Joenise Delights with Its Flavorful Haitian Cuisine in Crown Heights

February 22, 2023, 7:59.41 pm ET  

Joenise, Hatian Cuisine, Crown Heights

Joenise on Rogers Avenue, in Crown Heights, is the type of restaurant you might easily pass by.  But if you love the powerful flavors of Haiti and Caribbean it is a place you cannot ignore.

Food is ordered from a front counter where there is usually a line for takeout. Here you will find steaming trays of oxtails, conch, codfish and goat served several ways, including stewed or as a soup. The menu, which is written in English and French Creole, changes daily.

We tried the Red Snapper, or Poisson Rose, a whole fish deep-fried until golden brown with wonderfully juicy meat topped simply with slices of bell peppers and onions.  Other options include fried chicken and fork-tender morsels of seasoned beef.  All of the dishes are offered with a delicious heaping of black rice, infused with ample amounts of thyme, and mixed with green peas (or rice and beans), and a small cup of house gravy. A mini container of what looks like coleslaw is actually a fiery relish, called pikliz, made with Scotch bonnets.  Tread lightly!

During our diner we met a woman who said she had traveled all the way from New Jersey to get her fix of Joenise’ Haitian home cooking. You might want to travel there too.

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- Thomas Rafael 

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