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Newest Restaurant From The Owner of Miss Ada Opens in Fort Greene

Theodora already is gearing up to be a neighborhood favorite

Mediterranean restaurant Theodora opened its doors in Fort Greene last week, atop the Lafayette C train stop. With a trusted chef at the helm, built-in community support, and a fantastic menu, the restaurant seems well primed to become the hottest new Brooklyn eateries of 2024. 

Theodora is Tomer Blechman’s third Brooklyn restaurant concept. Blechman also owns Miss Ada, a fantastic, much-beloved Mediterranean restaurant in Fort Greene that opened in 2017, and Nili, a cafe in Carroll Gardens located in the same building where Blechman used to live.

“[Since 2006,] I always lived in Brooklyn,” Blechman said. “I love Brooklyn and I want to give Brooklyn as much as I can, you know?”

Left to right: Hiramasa, za'atar kubaneh, and wood-grilled beets at Theodora. Photo: Hannah Berman/BK Reader

Blechman describes his newest project as a progression of Miss Ada.

“At Miss Ada, you come and you're like, gimme the pita and gimme the dip, gimme some hummus. And over here it's not like that,” Blechman laughed. 

That's because at Theodora, the menu is riskier — Blechman refers to it as "not baby food." There are about 20 dishes on offer, all a combination of Israeli and Mediterranean flavors with a splash of Mexican culinary influence, cooked over charcoal at high heat. 

The concept for this new grill-centric restaurant came to Blechman when he cooked for a supper club at Red Hook's Pioneer Works.

“My team from Miss Ada came, and we just cooked for about a hundred people on open flames,” Blechman said. “And it was kind of mind-blowing for me to do this — you know, to have food come from live fire. So what we do over here [at Theodora] is basically a progression of Miss Ada, utilizing the skills that we do in Miss Ada, but using the live fire.”

Theodora's open kitchen allows you to watch the Josper at work. Photo: Hannah Berman/BK Reader

Most dishes are prepared using a Josper, a charcoal-based grill from Catalonia that gives the entire menu a clean, smoky quality. There are two Jospers in house: the oven, which is enclosed and insulated, and the Mangal, which is an open-air grill. 

“If you put, let's say, a chicken or a fish inside the concentrated heat that comes from the insulation, you make a vacuum inside the protein,” Blechman explained. “Basically, all the juices are staying inside. So you get really nice crispy skin, and a very juicy piece of protein.”

Close-up on the wood-fired beets. Photo: Hannah Berman/BK Reader

One of the most distinctive dishes on the menu is the wood-fired beets. The beets are presented in a thin layer and topped with a nutty, gritty salsa macha, creating a visual effect like dark soil, with a couple of tiny purple flowers sprouting out. The dish turns the typical Theodora smokiness up to the max, with a deep, satisfying crunch and bright tanginess coming from a balsamic reduction. 

To accompany Theodora's food, Blechman’s business partner, Gerardo Estevez, has designed a mezcal-forward cocktail menu. Maggie Dehill has curated one of the most comprehensive, storybook-esque natural wine lists in Brooklyn right now, with full-page writeups detailing not just the tasting notes in each wine, but also each wine producer’s history, and why they do what they do.

Theodora is located at 7 Greene Ave, and is open from Wednesday-Sunday, with reservations available on Resy.

Hannah Berman

About the Author: Hannah Berman

Hannah Berman is a Brooklyn-born freelance writer. She writes about food, culture, and nonprofit news, and runs her own grumpy food newsletter called Hannah is Eating.
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