Recently Opened Restaurants
by Julie Besonen, 09/23/2015
Photo: Robin Wertheimer
- more in dining/
509 Coney Island Ave., 718-284-5800, Ditmas Park, Brooklyn
Instead of the outskirts of Vienna, this Austrian tavern is on the border of Prospect Park South, Ditmas Park and Kensington, a destination worth the trip. Werkstatt, from chef-owner Thomas Ferlesch (formerly of Thomas Beisl, across the street from BAM), feels like a game changer, and not because there's grüner veltliner on tap. This stretch of Coney Island Avenue is dominated by automotive shops, not to mention a diverse population that has been shortchanged on good restaurants until now. In addition to breaded schnitzels of pork, chicken and cod, Ferlesch makes tender braised beef goulash, käsespätzle (Alpine-style mac and cheese) with caramelized onions, plus matzo ball soup just because it's his place and he can do what he wants—though to be sure, soup with dumplings seems right at home in Austrian cuisine. The whole operation feels personal, from the tin German-language street signs and photo of Bob Dylan at Woodstock to the vintage motorcycle mounted in the back dining room. Until the weather changes, the garage doors are thrown open to the street, creating an indoor-outdoor environment. It's open nightly, with brunch coming soon.