Most restaurateurs boast that their chef is tops, but few can honestly say they have a “Top Chef” in the kitchen. With celebrity chef Josie Smith-Malave — a former contestant who sliced and diced with the best of them in the popular reality show “Top Chef” — behind the stove, Fort Greene’s Speakeasy has bragging rights.
Smith-Malave described the cuisine as “global comfort food” befitting an area as diverse as Fort Greene and Clinton Hill.
“What we’re serving is soul food in the sense that there’s something satisfying for every ethnicity. Each plate that comes out of the kitchen represents a different culture,” she said.
Among the dishes are French onion soup (“that’s something that everyone seems to love,” Smith-Malave said); curried mussels in a coconut broth for Thai neighbors; Southern folk can dig into glazed baby back ribs; and the Caribbean population will appreciate the chicken noodle soup with Jamaican spices.
A full bar is available and the international wine list is evolving. (Right now, Bordeaux and a Cote du Rhone are being poured.)
Speakeasy manager Monir Gamany describes the interior as “very late 1920s — as the name implies.” Outdoor seating is planned for the spring, and the glamorous, 40-seat dining room is currently decked out in warm golds and rich earth tones.
“We’re between two landmark streets,” said Gamany, “so the mood is just right.”
The Speakeasy (132 Greene Ave. at Waverly Avenue in Fort Greene) accepts American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. Entrees: $10.50-$21. The restaurant serves dinner daily. Subway: C, G to Clinton/Washington Streets. For information, call (718) 230-3520 or visit www.thespeakeasybrooklyn.com.