The co-founder of what might just be “the best Chinese restaurant in Brooklyn” is setting up shop in the East Village. Ben Pope, former executive chef at 2 Duck Goose in Gowanus, has signed a 15-year lease at 165 Avenue B, per an announcement from broker Eastern Consolidated.
Pope, a former East Villager, plans to open Sum, a restaurant serving “modern and traditional Cantonese cuisine.” The name means “heart” in Cantonese and captures “how he feels about the East Village community that remains close to his heart,” said Joe Robinson, one of the brokers who represented Pope in the deal. The space, between 10th and 11th Streets, includes a 700-square-foot back garden.
A working menu submitted to Community Board 3 teases exotic crossover dishes like tea-smoked branzino, pickled duck-leg tacos, cactus fried rice, and venison stir-fry.
The NY Mag listing for 2 Duck Goose notes that Pope was raised in Hong Kong by an American father and a Chinese mother whose cooking influenced some of the dishes at the Gowanus spot.