Pix from Ambiance, a Haitian Restaurant in Canarsie, Brooklyn


Djon djon rice is a Haitian homestyle specialty, rice boiled with spindly black mushrooms native to the island along with baby lima beans.

While Hatian restaurants in town were originally concentrated in Flatbush and East Flatbush, a fanning out of the Haitian population in Brooklyn has resulted in some killer Haitian restaurants in areas a farflung as Canarsie, at the end (or origin, depending on your perspective) of the L train.

This fricasseed pink snapper is the stewed counterpart of the pink snapper shown in the review of Abmiance that appears on the Voice website and in the physical manifestation of the newspaper.

This week, Counter Culture traipses into Ambiance, a very good Haitian restaurant on one of Canarsie’s main drags. The food is simple, rudimentary even, but so perfectly prepared from ingredients so pristine, that every bite is a pleasure. Don’t expect apps or desserts: here are some of the menu’s greatest hits.


Griot is one of the highest attainments of Haitian cuisine–a pork conift that renders the pieces of pig moist and chewy, and subtly flavored with citrus and shallots.

By contrast, legumes reflects the West African underpinnings of Haitian cuisine, a dense, leaf-based stew dotted with meat.

The strangely skinless fried chicken is nonetheless spectacularly scrumptious.