A new restaurant and lounge has moved in next to the Aladdin Theater in Brooklyn, in the former space of Paola's Restaurant. The restaurant was purchased by Mark Adler on February 1st--Adler also owns the Aladdin--and he has reopened it as 'The Lamp'. General Manager Tom Sessa, who helped convert the restaurant to its current style,
is still finalizing the menu and beer selections.
'Our main crowds so far have been during the dinner rush, before and after shows,' says Sessa, 'but in mid-May we also expanded to include lunches. Most customers will be happy to learn that this is a non-smoking establishment, although people can smoke outdoors, and in our video poker area.' The Lamp is located at 3023 S.E. Milwaukie Avenue.
Sessa and Scott Van Schoick are co-managers of both the theater and the restaurant, and together they have over 25 years experience. 'The Lamp' is open 7 days a week, 11 am until 2 am. It has a capacity of 50 people: 38 diners,and 12 at the bar, and it also accepts orders to go. 'Everything here is fresh made, including the pizza,' says Sessa. 'We run specials all the time, but we're best known for five main dishes.'
The Lamp's grill is manned by cook Joe Tesch, who explains for THE BEE what those main dishes are: 'We're best known for our Smoked salmon fritters,' says Sessa. These melt-in-your mouth delicacies are made of smoked salmon, green onion, and potato, and served with sour cream.
'Our Spaghetti and meatballs and Black bean nachos are popular, and our 'Big Lamp'
burger is a pepper-bacon-mushroom cheeseburger. Our bartender, Wendy Bruder, loves the chicken fingers.
'Another favorite is our Catfish Po' Boy, which is a blackened catfish sandwich with jalapeno coleslaw and black eyed peas. We had Bo Diddley dining here not too long ago, and he tried out the catfish. When we asked him how he liked it, he told us: 'Bo Diddley knows catfish, and that was good catfish'.'
The Lamp welcomes neighbors and businesses to come try out their lunches. The variety of well-prepared entrees makes a good counterpoint to fast food. 'Our lunchtime runs from 11 am until 2:30 pm; then Happy Hour begins at 3pm,' says Sessa. 'We still have video poker and all the various lottery games from the previous establishment.'
Diners can sit by the window and watch the activity along Milwaukie Avenue, the thriving gateway to the historic Brooklyn neighborhood.
The Lamp's telephone number is 503/234-7000.