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Entries in Coming Soon (358)

Saturday
Jan042014

New Taqueria from Palo Santo Owner Coming to Union Street

A new taqueria from Palo Santo owner Jacques Gautier is slated to open by the end of the month in the space on Union Street just east of Fourth Avenue that was most recently home to Fort Reno. All tortillas will be made to order, and a rotating roster of about a dozen tacos will be available at all times, along with a wide selection of tequila and mezcal.

The still-unnamed taqueria was inspired by the success of the tacos served at Palo Santo, and will draw inspiration from the tacos in Central Mexico, Southern California, and Texas. Rotating $3 tacos will include pork, chorizo, chicken, duck mole, mushroom, cactus, Baja-style fish tacos, fried avocado, grilled fish, and pork surtido, made with offal and other uncomon cuts (they'll be breaking down whole pigs and going with a snout-to-tail approach), and the most expensive offering will be a $5 lobster taco. Rice and beans and other masa-based specialties like quesadillas, sopes, and huaraches will also be on offer. They'll also be delivering.

"We want this to be a tortilleria as much as a taqueria," Gautier told me. "Lots of taquerias in Southern California make their tortillas to order, and we're designing the kitchen around making tortillas."

Gautier will serve as executive chef; the chef de cuisine will be Puebla native Alejandro Bonilla, who's been the sous chef at Palo Santo for a few years and has also spent time at Applewood and Yardbird in Miami. Heading up the bar will be Corey Lange, who's been bartending locally for years and was last at High Dive on Fifth. He's building a cocktail list that revolves around mezcal.

Two year-old Fort Reno closed for the holidays and won't be re-opening, and its replacement will be open by early February at the latest. They're on the hunt for a name; if you have any suggestions you can let them know by emailing palosantopr@gmail.com.

Photo via brooklynexposed.com

Friday
Dec132013

Buttermilk Bakeshop Coming to 339 7th Avenue

A new bakery is in the works at 339 7th Avenue, in the space between 9th and 10th Streets that was last occupied by a Tasti D-Lite, and it sounds like it's going to be a good one.

Buttermilk Bakeshop will be run by owner/pastry chef Katie Rosenhouse, a French Culinary Institute graduate who's logged hours at restaurants including Le Cirque, Bouley, Country, The Russian Tea Room, Olana, and the David Burke restaurant group. She competed in two episodes of Food Network's Chopped (including the very first one), won $10,000 on the network's Sweet Genius (for which she was later hired as a culinary consultant), and has taught cooking classes for the past couple years.

When the small bakery opens in February, she'll be selling cakes (cranberry carrot cake will be a specialty), cookies, chocolate truffles, six rotating varieties of homemade ice cream, whoopie pies, French macarons, madeleines, rugelach, caramels, and more. Coffee and seasonal drinks including hot chocolate and hot cider will also be available. Baking will be done throughout the day, and a couple months after opening she'll begin selling breakfast pastries and savory items. Because the space is so small and has an open kitchen, it'll be grab-and-go with not much in the way of seating.

There are very few types of businesses that are always welcome, but a bakery selling scratch-made classics made by a professional pastry chef is one of them. I'll be looking forward to February.

Thursday
Dec122013

Eyeglass Shop Coming to Primo Atto Space

The restaurant Primo Atto, on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Fourth Street, sat empty for about 3 1/2 years before being finally rented back in July. Many thanks to reader David for sending in the tip that the long-awaited tenant will be... an eyeglass store, called Park Optics.

Park Slope Stoop snapped a photo (above) of the sidewalk shed, and it looks like the facade is being entirely rebuilt (my money is on a lot more glass).

Not exactly sure we need another eyeglass shop, and something a whole lot more exciting could have moved into the space, but hey, they can't all be Culture.

Tuesday
Dec102013

Artisanal Maple Syrup Shop Coming to Fifth Avenue

A little bit of Vermont is apparently on its way to Fifth Avenue, as a new "Vermont maple farm store" called Black Bear Sugarworks is coming to 374 Fifth Avenue (between Fifth and Sixth Streets), in the space last occupied by the Fendenkrais Center.

Essentially an artisanal maple syrup shop, they'll sell a couple different grades of syrup tapped and produced on their 258-acre farm up in the Green Mountains, as well as some other Vermont specialties.

The company has an interesting backstory: in 2005, Mark Hastings, an entrepreneur who founded and ran a high-tech Boston-based company before selling it off, bought a farm that had been producing syrup for a century. There are 140 acres of sugar maples and 8,500 taps on the property.

In a comment on Park Slope Stoop, Hastings says that the shop will open soon and sell maple syrup, maple sugar, maple cream, and possibly maple candy. Then they'll close up until the spring (interesting), when they'll add chili cheese dogs, old fashioned cream sodas, milkshakes, lemonade, and Maple Creemees (maple soft serve) to the menu.

Since 2009, Hastings has run a farm stand up in Battleboro, VT that sells all of the above, and it's proven to be a big hit. There was also an aborted plan to open a duplicate in Fort Greene, but this is certainly an upgrade.

The chili cheese dogs sound intriguing, and seem to have legions of fans up north: the pork and grass-fed beef franks are made by Vermont-based Black Watch Farm, as is the beef in the syrup-sweetened chili, and the cheese is cheddar from Cabot or Grafton Village. It's served in a traditional bun, and looks quite tasty.

It sounds like a risky endeavor, but Hastings sounds like he can afford it, and must have had this business model in mind when he started the company. There's certainly been a recent spate of shops opening that specialize in one type of food, made as artisanally as possible (see Empire Mayo), and just about everyone likes maple syrup in one form or another. But does that mean that a shop specializing in it can succeed here? Those hot dogs and creemees certainly sound pretty good.

Tuesday
Dec032013

Grand Central Oyster Bar Revealed

The sidewalk shed has come down from the newest location of Grand Central Oyster Bar, which will be opening soon in the space that was last occupied by Fornino on Fifth between Garfield and Carroll, and we're getting our first glimpse at the inside and outside of the restaurant. it looks pretty good!

The exterior of the triple-storefront space mimics the original location with both its cream-colored tiles (meant to evoke the Gustavino tiling) and arches. A look inside the front windows reveals that the northernmost storefront has a new raw bar and two counters, one facing an open kitchen. All the way up front will be a fish market, specializing in high-quality seafood and, of course, oysters.

The bar room still thankfully retains the marble bar and back bar from Fornino, and has a "lounge" in the back. A Happy Hour is in the works, and there will be 10 beers on tap and an extensive wine list.

And the main dining room looks just about complete, with seating for about 50 to 60 and a large arch in the wall. That antique chandelier you see used to hang in the Grand Central location; it was removed after a 1997 fire and the landmarks Commission didn't let them re-install it. It's also separated from the bar room by an old fire door, which can be closed for private parties.

The anticipated opening date was December 1, so we can expect for the doors to open any day now.