Zagat Editors Kelly Dobkin visits an an art space in Brooklyn that houses two different restaurants.
Kinfolk Studios is a design space created by a group of friends who produce art, design, cocktails and bicycles, among other things. Kinfolk’s original outpost began as a cocktail lounge in Tokyo, Japan.
The Brooklyn location opened last fall also as a cocktail lounge and soon became home to two different restaurants, Frej and Yuji Ramen, that operate on different nights of the week.
Co-Owner Maceo McNeff: “The idea was to build a cocktail lounge in the back and a cafe in the front, leaving the second floor for design services. We found a lot of raw materials from next door when they were doing renovations. They were getting rid of a lot of this old wood and we just pulled it into the space and refinished it and reused it. When Freddy walked in saying he wanted to do a project here, we were sort of ecstatic because he gave us the opportunity to try his food and allowed us to taste food that we wouldn’t have had access to otherwise.”
Frej is a reservations-only dining experience that only operates on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.
The brainchild of accomplished chefs Fredrik Berselius and Richard Kuo, both formerly of Corton, the eatery offers one of the most interesting and affordable small plates tasting menus in town.
Chef Fredrik Berselius: “All of our ingredients are local, a lot of wild greens and herbs, what you see out in nature right now. We use a lot of old techniques, a lot of curing and salting and pickling and smoking.”
Brooklynites can also expect Frej to stay in its current location.
Chef Richard Kuo: “We’re happy here, we get a lot of support from the guys at Kinfolk and this is a beautiful space and a great location. This is a really beautiful part of Williamsburg and there’s just so much around this location that we like, so it’d be nice to stick around.”