The team behind Otis, the neighborhood favorite in Bushwick, opened its sister restaurant in Greenpoint, Nura, this past weekend in a converted auto body shop.
The 80-seat restaurant is located at 46 Norman Avenue on the corner of Guernsey Street. Though Nura is larger than Otis, the team seeks to similarly provide the neighborhood with delectable food and drink, in a convivial and warm setting.
Born in pandemic times (the lease was executed two weeks before NYC’s first
lockdown in March 2020), Nura is driven by a quest to return to basics – in purpose, design, and execution. Chef & Owner Scott Hawley wants diners to “tap into your wilder feasting instincts: Rip bread, drink out of the bowl, hand-feed your fellow guests without restraint.
Nura’s flavors are inspired by cuisines from around the world, and partly a nod to the heritage of Hawley’s wife and co-owner, Michelle Lobo, especially as the kitchen features a tandoori oven. “Although it is primarily associated with Indian cooking, similar ovens were used by ancient Persians thousands of years ago and are still used throughout the Middle East and central Asia,” says Lobo. “I find this shared and ancient connection comforting. It exemplifies one of the simplest and oldest forms of cooking that I’d argue is hard to improve upon.”
The menu will feature a rotating variety of breads that cross borders and marry traditions.
“Pastry is too often an afterthought in the restaurant world, but it’s hard to overstate its centrality in cuisines around the world. At NURA, bread will take its rightful place centervstage,” says Pastry Chef Sam Short, formerly from Blanca. She is also responsible for Nura’s desserts, which include a next-level ice cream sandwich, Turkish delights, and a Pandan cake.
Nico Arze, Matthew Maddy and their crew of craftsmen are behind the design and build-out, following no particular design principle other than to emphasize the natural beauty of the corner space – high ceilings, skylights, abundance of large windows – with simple, earthy materials, handcrafted features, and a timeless appeal. Turning the old auto-body into NURA took 18 months, challenged by the pandemic. Full of plants and greens, the space has been turned into a peaceful oasis in the lively neighborhood.
Nura is currently open Wednesdays to Sundays, 5pm – 10pm