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After Five Year Wait, Red Hook's Grindhaus to Open Dec. 5

By Nikhita Venugopal | November 30, 2013 12:32pm

RED HOOK — Former dominatrix Erin Norris is set to open her own Red Hook restaurant, Grindhaus, on Dec. 5.

The casual neighborhood eatery, which Norris describes as “mom and pop,” will feature a vegetable-driven menu with a few meat and seafood options.

With roughly 20 seats at 275 Van Brunt St., Grindhaus' small size allows owner Norris and her chefs, Aaron Taber and Leon Douglas, to cater to diners’ dietary restrictions, allergies and also serve vegan and gluten-free options. Grindhaus will also soon have a backyard wood oven that will provide freshly baked bread.

“Everything has a wonderful textural as well as a flavor component,” said Norris, a Red Hook resident.

The restaurant is cash-only, but Norris hopes to keep the menu affordable so “it’s not going to break the bank.”

While construction began on Grindhaus in 2008, Hurricane Sandy left the restaurant with roughly $28,000 in damage and delayed the opening by many months.

Through a Kickstarter campaign, Norris was able to raise more than $19,000 to help rebuild.

“There’s blood, sweat and tears all over this joint,” Norris, who has worked as a band manager, a music publicist and a dominatrix, told DNAinfo.come New York in April.

Grindhaus will serve dishes like merguez tortellini, braised pork cheek and a buckwheat cake with lavender panna cotta and parsnips for dessert. But Norris hopes to constantly recreate their wine and food menus.

“Things can change on a whim,” she said. “To me, that’s very exciting.”

Grindhaus will be open from Thursdays to Sundays. For reservations of parties of four or more, call 917-757-5119.