King Bee, recently open in the East Village, takes its inspiration from Acadia.
The cuisine is a homage to Louisiana country cooking and its French and Canadian roots. Originally the cooking was supposed to be Cajun, but according to chef Jeremie Tomczak, formerly of Samuelsson group, “Cajun—for me—it’s not going to be the same as when you’re in Louisiana. You’re in the environment.”
Whether he was in New York City or Chicago, he had never really liked it. But when he tasted it in New Orleans, he got it.
A closer look at Cajun cuisine’s roots revealed the migrations of the Acadian people, now found throughout Eastern Canada, New England, and Louisiana—and thus a palette of ingredients that extended through northeast America.
Tomczak creates a modern version of normally peasant fare: poutine râpée, a potato dumpling that he serves with lamb neck, turnips, and partridgeberries. “A lot of potatoes, a lot of root vegetables” are part of Acadian cuisine, he said, and the spice is toned down.
Expect hors-d’oeuvres like Pork Cracklings with peanut, cane caramel, and malt vinegar powder, or Rabbit Rillete with crispy leeks; mains like Ribeye with beef vinaigrette, and fried garlic potatoes, and Duck Fricot (or stew) with carrots, Swiss chard, dumplings, and savory.
It’s an opening that fits well with the fall season.
The other partners behind King Bee are Eben Klemm (who worked on cocktails at Pearl & Ash) and Ken Jackson (the founding partner and wine director of Herbsaint in New Orleans).
The 60-seat restaurant aims for the feel of a modern farmhouse, complete with a backyard garden that supplies herbs and other seasonal produce.
424 E. Ninth St. (between First and Avenue A)