but I need to know: are you copying me?” He’s nice enough and honestly, I’m grateful for the company. We chat for a while, and as I’m about to leave, he asks if I want to get a drink with him somewhere else. I politely decline; he doesn’t make a fuss and says it was nice talking to me. Civility still exists somewhere in this hate-riddled world.
Should You Drink Here Alone? Oui oui mon cherie. Sauvage was perfectly pleasant on a busy Saturday night for a lady riding solo. Personally, I’d rather come here with a hungry friend to enjoy that yummy looking food that was coming out of the kitchen. But for going out alone on a weekend in this neighborhood? Could’ve been a lot worse.