10 Qs for Tyler Kord

After a summer of impressive newcomers to Brooklyn’s restaurant scene — The General Greene, James — No. 7 in Fort Greene ups the ante with its casual-chic decor (designed by Matthew Maddy of Weather Up) and adventurous cooking (like soft-boiled, panko-crusted fried eggs with cold, slow-roasted pork). Chef Tyler Kord, a neighborhood local for eight years and the former sous chef at Jean-Georges’s Perry St., dished about his favorite Brooklyn eats and his own inspired menu.


Where do you like to eat out around here?

I’m a professional cook. I work 16 hours a day. So I never have time to go out and eat. But I like Happy Restaurant — the Chinese take-out on Clinton and Fulton. I’m a big chicken and broccoli fan. Their wonton soup is pretty good too.

Any local sit-down restaurants — fancy restaurants — you like?

You know Bonita on DeKalb? It’s gotten significantly fancier and I love it.

Have you checked out James or The General Greene?
I’ve eaten at both and I thought they were very nice. Both are trying to bring something comfortable but also elevate the level of technique and food in the neighborhood.

Think their buzz represents a sea change for Brooklyn?

I think the people that work at most of the nice restaurants in Manhattan tend to live around here, so I don’t think it’s the neighborhoods drastically changing, I think people are just starting to acknowledge that where they live is a viable place to do what they want to do. So of course Frank Bruni is paying attention.

A lot of Brooklyn restaurants emphasize their locally grown ingredients. Not No. 7. Is the locavore movement getting tired?
I don’t think that eating foods that are grown near you is ever going to be passé. But I don’t want to pay so much for produce and meat that I have to charge exorbitant prices and alienate the neighborhood. So I’m all for as local as possible, until it becomes too expensive.

How do you define No. 7’s cooking?

I kind of just wrote the menu and cooked what I felt like, and it unintentionally veered toward Eastern Europe at one end and Asian/Korean at the other. I didn’t set out to open a Hungarian/Korean fusion restaurant — but I’m moving in that direction now.

How different is it from Perry St.?
We’re using really similar techniques, and I feel like our flavors are not incredibly different. It’s a lot more casual, cause we’re in Brooklyn. But it’s a similar idea — a lot of preparation to produce an ultimately simple and delicate kind of plating.

How did you come up with kimchi perogies?
I guess with everything I start with one element on the plate. I wanted to put a steak on the menu, and I wanted to marinate it like Korean barbecue, and then I wanted things that made sense with that. Perogies sounded like fun because they’re just mashed potatoes in a pasta dough, but with kimchi it just seemed really logical. If you have perogies in Poland they may have sauerkraut in them, and in my mind kimchi is a short walk away from sauerkraut. In the end they’re both pickled cabbage.

What’s your favorite dish?
The chicken fried steak sandwich that’s on the late-night menu. It’s totally killer.

You’re right next to a church. How’d you get a liquor license?

Our lawyer wears a gun on her ankle. I’m sure she has a license for it. I hope.

No. 7, 7 Greene Ave. at Fulton St. C to Lafayette, G to Fulton. Open Tue.-Sun. 6pm-2am. Restaurant 6:30 or so-midnight, bar 5pm-2 am. No phone. Full cocktail menu expected by this weekend. Garden to come either later this fall or next year.

Sent by Nicole. Photos by BB.

Brooklyn Based delivers free daily emails about the borough's best food, events, attractions and innovators. Get Brooklyn Based in your inbox--sign up here.