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The Park Slope Week in Review: 6/20/11 - 6/24/11

The week got started with some pretty big news: An owner of Thistle Hill Tavern will be opening up a "modern Asian" restaurant on the corner of Seventh and 11th, and the head chef will be none other than Dale Talde, who helmed Buddakan and also appeared on Top Chef (and Top Chef Masters). Kulushkat, The new "gourmet falafel" restaurant, also opened on Dean Street near Fifth, and is damn good.

On Tuesday I wondered if this neighborhood really needs a "night watch," which was suggested by a Brooklynian poster after his bicycle seat was stolen. If you agree with him, feel free to drop by the meeting he's scheduled for Sunday at PS 321.

Wednesday brought confirmation that Kohzee Cafe, the "blazingly mediocre" diner on Sixth Ave and Seventh St., finally shuttered for good after being shut down, repeatedly, by the DOH for offenses including live mice. The owner just kept peeling the sticker off and re-opening, apparently because he loves paying fines. Also, the Five Guys burgers headed to Flatbush Avenue near Seventh got some plywood.

The building that's been getting a gut reno on Fifth and St. Johns lost its scaffolding on Thursday, and Tenko Sushi, another blazingly mediocre restaurant up the avenue by St. Marks, closed for good.

And on Friday Faros, the new Greek restaurant, finally opened for good on Seventh near Union (sorry, no more free food!). Also, I had a chance to chat with the owner of Purbird, the restaurant coming to Sixth and St. Marks, and it's all chicken, all the time. 


Friday Foodporn: Kulushkat

Since opening last week, Kulushkat Gourmet Falafel, on Dean Street just east of Fifth Avenue, has already begun to make waves with its fresh and super-authentic Israeli cuisine, based on recipes from owner Yagil Kadosh's mother, Yafa, who was actually working in the kitchen earlier this afternoon!

The Classic Falafel, above ($5.50), is crunchy, garlicky, and topped with tahini, Israeli salad, and your choice of toppings, including hummus, marinated eggplant or carrots, and Israeli pickles.

The basic hummus plate ($5.00) comes heaped with homemade hummus, fresh chick peas, a glug of olive oil and herbs and spices. Surprisingly, it pairs very well with sarsaprilla from Maine Root.

The premium Israeli salad pairs cucumbers, tomatoes, and onion with chick peas, pine nuts, hard boiled egg, and tahini.

Schnitzel is, surprisingly, a very popular dish in Israel, and they certainly do it justice here ($8.50). Chicken breast is breaded (with homemade breadcrumbs made from Amy's Bread), fried, and served with seasoned fries and tahini. It tastes like the best chicken fingers you've ever had.

Dying for one of those falafels? Look for a coupon on this site next week!

Kulushkat Gourmet Falafel, 446C Dean St, Brooklyn NY 11217. 347-799-1972. Free delivery, min $12.


Open for Business: Faros, 84 Seventh Avenue

Park Slope's newest Greek restaurant, Faros (not Pharos), has officially opened, as of last night. The restaurant, on Seventh Avenue between Union and Berkeley, is serving up a large array of traditional Greek classics in a bi-level space (there's a nice back garden on the second floor as well).  For a full menu and a couple photos, here's a link to the article I wrote after checking out the soft opening last week.

They won't be offering delivery (only take-out), and within a couple months they will begin to offer a full bar as well as weekend brunch. Hours are 4-10:30, every night.

Faros, 84 Seventh Avenue Brooklyn NY 11217. 718-623-2767.


Purbird: Chicken, Chicken, and More Chicken

I dropped into Purburd, the restaurant coming to the corner of Sixth and St. Marks, earlier today, and had a chance to speak with owner Peter Lekkas about what we can expect when they open, which should be within a month or so. This one looks really interesting.

"Free range, flame-grilled chicken," replied Lekkas when asked for menu details. "Chicken burgers, homemade chicken sausage, dark meat chicken sandwiches, and some sides."

That's right: all chicken, all the time. They've been in talks with Wellington Farms in Massachusetts, and for the past eight months have been experimenting with preparations at his other restaurant, the modern Greek Elia in Bay Ridge. "You can find chicken all over the place, but rarely do you come across one that makes you say 'Wow!'," he said. "We've been experimenting with brining, marinating, and roasting, and we're getting close to perfection."

Once they open, visitors can expect to order at the counter and then bring their tray to one of the several outdoor tables to eat. They'll also be implementing an online ordering system that delivers orders directly to the kitchen.

"This was my wife, Christina's, dream for the past seven years," explained Lekkas, who co-owned the space's previous occupant, Helios, before having a falling out with his partner, whom he believes completely mismanaged the restaurant. "We started completely from scratch. When people eat this chicken, they're going to say, 'Wow, this is good!'"

Suddenly, the loss of Chickadee Chick doesn't sting nearly as much.


Then and Now Thursday: Brady's Tavern, Flatbush Avenue

There's something very "Wild West" about this photo, isn't there? Between the window awnings on the two-story wood sided buildings, the two gentlemen hanging out in the doorway of the "shoe cleaning parlor," the old saloon with the great signage next door, and the water basin for horses out front, this photo could have been taken anywhere, and decades earlier than 1914, when it was snapped. The only detail that betrays the location is the ad for F&M Schaefer's Beer, which was born in New York in 1842 and is today brewed by Pabst.

The two buildings in the photo above are still standing, but have been altered beyond recognition. They're located at 349 and 351 Flatbush Avenue (between Sterling and Carlton), directly across from the Seventh Avenue B/Q stop and next to Sharlene's Bar.

Source: Merlis and Rosenzweig. Brooklyn's Park Slope. 1999.