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Entries in Food (679)

Sunday
Jun082014

Open for Business: O Live, 140 5th Avenue


O Live Brooklyn, an artisanal olive oil and balsamic vinegar shop, opened as expected over the weekend on 5th Avenue between Douglass and Baltic, in the space last occupied by E Lingerie. It specializes in literally just that: super-premium oil in flavors including blood orange, harissa, butter, tuscan herb, and wild herb and sage, and balsamic flavors like black fig, blackberry ginger, strawberry, cinnamon pear, and vanilla. Other offerings include white balsamic vinegar, salts and peppers, and household items made from olive wood.


The first location opened near the Williamsburg Bridge in 2012 and has been doing quite well, and there's no other shop in the city that's selling literally dozens of high-grade oils and vinegars. With all the offerings proudly displayed, it's also a hands-on museum of sorts; you're welcomed to sample as many as you like.

if the Williamsburg shop (and the online store) are any indication, then this is a business plan that works. While the offerings are certainly luxury items, there are most likely enough curious food-lovers in the area to sustain it.

Thursday
Jun052014

Doughnut Plant Coming to Flatbush Avenue

This is either really good news or really bad news, depending on your diet: An outpost of The Doughnut Plant, widely regarded as one of the finest and most creative doughnut shops in the city, will be opening up on the northern end of Park Slope, in the triangular building on Flatbush and Sixth Avenues last occupied by Yummy Taco.

Owner Mark Isreal began selling doughnuts on the Lower East Side in 1994, based on recipes that had been in his family for generations. He opened the first Doughnut Plant near the Manhattan Bridge in 2000, and thanks to creations like the jelly-filled square doughnut and the tres leches, creme brulee, and chocolate pudding-filled blackout doughnut, it's become quite successful: a location opened in Tokyo in 2004 and a 23rd Street location opened in 2011.

Yummy Taco, a middle-of-the-road Tex-Mex spot, closed back in December. Isreal seems quite excited about taking over the triangular building, which he's been calling the "Flatbush Flatiron," according to DNAinfo. He's also referring to the buildout as a "restoration project," certainly a good sign.

Along with an outpost of Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone's renowned sandwich shop Parm opening on Flatbush between Bergen and Dean and a Shake Shack opening a block away, I think we can safely say that the arrival of the Barclays Center has been a positive culinary influence on the surrounding stretch of Flatbush.

Wednesday
May282014

City Sub Moving Up The Block, Possibly into Melt Space

City Sub, the always-popular sandwich shop that's been on Bergen Street between Fifth and Flatbush Avenues for nearly 30 years, has been shuttered for the past few weeks. They're not closed for good, however; they're just moving into a new location on the same block, according to a sign posted in the front window.

The entire rest of the block from there on up to Flatbush is owned by Michael Pintchik, and while there's a chance that they might be moving into one of those "premium" properties, it seems much more likely that they're moving into the space next door that was last home to restaurant Melt. Not only was the space already a pre-existing restaurant, a new restaurant has been under construction inside it since March.

City Sub is one of the few businesses in the neighborhood that commands a line literally out the door on a near-daily basis, they also have the luxury of closing at 4:30 daily, except for Thursdays, when they're closed all day. Hopefully nothing gets lost in translation during the move; these are some good, old-school deli sandwiches.

Many thanks to reader Adam for sending in the photos.

Tuesday
May272014

Walk-In Cookbook Space Up For Lease

The space on Seventh Avenue between Lincoln and Berkeley last occupied by the Walk-In Cookbook, the ill-advised shop that sold the ingredients necessary to prepare specific portions of specific dishes, is for lease: Warren Lewis/ Sotheby's International Realty is renting it for $9,500 per month.

The Walk-In Cookbook closed in February after only about six months in business; hopefully the next tenant has the business plan and financial werewithal to last a bit longer.

Other local storefronts being repped by the same realtor include the former Two Boots space ($16,000); the Sweet Melissa space ($11,000); the Chiles & Chocolate space; which recently got a nice-looking new storefront, see below ($12,800); the "drip" building storefront ($8,250); the Trois Pommes space ($8,500); and the former Caramello/ A'Putia space on Fifth ($8,500), most of which have been vacant for months if not years.

Many thanks to reader Jeffrey for sending the top photo.

Wednesday
May072014

El Gran Castillo de Jagua Moves into New Location Up the Block

After 40 years of holding down the highly visible corner of Flatbush Avenue, Park Place, and Carlton Place, Dominican restaurant El Gran Castillo de Jagua, one of the last holdouts of quality, inexpensive, no frills food in the area, closed up shop yesterday and moved up the block, into the storefront at 355 Flatbush Avenue that was last occupied by Z-7 Classic Diner.

The space hasn't changed much from its days as a diner (it was given a slight upgrade after the previous occupant, Parkside Diner, shuttered), except for the fact that the counter has been removed and replaced by the steam table. The rotisserie, which used to roast chickens in full view of customers, has been moved into the kitchen, so its scent (affectionately known as "El Carneviento") will no longer waft out into the street. The menu is essentially unchanged, save for about a dollar price difference (the Cuban sandwich has gone up from $5.50 to $6.50; prices are still quite cheap).

While it's certainly sad to see such a longtime tenant kicked out of its location (word is that a medical clinic will be taking over the entire corner), it's nice that it can move essentially lock, stock, and barrel to a nearby location.

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