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Werkstatt

509 Coney Island Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11218 40.645262 -73.970202
at Turner Pl.  See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
718-284-5800 Send to Phone

Photo by Paul Wagtouicz

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Official Website

werkstattbrooklyn.com

Hours

Daily, 5-11pm; Sat-Sun, 11am-3pm

Nearby Subway Stops

Q at Beverly Rd.

Prices

$7-$18

Payment Methods

Cash Only, American Express

Special Features

  • Brunch - Weekend
  • Outdoor Dining

Alcohol

  • Full Bar

Reservations

Not Accepted

Profile

Together with Jams and Wildair, Werkstatt has ushered in something like boom times for meat that’s pounded, breaded, and fried until crisp. Yet it is also notable for reasons that go well beyond its schnitzel. The restaurant is the New York return of Austrian chef Thomas Ferlesch, who five years ago sold his Ft. Greene bistro Thomas Beisl and was most recently seen at Hoboken’s Pilsener Haus. The chef’s legacy in this city, of course, runs much deeper: In 1981, after taking over the kitchen at Vienna 79, he became at 24 the youngest chef ever to receive a four-star review from the New York Times. Once a pioneer of modern Viennese cooking in this city, Ferlesch, with partner Robin Wertheimer, is now bringing that food to his own neighborhood.

Werkstatt, which Ferlesch compares to a Viennese wirtshaus (“proprietor's place”) or neighborhood spots with daily-changing menus, looks like it was decorated charmingly with objects collected over time. There’s a motorcycle, old tin signs on the walls, and a wood-burning stove that warms the room during the winter. Part of the restaurant was once a residential garage — “There was a car parked in here a year ago,”  Wertheimer said shortly after the opening — and they built out the place from scratch, installing plumbing, upgrading gas, and so on.

The most important part: The food will largely be familiar to fans of Ferlesch, though that’s not to say it’s all the same. There's spaetzle with beef gulasch, käse spaetzle with caramelized onions and bacon, four kinds of schnitzel (Sterling Silver pork, chicken, celery root, and cod), housemade bratwurst with country bread, and, curiously, three types of tacos and a Parmesan-crusted quesadilla. The reason: Ferlesch just likes tacos.

There are cocktails and draft beers and wines by the bottle, glass, and on tap, but for some, the digestifs may be most exciting: Ferlesch will offer Austrian schnapps, as well as Underberg, along with ports and cognacs. Desserts will be made by Ferlesch, too, which is another reason to be excited. In that ’81 review, then-Times critic Mimi Sheraton described Ferlesch as “something of a rarity — a chef equally adept at cooking and baking.” Sheraton showered his sweet palatschinken with praise, and you’ll find that treat, albeit with different fillings, on the menu here.

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