Karlof: Russian Cuisine With An American Twist

I’ve always considered myself a meat and potato type of girl. I never thought I would enjoy a restaurant that served natural, vegan; grass fed, organic, vegetarian, gluten free dishes until last week.



Anchored in the heart of Cobble Hill, with a flair for flavor, is a Russian restaurant with ambiance and pizazz. Karloff has been a staple on Court Street for five years. Owner Olga Potap opened the establishment after living in Brooklyn Heights; she was familiar with the area. She had been looking for a location in Manhattan but stumbled across this hidden gem and opened as a café in 2010.

The vibe was different when she first opened; it’s hard not to adapt to the up and coming trends in Brooklyn. Today the tin ceilings, staunch wood furniture and dim lighting set the stage for a romantic yet posh dining experience. Olga says, “Everyone in the neighborhood comes here to eat. We are kid friendly as well, so a lot of young families from Tribeca come here.  Many well known writers and artists come here too.”

With a tempting brunch menu consisting of eggs, burgers with bacon or roasted red peppers aioli and some enticing VARENIKIS, you can still stick to your meal plan.  The tofu and buckwheat kasha is out of this world; you will have a hard time deciding what to eat! Dinner has distinctive starters and shares entrée choices and zesty tasting platter for under $26.00. Come for a late night cup of coffee and let your taste buds have some foreplay with one of their heavenly desserts like ponchiki, cheese blintzes or affogato. Whatever the menu item, you will not be disappointed.

Let’s Segway to the bar – Karloff is known for their vodka. Olga loves to infuse savory, unforgettable spirits, which accentuate the bar and the clientele.  With walnut, beet, cucumber and coffee flavored infused vodka drinks, you don’t have to twist my arm to come here again.



The menu is made up of grandma’s old school recipe. The kale salad and potato latkes were my favorite. I ate an entire plate of latkes with sour cream and did not feel guilty. “The beef is grass fed. We work with a lot of farmers and have many natural ingredients. The restaurant fits 57 people sitting comfortable and 75 people when standing.” Olga knows the entire menu and how to run the restaurant. She is there six days per week, talk about a hot female entrepreneur! The restaurant also caters any occasion and delivers in the local area.

Karloff has a big screen television on for the Super Bowl and other hyped up sports events. If you are having an event, hosting a charity dinner or having a book signing, this is the place to be.

You can find Karloff in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn, located at 254 Court Street.



By Alysia Stern

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