On the corner of DeKalb and Adelphi housed a place which served as a retreat for me on the days I felt overwhelmed during 2013, Cornerstone Brooklyn. The restaurant had a very laid back charm but it was also the perfect spot for a dressed-up girls night out or Date night – the attraction for me other than the food and service was the fact that the restaurant occupied the 1st and 2nd floor. During that time I was experiencing a lot of challenges in my business, I was often stressed out and the second floor was the perfect oasis for me…quiet, secluded and away from the hustle and bustle The food was yummy, the service impeccable and the space well, Amazing. When they closed their doors I lost my go-to place for solace.
Driving down DeKalb Avenue in 2016 there it was – that beautiful space was once again opened for business and newcomer: Wallabout Seafood, was the new occupant. Being the seafood lover that I am, I immediately stopped in and things were different of course. The menu wasn’t too exciting but the food was delectable, the cocktails were creative and delicious, service was definitely great and the owner was very personable and engaging. He greeted his patrons and even made us sample the delicious homemade ice cream and amazing desserts.
I enjoyed many lovely visits there but then the menu changed and it definitely wasn’t compelling, the service declined and the chef wasn’t flexible…my salmon with a side order of veggies instead of risotto just wasn’t possible and the other downside was that the upstairs never seemed to be available for seating anymore. Then one afternoon I stopped by and the menu had changed once again…I believe they were doing a seasonal menu and again I was disappointed. The service had gotten way better however the service or cocktails weren’t enough to bring me back to this beautiful space and every time someone suggested it I’d choose someplace different.
Last week my best friend suggested Wallabout and without hesitation, I said “I hate that place” after a few reasons about why we should go there, I was still hesitant and reluctantly agreed. As I write this I can honestly say I’m happy I agreed to go, the restaurant now features a new menu which is exciting and tasty. The service remains one of the best I’ve experienced in Brooklyn – our server Moore was so attentive and engaging without being intrusive and the upstairs has reopened.
The menu is very Caribbean inspired however that isn’t the only reason I like it – I like the creativity and the boldness of menu. Knowing where the menu was in the past to where it is today was definitely a bold move for any restaurant owner. I’m so excited about this menu and I wanted to share it with you – I have since visited four times (it’s impossible to explore a menu in one visit of course 🙂 ) and since I had the chance to try a number of menu items I thought it would be a great time to reach out to the restaurant with questions. Of course, why the change? The General Manager Cosmin was kind enough to invite me in to speak with the Chef.
There’s a new Chef Ya’ll – Chef Banta is no stranger to Brooklyn, he’s also the Chef at Woodland NYC located on Flatbush Avenue (you can see my review here about them, it’s a bit dated I haven’t gone in a while but I heard things have changed since my last visit and I am excited to update my review) and prior to Woodland he worked in NYC at a French Restaurant. Originally from West Africa, Mali to be exact, the Chef has a quiet demeanor and grew excited as we discussed the current menu, the neighborhood and the future plans for the menu. Before deciding on this particular menu Chef Banta scoped out the neighborhood, he saw what was there and what wasn’t – he loved the challenge of creating this new menu, he appreciates the French Market in the neighborhood and the fact that he could get access to fresh veggies and spices close by is definitely a plus for him.
The plan is to keep the current menu with the intention of adding seasonal items along the way. The menu has been well received and the Restaurant has so much planned for the upcoming Spring/Summer seasons. I’m excited to see it all come together and I will be sure to keep you posted along the way.
When I asked Chef Banta to describe the menu concept he immediately smiled and said “New American with a Caribbean influence” and may I add a Brooklyn Flare. He’s got a point, there is a strong Caribbean influence with menu items such as Ackee Hummus, Curry Chicken Roti, Whole Red Snapper, Half Jerk Chicken, Oxtail Stew, and Curry Goat but there are comfort favorites that are definitely mentioned worthy: classic Chicken Soup, Fried Calamari, Wallabout Wings, Crispy Fish Tacos, Wallabout Burger, Parmesan Mac & Cheese, etc. I can’t speak for the entire menu as I am still working my way through the menu 🙂 but so far I’ve had the Ackee Hummus, Whole red Snapper, Oxtail Stew, Fried Calamari, Fish Tacos, Parmesan Mac & Cheese, Seafood Linguine, Spare Ribs, Wild Scottish Salmon, PEI Mussels, Market Salad, and Spare Ribs. Once I’ve gone through the entire menu I will definitely do a review. Check out Wallabout Market Menu here.
Wallabout Market formally Wallabout Seafood plans on becoming a neighborhood favorite, the neighborhood go-to spot for locals and I can totally see that becoming a reality. The Brownstone Charm of the space is Amazing, it is the best in the Fort Greene I’ve seen, the fresh ingredients and a menu that can transport us to someplace different is the perfect combination for a favorite go-to neighborhood spot and a great addition to Brooklyn’s culinary scene.
271 Adelphi Street
First Floor Moderate Noice level – second floor serene
Perfect for Groups
Photo via Wallabout