Nobu-Trained Chef to Open Polish Restaurant in S&B Space
By Mary Emily O'Hara on January 9, 2014 8:39am
WILLIAMSBURG — A Nobu-trained chef with a restaurant mini-empire in Brooklyn is bringing his refined Polish fare to the heart of Williamsburg.
Chef Krzysztof Drzewiecki — who owns four other eateries in North Brooklyn — is planning to open his newest venture on Bedford Avenue in a space occupied for the last 22 years by S&B Polish Restaurant, he said.
Dziupla will debut next month at 194 Bedford Ave. featuring traditional Polish dishes with lighter and healthier ingredients, including all free-range organic meats and vegetarian entrees like stuffed cabbage with chanterelle mushroom sauce.
“We’re trying to make a cozier, more romantic décor with brick and wood, new floor tiles, a couple-friendly environment,” said Drzewiecki of the space, which is currently being renovated. “We want it to be a great place for everyday dinner as well as to go for a date.”
A graduate of culinary school in Poznan, Poland, Drzewiecki moved to New York in 1998 and worked as a line chef at Nobu for two years. He opened his first restaurant, Krolewskie Jadlo, on Manhattan Avenue in 2005. The Greenpoint staple is recognizable by the two life-size knights in armor that appear to guard the front entrance.
Drzewiecki currently operates four restaurants, including a second Krolewskie Jadlo in Ridgewood, Greenpoint Avenue’s Karczma, and Kristophe on North Fourth Street in Williamsburg. Both Karczma and Krolewskie Jadlo have been awarded Michelin recommendations.
S&B owner Kazimierz Skalski said rent did not force him out of the prime Bedford Avenue address, where he served traditional Polish dishes for two decades. “I was tired, wanted to spend time with my family," he said. "I’m over 50 — not too old, not too young. Now I stay home and relax.”
Skalski added that the long hours and commute to his upstate home became too much, but that he wished the new owner good luck. “Thank you for every customer, and my friends that make me business,” he said in heavily accented English.
Dziupla — a Polish word roughly meaning the hollow of a tree — will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and will initially serve beer and wine, Drzewiecki said. By springtime, he hopes to have a full liquor license and a sidewalk seating. Entrees will cost between $12 and 16, he added.
“People like Polish food because it’s good and inexpensive,” Drzewiecki explained. “Good food is the most important thing.”