CLINTON HILL — Local chef Jon A. Wallace made a name for himself at Buttermilk Channel in Carroll Gardens and Thistle Hill Tavern in Park Slope. And now Clinton Hill will benefit from his experience as he opens his own restaurant with fiancée Jessica M. Soule.
The Wallace served its first plates of food Thursday night, meeting a need in the neighborhood for contemporary American cuisine, according to Soule.
“Clinton Hill is quickly becoming a nabe for foodies,” Soule said. “But there is a lack of restaurants serving upscale, locally grown, seasonal fare.”
Soule calls the menu, envisioned by her fiancé, “delicate and beautiful yet hardy and accessible at the same time.”
Wallace is inspired by Brooklyn restaurants like james in Prospect Heights and Franny’s in the couple's home neighborhood of Flatbush. He also loves Flatbush's West Indian food and the authentic Chinese and Italian flavors found in the nooks and crannies of Brooklyn. His creations are a combination of spices, brought together to create what he considers to be true American food.
But those influences are extremely subtle as demonstrated by menu items such as the Stone Bass made with crispy heirloom tomatoes, and creamy curry broth or the mushroom croquette with truffle shavings, spicy mushroom jus and a micro green salad.
“Jon is always taking notes on his iPhone when he eats,” Soule said. ”He lists ingredients that are intriguing and then uses our home kitchen to experiment.”
Soule said that he usually emerges from the kitchen with a unique new invention.
But while Wallace is the mastermind behind the food, Soule was responsible for the décor and feel of the restaurant. Everything inside is vintage including the reclaimed wood ceilings and the mirrors and photos bought from the Brooklyn Flea. She wants the place to feel inviting, warm, “a true neighborhood joint,” as she puts it.
Together, they hope to serve Brooklyn the best food on a plate with the best service possible.
And in celebration of the realization of a dream that began during pillow talk almost a year ago, Wallace and Soule served free glasses of Gruet sparkling wine from New Mexico on opening night.
The Wallace is located at 919 Fulton St. in Clinton Hill and is open from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on the weekends. Click here for a look at the menu.