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Open for Business: Kulushkat Gourmet Falafel, 446 Dean Street

Owner Yagil Kadosh with a falafel

The "gourmet falafel" restaurant I first told you about last month and took a sneak peek at last week opened last Friday on Dean Street just east of Fifth Avenue, and I'm thoroughly impressed by this place.

It's run by Yagil Kadosh and friend Andrew Rowley, who spent a couple weeks in Israel last year perfecting the recipes handed down by Kadosh's mother.

"We went to ton of falafel places, and everyone believes that their recipe is the best," Kadosh said about the trip. "We used everything we learned there in our recipe, and Andrew's recipe is perfect."

It is some seriously good falafel, fried to order and topped with your selection of hummus, baba ghanoush, Israeli salad, eggplant, marinated carrots, pickles, and more traditional Israeli toppings. Falafel comes in a few varieties, like spicy, Mediterranean chicken, or mushroom-based Gilly. Aside from falafel, you can also get grilled or fried chicken breast in a pita, along with a slew of salads, hummus with different toppings, and desserts like baklava and rugelach, all baked in-house (the rugelach was right out of the oven when I showed up, and was some of the best I've ever had). A couple truly authentic (and hard-to-find elsewhere) items, like burrekas and skhug, are also available.

Fresh rugelach

It's a small restaurant, with only twelve stools for seating, so take-out is highly recommended.

All the food served is made in-house, from scratch, using high-quality ingredients and recipes passed down through generations and perfected by two truly passionate guys who just want to serve good food. Who can ask for anything better than that?

Kulushkat Gourmet Falafel, 446 Dean Street Brooklyn NY 11217. Phone: 347-799-1972.


Top Chef Dale Talde to be Head Chef at "Modern Asian" Restaurant from Thistle Hill Owner

Last month, I ran into Thistle Hill Tavern owner David Massoni outside of the old Hudson Cleaners space on Seventh Avenue and 11th Street. When asked if he had plans for the space, he informed me that he was planning on a "modern Asian" restaurant, but to hold off on reporting it because some more details were forthcoming. 

Thanks to a tipster who spoke with Massoni at Thistle Hill (one of the best new restaurants in the neighborhood, by the way) last night, it can now be reported that chef Dale Talde, of Top Chef (both Season 4 and Masters All Stars) and Buddakan fame, will be the restaurant's head chef (confirmed by a photo of the space on Talde's blog). He's developed a very loyal following over the years, and is known for his creative cuisine and work ethic.

According to Massoni, the restaurant should be open by early September, and doesn't have a name yet.

Along with chef Mark Simmons opening Kiwiana down on Union Street, thats two former Top Chef contestants planting their flag in our neighborhood.

And I am seriously excited about this place.


Business of the Week: Gear to Go Outfitters, 217 Garfield Place

This article originally appeared on Patch.

If you're planning to head out of the city for a hike anytime soon, there's one particular neighborhood storefront you'll need to know about: Gear to Go Outfitters, on Garfield Place just east of Seventh Avenue.

The shop is a well-curated boutique that sells the highest quality hiking and camping gear, but it's not just a store—it's an experience.

"I've set out to create a real community gathering place for everything camping-related," said owner Kevin Rosenberg, who was formerly a Navy pilot. "We've got a great selection of goods, but we do a lot more than just sell the gear."

Owner Kevin Rosenberg

To understand Gear to Go, we'll need to start at the beginning.

"Kevin hiked 1300 miles of the Appalachian Trail!," said Asa Merritt, an avid hiker who's one of Kevin's employees. "Hiking is his life, and he loves being able to share that with the neighborhood."

Rosenberg started an online store a few years ago, and it quickly became a major resource for everything outdoor-related. He set up a table on Seventh Avenue near Carroll Street around that time, selling some of the less cumbersome equipment. He also began leading expeditions into the wilderness with a team of highly-trained guides.

This past April, he was finally able to realize his dream and open the store.

"I replied to a Craigslist ad about two and a half years ago asking for hiking guides, but I wasn't expecting to be put through such extensive training," remarked Merritt. "We're the only outdoor store in the city that licenses our guides."

Along with working in the store, most of Gear to Go's employees also lead weekly hiking trips, and that's why they needed to be thoroughly trained. They took water safety courses, a Red Cross training program, and arduous New York State Guide Exams.

It's clear that Kevin and his employees really care about what they do, and are looking to deliver much more than just merchandise. Along with the weekly expeditions, they offer classes in the store's basement, and are planning backpacking trips later this year to Arizona and Iceland.

"You can go to lots of stores and find every hiking and camping item imaginable, but that's not what we do here," said Merritt. "We don't sell anything that sucks. We carry what we believe in."

Gear to Go Outfitters, 217 Garfield Place Brooklyn NY 11215. 718-399-7848.


The Park Slope Week in Review: 6/13/11 - 6/17/11

On Monday word got around that Sweetwolf's, the intriguing new restaurant coming to Sixth Avenue and 12th Street, is accepting all suggestions for menu items through their Facebook page. If your dish is chosen you get invited to the soft open and get to help tweak the recipe. Also, Chickadee Chick, the chicken-centric restaurant on Seventh, shut down.

On Tuesday I reported that Cobble Grill II opened on the corner of Sixth and 14th, where Balaka, the Indian Restaurant, had been before. Same owner, new strategy, but man, what a depressing space. Food is salads, sandwiches, and burgers.

Wednesday brought news that Grand Army Plaza's food truck festival would be now happening once a month, and some local business owners are pissed that they'll be losing business to the interlopers. I also tracked down some fresh-from-the-coconut coconut water, at the little fruit stand on Fifth and 14th.

On Thursday Mango/Remixed Thai Brasserie, the restaurant on Seventh in the North Slope that shut down last week, magically re-opened. Seventh Avenue is also getting a whole bunch of new bike racks.

On Friday I posted an early review of Faros, the new Greek restaurant opening next week on Seventh near Union, along with a full menu, and it was authentic and really impressive. They're in soft open mode for now, and (shh) all the food is free until they open for good. I also took a look at Prime Six's nearly-completed facade, and noticed that a new women's vintage clothing store, Pony, has opened on northern Fifth Avenue. 


Prime Six Facade Almost Finished

Say what you will about the motivations behind sports lounge/steakhouse/club/whatever Prime Six, which will be opening soon in the former Royal Video space on Sixth and Flatbush, but it looks like they've installed a pretty classy facade. The final windows were installed over the past week, and we're now beginning to get an idea of what the finished product will look like.

Those windows will let in a lot of light, and the rest of the exterior facade will be wooden. Still waiting on seeing what the plywood up above will give way to.