CROWN HEIGHTS — The owner of a tapas restaurant in Miami is taking over the shuttered bodega at the corner of Nostrand Avenue and Bergen Street.
Francisco Anton is bringing his Latin American cuisine to Crown Heights hoping to capture the hearts and stomachs of the nabe. The space at 656 Nostrand Avenue will undergo a complete remodel within the coming months.
The executive chef/owner from Venezuela began cooking 13 years ago. With no formal training, Anton channeled his grandmother’s cooking from Margarita Island. While he has another restaurant that serves traditional American fare, Latin fusion is by far his favorite cuisine to cook, he told Bklyner.
The cuisine will mimic his 5-year-old restaurant in Miami Cardon y el Tirano, which boasts Flaunts de Pollo (braised chicken served with corn tortillas) and Bacalaitos (fried codfish fritters with cilantro and aioli sauce). But Brooklynites can expect its own flare too with croquettes manchego and sticky pork ribs.
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“I used to live on Park Place between Bedford and Franklin Avenues and I noticed this kind of food was missing in the area,” said Anton for why he chose Crown Heights to park his new venture.
The 35-year-old chef is no newbie to building businesses in Brooklyn. He opened Mama Fox in Bedford Stuyvesant a year ago. Unlike La Napa, the eatery features traditional American fare.
He’s looking to outfit the place with bold vibrant colors with cool undertones. La Napa will seat 34 inside and during summer months, patrons can sip wine at the sidewalk cafe which will be able to serve another 18 patrons.
Anton will continue with one of his traditions he started at the Miami restaurant—pairing wines with meals. On some nights he’ll work with a wine producer to develop the evening’s menu around a collection of wines.
“Its fun, you get to learn about that wine specifically,” he said noting the ritual has upped the ante on his own wine expertise.
But Chef Anton wants to go a little further. He plans to offer cooking classes to the community.
“I see that people are really entertained when I do dinner parties,” he said. “I’ve never done it in a large group and I think it’ll be fun.”
Anton expects to open La Napa mid-April at 656 Nostrand Avenue at Bergen St.