Nargis Cafe, the authentic Uzbek eatery Park Slope doesn’t deserve

by -
1
Manti, Uzbek dumplings. Photo courtesy Nargis Bar and Grill

For all the “creative eating” Brooklyn has become known for, the Instagram feeds, restaurant names and menu items often begin to look redundant the moment you want something that’s not totally familiar.

Even in Gravesend, way out near the end of Coney Island Ave., where Nargis Cafe‘s original outpost is, the Uzbek restaurant and bar stands out in an area saturated with east Asian food as one of, if not the, best option. Now, they’ve got a Park Slope location, and locals seem shellshocked by the quality and quantity of food and service being offered. Even as a lifelong nabe native, I’ve never seen anything like Nargis in the area – it’s far more unapologetically authentic than the majority of neighborhood restaurants. Usually you need to trek down to the borough’s southern reaches for food like this.

________

You bet we had leftovers, we based our ordering on NORMAL Park Slope portions. Photo by Hannah Frishberg
You bet we had leftovers, we based our ordering on NORMAL Park Slope portions. Photo by Hannah Frishberg

A far more intimate space than their Gravesend venue, Nargis Cafe’s new nook at 155 5th Ave. has a totally different crowd: Park Slope families not familiar with classic Uzbek dishes like plov, samsa and manti leaving stuffed after meals costing less than $20. A sprawling backyard with a running fountain and plenty of green is a peaceful oasis where mother nature herself cannot drown the wafting scent of grilled lamb chops and onion samsa. Inside, the vibe is warm and homey, with a bar upfront, bigger tables in the back, and Russian radio playing mostly American pop quietly overhead.

Nargis Cafe’s drinks menu is an impressive three-page affair, and it doesn’t even include the cocktail menu – which features a house special Moscow Mule – or a list of non-alcoholic drinks including Uzbek sodas and a chilled yogurt drink. For the full experience, try the kompot, an alcohol-free fruit drink, but don’t always expect it to be this perfectly sweet – while Nargis has the drink, served cold here, down pat, that’s not standard.

________

Photo by Hannah Frishberg
Photo by Hannah Frishberg

As for main courses, skewered kebabs are the length of a forearm, and many of the appetizers and salads can easily serve as a meal. The salads will make you question the typical leaf-based American model as these, with tomato, feta and cabbage bases, make for a simultaneously less bloated and more tasteful experience.

Overall, Nargis is a blessing for Park Slope’s food scene, a full serving of affordably-priced cuisine straight out of southern Brooklyn up where the subway runs.

Related Articles

0

So your friend or loved one doesn’t have apartment insurance. Many people don’t know how cheap it is. {sponsored}

0

The second OpenSpaces event – a viewing of homes in five buildings – takes place this Saturday, November 18 from noon to 3pm. {sponsored}

0

If you’re living in an apartment in New York City, it’s likely that your building is getting on in years. That means the pipes...

0

Cutty Sark is curating a Bushwick music series this November and December. {sponsored}

1 COMMENT

  1. Yeah — Nargis is a great spot for everything from a drink and snack to a full-blown family outing. The salads are indeed special, creative and delicious, the hot appetizers are distinctly different, and the mains are prepared with loving care and great ingredients. Special treats are the cold hedging appetizer with onions and warm potatoes, and the lamb kebabs (juicy, tender and flavorful). And you CANNOT beat the prices. Go now before you can’t get in.

Leave a Reply