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GRAND OPENING

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Chef Samuel G. Beket, formerly of Le Relais in Manhattan, has launched his first restaurant, Kush Cafe, on Putnam Avenue in Clinton Hill. To give diners a taste of his Pan-African cuisine, on Jan. 28 and Jan. 29, from 5 pm to 11 pm, Beket will offer a grand opening sampling menu of his dishes at reduced prices.

The setting of the cafe - named for the ancient land of Nubia - could double as an art gallery with oversized books depicting African life placed atop the bar and on bookshelves; walls sporting ancient African symbols of prosperity and protection; and framed photos of African tribesman.

The cooking promises to live up to the dramatic backdrop with a stew of shellfish, tilapia, turnips and other root vegetables in "mafe," a peanut butter sauce; and "couscous royale": chicken, lamb, veal sausage and vegetables moistened with a light veal and lamb broth.

For dessert, there’s a fusion take on the classic French apple tarte Tatin (pictured) - Beket adds slices of sweet plantains to the tart, naps it with caramel sauce and tops the confection with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Kush Cafe (17 Putnam Ave. between Grand Avenue and Cambridge Place in Clinton Hill) accepts cash only. Entrees: $8.50-$12. The cafe serves lunch and dinner Tuesdays through Sundays. Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm. Closed Mondays. For more information, call (718) 230-3471.

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