Magazine article The New Yorker

Kaz an Nou

Magazine article The New Yorker

Kaz an Nou

Article excerpt

If any neighborhood is in need of a morale boost, it's the stretch between Flatbush and Vanderbilt Avenues, bordering the Atlantic Yards site. The last tenant took a multimillion-dollar payout, Forest City Ratner's heavy equipment has moved in, and Freddy's Bar has served its last beer. Just south of the buildings awaiting demolition, though, Kaz An Nou seems determined to bring a bit of Caribbean color and hope. (Its proximity to the Atlantic Yards wrecking ball has caused some concern, but the owners think they're safe, thanks to the Seventy-eighth Precinct station house next door.)

The restaurant's name means "our house," and eating here does have the feeling of home: the host, waiter, and chef, Sebastien Aubert, owns and operates the place with his wife, Michelle Lane, and minimal other assistance. "We don't have any soup tonight," Aubert said one recent evening, by way of greeting. "The entree special is nice and simple, but it took all my time." The menu is small, with the addition of one or two specials each evening. (Aubert explains each one at great length; if you were taking notes, you might be able to re-create them yourself.) Accra--cod fritters that are fried, offered in half of a calabash shell, and dipped into a spicy aioli--are nearly always available. …

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