King Bee (CLOSED)

Restaurants, Creole East Village
King Bee (CLOSED)

To bring New Orleans flair to New York, mad-scientist barman Eben Klemm (Pearl & Ash) traced NOLA's Francophilia to its roots in Acadia and further back to France itself. Travels to Montreal, Newfoundland and the French countryside gave Klemm—along with Aquavit vet Jeremie Tomczak and partner Ken Jackson (Louisiana’s Herbsaint)—glimpses into the overlaps of each culture and inspiration for the crossbreed cuisine at their rustic bistro, named for Slim Harpo’s blues ditty “I’m a King Bee.” The resulting menu blends country-style cooking with modern plates: grilled oysters cooked in smoked cabbage butter—born from a New Orleans cabbage-oyster stew—and duck fricot with dumplings, a riff on the Canadian classic. “We’re making old-world recipes for today’s palate,” Tomczak says. Ingredients are plucked directly from the backyard garden and family-owned farms upstate. To match the rural cooking, an eclectic list of country wines focuses primarily on France (Cru Beaujolais) and Klemm’s simple cocktails are old-American with obscure New York monikers, including the B Side Wins Again (sherry, salted caramel) and a Madeira milk punch called Great Ray. The nouveau-farmhouse bent is equally felt in decor touches like china cabinets made of Amish barn wood and copper tabletops hammered by Klemm's father. “We discovered an order of good cheer—of feasting and celebrating life—while we were in Acadia,” Jackson says. “And we want to bring that joie de vivre spirit here.”


Venue name: King Bee (CLOSED)
Address: 424 E 9th St
Cross street: between First Ave and Ave A
Opening hours: Mon–Wed, Sun 5-11pm; Thu–Sat 5pm-midnight
Transport: Subway: F to Lower East Side–Second Ave, L to First Ave
Price: Average entrée: $23. AmEx, MC, V
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