(This venue is closed.) Even if I could set up two banquet tables side by side (which Dushanbe might do when they open up the dance floor), I'd have a tough time distinguishing the Tajik food at Dushanbe from the Uzbek food at a half-dozen other restaurants. Sue and I did our best to cover one table (to the amusement of our waitress), beginning with "national bread" ($2) — a hefty disk that was soft at the rim, firmer and speckled with seeds at the center. A Crimean-style cheburecke ($1.50) was a large, airy half-moon pastry, a little greasy, concealing a much smaller lozenge of moist, almost wet meat of some sort. Achik-chuk ($6.95) was a healthy serving of spicy tomato and onion salad. Best among the starters were the Uzbek mantu ($1.50), a pair of homemade baseball-size dumplings with an almost delicate center — "lamb-y," said Sue.
As for kebabs, lamb ($3.50) and chicken with bones ($3.50) had a nice, grilled taste; lamb fat ($2) was very salty but utterly delectable. Out waitress also suggested an order of tkemali sauce ($1.50), a thin, sweet-and-tangy, tomato-based sauce with dill, scallions, and perhaps onions; wonderful with the lamb and chicken (but don't put anything on my lamb fat).
Only misstep: "Russian-style" lemonade ($1.75), a corn-syrupy drink that arrived in a bottle labeled both with Cyrillic characters and the word "guarana."
1915 Coney Island Ave. (Aves. O-P), Brooklyn