When Comodo opened in 2011, husband-and-wife team Felipe Donnelly and Tamy Rofe brought the Latin American sobremesa to New York and perfected the dinner party. At Colonia Verde, the couple’s recently launched Brooklyn restaurant, they transport you to a Colombian farmhouse for a weekend asado, down to the fireplace and ruana blankets that are casually draped at each table.
Comodo was only a few months old when they came across an empty storefront in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene. The couple had been spending a lot time exploring the area’s shops, cafés, and flea markets and knew it would be the perfect space for a restaurant. With no indication of who it belonged to or if it was even for rent, Donnelly tracked down the owners. “It’s a tight knit community and they wanted to make sure of our intent, know why we were there, and what we were going to bring to the neighborhood,” said Rofe.
They must have liked what they heard. With the help of Fort Greene resident and designer Matthew Maddy, the couple transformed Colonia Verde into a rustic counterpart to Soho’s Comodo, complete with an open kitchen, salvaged brick floors, copper fitted bar, and a light drenched greenhouse.
“Fort Greene is this very special mix of people, and demographics, different ages, different races, different cultures, all sort of colliding in one neighborhood and I always found that very interesting,”said Rofe.
When Donnelley and chef de cuisine Carolina Santos-Neves develop their menus, they pull inspiration from childhoods spent in Spain, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Switzerland, Canada, Russia, and Portugal. Donnelly and Santos-Neves briefly crossed paths as teenagers in Mexico City then reconnected again when she joined Rolfe and Donnelly at the weekly Tribeca dinner parties, featured on their Worth Kitchen blog.
“If you meet [Tamy and Felipe] you love them and love their dinners,” Santos-Neves aid.
Next, what's on the menu at Colonia Verde...