We’re really excited about Teo opening since we’re STILL missing Brooklyn Star. The menu will include cast iron okonomiyaki, duck wings, togarashi honey fried chicken, littleneck clams and many more Japanese small bites. Teo is opening after Christmas at 321 Starr Street:
Up until May, the chef was running Williamsburg favorite Brooklyn Star, an 110-seat neighborhood restaurant that closed after a nine-year run. He cited increased operating costs and slower summers as reasons for the closure, among other financial issues. But before opening Brooklyn Star, Baca spent years helping expand David Chang’s Momofuku empire as part of the teams at influential and critically acclaimed restaurants like Ssäm, Noodle Bar, and Ko.
Teo, he says, is much more reasonably sized compared to Brooklyn Star, and while he enjoyed cooking Southern meals there, his best memories are from his days at Momofuku. “I’m trying to find a way that I can still operate in the city, and one of the ways I can do that is I can have an open kitchen,” Baca says about Teo.
He’s also adopted an unconventional compensation structure in hopes of testing sustainability: the bulk of his staff are tipped employees. Cooks will sometimes operate like bartenders by taking orders, dropping off food, and clearing tables. Servers will still do the majority of the tipped work but will split a portion of their tips among the whole staff, particularly the cooks and dishwashers helping out in the dining room. But Baca says cooks and dishwashers will be paid a regular wage, and the tips will act as supplemental income.
Baca will introduce the restaurant to friends and family this week and plans to open to the public some time next week. Teo will be open daily from 5 to 11 p.m., and will eventually stay open later into night.
You can see their full menu here.
Teo, 321 Starr St, at Cypress Ave.; 347-627-6156