Flatiron Restaurant: Where an antique vibe meets modern cuisine
PARK SLOPE — A narrow storefront on 5th Avenue in Park Slope is a portal to a dazzling past, of Jazz and candlelight, of deep colors and brick and wood, of hard cocktails and large chops. The room bustles on a rainy Friday night, with regulars eating at the bar and the dining area as a soundtrack of songs from 100 years ago plays and men in fedoras tend to their needs. Don’t call it a total throwback, though. This is Flatiron Restaurant, where modernity in the menu meets a classic ambiance inspired by the age of glamour.
Flatiron Restaurant opened in 2019 under the ownership of Betty Valentine, flanked by her fedora-wearing wingmen, Nicky and Wes, with the former on the bar and the latter on the floor. Both men had worked previously with Ms. Valentine and were eager for a new venture. In fact, both men played a significant role in the choice of location with Nicky being from Brooklyn and Wes having recently worked in the immediate area.
“I got to know the neighborhood pretty well,” Wes said. “And we all saw what a quality place Park Slope actually is, so it became a dream of ours to open up something in such a neighborhood.”
And that ‘something’ – according to Ms. Valentine was, “A neighborhood place with good quality food and, especially, quality steaks that are difficult to find around here at a reasonable price.”
Flatiron Restaurant is more than a steakhouse, but the menu is cheekily divided between “Steaks” and “Not Steaks.” And the steaks featured are prime cuts from Snake River Farms in Idaho, including the signature Flatiron Steak of American Wagyu. There are also a Wagyu NY Strip and a Prime Rib. The requisite chop is a double bone-in of the pork variety. An interesting addition to the traditional menu is the Wild Burger of bison, boar, Wagyu and elk topped with a hunters gravy.
The “Not Steak” side of the menu features seared salmon, grilled avocado, and a pan-roasted half chicken. There’s also an array of seasonal salads, a Poblano mac & cheese, and some gourmet chicken wings in Tabasco chili butter. Interesting additions to the menu are succulent bar items (lunch time only), featuring some of the previously mentioned plates but also a “Park Slope Dip” of shaved beef with caramelized onion and a Boursin cheese sauce; an “Italian Beef Sandwich” of shaved meat with house Giardinera, burrata, pickled pepper aioli and onion jus; and a “Fettunta” of charred sourdough with black garlic mushroom butter.
On the bar side, beyond the standard cocktails and diverse wine varieties, there are 20 beers on tap, available in flights or pints, spanning the globe from Brooklyn to Japan. Whatever one is drinking, the festive bar vibe is ratcheted up on “Roaring 20s Night,” which will return with the warm weather and the occasional pedestrian takeover of 5th Avenue.
Despite the challenges of opening during a pandemic, Flatiron Restaurant has found its niche as a joint fancied predominantly by natives of the neighborhood.
“The neighborhood’s been very kind to us, and we’re really happy with that,” Ms. Valentine said. “We see a lot of people who grew up in the neighborhood. A lot of them have become regulars, and these people wanted the love, and we’re very happy for it.”
Andrew Cotto has been eating his way through Brooklyn for 25 years. As an author, the food of our borough has been featured extensively in his novels and journalism. In his new column for the Daily Eagle, Andrew will tell the tales of Brooklyn eateries, from the people behind the food to the communities which they nourish.
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