Purbird, the restaurant that can best be described as "chicken-centric," opened last night on the highly visible corner of Sixth Avenue and St. Marks Avenue, just off Flatbush.
Run by the husband and wife duo of Peter and Christina Lekkas, who also run Greek restaurant Elia in Bay Ridge, the restaurant, which was eight years in the making, was insipired by Christina's inability to find a decent grilled chicken.
"With rotisserie chicken, the breast is usually dried out, and you need to eat it at exactly the right time," she said. "We brine it so it stays juicy, de-bone it, and then flame-grill it flat so it cooks evenly."
The all-natural, free-range chicken ($8.95 for half) comes from Wellington Farms, and as the centerpiece of the menu, it's juicy and flavorful, and finished with a little olive oil, lemon, and oregano.
Joining the chicken on the brief menu are a chicken thigh wrap ($6.25), chicken burger (which goes very well with the zucchini raita), $5.50, chicken sausage ($5.75), and an empanada-style "chicken pie" ($4), filled with creamy chicken pot pie filling.
There's also a large variety of creative homemade sauces like chipotle, roasted lemon and parsley, and quince chutney, a few salads, sides including jalapeno mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, creamed spinach, and (very good) fries. Ice cream comes from Blue Marble, and bread is from Staten Island-based Royal Crown Bakery.
It's not a waiter-service restaurant; you order at the counter, and if you're dining in you can grab a seat at one of the 30 indoor or 20 outdoor seats. It's a casual place, the owners are friendly and willing to chat, and you can tell that they're very excited about what they've created (and they understand what brought down the space's predecessor, Helios; Peter was involved when it opened but left after becoming unhappy with the way it was run).
With such a small, focused menu, it's clear that the Lekkas ascribe to the "do one thing and do it well" philosophy. When you realize that the closest competition was the now-closed, mediocre Chickadee Chick, it becomes apparent that food of this quality, while simple, is a major step up, and a continuation of the foodie-centric movement that's swept the neighborhood in the past year.
Hours: Mon-Thu: 12 PM - 9 PM, Fri-Sat: 12 PM - 10 PM, Sun 11 AM- 8 PM. Delivery will begin in two weeks.
Purbird Brooklyn, 82 Sixth Avenue Brooklyn NY 11217. Phone: 718-857-2473.