Sure, it's pretty normal for food- (and fun-) loving New Yorkers to impersonate a flash mob when an on-fire chef's restaurant opens in the trendy precincts of Soho, the West Village, the upper Bowery, et al. The Dutch. The new Acme. Tertulia. Miss Lily's. Dozens more, mobbed from day one. But out among the stroller pushers of Park Slope, Brooklyn, it's highly unusual to see the kind of energy and excitement that recently greeted Chef Dale Talde's spanking-new "asian-fusion" spot, Talde, right near the F train on 7th Avenue. In fact, there was so much gushing and internet chatter about Talde Park Slope that we had to go check it out. Talde isn't quite a destination restaurant, but the Asian fusion food is quite good, the long, many-windowed room pretty, the atmosphere buzzy without being too frantic. The next time you're passing through these parts, Talde is well worth a visit.
We sampled a few items from the short but appealing Talde menu (at least half of the dishes involve some sort of bacon; almost all are temptingly low-priced), and enjoyed every bite. Chef Dale Talde, who you may or may not remember from Top Chef, seems to have a deft way of combining strong ingredients without everything overwhelming everything else. Take the Perilla Leaf amuse-bouche-y starter, for example, for which Talde Park Slope serves up a quintet of those unsubtle bits of foliage topped with a tiny but intense (and chewy!) toasted shrimp, some spicy peanuts crumbs, bits of coconut, AND a dollop of tamarind-caramel. That's a lots of flavors and textures in one bite, but it works.
Next up at Talde was maybe our favorite Asian fusion dish of the night, the Heirloom Squash and Silken Tofu salad, the roasted roots and creamy curd complemented by crispy flash-fried kale, apple slices and a terrific citrusy ponzu dressing. We are definitely getting this again. And if Chef Talde's going to be kind enough to put Pad Thai on the menu with fried oysters (four of them!) and a seeming-rasher of chewy bacon, you're kind of obligated to eat it, right? Well, that's the way we felt, anyway (especially at $15 for a huge plate), and were more than satisfied with the results. This food at Park Slope's Talde is well-conceived, and nicely executed. The crowds, we predict, are here to stay.
Talde in Park Slope details
Talde is located in Park Slope, Brooklyn, on the corner of 7th Avenue and 11th Street, two blocks from the F train. Talde is currently open every day from 5:00 p.m. until 12:00 midnight, with plans for a weekend brunch in the works. For more information and a look at the complete Talde menu, please see the restaurant's website, here.