Cavernous loft spaces or intimate bistros, all too many restaurants today seem ready for franchising, and too few are marked with the originality of an owner's personality spots where a single can be served with the same style as a couple or a group, where a book or magazine at a table is not a signal for the waitstaff to disappear, where a few artsy types are scattered around for variety and spice. Fort Greene's Chez Oskar is such a place in the making. I'd had my eye on it since its original incarnation as the extremely short-lived Chesapeake, but the Oyster Bar look never fit the neighborhood and the place died aborning only to metamorphose. A muted puddle of light outside and a hand-lettered sign in cursive French script on the double doors are all that signal something going on. The white tile and wood interior has morphed into a comfy den in a style best described as art-student North African. Pratt students canoodle at the bar while dreadlocked families take Junior to dinner at the tables facing the burgundy velvet banquettes. The eclectic mix would seem the handiwork of the eponymous Oskar, but he's such a subtle host I didn't meet him. Instead I found the two waitresses who keep the place running smoothly: a smoky-eyed Moroccan and a pert... More >>>
By Michael Kenneth Lopez
''Oskar'''s frisée challenges convention with potato, chicken gizzards, and poached egg.