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Open for Business: Casa Ventura, 210 Seventh Avenue 


Last night was the soft opening of Casa Ventura, the newest occupant of a corner storefront that's certainly seen a fair amount of action recently. First there was Barrio, which closed unexpectedly only to reopen as "small plates" concept MIX (after dabbling with the name Barrio Plates). That closed after about a month, and tonight at 5, after a thorough renovation and a change in ownership, Casa Ventura will be opening to the neighborhood.

The restaurant, on the corner of Seventh Avenue and Third Street, is the brainchild of several friends and neighbors who had been eager to open an authentic Puerto Rican restaurant with other Latin influences, in an upscale setting. After sampling some of the goods last night, it's pretty clear that they succeeded.

The focused menu contains 10 appetizers and 9 entrees, with seasonal specials to come, as well as a nice selection of specialty cocktails (the full menu is at bottom). Appetizers last night included Chicharron de Pollo (deep fried chunks of adobo-rubbed chicken served with a tasty red pepper-based sauce, $7.75), soy-marinated raw ahi tuna with a radish-pickled ginger salad ($10.95), and a crispy fried chicken and cheese empanada ($8.75).

Entrees included an 8-oz grilled skirt steak served with yuca mash ($17.95), fried sole ($15.95), Fideua (vegeterian paella made with pasta instead of rice, $13.95), and Jamaican jerk chicken breast served with rice and beans (at $9.95, a steal). Churros and flan were for dessert (both $5.95). There's some real creativity here as well as a deep knowledge of traditional Latin flavors, and even on the first night the kitchen churned out dishes that showed few, if any, flaws.


The space has been completely transformed, with reclaimed wood and earth tones throughout. The bar is now much larger than before, and seems like a pretty chill place to enjoy a cocktail or two: the margarita's made with Patron, mojitos were made with a deft hand, and the sangria will be very nice as we head into summer. The patio has also been redone, with simple black canvas and more reclaimed wood replacing the garish orange of Barrio. All told, the restaurant seats 80.

It's nice to finally see some real life breathed into this corner. The slate has been completely wiped clean, and judging by the food, decor, and service, all signs point to us having a real winner on our hands here.

Click through for the full menu, with additional cocktails to come.

Casa Ventura, 210 Seventh Avenue Brooklyn NY 11215. 718-965-4000.

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Reader Comments (16)


April 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohnny

I think the relocated bar is key. I always wanted to stop at Barrio for a drink but that cramped little bar made it so uninviting. The arrangement looks much better, as does the food. Hope it works out.

April 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFelton

Looks very inviting. My only criticism is those pull down grate covers which look painted but beat up and warped. The food sounds good though, I'd like to try it.

April 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterprospectpark

they've definitely done a good job with the place. my only objection is the first photo in this post, which prominently displays my beer gut.

April 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterparowpyro

@parowpyro Our paths crossed! I was wondering if the person at the other table taking photos of the beans was a FIPSter.

@Johnny Entrees should run about $15-$20

April 26, 2012 | Registered CommenterHere's Park Slope

Always nice to see a well thought out and well executed place open.

April 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJbob

The food, and especially drink prices are very very reasonable, dare I say inexpensive by Park Slope standards.

April 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterprospectpark

Menu looks authentic enough wih some creative touches, with the only other place attempting Puerto Rican food being that ill-fated Sitio Borinquen. I'll be in there to give it shot at some point to see if the seasoning is up to par, which is usually the failing of attempts at upscale Carribean Latin.

April 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterParkPlace

I live around the corner. Really excited for them.

April 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNeighbor

I was excited about this restaurant but after dining here tonight I am sad to report that Casa Ventura/Mix is one of the worst dining experiences I have had in NYC. Once we were seated it took about 10 minutes for a waiter to visit our table. After placing our order forty minutes passed before our appetizers arrived. The empanada was cold and the arepa actually nauseated me. I have never had something so salty. My entree was again controlled by a powerful saline rush. There is very little in their menu that reflects true Puerto Rican cuisine - no pasteles, no arroz con gandules, and no braised oxtail. Presentation was also unimaginative. Despite the change of name this restaurant is still the MIX; if you look at your bill you will see that the proprietor is still MIX. This is a terrible restaurant! I can only hope they will vastly improve with time, otherwise they will close faster than their first incarnation. If you want authentic Puerto Rican food buy pasteles from the vendors on Fifth Ave and 11th street or visit La Taza de Oro in Chelsea.

April 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertheodore

Love the place and the food...service was amazing.. Donna was great fast and explained the menu perfect I will be back

April 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie Gibston

I really wanted to love this place. We stopped by on Friday night. Waiter was very friendly, warm. The chicharron app was excellent. The ceviche was passable. But the entrees, sadly, were just not very good. We tried the churrasco/chorizo and the fried pork/rice and beans. The chimi on the former was pretty weak. The latter was bland. Prices are great. Mojito tasted good, but could've used a little more booze.

May 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercbl

Complete dump -- and over-priced -- like all the other dumps that have occupied this space. And they have the _worst_ music.

May 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJim

Was this "Latin" food laundered for the tender palates of blanquitos?? Boring bland entrees, spotty service...our waiter neglected to tell us of specials, and botched my drink order. Server brought entrees while we were barely half-done with appetizers, and, as the tiny table had no available room to set them down, stood there impatiently, as if imploring us to eat faster or abandon the unfinished appetizers. We opted to abandon!! Check arrived promptly, but it was for another table! Waiter quickly corrected. Won't go back!!!

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