Borscht brunch: Loosen your belt for Russian food in Bushwick

Borscht brunch: Loosen your belt for Russian food in Bushwick
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

In Russia they eat brunch, too.

Bushwick restaurateur Yury Maze is bringing a taste of Brighton Beach to Wyckoff Avenue with his new cafe, Mazelle, but leave your nightclub attire at home. Instead, cozy up to the dimly lit bar and snack on borscht, a plate of Moscow salami with dark rye bread slices, and Caliente — a mix of mango juice, tequila, and hot sauce.

“I want to introduce people to the cuisine that I grew up with and I felt it was the right time for it,” said Maze. “I want people to come here and have great drinks and have a good time.”

Maze found the corner storefront in November after the Tex-Mex chain Buffalo Cantina went out of business. He snapped the space up in three days, removing layers of black epoxy and linoleum from the floor to reveal the original tile work, and adding factory lights with mercury glass above the bar, resulting in a warm industrial look that fits in well with other neighborhood hot spots, such as Bodega Bar, Pearl Billy Social Club, and Northeast Kingdom.

Bar is raised: Scotch eggs with paddlefish caviar is the house specialty.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

But the food is very different.

Maze and his comrades pickle beets, cabbage, onions, asparagus, eggs, and cucumbers in-house, infuse their own whiskey, vodka, and tequila, and put caviar in practically everything except the cocktails.

Even their version of scotch eggs comes with paddlefish caviar — Maze’s favorite dish.

Mazelle (247 Starr St. at Wyckoff Avenue in Bushwick. www.mazellebk.com) 5-11 pm, weekdays, 11 am-4 am, weekends. Closed Mondays.

Pork it down: A charcuterie plate with Moscow salami and Ukranian sausage at Bushwick’s Mazelle restaurant.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Reach reporter Aaron Short at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-2547.