Owners: Romeo Regalli and Milka Regalli
Founded in: March 7, 2020
Based in: Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Ras Plant Based, an Ethiopian eatery in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, is adding a little spice to a strange year.
Co-owners and foodie couple Romeo and Milka Regalli opened up shop in early March after working on the concept of the organic, plant-based restaurant for several years.
In fact, many of the farm-to-table recipes that Romeo Regalli, who is also the head chef, uses in his Brooklyn kitchen have been passed down through generations. Diners can enjoy a mercato platter, revel in a flaky pastry shell sambusa and delight in a Mama's Tofu entree.
Spices used in their daily recipes, he said, are actually sent to the states from family still based in Ethiopia.
Romeo, who was trained by Milka when he first got started in the dining industry years ago, said that the grand opening of his own space was a true labor of love.
“For three nights, we were in the kitchen until 4-5 a.m. But the grand opening was a success. It was so busy, there was a line out the door — no matter how tired we were, we definitely felt satisfied and were so gratified by how we did,” Romeo Regalli said.
Now, the regal establishment is housed at 739 Franklin Avenue.
“We felt that there would be a connection between the type of food we were serving, the way we would be serving it, and the Crown Heights audience,” Milka Regalli said.
In their own Ethiopian culture, Ras is a typically a title given to a chief or prince, and is a word symbolic with deep respect and honor.
For the Regalli pair, it’s also an interpretation of recipes handed down through generations, and their goal to create the perfect blend of modern ambiance and traditional dining.
Today, restaurant currently offers outdoor dining and boasts almost 60 five-star reviews on Yelp, with many citing the beautiful decor, nourishing food and impeccable service.
Despite themselves having to temporarily close a mere week after opening, the Ethiopian pair isn't letting the setback slow them down.
They leave this message of hope with their Brooklyn community: