Lambi and Other Haitian Delights
Lambi is a fricassee of conch in coconut milk with root vegetables, variegated bell peppers, and chiles.
This week, Counter Culture slithers into Cathedral, a Haitian restaurant right on Church Avenue on the edge of East Flatbush. Offering a shifting roster of dishes as the week progresses, the place offers a perfect thumbnail of the wonders of Haitian food--a more or less equal conjoining of French and West African cuisines. All dishes are served with rice and beans in various configurations, a green salad with orange "French" dressing of the bottled sort (no one quite knows how it got into the cuisine), and twice-fried woody plantains or accra, an African fritter of a vegetable something like taro.
Grillot (pronounced "gree-oh") is a confit of pork chunks, marinated in sour orange and shallots, and cooked in pork fat.
Piklis is a relish of cabbage, vinegar, and Scotch bonnet peppers.
Poulet en sauce is a dark and deeply flavored chicken stew that may or may not have been influenced by the neighborhood's Jamaican cooking.
A whole red snapper, enough for two diners, arrives perfectly fried and accompanied by the sauce called T-malice (top) and piklis (bottom).
Bilay (pronounced "pee-lay") is a dish of cracked wheat and pink beans, probably inspired by Lebanese pilaf.
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