When chef brothers Max and Eli Sussman both became free agents recently — Max left the Cleveland team when the restaurant shuttered and Eli peeled off from Mile End — it was only reasonable to suspect that something was in the works. So when evidence of recipe testing started popping up yesterday on Instagram, Eater got in touch with the brothers, and learned that they are indeed working on a Middle Eastern/Mediterranean restaurant, which will open somewhere in Manhattan later this year. The project is "inspired by what we grew up eating in Michigan, where many Middle Eastern cultures blend together," explains Eli. The pair will test out some of their menu ideas during a residence at Gowanus brewery and pop-up spot Threes Brewing March 16-31. "We're looking at Threes as a cool test lab to see how customers react to the food," says Eli.
At Threes Brewing, expect chicken shwarma roasted on a spit, served with a tahini buttermilk dressing, schug (a Yemenite hot sauce), and a mint, cucumber, tomato, and red onion salad. There will also be freshly-made white and pumpernickel pita to dip into a bubblegum-pink beet hummus, where the pair has swapped out chickpeas for beets in a blend with tahini, garlic, lemon, and something Eli calls "secret spice." The residency will also offer a brunch menu, including shakshuka, cauliflower hash, and chicken shwarma hash made with potatoes and vegetables, topped with fried eggs. (A few brunch staples like pancakes and French toast will be available too). Everything but the pumpernickel pita, which Max served at The Cleveland is new, says Eli. Nothing from Eli's Middle Eastern menu at Mile End will carry over. The pair kept the pumpernickel because, as Eli puts it, "it's so damn good...I just want to eat it everyday."