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
“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.
“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