Sometimes you don’t want to plan your whole night out ahead of time. You just need somewhere to walk right in and enjoy some good food and drinks with friends. That’s when you should look to Nite Nite. This Williamsburg spot is the newest operation from the team behind Karasu, and it’s the perfect low-key, walk-in option for a solid meal that you can have without spending the majority of your paycheck.
From the extensive Happy Hour menu on weekdays to the live DJ sets on weekends, Nite Nite has more than a few attributes we find ideal for restaurants in the area. The dimly-lit interior reminds us of our sophomore year geometry class, while the outdoor patio has plenty of room to be unapologetically belligerent with a group, sitting alongside a feast of oysters, skewers, and crudos. It might sound like other restaurants in the neighborhood, but Nite Nite’s izakaya-style menu is versatile enough to work for a fun date, catch-up with an old roommate, or even dinner with your “cool aunt.”
When ordering food, stick to the snacks. Don’t be afraid to share a dozen oysters, a couple of chargrilled shrimp skewers, and a small plate of black cod sashimi. While the massive pork tonkatsu at Karasu used to be a big hit, the entree version here came out dry and tough. We found the rest of the entrees similarly disappointing. If you are in the mood to have a massive plate sat in front of you, go for the Nite Nite Platter. The luxuriously large tray comes with a sampling of oysters, sashimi, shrimp cocktail, and basically every other snack you’d find at a raw bar, so you don’t have to make any tough decisions.
The cocktails, however, are even better than what we remember from Karasu. So we would recommend you indulge, especially if you make your way to Nite Nite around Happy Hour. They’ve also got a $10 Sapporo and sake special if you’re seriously in the mood to party.
Nite Nite is best used as a casual meeting place for when you don’t want to put in much effort and still have a great meal. Think of it as a stylish backdrop for a fun hang that won’t require much planning, fighting for a reservation, or money. You can drop in for a snack on a weeknight, or celebrate something special with a Telfar bag tucked under the patio tables outside.
The cocktail list has a range of four to six excellent options that’ll typically change with the seasons. For the fall, they’ve got their take on a painkiller made with ginger, pear, and allspice that tastes like the beverage equivalent of a freshly baked pie. Go with your gut when picking and you won’t be disappointed.
The East Coast oysters here are sweet, a little salty, and have a welcome punch of spice from the yuzu kosho mignonette on the side. They’re $3 each, but if you come during Happy Hour you can order each one for just $1.
This platter includes a dozen oysters for $60, plus some black cod sashimi, scallops, and shrimp cocktail. It’s a great plan of action if you show up with a group and don’t feel like deciding on small plates.
We don’t often get riled up about chicken kebabs, but Nite Nite’s version is chargrilled to perfection and still juicy on the inside. It’s savory, lemony, and requires minimal chewing. If you’d rather stock up on seafood, you can also get a similar experience with either the shrimp or miso salmon skewer options.
This massive fried Berkshire pork chop looks like it should be a winner, but in reality, it’s a huge letdown. The meat inside is overcooked and the tough outer layer makes it difficult to cut for sharing purposes. You can skip this one entirely.