Comfort food and fun — recipe for success

Amidst the strollers, schools, health food stores and trendyshops of Park Slope sits a restaurant that is striking a balancebetween the competing worlds of its neighbors.

PSbklyn is at once kid-friendly and adult-friendly, with itstheme of upscale-burger-bar-meets-family-friendly-entertainment –there is a game room in the basement, with skeeball, table hockey,arcade games, a claw machine and a singing train ride – reflectingboth an unmet neighborhood demand and the dueling inspirations ofthe restaurant creators, Steve Sohmer and Tom Graziano.

Tom’s kids and my grandkids are the same ages, so he wanted toentertain kids with good food, and my plan was to do an upscaleburger bar. We merged the two, said Sohmer. We tried to make itfun for a family. Tom’s wife came up with the idea for the DVDplayers.

In addition to the game room, six of the 18 tables are equippedwith the electronics, so that the children can munch away on akids’ meal ($9) or wood-oven pizzas ($9 to $12) and burgers ($13 to$15), while their parents relax with beer or a glass of wine -there is a full bar available – and enjoy a salad ($7 to $13),steak ($24), chicken pot pie ($15) or small plates ($6 each or 2for $10).

These are just a few of the wide range of tapas-style andregular-sized items coming out of the full kitchen, every dishgiven a twist by chef Vincent Vischeglia.

With the deviled eggs, this twist manifested as a dash ofhorseradish mixed with the mustard and egg yolk, and aginger-spiked salad dressing; for the Reuben sliders, thesurprisingly delicate sandwiches featured corned beef andsauerkraut piled high on a soft, domed roll – with thousand-islanddressing adding a touch of sweetness.

The fried pickles were completely unexpected. More sweet thantart, the morsels were robed in cinnamon-inflected batter andpaired with a horseradish cream dipping sauce that was more barkthan bite.

Pigs in a blanket are elegantly reinvented, the traditionalkosher hot dogs sliced in quarter-sized disks and sheathed incrispy puff pastry, with sharp mustard providing a pungentcontrast. Tangy mustard also accompanied the warm hand-rolledpretzels, which had a light dusting of smoked salt and pulled apartso comfortingly.

A few less punchy, but no less flavorful, offerings were thepotato pierogies, wild mushroom spring rolls, and mac and cheese ofthe day. The pierogies were perfect half-moons of fresh mashedpotato-filled dough, accompanied by mildly pickled sauerkraut andscallions. The spring rolls were a savory and crunchy burst offlavor, complemented with a sweet chili sauce drizzle. The dailymac and cheese is always comforting and always features threecheeses.

As for dessert, PSbklyn’s small plates even have that covered.The fig and baked brie look like small puff pastries, but are chewymorsels of sweetness highlighted by a balsamic-fig sauce. If you’dlike something more traditional, though, try a refreshingly sweetwhite chocolate cherry vanilla milkshake ($7), molten chocolatelava cake a la mode ($9) or the crazy monkey blondie banana splitsundae ($11).

Another surprise was the deep-fried Twinkies ($7.00), the creamyfilling making the interior soft and moist, and the light, batteredexterior drizzled with the cream reminiscent of that which normallyfills the childhood favorite.

PSbklyn has only been around for four months, but is well poisedto take over the young family and young-at-heart crowd. It alsojust launched a new weekend brunch menu full of sandwiches, salads,crepes, French toast and even tofu scramble – all with a signaturePSbklyn twist.


833 Union Street

Brooklyn, NY 11215


Mon. – Thurs.: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Fri.: 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Sun.: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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