Alsatian Restaurant With Gluten-Free Tarte Flambée Heads to Carroll Gardens

By Nikhita Venugopal on April 25, 2014 11:02am 

 La Cigogne, a new restaurant at 215 Union St., is serving traditional French cuisine from Alsace, including tarte flambée, a thin flatbread-like dish with creme fraiche, onions and thin sliced crispy bacon.
La Cigogne, a new restaurant at 215 Union St., is serving traditional French cuisine from Alsace, including tarte flambée, a thin flatbread-like dish with creme fraiche, onions and thin sliced crispy bacon.
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Courtesy of Damien Frey

CARROLL GARDENS — A new restaurant is bringing a taste of Alsace to Carroll Gardens this summer with one of the French region’s most popular dishes, a tarte flambée.

La Cigogne, which means “stork” in French, plans to serve gluten-free, whole wheat and flour options of the famous snack, a flatbread-like dish that’s traditionally served with onions and crispy bacon, said owner Damien Frey.

It’s “the most famous dish In Alsace,” Frey said.

Tarte flambée is cooked in brick oven and can be prepared with a variety of sweet or savory toppings, including a vegetarian option.

“As long as you follow the recipe, it’s pretty easy,” he said.

Frey, 31, spent years working as a manager at New York restaurants, including Caffe Linda in Midtown, but this is his first solo venture as an owner and chef, he said.

After studying at the University of Idaho, Frey, who is originally from Alsace, moved to New York and began plotting his path toward “La Cigogne,” which friends encouraged him to open.

The restaurant, located at 213-215 Union St., is named after the stork, an iconic and protected bird in Alsace that’s lived in the region for centuries.

“It’s a big symbol of Alsace,” Frey said.

Frey plans for the family-friendly restaurant to open on June 1 with outdoor seating, beer and wine and take-out orders.

Other delicacies include hand-cut spatzle (homemade egg noodles) and choucroute (sauerkraut served with sausage, potatoes and other meats).

And for diners without an appetite for French cuisine, Frey will also be serving burgers and mac and cheese, he said.

After moving to Brooklyn, first Greenpoint and later Kensington, Frey decided that he wanted to bring his new restaurant to the borough.

“I feel like it’s a healthier life,” he said.

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