When Talde launched in 2012 I was immediately on board. A Top Chef alum opening a spot in my hood? Sounds like a food adventure, sign me up. Especially in Park Slope where, if you throw a rock, you’ll either hit a basic Italian restaurant, a safe American spot, or a couple with two babies and a dog taking up 98% of the sidewalk.
Park Slope has plenty of good food options, but it was aching for a little Filipino infusion, is what I’m trying to say. I’ve eaten at Talde consistently since it opened and its gone from very-good to truly-great in a short time.
It’s a dependable spot for various foodie-types. If you’re a loud hipster that loves digging into small plates with drunken friends by huge windows, this is your place. Or maybe you’re a couple that digs sharing pitchers of, say, Obama’s Punch (rum, vodka, curaçao, vanilla, blood orange) while splitting plates of Crispy Oyster Bacon Pad Thai? Or perhaps you’re a solo foodie that loves drinking white wine and eating Pretzel Pork and Chive Dumplings at a bar overlooking the kitchen. Whatever your ilk, Talde has you covered.
I was here a week ago and marveled at the well-oiled machine it’s become. Packed to capacity (about 65 folks) the kitchen was not only cool and collected, but dishing out perfect flavorful plates that you wish would never end.
This time around, Kim and I started with the Vietnamese Garlic Shrimp. A thing of beauty, for sure. Subtle char on the shrimp, harmonious mix of flavors and texture with pomelo, escarole, and yummy peanuts. It’s a dish that screams summer.
Next up, we shared a huge bowl of Wanton Noodle Soup like you’ve never had before – unless you’ve been to Talde for brunch and had buttered toast Ramen. This ain’t fast food wanton soup, fo shizzle. A deliciously opaque broth permeates soft noodles and pork wantons, bitter greens, pork belly, a delectable six minute egg, and two customers with giant smiles wrapped around their heads.
We finished with Korean Fried Chicken with spicy kimchee yogurt and mint, balanced perfectly with, of all things, grapes. Motherfuckin grapes. Absolute crispy genius.
We we’re too stuffed for dessert, although I can eat their Halo-Halo till the cows come home. Now truth be told, I’m accustomed to over-doing it here, especially for brunch. For me, heaven is a seat by the window with my girl and way too many plates on the table. A pot of french press coffee, Breakfast Ramen, Tator Tots with sriracha ketchup, Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Fried Rice, Roti, and Kung Pao Chicken Wings with Waffles. I can always buy a new belt when this one runs out of holes.
Talde is definitely the best of Dale and company’s mini-empire which (used to) include Pork Slope and Thistle Hill in Brooklyn. I’m looking forward to seeing how his new place in Jersey City carries the torch – and if those folk are hip enough to know a good thing when they put it in their mouths.
In the meantime, Dale has paved the way for other adventurous spots in South Slope like Chris Cheung’s eternally tasty East Wind Snack Shop and a brand new joint called The Tuscan Gun by Cooking Channel’s Gabriele Corcos. It’s a good time to know what’s good.