Park Slope, Brooklyn is a lovely, if simplistically-named neighborhood. There’s a park, there’s a slope, there are about 8 billion kids under the age of ten, and there are countless businesses that cater to them and their families. There aren’t very many truly exciting restaurants, at least compared to Manhattan, but that’s starting to change, if the opening of Talde on Seventh Avenue near the F train stop is any indication. Top Chef All-Star Dale Talde‘s new restaurant – which he opened with partners David Massoni and John Bush of nearby Thistle Hill Tavern – began welcoming diners on Sunday, and judging from the crowds that have flocked to the place since then, the sleek Asian-American restaurant has already won the neighborhood’s heart.
Ironically, Talde is located just around the corner from Seventh Avenue’s only other truly fine-dining restaurant, Applewood, which recently got dissed by New York‘s Adam Platt, but is still pretty great. For its part, Talde is going to keep it (somewhat) simple, with dishes like Korean fried chicken and barbecued pork shoulder. But there’s clearly a fanciness here that’s been missed in the area, and the gorgeous space, with huge picture windows, plenty of dark wood and brass, and a strikingly handsome bar with all my favorite spirits and beers, beckons passersby with good food and a hip, comfortable atmosphere. I live around the corner and I’ll admit I’ve been peeking through the windows for months, waiting for the big news. I predict that Talde will quickly become a neighborhood staple, with locals happily skipping the trip into Manhattan (and saving an hour of babysitting fees in the process) to dine in this hot spot.
But will it draw Manhattanites to Brooklyn? It might, if they knew how easy it was to get there. Just jump on an F train, marvel at the fact that you can see the Statue of Liberty from the windows along the way, hop out at Seventh Avenue, and walk two blocks from the station. It’s just 20 minutes from West 4th Street, maybe 30 door-to-door, max. If there’s a wait and the bar is packed, pop into nearby Beer Table for a brew and marvel at how nice the Slope has gotten in recent years. You could live here, right? Well, maybe when you have kids.