|Some people don't have time to cook. Others don't like to cook. Still
others don't know how to cook. For all these people, Robert Tuller's
eponymous food emporium at 199 Court St. is a lifesaver.
Tuller's Premium Food features a full kitchen that turns out
rotisserie chickens, lamb, duck, turkey and pork. Vegetables are
steamed and cooked with herbs and olive oil — "classic preparations
that don't impede flavor," says Tuller. His most popular vegetable
dish is French green beans. Sometimes vegetables take the form of
gourmet salads such as beet, lentil and bean salad.
For those who do enjoy time in the kitchen, Tuller also sells
specialty items from Europe — anchovies from Spain; Illy coffee
from Trieste, Italy; estate olive oil from France, Italy and Spain; and
Arborio rice, a single farm product from Italy that produces the
Cheeses are imported and domestic. They are either artisan (from a
few producers) or farmhouse (from a single producer).
Tuller also carries products from local vendors. Fresh bread comes
from Pain d'Avignon in Long Island City. French pastries are made
by Tuller's friend and former classmate who owns Goupil &
Decarlo. Chocolates are provided by Tuller's "wonderful friend and
fellow-Brooklynite," Jacques Torres, who has a factory in DUMBO.
It was back in 1996 that Tuller decided to give up the job he was
"not especially interested in" on Wall Street and enroll at the French
Culinary Institute in Manhattan. Six months ago he opened his
gourmet store on Court Street, choosing Brooklyn over Manhattan
because he believed the location provided a "great opportunity,"
superior to "overdone" Manhattan locations.
Today he's happy he's part of the Brooklyn restaurant renaissance
happening on Court Street. And so are his many loyal customers.
Tuller's, between Bergen and Wykoff streets, accepts American
Express, Visa. MasterCard and Discover, and is open seven days a
week, Monday through Saturday 10 am to 8 pm and Sunday 10 am
to 6 pm. For more information, call (718) 222-9933.
— Paulanne Simmons
|By Trudy Whitman
Robert Tuller considers Court Street a "market street" — a
destination for serious foodies who are after the freshest and widest
variety of produce, meats and fish. On September 29, he opened his
own shop on Court to complement, he says, the existing
establishments. And judging by the neighborhood reaction to the
eponymous food boutique — the shop is called simply Tuller —
the store was a vacuum waiting to be filled.
Robert Tuller, who lives on Carroll Street with his wife, is a
classically trained French chef. His friends, many of whom he met
at the French Culinary Institute where he studied, served as both
advisors and providers as he set out on his mission to "forage and
find" the best food products from all over the world. At Tuller one
discovers everything from imported olives to Pascal Goupil's
gorgeous French pastries. There are prepared foods such as organic,
air-aged rotisserie chicken; leg of lamb; roast pork; grilled fennel; and
grilled asparagus; as well as an array of dried pastas for those who
enjoy fixing their own meals.
Tuller is a small shop, where, last Saturday, patrons were jockeying
good-naturedly for elbow room, but as one's eye roams the shelves,
surprises crop up continually. Gourmet ice cream from Spain? Yes,
that's right, and with flavors such as "Balsamic Vinegar with
Raspberries" that make "Cherry Garcia" sound mundane. This stuff
is costly, but the proprietor emphasizes that, in general, the prices
at Tuller allow customers to shop for "every day as well as special
I've saved the cheeses for last because, with 112 varieties, they
almost defy description. The well-educated staff members at
Tuller bring a new, decidedly non-gridiron, meaning to the word
cheesehead as they discuss their domestic and imported wares.
They were disappointed that I couldn't taste test a particular
favorite, but, alas, the Roquefort Carles, as well as the grilled fennel
had just "flown out of the store" that day.
Tuller is at 199 Court Street (718 222-9933) in Cobble Hill.