A savory new dining option just opened on Marcus Garvey Boulevard in Bed-Stuy: Jeffrey's Steakhouse.
The restaurant's owner and namesake, Jeffrey MonLouis, grew up on MacDonough Street, just a few blocks away, and the business is truly a family affair-- His sister Michelle MonLouis-Johnson is the general manager, and their father is Chef Francis.
The brother-sister team decided to open the restaurant after hearing so many of the neighborhood's residents complain about always having to leave Bed-Stuy to find a good hearty meal, said MonLouis-Johnson.
So she and her brother collaborated. Once their father agreed to help, the idea took flight.
The menu at Jeffrey's Steakhouse features dishes from all over the map: traditional Italian pastas, Chicken Marsala and a wide range of seafood options, including pan-fried tilapia, clam chowder and fish sandwiches.
The idea is to give customers a solid meal. "We wanted it to be 'real food,'" MonLouis-Johnson said. "Nothing so fancy that people wouldn't know what they're eating, but good."
Chef Francis has worked alongside a world-renowned chef at the Sheraton Hotel, and previously, he had another restaurant on Albany and Atlantic Avenues. He says his specialty is Italian foods, and the chicken Alfredo with fettucine did not disappoint.
The daily vegetables offered do not necessarily keep every meal choice in mind; the Spanish beans with tomatoes were not the best complement for the creamy cheese sauce. Bust still, they were flavorful and added color to the meal.
All dishes are served with warm, crusty rolls from a nearby bakery. Instead of butter, the bread comes with a small dish of hot olive oil and minced garlic, which adds a unique and delicious flare to the dining experience at Jeffrey's.
All drinks at the moment are non-alcoholic, but they offer a bring-your-own-bottle option with a $4 corking fee.
On the daily brunch menu are pancakes, omelets, grits and French toast.
The 'steakhouse' part of the official name is not very prominently featured on the menu, with only burgers, rib-eye and sirloin available, but the menu is continually evolving-- Chef Francis noted, changes will be made to the menu based on customer feedback.
"It's a place I think people will appreciate if they have a likeness for good food and healthy food," Chef Francis said.
The restaurant is small but cozy and is located right next door to Olivino Wines.
"I can recognize customers' voices already, and I have a personal relationship with a lot of of them," said MonLouis-Johnson. "My goal is to remember everyone's name."
Already, the neighborhood seems to be taking to the new restaurant. In fact, this past Saturday, Olivino collaborated with Jeffrey's to offer a food sampling in the store.
Percy Morsby, who already is a restaurant regular, agrees. "They're friendly and they get to know you," he said.
Morsby knew Chef Francis when he was growing up and frequented his old restaurant when he was just a kid, but came across Jeffrey's by chance just from walking around the neighborhood.
"It gives us options for real food, to relax," he said. "It's a place to unwind and enjoy cool music with friendly people who are trying to help you."
Jeffrey's Steakhouse opened in mid-June. The store's grand opening is planned tentatively for some time in the Fall.