In this week’s review, Times critic Pete Wells highlights Village Cafe — a restaurant in the back of a tiny Midwood parking lot with hearty Azerbaijani dishes that stand out among similar dining spots in the area.
In the two-star review, Wells commends several of the restaurant’s dishes from the qutab; a flatbread stuffed with minced chicken, lamb, or greens; to the kufta-bozbash soup, a lamb broth containing chickpeas and a single lamb-rice meatball.
Located at 1968 Coney Island Ave., the outpost serves oversized food platters seemingly “intended to feed an actual village,” Wells says. He names several items on the menu, placing special emphasis on the kebabs. He writes:
The quail may be a bit wizened. The grilled testicles with a hint of lemon in their lightly browned surfaces will always be a niche proposition. But the lamb ribs, the marinated lamb chops known as chalahac and the flatbread-wrapped Azerbaijani version of kofte called lulya kebabs (made from chicken or lamb) are extremely good. The vegetable skewer choices begin and end with blistered tomatoes and softly collapsing eggplant. Both are worthwhile.
Also on his list of must-eats are the crimped dumplings filled with chicken or lamb, which come boiled or fried, and he also recommends the guru hingal, a noodle dish served in a sauce of onions and crispy, fried ground lamb that has to be ordered the day before. Two stars.