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Shelsky's Smoked Fish Brings the Lower East Side to Smith Street

The store will feature owner Pete Shelsky's favorite foods from his former life living over the bridge.

Locals with a hankering for herring and lox on their weekend bagels are in luck: Shelsky’s Smoked Fish is coming to Smith Street.

Proprietor and namesake Peter Shelsky, who also runs Pete’s Eats, which provides in-home cooking lessons and instructional cooking parties, says he wanted to bring the taste of Lower Manhattan to Brooklyn.

He hopes to open Shelsky’s Smoked Fish within the next month.

Calling it “a Brooklyn nod to a traditional Lower East Side smoked fish place,” Shelsky says his store will feature smoked salmon, house-pickled herring, house-cured herring, bagels, bialys and rugelach.

“All those goodies that will make you not have to schlep over the bridge," he says.

Shelsky is also trying to put a new spin on some traditional foods.

“I’m playing with traditional rugelach flavors and will do new ones as well,” he says.

In keeping with trends, he's also taking a cue from the Brooklyn DIY food movement.

“I’m doing as much curing as I can," he said.

Shelsky's is opening on a block of Smith Street that has , but has been picking up steam of late. on the stretch.

Shelsky has worked at Café Sabarsky and Eleven Madison Park and he trained at the Institute of Culinary Education. Born and raised in Manhattan, Shelsky moved to Brooklyn ten years ago.

“It’s a food I grew up eating, it’s something that’s a comfort food for me,” he says. “But more so than that, I really just got sick of having to go into the city whenever I wanted my fix…and I spoke to people in the neighborhood and they all sort of felt the same way.”

Indeed, residents are excited for the arrival of smoked fish.

"There's nothing like it in the neighborhood," says resident Thomas Batson, adding that "anything more specialty-oriented will do well around here." 

jane borock April 27, 2011 at 03:43 PM
I'll never forget my Brooklyn-born father's lack of excitement when I told him that I was moving from lower Manhattan to Brooklyn. Growing up hearing stories about our family Bakery, stick ball games, and other Brooklyn-esqe tales, I was anticipating a level of enthusiasm one is privy to when 'returning to your roots'. One American Apparel and a handful of overpriced cocktail bars later, I now understand why. With pickled herring, lox, and whitefish salad (?!) coming to Smith Street, I have the feeling my family will be coming to Brooklyn a whole lot more.
CARMEN April 27, 2011 at 06:24 PM
what ever brings business to the neighborhood is a good thing. I wish them great success.
Shana Silverman April 27, 2011 at 09:13 PM
Awesome! I usually get my smoked fish from the bagel shops but it's so disappointing! Pete did a class for my friends and me one night and I'll tell you, he's a really great chef. No doubt this will be UH-MAZING! Just what this neighborhood needs.
Molly Culver April 28, 2011 at 02:34 AM
Nice!!
Pat Kral April 28, 2011 at 01:51 PM
The Best!! I hope he carries smoked white fish, not just the salad... A real classic often missing.
linda bermingham April 28, 2011 at 02:02 PM
I also grew up in Lower Manhattan. Since the Lower East Side has become so trendy and so many of the good old businesses have been closed, it seems fitting that this business should come here. Brooklyn is the "realest" New York there is! Good luck to them. Linda

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