High-end dining hits Midwood

The foodie movement comes to Midwood when Wolf and Lamb opens this week on Avenue M.
Courtesy of Wolf and Lamb

Midwood has officially become a foodie destination.

Wolf and Lamb, an upscale kosher steak house from Manhattan, is opening an outpost inside a renovated space on Avenue M that will include a sleek bar, a floor made of 180,000 pennies, and a rooftop herb garden, said restaurateur Zalman Wuensch, who says its about time Midwood has joined Brooklyn’s decade-old foodie revolution.

“The whole culinary thing that has been happening in the last ten years in the rest of society is happening in the kosher community,” said Wuensch. “This is the wave of the future.”

Midwood, with the exception of Di Fara Pizzeria on Avenue J — which many claim makes the best pizza pies in the city — isn’t considered a foodie haven, but modern dining divas have finally taken notice to the undeserved area.

When it opens on May 10, Wolf and Lamb will join new kosher foodie spots such as Posh Tomato, an upscale Avenue M pizza place near E. 17th Street that opened last year, and Pomegranate, a grocery store on Coney Island Avenue considered the kosher Whole Foods.

Wolf and Lamb is part of a larger high-end kosher cuisine trend that’s erupted around the borough with a wave of new restaurants that include Pardes on Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill and Basil on Kingston Avenue in Crown Heights, which both opened in 2010.

Still some neighborhood residents wonder if it’s too soon for the neighborhood that is usually resistant to change embrace the culinary revolution that’s made Park Slope, Fort Greene, and Williamsburg so popular.

“I’m happy that another restaurant is coming in,” said Chaim Deutsch, the founder of the Flatbush Shomrim Safety Patrol. “But if it’s going to be a high end restaurant — I hope it’s not going to go out of business like the previous places.”

But Wuensch said his restaurant will fill an empty niche in the area.

“There’s a lot of good fast-food type places in Midwood, but in terms of dining and having a refined and thoughtful experience it’s very limited,” said Wuensch. “Most businesses [in the area] are pretty old-school, and I feel we’re showing the neighborhood respect by treating them with a restaurant that’s going to be done on the highest level.”

And for those who worry that the restaurant will bring too much change to the neighborhood, the owners assure the restaurant will remain true to its kosher roots.

“There is an emphasis on a certain sense of modesty and decorum,” said Wuensch, adding that the restaurant will not be open on the Jewish Sabbath. “If a bar scene developed it could be controversial, but it’s going to be great for going out with your wife, or family, or going out on a date.”

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at erosenberg@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow him at twitter.com/emrosenberg.

More from Around New York