photo credit: Noah Devereaux
Every time Monday rolls around, we want to eat at Lighthouse. We’re ready to invent a Perfect For: Mondays category because of Lighthouse.
There’s just one problem. Lighthouse is closed on Mondays.
It’s kind of like finding out that someone you thought you liked is a plane clapper. The pilot can’t hear you. And he’s not one of the Wright Brothers.
That almost-dealbreaker aside, we can confidently say we’ve found our favorite spot to spend all other weeknights in Williamsburg.
A triangle-shaped space on the corner of a mostly-empty block, Lighthouse is covered with giant open windows that let in tons of natural light and breeze. There are always people here, but never any crowds. The place feels like it belongs somewhere else - like a place where people don’t sometimes pee on sidewalks. But it’s not just the atmosphere that makes Lighthouse feel like the exact place you want to be at the end of your day.
You want to be at Lighthouse because the food is absolutely excellent. It’s the kind of fresh, sort of healthy stuff you’ve seen around town: grilled vegetables, ceviche, octopus, chicken - but done much, much better than usual. There’s even a destination-worthy burger.
Lighthouse isn’t just another Williamsburg spot that uses “local” ingredients, has an oyster happy hour, and serves “interesting” wines. Lighthouse does all those things - but does them with real intensity. Their ingredients aren’t just fresh - there’s apparently a guy named Carlos who brings Lighthouse its chickens straight off a farm every two days. Their happy hour isn’t just a good deal - the wine glasses on special are from whatever bottle happens to be open, giving you a chance to try stuff you otherwise might not. And unlike a lot of casual-seeming places with not very casual prices, everything at Lighthouse is actually affordable. Lighthouse doesn’t just talk the talk. It walks it, too.
If you don’t live in the neighborhood, you might not think to trek to Williamsburg on your usual weeknight for chicken, or a burger, or grilled vegetables. But this restaurant is a reason to reconsider.
Lighthouse doesn’t settle, and neither should you. See you on Tuesday.
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Sugar Snap Peas
Super crunchy, sweet grilled snap peas, plus a smokey-spicy harissa sauce, on top of super creamy labneh cheese, and covered in mint. If all vegetables tasted like this, the world would be a happier place.
Big chunks of raw fish (ours was mahi mahi), avocado, jalapeño, and a big mess of greens. Basically, a vacation in your mouth.
Technically this is called the “big salad of cooked and raw vegetables.” Lighthouse calls it like it sees it: lettuce, grilled carrots, lots of avocado, and herbs ('sup, dill?), all covered in a light, mustardy dressing. If health is your priority, this is as saintly as it gets.
Grilled Escarole With Tahini
This is the kind of dish that makes Lighthouse so special - it’s just a grilled head of bitter greens on top of sesame paste, sprinkled with seeds - but it’s insanely satisfying. Get this.
A perfectly charred little octopus on top of fava beans and salsa verde. If you like octopus, you won’t be disappointed.
Is there some kind of mass burger shortage happening on the DL? Because these things just keep getting inexplicably more and more expensive. Which is why we were even more surprised to find that Lighthouse’s is a highly reasonable $15 - especially for a burger like this. It’s damn near perfect, and so are the fries. If you don’t order this, you’re much stronger than we are.
Roast chickens never jump out at you. So we’ll yell. THIS ONE DESERVES YOUR ATTENTION. It all starts with the bird itself, which is so fresh when it arrives from the farm that the kitchen has to wait a day to cook it (not sure why that is, but we’re going to not think too hard on it). It’s pan seared for a super crunchy skin, and the meat itself is insanely juicy. Dunk every bite in the green sauce it comes with.
Explained to us as a pecan pie minus the pecans, a description that doesn’t do this justice. Super sweet filling, graham crust, and topped with a labneh whipped cream. Absolutely factor this in when you’re ordering the rest of your meal.
Lighthouse is best for dinner, but also does a very good brunch - particularly if your aim is to not feel terrible afterwards. First up: shakshuka. You know the drill.
Our go-to brunch order at Lighthouse, which is probably also the least good for you. Funny how that happens. Corn tortilla chips, green salsa, tons of cheese, and crema - add the eggs.
If it’s 2pm and this is your first meal, the egg sandwich is probably not your best move, as it’s on the small side. (Or just get two.) The brioche bun, mashed avocado, and ’nduja (pork spread) take it to a level your bodega could never touch.
Apparently only Lighthouse and Dr. Seuss know the secret, because we have no idea how they make these eggs bright green. The omelette is filled with feta and mild onions and is unfortunately more impressive looking than tasting.