In a neighborhood known for its Caribbean cuisine, Kingfisher (505 Rogers Ave, Brooklyn) is putting the spotlight on fresh seafood. Phoebe Damrosch, formerly of Per Se, is leading the team. Damrosch has been instrumental in the openings of several other restaurants and shops in the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens neighborhood, including &Sons Ham bar, The Mockingbird, a breakfast taco shop, and Buttery, known for its gourmet provisions, assorted sandwiches and artisanal cheeses.
The kitchen is led by chef and culinary director Nico Bouter, who got his start working at three-Michelin-Star Restaurant de Librije in Zwolle in the Netherlands at the age of 17. After arriving in the U.S. in 2015, he found himself in the kitchens of highly respected New York City restaurants such as Eleven Madison Park and later at Agern in Grand Central, before becoming the Chef de Cuisine at Ignacio Mattos' Flora Bar at The Met Breuer. Then the pandemic hit and Mattos decided to close Flora Bar after a four-year run. While open, the restarant was celebrated for its superb seafood with European influences. That's where Bouter comes in.
At Kingfisher, he is bringing that expertise to dishes such Blue Shrimp with passion fruit and cilantro; a lively Shrimp Cocktail; Snapper with mandarin, jalapeño and cilantro; and raw bar. Larger plates include King Salmon with morels, hijiki and dashi; The Kingfisher with seafood, chorizo and celeriac; Mushroom with polenta, nori and dill; and Wagyu with anchovy, endive and parsnip. For a sweet finish, there is Chocolate with hazelnuts and whipped cream; and Butterscotch with lemon, dates and pistachio. The restaurant is also known for its popular Chicadee “tiger bread” with brown butter.
The bright and inviting space features white-washed brick, blond wood elements and large bar with open kitchen that any neighborhood would enjoy. Add this one to your list of places to try. We are!
- Thomas Rafael