PROSPECT-LEFFERTS GARDENS — At Honey Badger, a new restaurant on Fenimore Street off Flatbush Avenue, much of what you see and eat is handmade.
On the walls, geometric tiles made by hand by owners Junayd Juman, Fjolla Sheholli and their 6-year-old daughter, Nina, took months to complete, they said. On the restaurant’s open bar, a backlit smashed-glass decoration was designed by Juman and Nina; on top, Sheholli polished a concrete slab herself.
And on the menu, dinner items include handmade mushroom ravioli and a lamb burger made with a vegetable charcoal bun, mixed and baked daily by hand.
“Our place is not all about getting full and getting that food coma, but really enjoying … and being more attached to what you’re accepting in your body,” Sheholli said.
To that end, the restaurant’s menu is seasonal, organic and local (when possible) and off-beat; ingredients at Honey Badger — which is, in fact, named for that cobra-eating critter of viral video fame — include blue green algae, octopus and gooseberries (used in a “vegetable caviar” appetizer).
The restaurant opened at the beginning of the year for dinner Wednesday through Sunday and brunch on weekends. Renovations are now underway next door for a provisions market and to-go operation that will eventually serve take-out breakfast items, fresh bread, baked goods, cheeses, charcuterie and “farm fresh produce,” Juman said.
“All those cute little things that you wish you could have every day instead of going to the farmer’s market, we’ll have that,” he said.
Raw tuna "pizza" (above) made with masago and pickled seaweed was on the menu at Honey Badger for brunch recently.
Growing food is a passion for both chefs, but in particular for Sheholli who spent a lot of time as a child on her grandmother’s farm in her native Kosovo. In order to bring fresh microgreens and vegetables to the restaurant, a second-story greenhouse is in the works next door, as well. Eventually, the pair hope to do gardening and cooking classes in the space.
“It would be really nice if everyone could grow something at home to eat,” Juman said.
The restaurant is a first for both, who met working in the catering business serving clients at weddings, parties and Fashion Week events, mostly in Manhattan.
Now, they’re happy to be spending more time in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, their home for close to a decade.
“Our daughter goes to school two blocks away, so we live and work in the same neighborhood. It’s crazy,” Junayd said.
Honey Badger is located at 67 Fenimore St. just east of Flatbush Avenue. It is open Wednesday through Sunday from 5 to 10 p.m. for dinner and on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for brunch.