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Tuesday
Nov272012

What to Expect: The Crab Spot, Opening Soon on Union Street

Back in August I received word of a short New York Times article that mentioned (without embellishment) that a new restaurant called something along the lines of "Crab's Pot" would be opening in the space last occupied by PSbklyn, and before that Bussaco, on Union Street just west of Seventh Avenue. That restaurant, actually called The Crab Spot, has been under construction for a few months now and should be opening within a couple weeks.

I had a chance yesterday to sit down with the restaurant's chef, Ignat Kostov (who was previously chef at Flatbush Avenue's Piquant), and he filled me in on all the details.

The Crab Spot is owned by two brothers, Steve and Alex, whose are related to the owners of Brighton Beach boardwalk standby Volna (there's no connection between the two restaurants, though. It'll be "a casual restaurant with casual prices" according to Kostov, with a menu focused on (you guessed it) crab. Lobster and Dungeness, King, and Snow Crabs will all be shipped directly from Alaska with no middleman to keep prices down, and they'll be served in creative combinations out of pots brought directly to the table. "We'll have a wide variety of combo pots with all different types of seafood, and it'll be a lot of fun," said Kostov, who's been a chef in the city for over 12 years."Most shellfish is overpriced and fried. Ours will be healthy and affordable."

It's certainly a novel concept, and a completely unique style of restaurant for the neighborhood (Kostov told me that a custom freezer was built in the basement to keep the shellfish on ice during the off-season). This space has been home to several failed restaurants in recent years, but this approach will most likely bring plenty of curious townsfolk. They've removed the odd barrier that PSbklyn's owners installed between the front and back rooms (as well as the child-centric theme), and now it's just a large space with a bar, plenty of booths and tables, and a vaguely nautical theme to go along with mural-painted faux-brick.

The liquor license has already been acquired (it came with the space), and the first shipment of shellfish will be arriving on December Fifth. They hope to be open by then.

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Reader Comments (25)

A guy who formerly cooked at Piquant? Whoopee. A place serving terribly unfresh food that only sticks around because the creepy old guy owns the building and will keep anything there as long as he's able to sit up front and WATCH.

Good luck but, other than Bussaco, whose flaws were more related to a lack of patience with any concept than the actual food (which was always excellent), the failures at this space have been those of just plain bad food.

November 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrooklyn Brawler

Volna is a pretty average place that could be so much better but thrives on its boardwalk location. They wont have that luxury in this space-they're going to have to work for it.

November 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJbob

I hope this place is good, but I echo Brooklyn Brawler's comment: having Piquant on your resume is not really a selling point.

November 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterd

HPS, where you find insightful commenters who pan a place before it even opens. Yet, if it's a new bar or Dale Talde joint, they utter the words "awesome" and "I'm so excited" as they drift off to sleep each night.

November 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFr. Guido Sarducci

I am excited about this and I think those trashing it before it even opens are pathetic, unhappy people. We are still recovering from a massive economic crash and anyone who puts up money, invests in our neighborhood and creates jobs should at least be given the consideration of TRYING the restaurant before disparaging it. Or even WAIT UNTIL IT OPENS FOR GOD'S SAKE!

I can't believe I live around such miserable, nasty people sometimes.

November 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterhans

I'm really excited about this place. I love shellfish and this is what I've been looking for in Park Slope! Delicous, steamed crab legs that I can crack open and dip in butter. I will absolutely be trying this place when it opens.

November 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJanie

Im no big fan of Talde and company- I doubt theyd have anything close to the press theyve had if they were in Manhattan. But new restaurants are always discussed in the context of the previous work done by their chefs and owners. Thats pretty standard stuff. In fact its far more fact based and substantive than this pollyanna BS.

And Im pretty sure that just about every pollyanna on this blog did the exact same thing when they wrote with so much anxiety over every froyo shop before it opened.

Ive never been to Piquant so I couldnt comment on it. But I have been to Volna, where these owners appear to have grown up working with their parents. Its a restaurant thats rested on its laurels because it has a cozy location-and the service is legendarily bad.

I do hope this place is successful but the pedigree of the owners does give pause.

November 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJbob

So this place isn't going to be good because their PARENTS place isn't good?

Or it's not good because the person USED to work at Piquant?

What lame comments. Maybe the guy left Piquant because he didn't think it was up to par. Maybe he's learned from his parents mistakes.

To judge a place on those issues seems ludicrous.

Dale Talde is successful because his food is excellent. Period. Sure, he's had a boost as a television personality as well, but people don't come and stand in line for 2 hours and become regulars because Dale Talde has a good press team. That gets you a first visit, but not repeat business. Talde is full every night. Pork Slope is filled every night. Thistle Hill Tavern is full every night. The number one reason is the food and service are a significant notch above 95% of restaurants in Park Slope.

November 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEd

This place will fail. It will be closed by the end of September. Vendors beware.

November 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterstephen

Jbob: I have no idea what you're trying to say.

Stephen: thank you for your thoughtful, intelligent contribution to this discussion.

Compelling argument for moderated comments.

November 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFr. Guido Sarducci

Fr. Guido:

Don't mind Stephen. She often makes rude, useless comments.

