In fact, it wasn’t much of a secret by the time the Health Department paid a visit to Taste of Hawthorne, an illegal restaurant run out of the backyard of a private apartment in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Patrice Carter, who ran it with friend Doreen Simpson, was featured on the blog hawthornestreet.com and eventually in The Brooklyn Paper and The New York Times. Now, according to The Brooklyn Paper, the underground restaurant has been shut down.
The pair tried to get around strict Health Department regulations by claiming that they were not actually restaurateurs, but rather just hospitable folks hosting dinner parties for their friends. They shut down the restaurant before things got ugly and said they had no plans to continue serving throughout the fall, anyway. (So, don’t expect resistance à la Dr. Claw.) Carter added that she hopes to work in a legal restaurant one day. Raves over the West Indian-influenced food suggest she might not have trouble doing just that.