lundi 13 juin 2016

La Caye Means ‘Home’ in Haitian Creole, and It Shows

1.- A group of family and friends dined at La Caye  last month
while their children were at the prom. The restaurant serves
typical Haitian dishes like grilled conch, Creole-style  broiled
 red snapper, stewed goat andpen patat, a sweet potato
bread pudding with a rum-raisin sauce.
  Credit: Dave Sanders for The New York Times
On an 80-degree evening last month, three Beninese brothers in an Afropop band performing that night set up their conga drums and keyboards in a corner of La Caye.
Two women, speaking Haitian Creole at the copper-tiled bar, settled their tab of two red wines — they had a voodoo-song practice to get to.

A couple enjoyed the dimly lighted patio.
Sitting opposite them was a group of six women, with a 3-year-old in tow, who had just seen their teenage children off to a prom. They wanted to celebrate.
La Caye, a Haitian restaurant that opened in Fort Greene across the street from the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2012, draws all kinds of people for all sorts of reasons — starting with a platter of fried plantains, marinated pork and pikliz, a spicy slaw.

The pikliz was what brought Tara Pierre Louis, who doesn’t get much Haitian cooking where she’s living nowadays, in Manassas, Va. She and her sister-in-law, Natacha Pierre Louis of Canarsie, were part of the party of six on the patio, which was adorned with metalwork and strings of twinkling lights.
With the exception of a few dishes that could be found at any trendy Brooklyn restaurant, La Caye’s menu hews to traditional Haitian cuisine: grilled conch, Creole-style broiled red snapper, stewed goat and pen patat, a sweet potato bread pudding with a rum-raisin sauce.
“It tastes like home,” said Tara, whose parents emigrated from Haiti. It was fitting, she added, because “la caye” in Haitian Creole means “home.”
La Caye, which is across the street from the Brooklyn
 Academy of Music, opened in 2012.
Credit: Dave Sanders for The New York Times
Behind the bar was the manager, Joshua Jagmohan, his forearm tattooed with a quotation he attributed to the Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho. He prepared cocktails that required some creativity, because the restaurant serves only beer and wine. Instead of rum, its mojito is made with sake and if someone is in the mood, a dash of passion fruit, pomegranate or lychee along with the usual mint and lime.
“You come in for a glass of wine or whatever,” Mr. Jagmohan said. Then you find yourself ordering an appetizer at the bar, then moving to a table for a full meal. “Next thing you know, you’re here four or five hours,” he said. “It’s that type of place.”

At the bar sat Leah Jordano-Kudalis, a teacher who lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant, and her friend Ciara Rivera, an education specialist for Unicef who was visiting from Bamako, Mali.
“I made her come here,” Ms. Jordano-Kudalis, drinking a chardonnay, said. “She always stays in the city.” But the promise of live music enticed Ms. Rivera.
Every Thursday night, the restaurant holds concerts of mostly Caribbean and African musicians playing jazz, folk and twoubadou, a style of guitar-based cabaret music in Haiti.

3.- Jomion and the Uklos performed at La Caye last month.
In the restaurant’s Thursday-night concerts, Caribbean and
 African musicians often play jazz, folk and twoubadou,
a style of guitar-based cabaret music in Haiti.
Credit: Dave Sanders for The New York Times
Earlier in the evening, Adi Presumé, one of the performers on her way to practice, spoke about the American news coverage of Haiti, where she was born. It pained her that articles rarely failed to mention the fact that Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.
“The first thing you see is that negative connotation toward all of our accomplishments,” she said. Why not mention instead that Haiti was the world’s first black republic?
Too many people, she said, assume that because Haiti is poor, it is poor in culture, too. “When all we have is culture,” she said with a laugh. “That’s what we’re rich in.”
Source : http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/12/nyregion/la-caye-means-home-in-haitian-creole-and-it-shows.html?_r=0

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