‘Thistle’ work — new old-school eatery in the South Slope

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Park Slope will finally getting a taste of the new retro-tavern trend once David Massoni’s Thistle Hill Tavern opens later this month at the corner of 15th Street and Seventh Avenue.

“We want to make coming here feel like going to a tavern in Brooklyn 100 years ago,” said Massoni, a restaurant world veteran who’s picked up on a booming trend popularized by such throwback eateries as Henry Public in Cobble Hill, Clover Club in Boerum Hill, and Rustik Tavern in Clinton Hill.

Massoni wants his old-school bar and grill to be more than just wood and tin-ceiling deep; the food and drink will be locally grown and produced — just like in the good old days.

Chef Rebecca Whitesman is dedicated to a locavore-inspired seasonal menu, including her house-made sausages and ingredients picked up at the local greenmarket.

“She lives and breathes by the local food movement,” Massoni said.

Just because it’s local doesn’t mean the menu will be limited to wheatgrass and New York State wine. Dishes will be hardy enough for a 19th-century laborer after a hard day — though few workmen ever got to try dishes like Whitesman’s duck confit with warm spinach, marcona almonds, spanish blue cheese, aged sherry vinegar.

Then again, at $16 or so, today’s 21st-century workman won’t need an overtime shift to pick up a check.

Like the food, the feeling will be classic. Massoni’s team of workers has revamped the space wood floor to tin ceiling to conjure the feel of a Brooklyn tavern the way it ought to be. Brick and iron also provide an unpretentious feel.

“This isn’t an original idea,” Massoni said. “We want to be a place you feel comfortable coming three nights a week.”

Thistle Hill Tavern (441 Seventh Ave. at the corner of 15th Street in Park Slope. No phone yet)

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Reader Feedback

dani from manhattan says:
just fyi..rebecca's last name is spelled "weitzman"
April 25, 2010, 11:34 am
mau from kensington says:
this has been going to open for a while now. they said april, which has come and gone. wonder which license, of the 600 you in nyc need to operate a full-service bar-restaurtant, they are having trouble with.
May 3, 2010, 6:16 pm

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