November 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEd

"Or it's not good because the person USED to work at Piquant?"

If that's the pedigree you're walking in with, yes, it's a fair thing to expect. Shit comes from shit.

"I am excited about this and I think those trashing it before it even opens are pathetic, unhappy people. We are still recovering from a massive economic crash and anyone who puts up money, invests in our neighborhood and creates jobs should at least be given the consideration of TRYING the restaurant before disparaging it. Or even WAIT UNTIL IT OPENS FOR GOD'S SAKE! "

Oh boo fucking hoo. If you're going to put up the massive money to open up a restaurant, of all things, have your shit straight before you open. This isn't charity. Open up a restaurant? BRING IT. Continue to work on your food, hire good people and treat them well, respect your customers. Those that do that succeed.

This is the comment section of a neighborhood message board. If you're not going to get snark here, where in god's earth are you going to get it? JEEEEESUS.

November 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrooklyn Brawler

Not everything needs to be a f*cking PEDIGREE !

You sound like everything I despise about yuppies. Can't we just have a restaurant with good seafood without you needing to know about the pedigree? The place hasn't even opened yet, so why do you need to already criticize the place? Snark for the sake of snark is a grotesque personality trait.

Why are you such an unhappy person that you find pleasure in disparaging someone for opening up a new restaurant?

November 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEd

Bummer.... Too bad its not an organic froyo joint. Really was hoping it was that.

November 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterParkSLop

Ed - You mad bro?

Are you really arguing that opening up a seafood restaurant in a less than ideal location on Union Street is not a risky move? And throw in the extra difficulty of trying to open it in December!?!

Most restaurants fail miserably (or switch on the cruise control ie. Al Di La) and this one will be no different. It isn't because of "yuppies" or "snark."

The public will reject it no matter the quality of the food. Sad but 100% true.

November 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterstephen

Stephen's anonymity blown! Restaurant owners: save this photo, so you can throw him out if he tries to enter your fine establishment..

http://beaneball.org/1163.html

November 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStephen's mother

Ed,

This guy cooked at Piquant. I've spoken to people who work at Piquant, and its the kind of place where they take a piece of bad meat, cut out the spoiled part, and cook the rest and serve it to you. It sits there, empty, every night, with the old guy sitting right up front, just like he used to at Mitchell's before it (which sat empty as well), because the guy owns the building. You want the guy who cooked there to be the one just serving you "good seafood?" I sure as hell don't.

You act like I used the word "pedigree" there like I'm referring to Eric F'ing Ripert or something.

This is the world we live in. This is the neighborhood we live in. I apologize if we like different things than you do.

November 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrooklyn Brawler

Piquant empty? Guess you haven't been there since Barclays opened. Almost impossible to walk through the door on event nights.

The food is decent, not life changing. The 121 reviews on yelp give it an average of 3.7 out of 5. Definitely not terrible, and certainly not as bad as you make it seem. You sound like a food snob of the highest order, Bk brawler.

November 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterliza

Al Di La, still the only restaurant worth coming here for...

November 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTheodore

I love Al Di La, but I'm not so sure it's worth traveling for. Maybe.

I'd say there are others I'd travel for if I didn't live here....Convivium Osteria, Giuseppina's, Purbird (the best chicken I've ever had), Franny's, Bark, Sky Ice, Moim, Fonda....hmmmmm...lots more.

But yes, Al Di La is our claim to fame. I also really enjoy Talde and Pork Slope and would travel for both.

November 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersterling

You got me Ed. I give up. The Crab Spot is going to be the best restaurant Park Slope has ever seen. Food will be fresh and reasonably priced. Idiot.

Who is even posting in here? Al Di La is the only restaurant worth coming for!!???!!

When is the last time that you had a great meal at Al Di La? I loved the place so much that it took me a year (and 4 really average meals) to accept the fact that they just don't care anymore. Same boring "specials", overcooked pasta, horrific service...

The dining scene in Park Slope is as boring as its ever been right now. The only interesting food is happening in Gowanus and South Slope. Bland people living in this neighborhood enjoying bland food.

November 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterstephen

Stephen: I can think of about a dozen people who would be only too pleased to help you load up your moving van.

November 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterstella

Oh god, I can't wait for this restaurant. I love crabs more than lobsters. Give me boiled crab platters!

November 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKK

Bunch of “Old Crabs” crabbin’ about a Crab Spot if it’s gonna be good or not. Give the place a chance otherwise, STFU!!

Let’s have something different in the neighborhood for a change.

@ Sterling & Stephen
Sheesh, Al Di LA was bland 6yrs ago and still is today. Which makes me wonder why: With Manhattan prices in a Brooklyn nabe, it’s always packed… Don’t understand it!!

@ ParkSlop
Btw, WE NEED MORE FRO-YO!! Open Another one…! Organic this TIME!! O-my-Gawd! ~ Don’t think we’ve reached critical mass on the Fro-yo circuit in this neighborhood.

We can establish a Union for the Working Rights of ALL Fro-Yo Workers that slave away to give us MORE FRO-YO!!

November 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJust Shlopin

I used to rent an apartment from the owners of Piquant. The buildings had mice and roaches when I lived there. It does say something good about the chef that he left.

December 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteven

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