In Prospect Heights, A Neighborhood Restaurant With A Focus On Seasonal Ingredients
James Restaurant | 605 Carlton Ave |

Just a stone’s throw from Flatbush Avenue, tastefully situated among the century-old brownstones in Prospect Heights Brooklyn, is James, a restaurant co-owned and managed by Deborah Williamson and executive chef Bryan Calvert. Named for Bryan’s great-grandfather, James is a romantic cross between rustic charm and sophisticated allure, dressed with brown leather banquettes, pressed tin ceilings, salvaged mirrors from the Plaza Hotel, and a custom-made Dutch Lucite chandelier.

“We tried to do what we love in an environment that feels approachable. It’s the way we both like to dine, without it feeling remotely precious,” says Deborah.

While the majority of the menu is dictated by what’s seasonally available, a few top-sellers (namely the black kale salad with a poached farm egg, the black angus burger on a sesame brioche, and the lemon ricotta cheesecake) can be ordered year-round. Bryan’s green thumb has long supplied the restaurant with a bounty of produce and herbs, but he and Deborah have also worked hard to develop strong relationships with farms such as Liberty Gardens in Coopersburg, PA and Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden on Staten Island.

“We’ll have warmer, homier, deeper flavors for fall,” promises Bryan. “We’ll do a celery root soup, smoked trout, richer meats like duck, and more braised items.”

And, if your mind isn’t on a meal, have a seat at their gorgeous, antique wood bar and agree to a cocktail. Their raw, all-natural house-made bitters, created by former head bartender Justin Briggs, launched a line they now sell through their retail outlet, Cecil & Merl. Bryan’s infamous cheesecake loaf and Deborah’s heavy canvas market totes round out their shop. “I was never a cheesecake fan,” says Deborah, “but I lost my mind over this one when Bryan made it.”

James Restaurant in Brooklyn. andnorth.com

  “Opening the restaurant and designing the space was a true labor of love. The restaurant is situated in an old brownstone and we uncovered original tin ceilings, aged plastered and beautiful brick walls. Our hope was to create a second home, a neighborhood spot for friends and family to gather.”

James Restaurant in Brooklyn. andnorth.com

  “We met in 2003 at an event for the MOMA and have been collaborating ever since. Bryan runs the culinary side of things, and I focus on everything else. We’re both passionate about building a life that allows us to be creative and connected to the community. We’ve done everything from restaurants to big events and 11 years later we still have fun with it all.”

James Restaurant in Brooklyn. andnorth.com

  “Nature wins every time. What’s better than gnarly celery root knobs and smoked trout? We work with local farms and fisherman and take great pride in showcasing their beautiful work throughout the year.”

James Restaurant in Brooklyn. andnorth.com

  “I love coming to the kitchen in the morning when it’s quiet and I have the space to myself before the bustle of service begins. It’s when I feel most creative and inspired.”

James Restaurant in Brooklyn. andnorth.com

  “Our celery root soup with smoked trout and radish greens is the essence of our approach: keep it simple; make it pretty.”

James Restaurant in Brooklyn. andnorth.com

  “We’re inspired by nature’s beauty, simplicity, old things and good design. It becomes woven into everything we do and we’re constantly bringing these elements into our work and daily life in as many ways as possible.”

James Restaurant in Brooklyn. andnorth.com

  “Our lemon-ricotta cheesecake has been on the menu since we opened in 2008. It’s loaf shaped and swaddled with graham cracker crust on three sides. It’s also the inspiration for Cecil & Merl, our line of hand-crafted, small batch goods where every product is created, hand-packaged, and shipped from our studio in Brooklyn.”

James Restaurant in Brooklyn. andnorth.com

  “Our restaurant is located at the corner of a sweet, tree-lined street in Brooklyn. The windows open out so you can feel the neighborhood and peek into our world as you walk by. We love it here and are grateful to work and live in such a beautiful place.”