Formerly an antiques store and a book shop, its interior is now paneled in reclaimed wood and locally milled cherry. The centerpiece is a long zinc bar built by Brooklyn's Aleksey Kravchuc from Works Manufacturing.
An ever-expanding circle of vegetable and livestock farmers, cheesemakers, and foragers have helped build the Whale's reputation as a legitimate farm to table restaurant. Chef Steve Browning cultivated a butchery and charcuterie program that continues to produce coppa, dry aged grass fed steaks, bacon and numerous other products from whole animals.
Mark and Bettina
Born in Yorkshire England but having grown up in Zambia, Mark had already traveled thousands of miles by the time he moved to New York in September 1994 (from Florence, Italy where he had gone to watch the World Cup in 1990 and stayed for four years). His first job in NYC was at The Odeon in Tribeca, and he soon found living space in a rented loft in Williamsburg. By 1998 he and his roommate/business partner Andrew Tarlow had secured the lease to an old diner on Broadway and Berry and convinced talented chef Caroline Fidanza to sign on to the project which became Diner. Many years of fun followed, resulting in more restaurants (Bonita, Marlow & Sons) and a family. Mark and his wife Bettina eventually came across a small farm in the Berkshires and by 2010 decided to give up the city life to experience country living, raising pigs, sheep and chickens. Mark commuted a while longer before deciding to sell his share of the Brooklyn businesses to his partner. It did not take long for Mark's love of "restaurateuring" to kick in, and Prairie Whale opened its doors on October 17 2012.
Chef Stephen Browning
After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Stephen moved to NYC where he immersed himself for several years in work at fine dining establishments such as Lutece, 21 Club, and Bayards. He eventually decided to leave fine dining and focus more on sustainable cooking at neighborhood restaurants in Brooklyn such as Flatbush Farm, and eventually at Diner and Marlow & Sons, where his work partnership with Mark began and his commitment to sustainable practices and conscious sourcing continues at the Prairie Whale.