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Thursday
Jan132011

Closed for Business: Taqueria Reis, 375 5th Avenue


The gates are down, the windows papered over, and the sign removed: good evidence that Taqueria Reis, the offshoot of Reis Goldberg's Bar Reis next door, has shuttered. 

The chameleonic restaurant, on Fifth between 5th and 6th, first opened in June 2009 as "mini-sandwich" shop Reis 100 (with 100 varieties), then in April 2010 it rebranded itself as small plates joint Kitchen Reis, and finally in September it re-emerged as the (surprisingly authentic) Mexico City-style taqueria. Most likely its fourth incarnation in three years will be just as intriguing. Stay tuned.

Wednesday
Jan122011

Get Fresh Table and Market now "Juventino"


After I did a Friday Foodporn writeup at local favorite Get Fresh last month, owner Juventino Avila left a comment saying that the restaurant's name would be changing soon. Sure enough, Avila was true to his word, and the restaurant's new name is... Juventino. The menu and philosophy of only using the freshest seasonal ingredients is still the same, thankfully.

Wednesday
Jan122011

Platinum Couture Comes and Goes


Well, that was fast. Platinum Couture, the small clothing store that opened in August at 487 5th Avenue, between 11th and 12th, didn't even have a chance to take down the "Grand Opening" decorations before closing up shop for good recently.

The store, which appeared to have specialized in Ed Hardy-style shirts, revealing women's clothes, gold chains, and such, was empty every time I walked past. The shop's already been gutted.

Wednesday
Jan122011

A Hotel for Grand Prospect Hall?


The owners of the glitzy Grand Prospect Hall, on the far southern end of the Slope, have applied for zoning approval to construct an 11-story, 150-room hotel on the site of the next door parking lot, according to the Post

Michael and Alice Halkias, who purchased the run-down building and fixed it up about 25 years ago, have apparently been frustrated by the success of the nearby Brooklyn Marriott, and feel that they can do a better job. 

They'll be pleading their case at the CB7 meeting tomorrow night; they'll need approval because of the 2005 rezoning that prohibits buildings from growing to over six stories. If given the go-ahead, they'll also be building a much-needed 400-spot parking garage.

Wednesday
Jan122011

Open For Business: Da Nonna Rosa, 140 Seventh Avenue


Da Nonna Rosa, the new pizzeria on Seventh between Garfield and Carroll, had its official opening night yesterday. While the space is large and attractive, it's a fairly straight-ahead pizzeria, similar to La Villa but unlike any others on Seventh. As previously reported, it's owned by the same family that also runs the much-loved Gino's in Bayside.


The front take-out section features a very long counter showcasing some truly crazy pies (think ravioli and chicken Caesar salad). At the end is an impressive gelato stand, and then it opens up into the large back dining room, with some comfortable-looking booths. 



There are a couple nicely-appointed private rooms upstairs. The one in the front is more of a tap room, and the larger banquet room in the back can easily seat 75. 

The upstairs private tap room
The pizza is as good as any New York-style pie that you're going to find. It passes the "fold with one hand" test, the crust is crisp and the sauce isn't too sweet.The countermen are friendly and certainly eager to show off their selection if you feel like going for something a little unusual.

Sicilian

Ravioli(!)

Chicken Caesar salad
The rest of the menu is similar to those of other sit-down pizzerias in the area, with some surprises. Salads include one with fennel, oranges, pecans, and white balsamic, and the usual assortment of pasta dishes is joined by some tasty-sounding ones like farfalle with chicken, sausage, spinach, and fresh Mozzarella as well as fettucine with rosemary chicken, broccoli and mushrooms in a brown sauce.

Even though all this may sound more or less familiar, a pizzeria of this size and caliber is actually unique for Seventh Avenue. It's well-designed and doesn't overreach like the space's more recent tenants, Mack's 140 and Elementi. They should be delivering by the end of the month. 

Da Nonna Rosa, 140 Seventh Avenue Brooklyn NY 11215. 718-788-6225.