Behind the unassuming street front of Tørst bar, is Greenpoint’s most famous culinary secret, Luksus. This is one of North Brooklyn’s highest acclaimed eateries, yet humbly tucked away behind the beer bar, you may not know it is there. For two years running, it has held the only Michelin star status in the neighborhood, an honor it hopes to continue into 2017 after the New York City recipients are announced on November 17th. Even those who have ordered from the Tørst menu may not know that the dishes were created by world-renowned chef Daniel Burns, previously of Momofuku, The Fat Duck in the UK, and Noma in Copenhagen. The understated presence of Luksus in Brooklyn is void of pretension and reflects the persona of Burns and the cuisine.
The food is confident and purposeful, with each dish’s ingredients carefully selected, complementing and balancing each other without overpowering. This is luxury (luksus in Dansk) without the pomp and a focus on quality above all else. The menu changes every few weeks to include the freshest ingredients and innovative recipes. A dinner at Luksus is incomplete without the accompanied beer pairings carefully selected by Burns and Tørst partner, Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø of Evil Twin Brewing. Amongst the thirteen courses offered, expect the freshest colorful veggies, a mix of unexpected ingredients that challenge your culinary assumptions and a dessert that just might make you cry.
While you may expect white tablecloths at a Michelin star restaurant, you will not find them here. In place of linens and china, you’ll find handcrafted tables by the Haslegrave brothers at Home Studios, imported custom made ceramics by the father-son duo at Würtz, and menus by Danish designer, Mark Justesen. The environment is both modern and cozy. A nod to the Scandinavian influence and experience of its owners. Burns credits his early influence in cooking to his mother, a home economics teacher, and the open kitchen does make you do feel as if you are having a home-cooked meal if your home cook happens to be a gourmet chef.
One of the many snacks served at the start of dinner is the Radish, Lobster Roe. Imagine the best radish you have ever had, I know, a hard ask, but imagine that it came straight out of the ground, clean and perfectly blanched and landed right on your plate, still crisp and slightly spicy. If you are still having a hard time imagining an amazing radish, imagine that it’s slender like a carrot, white or better yet purple, and called a Purple Ninja Radish. Yeah, now you’re with me. This is special. This farm fresh starter course is served with a dollop of crème fraîche based Lobster Roe dip. You will even eat the green tops to wipe up every last drop.
The Mackerel comes next. The small specimen is delicately sliced to serve the best parts of the fish in equal bites proportionate to the Poblano Romesco it is topped with. The dish is whimsically plated, the contrasting, razor-thin red and green pepper slices adding color against the monochromatic tones of the toasted Danish rye bread and flesh of the fish. The fish is fresh, the peppers bright, but not spicy and contrasted by the nutty flavor of the rye bread that adds a bit of texture.
The Wintergreen dessert, constructed of fresh elderberries, pine gelato, northern bay Australian-style licorice, sorrel and chocolate crumble are delicately layered to create this dish. Each flavor uniquely identifiable, you can create numerous combinations of flavors for a different experience in each spoonful. It’s the type of dessert you want to eat slowly and savor if not for the melting gelato encouraging you to continue. When the last bite is consumed you may find yourself grieving the end of the delectable experience and anticipating your next visit, but just wait for the Flødebolle.
The ever-changing menu at Luksus allows for a new dining experience at each visit. No two meals will ever be the same and may only continue to exist in the handwritten notes of Burns until one day published. There is still much to discover at this local hideaway even after you discover it’s there.
Luksus (behind Tørst) is located at 615 Manhattan Avenue. The tasting menu is $125 per person with an optional beverage pairing for $55 per person. Dinner service begins promptly at 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays; at 6:30, 7:30 and 9:00 p.m., Thursday through Sunday.
Diners can enjoy bites from the Luksus kitchen on the Tørst bar menu along with with a special Sunday Roast served from 1:00-5:00 p.m.