It’s generally a great thing to be a neighborhood restaurant, when your surrounding neighbors have loads of disposable income. But increased area-affluence has become a double-edged sword for struggling businesses on Smith Street, who face a serious, summer-long lull once their patrons inevitably decamp to the Hamptons for the season. In fact, it’s caused a number of them to seek new leases elsewhere—including the inventive ramen shop, Dassara—which hopes to migrate closer to more consistently foot trafficked Court Street by fall. But in the meantime, they’ve unveiled a canny plan to keep themselves afloat until August, by launching a series of shellfish-centric pop-ups that their remaining customers would be loathe to resist — and the rest of us would be strongly advised to travel into Carroll Gardens for.
In partnership with the local seafood purveyor, Aqua Best, Dassara will debut an extensive, Asian-inspired “AquaBoil” menu, which will be available from June 1st all the way through Labor Day. Taking inspiration from culinary trips through both New Orleans and Yokohama, Japan, chef Pablo Ventura plans to pile diners’ brown paper-covered tables with dishes like kaffir lime and togarashi-seasoned soft shell crabs and soft shell ramen burgers; mussels steamed in black pepper-spiked sake, and served with Tokyo Bay seasoning-dusted fries; head-on shrimp mazemen (brothless noodles) slicked with garlicky olive oil; and of course, pots of succulent, scarlet crawfish, giant Jonah crabs or sweet blue crabs, tossed with Dassara’s special house rub, and accompanied by corn on the cob, new potatoes, and a supply of wooden mallets.
So let Smith Street denizens squander their summers out in Montauk or Amagansett. Because thanks to Dassara, the rest of us have the makings of a first-rate crustacean staycation, right here Brooklyn.
271 Smith Street, Carroll Gardens