DINING OUT: Luscious Foods

October 17, 2012 Helen Klein
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We all wish we had ample time to cook. Given the resonance of family meals in our collective memories, being able to put a wonderful meal on the table every day is a real luxury.

That’s where Luscious Food comes in. The Park Slope eatery offers a handful of tables for dine-in customers, while providing those who want to bring the restaurant’s scrumptious comfort foods home with a wonderful option and amazing variety.

Owned by husband and wife chefs Brian Bunger and Christine Zeni, the eight-year-young eatery has made its name serving up quintessentially fresh foods that are elegant but unfussy, comfort food at its best. Their classical training serves them well – as the duo offers a wide range of salads and sandwiches, plus breakfast and a variety of by-the-pound dishes.

“We do things we know we are good at,” Zeni remarked. “We make the stuff we love to eat.”

How right she is. I tasted a selection of Luscious Food’s specialties and found them to be fresh and flavorful – the kind of food that keeps you coming back for more. Particular favorites were the Brussels sprouts ($9.99 per pound), caramelized and roasted with maple syrup, that were downright addictive, as well as the emerald green stalks of broccoli rabe ($9.99 per pound), whose gentle sharpness and satisfying crunch were complemented perfectly by back notes of garlic.

The Mac and Cheese ($7.99 per pound) was mild and yummy. Made with a white rather than a yellow cheese, it was easy on the eye and the palate, filling and soothing simultaneously.

Among the sandwiches, the B Luscious T ($7) was downright amazing – its thick slabs of bacon and slices of tomato layered with luxuriously leafy greens on toasted whole wheat ciabatta slathered with herb-enhanced mayonnaise.

The Lady W Wrap ($7.50), a vegetarian option, is anything but Spartan, crammed full of sweet roasted beets and carrots, plus crunchy cukes, chunks of tomato, greens and red onion, all enveloped with creamy hummus.

I also really enjoyed the Fresh Mozzarella Hot & Toasty Sandwich ($8.50), the thick slices of fresh cheese and tomato enhanced by basil pesto on whole wheat ciabatta. The whole thing was incredibly delicious, and I was in awe of the way the pesto permeated the bread without soaking through.

Among the salads, I was partial to the Luscious ($9.50) which combined grilled white meat chicken with bacon, tomatoes, egg and blue cheese on a bed of mixed greens, as well as to the Country ($9), a vegetarian offering that is a toothsome combination of roasted beets, dried cranberries, pecans and feta cheese atop greens.

Beyond enjoying a wide range of dishes, regular customers benefit another way. The restaurant is one of a growing number in New York – 250 and counting — that offers a customized customer loyalty program through Belly whose single card turns out to be the key to varied benefits at restaurants and shops all around the borough, the city and beyond.

At Luscious Food, that means a free dinner after only 12 visits, for example, as customers rack up points by swiping a single card that can be used at every location that subscribes to the year-old program, which originator Logan LaHive called “the largest and fastest growing digital loyalty program in the country.”

Zeni said the program (whose online base is bellycard.com) offers convenience to her customers, who need only a single card for lots of different places, rather than having a separate card for each of numerous businesses – just one more convenience her business offers customers, on top of seasonally changing menus, the freshest foods (they even roast their own meats) and a neighborhood vibe that is welcoming yet laid-back.

Just like home, sort of…


59 Fifth Avenue

Brooklyn NY 11217



Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Sunday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Delivery and catering available

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