NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Wales native Illtyd Barrett opened Sunken Hundred “to introduce the locals to a bit of Welsh fun, a bit of Welsh food, a bit of Welsh drink.”
“We’re the first proper Welsh restaurant, I should think, in America,” he said.
CBS2’s Elle McLogan visited the Carroll Gardens gastropub, which is named for the mythical underwater kingdom said to lie in Cardigan Bay, to the west of Wales.
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At Sunken Hundred, Welsh lore comes to life in its collection of folk tales on the bookshelf to the ‘Lost at Sea’ cocktail, which glows neon like a magic potion. The recipe itself quite literally came to Barrett in a dream.
“I dream quite vividly about food and drink, anyway, and then, one night, I had this dream about this cocktail. I woke up, and I wrote it down. I knew the measurements, and that was it.”
Barrett is eager to share the history and culture of his homeland. “We’re a nation of longing romantics. The whole history of Wales is imbued with myth and tradition. There’s a lot of legends to do with dragons and mystical figures and fairies and the underworld, and I think the landscape and the seascape complement those myths.”
In his view, Wales is “the best country in the UK” and sorely underrepresented in New York.
He strives to boost its profile with his menu, an introduction to ingredients beloved in West Wales — above all, seaweed, which is at turns pickled, deep-fried, and blended into mustard at Sunken Hundred.
“More than anything, I want people to come in and enjoy themselves and enjoy the food and drink, and if they go away curious about what Wales is, that’s a bonus,” he said. “We have a lot to offer.”
276 Smith Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231
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