Earlier this summer, the well-liked Dubuque on Court Street in Carroll Gardens slapped a "Gone Fishing" sign on its door before unexpectedly shuttering for good. But its replacement is here: Last week saw the debut of a new Mexican spot called La Slowteria.
The name is a mash-up of "slow food" and the Mexican card game Lotería. The menu literally follows suit, hanging seasonally to reflect the
deck's 54 cards. The bright and chirpy Pájaro, for example, transposes into a regional variant of posole, made with duck slow-cooked into a stew with dry chiles and hominy instead of pork; while the restaurant's cactus salad with jicama appears as the more straightforward El Nopal on the menu.
Co-owner Stephanie Heinegg met husband and business partner Hugo Orozco when he was cooking at his restaurant in Tulum, Mexico, the original Slowteria. The restaurant, which has since closed, adjoined six cabanas on the beach; fisherman brought their daily catch directly to Orozco from the docks. The Mexican chef started cooking on the opposite side of the country in Mazatlán at 15, and has tried to learn as much as he can about Mexican regional food throughout his career, studying pastries in Veracruz, for example.
The menu at La Slowteria is not a straight replica of what Orozco cooked in Tulum: Raw Long Island oysters are served unadorned except for the appearance of five different cuts of citrus and a small amount of worm salt, which is ground sea salt and those dried maguey creepers found normally at the bottom of the mezcal bottle. La Maceta is a pulled duck sandwich in tomato sauce, in a crispy potato taco made red with arbol chiles. Orozco has built a number of specialty serving pieces, such as the long plank used to hold condiments for El Diablito, a sampler-size of the restaurant's hot sauces, guacamole, and housemade tortillas. Beer on tap includes Ommegang Abbey Ale and Sixpoint Brewery's Bengali Tiger. La Slowteria will serve fresh juices throughout the day, and Orozco, who moved to Brooklyn last month, says he's excited to start tapping into local farmers' markets and cooking with local ingredients. "Where La Slowteria was before was such a small town," he says. "When everyone was out of cilantro, it's was like, hey, let's change the recipe today. Here, it's really a jungle."
La Slowteria, 548 Court St., nr. W. 9th St.; Carroll Gardens;