02/20/17 9:02am
Come by for a game of shuffleboard. Photo: Georgia Kral

Come by for a game of shuffleboard. Photo: Georgia Kral

Chef Dale Talde and the Three Kings Restaurant Group may have just closed two Brooklyn establishments–Pork Slope and Thistle Hill Tavern–but they haven’t turned their backs on the borough.

Instead, they have opened Atlantic Social, a massive restaurant (130 seats) and sports bar (50 stools) that they hope will appeal to Brooklynites and guests visiting the nearby Barclays Center.

“We want this place to be for the die hard sports fan but also the people who could give two shits,” said Three Kings partner David Massoni. But “at the end of the day, you can’t deny there’s a sports bar element. There are 16 TVs.”

Sixteen televisions, indeed. Atlantic Social also boasts a game room, which Massoni says they are calling “the parlor,” with a shuffleboard table and classic arcade games like Ms. Pan-Man and Big Buck Hunter. There are leather couches and an inviting gas fireplace in the room, too. A pool table is on its way. The game room is open to anyone but can also be rented out for parties.

“We want it to be feel like a friend’s parents’ basement,” Massoni said. (more…)

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02/13/17 10:33am
Jip Bap is a traditional Korean meal. Photo: Mokbar

Jip Bap is a traditional Korean meal. Photo: Mokbar

For Chef Esther Choi, her food is her life. Literally.

Choi, owner and chef at the Chelsea Market Korean ramen shop Mokbar opened a Brooklyn location of the restaurant last Wednesday. And she lives right upstairs.

“I wanted to babysit!” she said.

For a chef whose cooking is heavily inspired by her family and cultural heritage, it makes sense that her home and work life are so entwined.

More jip bap to love. Photo: Mokbar

More jip bap to love. Photo: Mokbar

At Mokbar Brooklyn, which is on Flatbush Avenue near Bergen Street, Choi wanted to show “how I eat at home and how I grew up eating. How my grandma cooked for me everyday.” To that end, the menu expands greatly on the Chelsea Market location with larger dishes and a focus on jipbap–“real, traditional Korean cooking,” she said.

A jipbap order consists of a main dish, usually a protein like short ribs or pork belly, accompanied by soup, rice and a variety of banchan–small, seasonal, vegetable dishes.

“We bring it out in a big tray,” said Choi, excitedly discussing the format of the meal, which she emphasized was created with non-Korean diners in mind. “On the tray we have soup, rice, mains and seasonal small plates that wrap it all together.” (more…)

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11/30/15 9:10am
Liz Kwon and Chelsea Altman's new restaurant White Tiger brings Korean flavors to Prospect Heights. Photo: White Tiger

Liz Kwon and Chelsea Altman’s new restaurant, White Tiger, brings Korean flavors to Prospect Heights. Photo: White Tiger

White Tiger, a Vanderbilt Avenue hotspot-in-the-making from chef Liz Kwon and Chelsea Altman, the owner of a host of neighborhoody spots around Brooklyn including Allswell in Williamsburg, doesn’t have a lot of competition in Prospect Heights, or beyond. The restaurant, which opened earlier this fall, seems determined to prove that it’s more than just the only Korean spot around. Prioritizing the inventive over the homestyle, White Tiger eschews tradition and aims to please a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood above all. If Kwon’s menu is somewhat hit or miss, White Tiger–named for the national animal of Korea–is still a solid choice for a memorable night out.

This is in no small part due to the strong–in more ways that one–cocktail list: The namesake White Tiger ($9) is a tropical take on a margarita with coco lopez and red chili. The Southie ($10) is reminiscent of a dark and stormy with lemongrass ginger syrup, and The Citrus Moon ($11) is a perfectly sweet and unusual blend of flavors (moonshine, rice wine, chamomile) that balance each other beautifully. The Naughty Kimchi, an interpretation of a Bloody Mary, is the only cocktail misfire: It’s just too thin and watered down, and leaves you wanting a great version of a kimchi Bloody Mary, which sounds delicious.

(more…)

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