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Entries in Food (709)

Thursday
Nov202014

Aperitivo Closes, Henri on Fifth Moving In

Some dramatic restaurant news from Fifth Avenue to report: Aperitivo, the Italian restaurant on the corner of First Street, closed down suddenly yesterday, and a new restaurant, with a new owner, will be opening there within a month.

Aperitivo was opened seven years ago by the same owners as Sotto Voce up on Seventh Avenue, and according to a note on the Facebook page they’re closing this down to focus exclusively on that. The bottomless brunch and events like clam bakes will be carrying over to Sotto Voce, and the owners “will also meld many of your favorite dishes and wines with a revamped menu, wine program and expanded bar.”

So what’s in store for the space? Real estate agent Jeffrey Kesler put me in touch with new owner Binh Douglas, who has more than 20 years of hospitality industry experience and has managed bars, restaurants, and clubs in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York, and will be running the restaurant with his wife Lauren.

“I’m half Vietnamese, a quarter Native American, and a quarter black, and my wife has a French background, so we decided to name the restaurant after our newborn son, Henri, and the menu is an amalgam of his heritage,” Douglas told me when reached by phone. The seasonally-changing menu will be comprised entirely of small plates intended for sharing, with influences ranging from French to German to Asian. Several types of grilled cheese will be available (Le Classique, melted gruyere and caramelized shallots on garlic bread toast with sherry thyme "au jus," sounds pretty good), as well as salads, sliders, salads, and other shared plates like Vietnamese summer rolls, banh mi tacos, and fresh pretzels with fondue dipping sauce. 

The menu seems fun and not too complicated, and with a couple TVs, an expanded bar program, and board games like Jenga and Connect 4 available, it’s intended to be a low-key and reasonably priced place for locals to hang out and share some food. Cocktails will average $9-11, beers will range from $5 to $8, and dishes will average around $6-9.

If all goes to plan, Henri on Fifth should be open by Mid-December.

Thursday
Nov132014

Hungry Ghost Opens New Location in Prospect Perk Space

Hungry Ghost, one of the most popular and well-respected coffee shops in the area, has opened a new location a couple blocks further up Flatbush Avenue, in the space last occupied by Prospect Perk just off the avenue on Sterling Place.

While it may seem like Prospect Perk closed and Hungry Ghost moved in, in fact it's more of a rebranding, as both cafes have the same owner, Murat Uyaroglu. Hungry Ghost currently has three additional locations: on Flatbush and Sixth (the two year-old flagship), in Fort Greene, and in the BRIC Arts Media House.

The small space has gotten a remodel and gray paint job to match the other locations, and the menu matches to boot. There's a nice selection of pastries and baked goods made at the Flatbush Ave. location's production kitchen, as well as coffee from Stumptown, sandwiches including egg salad and tarragon chicken salad, and panini filled with things like roasted mushrooms, smoked mozarella, spinach, and sundried tomatoes; chicken, fontina, arugula, and pesto mayo; and ham, brie, and mango chutney. Hale & Hearty soups are also available.

The space is small and there are only a handful of seats, and while it's not as charming and cozy as Prospect Perk, both the coffee and food offerings are upgrades.

Tuesday
Nov042014

Open for Business: Nuteria, 82 5th Avenue

The business originally known as Nutelleria, which has been in the works for the past couple months on Fifth between St. Marks and Warren, opened last weekend with a new name: Nuteria.

It's a small shop with counter service and just a couple tables, and the decor is mostly exposed brick and jars of Nutella. The original signage has been taken down because of the name change, but another one is probably on the way. The name change certainly didn't come as any surprise; the owners were apparently the last ones to realize that it's not exactly legal to name a restaurant after a trademarked food product.

In keeping with the theme, just about every menu item contains Nutella in one form or another. Crepes, waffles, croissants, toast, panini, pound cake, and peanut butter sandwiches all come loaded with the Italian chocolate hazelnut spread, and add-ons include fruit, nuts, and Nutella whipped cream. If you like, they'll also sell you a spoonful right out of the jar for a buck. Coffee, espresso, and cappuccino are also for sale, as well as Nutella hot chocolate. There's no website or social media presence yet, and the one Yelp review wasn't exactly positive.

The legality of this place is still questionable, but for now it's a cute and unique to Brooklyn homage to an undoubtedly delicious and versatile product. Heck, any place that sells Nutella by the spoonful is all right in my book.

Tuesday
Oct282014

Chip Shop on the Market for $9,300/Month

Chip Shop, on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Sixth Street, is on the market for $9,300 per month. An "Available" sign has gone up in the front window, and an ad has gone up on Craigslist advertising the "Prime Park Slope Storefront."

"This great double wide corner space is in the heart of Park Slope right on 5th Ave," the ad, placed by Ideal Properties' Patrick Russell, reads. "The location cannot be beat and it is a great size as well. Call today to check it out." The rate is about average for the neighborhood these days.

Chip Shop has been a popular spot for those looking for something a little different since opening in 2001, and it's one of the few full-on British restaurants in the city. Their traditional British fare like fish and chips, shepherd's pie, and bangers and mash are undeniably tasty, and are also undeniably unhealthy, which certainly keeps plenty of people away. But it's also popular with younger couples, groups, and families with young children, and is a quirky, fun, and most importantly, unique restaurant in a neighborhood that certainly needs them.

Many thanks to readers for sending in the photo and listing link.

Friday
Oct172014

Calexico (Finally) Gets Liquor License, Celebrating This Weekend

It's been eight long, torturous months since Calexico, an offshoot of the popular Manhattan-based Cal-Mex mini-chain, opened with much fanfare on Fifth between First and Garfield. Why torturous? Because the bar area, full of so much potential, was sitting there woefully underused due to the fact that the city hadn't yet bestowed upon it a liquor license. Well last week they finally received it, and this weekend they're celebrating.

From tonight through Sunday, the restaurant will be offering two-for-one specials on Margaritas and beer. Margaritas come both on the rocks and frozen, and in flavors including blood orange and jalapeno mint. Specialty cocktails include the Tequila Mockingbird, with basil-infused tequila, watermelon, jalapeno, agave, and lime juice, and micheladas, beers, wines, and plenty of tequilas are also available.

So nearly 2 and a half years since the owners first announced that they'd be moving into the space, they've finally come full circle. Congrats, team!

Photo via Instagram

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