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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.

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Reader Comments (28)

Love the prices at Henri! Seriously - good luck to them. Looks like it should be a casual and fun place.

November 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBaDaBing

I just don't get it. Why open a fun, creative dining/drinking establishment when this space would be PERFECT for a nail salon or real estate office?

November 20, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterfearandloathing

French influence, as in Au Bon Pain.

November 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLarry Lockhorn

Yay, this place sounds perfect for the neighborhood! And very happy the prices will be reasonable :)

November 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCH

I hate landlords as much as anyone-but theres so much mediocrity in PS restaurants too.

This place shows that successful people with good ideas will come to Park Slope. I think they'll do great.

November 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJbob

"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.

Are you sure that was Douglas? Maybe you were actually speaking to his publicist. Oh, he has more than "twenty years of hospitality business experience", so you just report what he says verbatim.

November 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMarty Markowitz

@Marty Not sure what point you're trying to make, exactly.

November 21, 2014 | Registered CommenterHere's Park Slope

Have to amend my previous comment-just heard that Marcos on Flatbush is closing. It was a great restaurant by the Frannys folks-got 2 stars by the NY Times. Apparently wasn't making enough money to cover costs.

F-ing PS landlords!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

November 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJbob

I wonder what Marcos' rent was there. The food was good -- though the price point was high -- and they didn't have a lot of table space. So once the garden out back closed, they lost a lot of capacity (and money-making opportunities).

November 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVLM

what a mistake it was moving franny's to the new space. it's HORRIBLE! no backyard, the prices went up, the space is drab and mediocre. marco's was very good but price was too high and it wasn't particularly special. i notice franny's is NOT filling tables like it did in the former space, they are probably really beating themselves up about messing with a good thing. now they have franny's in this really terrible new space and not filling it and then marco's closed and bklyn larder is just so damn expensive that i won't set foot in there anymore even though i like their products. you can find them all cheaper by 30% in other stores around brooklyn and i don't like throwing money down a toilet as it usually feels at bklyn larder.

too bad. it does indeed seem the area can't support the nicer places, but mostly the pizza places (god are people here really excited about terroir closing and TWO BOOTS opening in its place?) that's like blue ribbon closing and getting replaced with a Wendy's. it's pretty sad the level of mediocrity in neighborhood establishments especially when you realize that there are far nicer restuarants on franklin avenue now...barboncino, mayfair...these are nicer than ANYTHING in Park Slope. we leave the neighborhood for 90% of our meals out...to carroll gardens, boreum hill, crown heights, even bed stuy. park slope is a wasteland which is sad because 15 years ago, it was the neighborhood to go visit for a nice dinner in brooklyn.

November 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIna

I think Marcos was memorable, I just ate there last week and had an excellent meal.

I do agree its priced slightly high and I think that's the real dance.

Compare them to Al Di La which is equally good (Marcos has significantly better appetizers but their dessert chef should have been tossed out on the street) but has better prices, its easy to see why Al di La could pack them in on a weeknight while Marcos couldn't.

I suspect Al di las long time in PS gives them an advantage on their lease that they can pass on to customers and differentiate themselves.

November 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJbob

Sheesh Ina- 15 years ago I seriously doubt you would have set foot in Crown Heights, Boerum Hill, Bed Stuy or maybe even CG for dinner -- there was NOTHING like the restaurants you describe then. Cheaper rents, up & coming neighborhoods (by lily gentrification standards) is where the cooler restaurants go, then they move on. I've been in PS 30 yrs and it's still something of a small miracle to me what my dining options are now.
There was almost nothing on 5th Ave. then. Aunt Suzie's & 200 5th came in the later '80's to bring a little life and Cucina was the first "upscale Manhattan level" resto in 1990. Al Di La came much later. Your best options on 7th were Santa Fe(texmex), Snooky's (clam strips), and McFeely's and that was about it. Your best options on Flatbush were Christie's Jamaican patties and El Gran Castillo's rotisserie chicken and that was it! Now I can great great food on 3rd Ave and Vanderbilt too. Count your blessings or use your shoe leather. BTW El Gran Castillo's chicken w/ rice & beans will feed your whole fam for less than price of a Franny's hubcap --& it tastes good too.

November 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterfrownyo

Ina - not sure where you get your info, but no one on this blog was excited about Terroir closing and Two Boots opening.

November 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Thank you frownyo for counteracting all the over-dramatic, chicken little's that tend to gravitate to the comments section. everyone is an expert and everything is the best or the worst. so much hyperbole and so little rational thought. if it isn't just internet acting up they can't be pleasant to converse with.

November 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSam

Frownyo:

15 years ago was 2000, not the 1970's. I used to live in Crown heights, CG and Boreum Hill in the 80's and 90's so you don't really know what you're talking about now do you? Park Slope may have more restaurants now but they aren't good. Most are chains coming in like Le pain quotidien or Calexico or Luke's Lobster and other high priced knock offs are Disney versions of the mom and pops we used to have.

November 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIna

I can't believe I'm sitting here reading over and over again on this blog that "there are no good restaurants" in Park Slope. If you can't find good food in Park Slope, then you're not looking. I could throw a rock in any direction and find great food. From some of the best burgers in NYC, to great tacos (finally), to perogies, some of the best pizza in all of Brooklyn, to one of the best sushi places around, etc. The list goes on and one. If you guys can't find a good place to eat in Park Slope, then there's little hope for you.

Come to the South Slope - so many great eats here!

November 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

I agree with Matt. There may be isolated good restaurants in CG, Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, etc. but overall Park Slope has the best restaurants in all of Brooklyn outside of Williamsburg.

In 1999 there were exactly three exceptional restaurants in Park Slope: the recently opened Al di La, Mike & Tony's (steakhouse), and Max & Moritz.

November 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlf

Ina just seems cranky.

November 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJbob

Terroir and Marco's were two of the finer establishments in the area and both didn't even stay open for a year. I think that says a lot. One was replaced with Two Boots (Blech!) and who knows how long Marco's will sit empty for.

November 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTim

I still miss Max n Moritz.

November 24, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterfearandloathing

I miss Mc Feeley's on Union St and Charlie's on Flatbush Avenue. Long gone.... :(

November 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMaryAnne

Corner Burger is going out but did you guys check out BURGER VILLAGE on 3rd street and 7 ave.. Not a Chain.... Family owned and operated Organic Burger Joint with local beers..

December 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJames

Too bad! I really liked Aperitivo and did support it. The prices weren't bad. The space, the calamari, sandwiches, salads and pastas were great. First AOC (which had great brunch), now this. Sad.

December 4, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjimijamz

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December 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDownload Admit cards

FUCK Aperitivo and FUCK its owner!!

GOOD RIDDANCE..... And your Sotto Voce restaurant is next!

December 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJust Slopin

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