Stepping into Runner & Stone on a weekend morning is like walking into an old friend’s house. The coffee’s brewing, the smell of freshly baked bread is in the air, and the greeting from co-owners baker Peter Endriss and chef Chris Pizzull, no matter how slammed the kitchen is, seems to embrace you in warmth.
“We make it our business to get to know our regulars and we empower our staff to do the same,” Endriss said. “It’s extremely important to us that our customers feel comfortable when they dine with us and that means not only being friendly, but being consistently diligent to make sure that their needs continue to be met year in and year out.”
Their hands-on approach to the business has made the five-year-old Gowanus restaurant a neighborhood favorite, but even if you don’t live in the area, chances are you’ve tasted food from Runner & Stone. Since opening, the restaurant and bakery has sold breads such as walnut levain, sesame semolina, baguettes and more to some of the city’s most popular restaurants and markets including Sunday in Brooklyn, Olmsted, Park Slope Food Coop and the Third Avenue Brooklyn Whole Foods.
“The bakery-restaurant combo was basically just an expression of what both Chris and I had to share — his love of handmade food led to the idea of a small, farm-driven neighborhood restaurant and my love of traditional baking led to the idea of a small, primarily retail bakery with artisanal bread using local, quality ingredients,” Endriss said.
The two operations certainly complement each other. What would Eggs Benedict be without the English muffin or a baguette without a plate of orecchiette with housemade fennel sausage and broccoli rabe or a chocolate rye brownie sundae without the brownie? At Runner & Stone, everything plays off each other, including the location near the first tide water gristmill.
“It reminds us of a time when food, including primary ingredients, was largely sourced and produced locally. This helps us maintain our focus on our mission and continue to find innovative ways to use local products throughout the year,” Endriss said.
Step inside the comfortable, convivial restaurant soon, and experience the warming, inviting atmosphere and seasonal dishes yourself.