Williamsburg is becoming a habitat of choice for many New Yorkers who want to live in a trendy place and cannot afford all the Sohos. Tribecas, etc. in Manhattan. It is an area in transition. The epicenter of trendiness seems to be the Bedford subway stop. I have a friend who is a singer with band who lives in the area and works a day job in Soho. She provided the following suggestions. The comments are in her words. I just added the logistics and links, In a few cases I added some more after the logistics.
The Lodge is my new favorite. Off the beaten Bedford path. Very cool menu with equally "cool" patrons. My friend ordered the stuffed pork chop and I ordered an amazing fish stew, both were excellent. Looks like a hip and beautiful ski lodge with everything from floor to ceiling in a dark wood. White lighting fixtures in the shape of antlers complete the setting. Great ambiance, very attentive and friendly service. Entrees are about $20-30. It is located at 318 Grand St (Williamsburg/Greenpoint) at Havemeyer St. (718)-486-9400 – the menu looks like nuevo comfort food and very good (this is a complement).
S.E.A. - Amazing Thai food. Every dish on the menu is delicious and very reasonably priced. I've taken many visitors there, and they've invariably exclaimed "this is the best ___ I've ever had!" or simply "this is the best thing I've ever had." All have asked to go back. I heard about it when a friend told me five of his friends went there, ordered appetizers, entrees, and drinks, and their bill came out to only $80! It's a large restaurant and there is a pool in the center with waterlillies and a Buddhist statue, the visual ambiance usually strikes people and then the food completes the knock-out. The music is often electronic and can at times be loud. It's not always the best place to go to talk because it can be hard to hear the person sitting across from you. They do not take reservations for parties of fewer than six, so beware of going after 8:30 on a Friday or Saturday night. Word of the place has reached everyone in Manhattan and the boroughs, so what used to be a cute local hipster restaurant is now often a packed NY bar scene. Entrees are about $7-9. It is located at 114 N. 6th St. Williamsburg/Greenpoint (718)-384-8850. – the web site invites you to “come and flirt.” But this was promoting their Valentine’s Day menu.
Moto - Everything is cool about this place. It sits under the JMZ subway line, in a flatiron/triangle shaped building, the entrance is a large heavy wooden door at the most narrow part. Dimly lit and often playing old jazz, or showcasing a local jazz band, you feel like you are in the movie Triplets of Bellville. The menu is cute, only offering a few items, mostly creative paninis, some soups, and specials. No liquor, only beer and wine. It's the perfect place for "coming in from the cold," warm and cinematically toasty very much still a local hangout as it's pretty small and on the "wrong side of the tracks," and it's perfect that way. Entrees are about $7-13 – 394 Broadway, Brooklyn. (718) 599-6895. City Search said – “The inexpensive paninis, made with crusty bread and fine Italian fixings such as sopressata and portobello mushrooms, are worth the trek, and the grilled doughnuts, sweet, warm and indulgent, put Krispy Kreme to shame.”
DuMont - Nice setting, also wood and candles. Has the feeling of being a restaurant in Brooklyn for a long time (it hasn't) Away from Bedford, at the burgeoning Lorimer stop. Very good burgers. Great date spot. Entrees are about $13-25. It is located at 432 Union Ave. Williamsburg/Greenpoint (718)-486-7717 New York Magazine recommends the Skate with roasted tomato, $16; DuMont burger, $11.50
Yola's - Inexpensive and high quality Mexican food. Their chicken fajita's are the best. Feels fresh and tastes delicious. The place has three tables and hasnothing to offer in terms of ambiance unless you would like to catch up on your tele-novellas, but you can order take-out or delivery. Very friendly and fast service. It is located at 524 Metropolitan Avenue (718) 486-0757 - Lorimer Stop on L train