TALDE arrived on Park Slope’s popular Seventh Avenue Jan. 15, 2012, adding new spice to the burgeoning dining scene in one of Brooklyn’s most venerated neighborhoods. The 65-seat restaurant offers guests a casual and comfortable, yet elevated, dining experience, showcasing Asian-American fare reflective of the distinct cultural and culinary experiences of Executive Chef/Partner Dale Talde.
A native of Chicago, raised by first-generation Filipino immigrants, Chef Talde—a “Top Chef” and Buddakan alumnus—effortlessly blends the tastes, ingredients and nuances of a wide swath of Eastern and Western cuisines and techniques. The result is a menu that explores new, and at times unexpected, combinations of flavors. TALDE aims to be an enjoyable and delectable haven for its neighbors and destination diners alike. The restaurant is a joint venture between Chef Talde and partners, punk rock photographer and bartender, John Bush, and restaurateur David Massoni, who both also own and operate the popular Park Slope restaurant, Thistle Hill Tavern.
According to Chef Talde, the restaurant’s menu has long been evolving, starting from when he was a child cooking with his mother in the kitchen, and continuing through his stints working alongside some the country’s most acclaimed chefs, including Carrie Nahabedian, Masaharu Morimoto and Shawn McClain. TALDE’s dishes feature a variety of market-driven ingredients and local Brooklyn products, combined with Chef Talde’s talents and sense of fun. Savory highlights include Pretzel Pork and Chive Dumplings with Spicy Mustard; Seasonal Ramen Soup with Smoked Tofu, Scallion and White Soy; Iceberg wedge salad with Chinese bacon and “Sri-Rancha”—a mix of Sriracha sauce and ranch dressing; Crispy Oyster-Bacon Pad Thai with Benton’s Bacon and Frank’s Red Hot sauce; and Korean Fried Chicken with Yogurt-Kimchee.
For dessert, guests can indulge in a Shaved Ice Sundae with Cap’n Crunch and Coconut, a play on Chef Talde’s favorite Filipino dessert, Halo-Halo.
To complement the menu, a 75-bottle wine list curated by Massoni, features Old and New World varietals, alongside selections of reds and whites from China. Bush oversees the cocktail list and continues TALDE’s East-meets-West spirit with such libations as the Brooklyn Sling (gin, Luxardo, pineapple, house-made grenadine and bitters) along with the Pacquiao Punch—a concoction of run, vodka, curacao, vanilla and citrus juices—paying homage to Manny Pacquiao, the Filipino boxing champion, statesman and Chef Talde’s personal hero. Ten beers will be offered on tap, as well as a nice selection by the bottle.
Setting the scene at TALDE is an impressive collection of Asian mahogany wood-carvings that Bush and Massoni salvaged from an antiques warehouse in Pennsylvania. The woodwork—moldings, wall coverings, window frames, mantle pieces and more—originally made up an “Oriental Study” in the early 20th century upstate New York mansion of Arnold Constable, owner of one of the oldest and most successful department store chains in America, Arnold Constable & Company. The intricately carved pieces, which depict a myriad of Asian symbols such as dragons, phoenixes, samurai warriors, elephants and fu dogs, are the creations of Maeda Yasube Yoshitsugu from Osaka, Japan, who was known for his work on shrines in the Nagano Prefecture during the Edo Period around the mid 1800s.
Another focal point of the restaurant space is the 6-seat chef’s counter with views into the open kitchen, where guests can watch and interact with Chef Talde and his team as they work.