I love all the humble, lesser-known (to some) food spots in Ridgewood that are this blog’s primary focus—places like Cracovia Deli, Parrot Coffee, all the pork stores and food carts, Fancy Fruit, Stanley’s Pierogi. I could go on, and of course there’s lots more favorites that we still need to write about. And yet, sometimes a new restaurant comes along and you just know that it’s destined to be a neighborhood institution—part of the food-fabric of our Ridgewood lives.
Ltauha is Ridgewood’s very first “New American” restaurant. It’s the kind of place we take for granted in other neighborhoods, where we can get modern comfort foods prepared with classic French techniques, quality ingredients, and thoughtful plating. Sometimes these places are fancy and expensive, but they don’t have to be.
But back to Ltauha (pronounced “El Toww Ha”—it’s the owner’s mother’s last name and a Nahuatl word spelled backwards): We noticed awhile back that Dominican roast-chicken restaurant El Valle had closed, and that a new restaurant was opening in its place, but since they kept the existing awning we kind of forgot about the whole thing until the other day when we saw a tip from Ridgewood Social that Ltauha had finally opened. And oh, we saw the menu. OH MY, THE MENU: Burgers, fresh-cut fries, steak, eggs benedict, mussels, pork belly, risotto. The possibility of these types of foods existing in Ridgewood made me gasp. Naturally, we visited the very next day.
My very first thought after seeing the burger was “Well, I guess I don’t have to leave Ridgewood anymore (or a lot less, anyway).” As a noted burger-lover, I will travel as far and as often as necessary to get my fix. Burgers are a very high priority and life-requirement for me. Thankfully, now I only have to travel a few blocks to the other side of Ridgewood Remembrace Triangle. Ltauha’s burger (pictured above) is great, which is no surprise since one of the owners, Ramon, used to work at DuMont and Dressler (RIP, sadly), and another owner worked at LES hotspot The Stanton Social. My burger was cooked to medium-rare perfection and served with basically DuMont’s exact fries, white cheddar cheese, and Ltauha’s own house-made pickles. I will probably be eating this burger once a week for the foreseeable future.
We also ordered the fried calamari appetizer, which we enjoyed. Ltauha’s version comes with plenty of legs (my fave), marinara sauce for dipping, and a crumb-like breading that reminded us of mozzarella sticks.
Finally, for dessert we shared complimentary chocolate souffle with pistachio ice cream. Yum! I’ll probably try a different dessert next time, though, as I’m not a huge pistachio ice cream person, but my dining parters devoured it.
Today, we couldn’t help going back to check out Ltauha’s brunch:
I’ve already calculated how much it would cost to eat at Ltauha every day for a week, in order to try everything on the menu that appeals to me (i.e. most of it). I’ll justify it somehow; luckily their prices are extremely reasonable considering the quality of food, so I may just have to call this RIDGEFOOD LTAUHA WEEK and document all my meals here. I like the fact that the owners clearly have upscale-restaurant pedigree but have made their restaurant accessible to everyone in our modest Queens neighborhood. We can all appreciate the dark-wood interiors, long bar and ample seating, and beer & wine to come. Plus, they’re open till midnight every Friday & Saturday! It’s really too good to be true.
Open daily for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch.