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Entries in Food (718)

Wednesday
May202015

Closed for Business: Yogurtland, 207 Seventh Avenue

Yogurtland, the chain fro-yo shop that opened in December 2012 on the prime corner of Seventh Avenue and Third Street, has closed. Thanks to a tipster for sending the bottom photo, of the sign posted by management announcing that yesterday was their last day in business.

This intersection has changed quite a bit since Yogurtland, which replaced the long-running restaurant Sette, first opened. The unfortunate Cheeburger Cheeburger has closed and been replaced by the more upscale Burger Village; the middling pan-Latin restaurant Casa Ventura has closed and been replaced by Sushi Katsuei, which is arguably one of the best sushi spots in the borough; and Ocean Fish Market is being replaced by the much-lauded Blue Bottle Coffee.

If you're still in the still in the mood for frozen yogurt in the area, may I suggest you walk down the hill a couple blocks to Culture, which makes all their yogurt in-house and is among the best you'll ever try. Or if you're feeling lazy there's a Pinkberry two and a half blocks to the north, which may have had something to do with this closure.

Tuesday
May192015

Brooklyn Burgers & Beer Coming to AOC Bistro Space on Fifth

While walking down Fifth Avenue during their annual Fabulous Fifth Avenue Fair this past weekend, I noticed that temporary signage has gone up on the scaffolding around the under-renovation 259 Fifth Avenue, on the corner of Garfield Place (previously home to AOC Bistro). Called Brooklyn Burgers & Beer, the restaurant's focus will be "crazy good burgers and craft beer."

According to their Facebook page and a Craigslist listing, they're currently hiring and hope to be open by early June. A floorplan reveals that the restaurant will seat 32 at 12 tables and six more at the bar, and there will be outdoor seating as well. The decor is heavy on reclaimed wood and subway tile, and overall it looks like a pretty homey spot.

Just when you throught the Park Slope Burger Boom was over, here comes one more entrant, right in the heart of burger and beer central. Bonnie's Grill, which serves some of the best burgers in Brooklyn, is a block away, as is Pork Slope, which serves mighty good burgers as well as a great selection of craft beer (Good beer can be found right next door at High Dive as well, and Beauty Bar). Slightly further afield, Burger Bistro, 200 Fifth, and Stone Park all serve quality burgers, and that's just Fifth Avenue. Needless to say, the market for both burgers and beer in Park Slope is certainly saturated, so these guys' product must be spectacular, with a clear differentiation from the competition.

Friday
May012015

Shamisen Closes on Fifth Avenue, Tofu on Fifth Moving In

 

Shamisen, the Pan-Asian restaurant on the corner of Fifth and Fifth, has closed, and is in the process of being turned into an authentic Szechuan restaurant that also serves Japanese food.

According to the small print on the awning, the name of the restaurant will be Tofu on Fifth, which would seem to indicate that it'll be a second location of Tofu on Seventh, the very good Szechuan restaurant on Seventh near Fourth Street. But while an employee I spoke to at Tofu on Seventh knew that this restaurant was opening, she also said that it will have "a different owner," apparently one who's decided to also serve Japanese food.

The tipster who sent the above photo also told me that a "Closed for Renovation" sign was posted in the window, so the odds of the "new" owner being the same as Shamisen's seem pretty high. Shamisen was never able to pull in crowds, even after launching an all-you-can-eat-and-drink sushi, Chinese food, beer, and sake promotion a few months ago. Its menu was primarily Japanese, but there were also Chinese, Thai, and Malaysian dishes on the menu as well.

It's still a bit confusing as to what the ownership situation is, but if the Szechuan food here is as good as it is up on Seventh, the then that's a very good thing.

UPDATE: Thanks to a commenter for pointing out that Tofu on Seventh is in fact closing and moving into this location, not opening a second location here.

Wednesday
Apr292015

Japanese Restaurant Wasan Coming to Melt/ Rare Earth Space 

The space that had been home to Melt for 10 years before closing and being replaced by the short lived Rare Earth, on Bergen Street near Fifth Avenue, will next be home to the second location of the Michelin-recommended Japanese restaurant Wasan, Commercial Observer reported.

The original Wasan, located on West Fourth Street since 2010, focuses on showcasing local and seasonal ingredients, with a menu that changes regularly. The menu is different from what you might expect from your standard Japanese spot, and is much more homsetyle and authentic Japanese: both red and white miso soups are made to order, appetizers include house-pickled vegetables, chawan mushi, smoked monkfish liver, crispy soba shrimp tempura, and wagyu beef tartare; entrees include lava stone-grilled sirloin, barbecued eel, chirashi, and several rice bowls; there's a five-course chef's tasting menu, and (yes!) late-night ramen.

No word on how much of this menu will be replicated here, but it's promising to say the least; There's no reason for them to change anything up, especially considering the fact that it's Michelin-recommended. For folks who have been craving a restaurant like this since Kappa Sake House closed in 2011, this appears to be well worth the wait.

Tuesday
Apr142015

Hugo & Sons Restaurant Coming to 367 Seventh Avenue

The storefront at 367 Seventh Avenue, on the northeast corner of Eleventh Street, has been vacant for years. But like several of the other long-vacant storefronts on Seventh in the past several months its been rented, and the new occupant, an Italian restaurant called Hugo & Sons, is moving in.

The sidewalk shed is down, and the new facade keeps many of the existing architectural details (including some great tilework down by the sidewalk) while adding some new ones, like lettering at the top.

Judging by a preliminary menu posted online (the owner told South Slope News that the pricing is subject to change), this looks like it's going to be a more or less classic "red sauce" Italian joint, but elevated. Appetizers will include Sicilian meatballs and crispy artichokes; Eight pizzas will be available including the Mina (tomato, mozzarella, prosciutto, parmesan, and greens), Fiamma (tomato, mozzarella, sopressata, jalapeno, and pesto), and the Mara (crab, shrimp, gremolata, parmesan, and mizzarella); Pastas will include strozzapreti Genovese (with braised brisket and ricotta), crab linguine, a maccheroni "dome" (wiht meatballs, ham, tomato, and bechamel, wrapped in puff pastry), pappardelle with italian sausage and fennel, and baked gnocchi with tomato and mozzarella; Secondi include chicken Milanese, garlic shrimp, and pork braciole rolled with bread crumbs, pine nuts, raisins, parsley, parm, and hard cooked egg.There's also a children's menu and a brunch menu that's definitely worth checking out.

Considering the care given to the buildout, menu design, and skill that will be required to execute this menu, the odds of this being an opening worth looking forward to are pretty high. While there's no shortage of old-school Italian in the neighborhood, this could potentially rise above them if, for example, the pastas are made fresh, the pizzas are executed properly, and high-quality ingredients are used. For now, though, all signs point to this being a winner.

Photo via South Slope News