Vinegar Hill House
Vinegar Hill House has been an eating destination constantly on our mind. When Jean Adamson, the lovely owner, invited us to visit her fine establishment AND to participate in the extraordinary dinner series she holds next door at her venue Hillside, we knew that we were in for a special week. The neighborhood of Vinegar Hill is a quaint, tucked away gem off the main streets of Dumbo. Venturing out into a new territory is always a welcome escape from our daily routines.
Vinegar Hill House is situated upon the most charming cobble road with colorful, lively properties lining the street. When you arrive at their door, you can’t help but feel you’ve stepped out of a dream and ready to greet the amazing meal that awaits you. Jean and Chef Mike Poiarkoff sure know how to work a room. Whether they are preparing to serve guests for a dinner series at Hillside or getting ready for a big night at the restaurant, you are guaranteed to feel at home in their care. Their no fuss attitude translates to delicious, hearty, warm meals with close attention to detail and beautiful presentation.
Read on as we pick Jean’s mind to get into the world of a bold, bright lady restaurateur:
72 Hudson Ave, Brooklyn NY 11201
What does a normal day of a restaurant owner look like?
It varies wildly, I had to learn how to transition from the rigorous scheduling of being a restaurant chef to a more spontaneous troubleshooting management style. A day could consist of meeting with a company to discuss our web design, to cultivating dinner and event concepts for Hillside, to meeting with staff and management to solidify service philosophy or simply just watering the plants.
Favorite thing about dining Manhattan, Favorite thing about dining in Brooklyn.
Manhattan- I feel like I’m going on an adventure. Brooklyn- I always feel at home
We love that you have an extensive background as a trained chef, what is the thing you love most about being in the kitchen?
I love trying to make something out of nothing. I work best in situations where I am limited. I find that is where I am the most creative.
Are there any dishes on the menu created by you? If so, spill the beans!
I guess you could say the pork chop, chicken, liver mousse and pancake are mine, although the chef can adjust the garnishes as he see fits or based on seasonal produce changes. Those dishes are where our patronage loyalty was established and so they will never come off the menu, because we appreciate what our Regulars have done for us.
We are obsessed with Hillside you space alongside Vinegar Hill House. What a perfect setting for an intimate gathering. Besides your lovely dinner series what kind of events is the space used for?
We have done a ton of baby shower brunches, rehearsal parties and birthdays there. We are also doing pop-up women maker markets quarterly with Taylor from Fox Fodder Farm and are working on different potential pop-up food concepts tbd.
Vinegar Hill House is the coziest restaurant on the cutest street we've seen in Brooklyn. Who helped with the build out and interior design?
My boyfriend/partner Sam (owner/designer of Fellow Barber) did all the design and build out for VHH with his bare hands and help of some really great friends.
How did you choose the location?
I lived in Park Slope for 10 years and have a great relationship with my landlord, I call him my NY dad. He owns three buildings in this neighborhood, one day he asked me if I might be interested in moving to a Carriage House in Vinegar Hill. Having spied this time warped microcosm before on multiple summer bike rides I jumped at the opportunity and couldn’t help and also asked if he had any commercial space available. The rest is history.
Favorite thing about being a restauranteur.
The opportunity to engage with creative, innovative and energetic people with similar interests. Also, getting to do something I love, even when it is really hard and stressful.
Where do you eat when you're not working?
I fortunately cook most meals at home and keep our larder pretty stocked as well as purchasing all our vegetables on a weekly basis from the farmers market. In the summer out East we join the Balsam Farms CSA. Otherwise we are regulars of Speedy Romeos and Saltie (we love their Mr. Curry concept). And when we want to venture out, we are inspired by what they are doing at Mission Chinese, Semilla and Estella.