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Entries in Scoops (334)


Open for Business: Landhaus, 808 Union Street

The first brick and mortar location of Brooklyn Flea favorite Landhaus opened last Thursday in the space on Union Street just west of Seventh Avenue that was most recently occupied by People's Pops, which will be returning once it gets warmer.

The "farm to sandwich" food shop, run by Matthew Lief, Michael Felix and Maria Dela Cruz, is best known for its gutbusting, crazy-delicious sandwiches, and even though there are only a few items on the menu they certainly deliver. There's a shredded grass-fed short rib sandwich topped with cheddar cheese sauce and thinly sliced pickled peppers, a giant pork meatball with arugula and Parmesan, and, yes, their famous bacon on a stick. There's also a roasted mushroom sandwich, beet salad, cauliflower soup, and a couple homemade beverages. A couple items on the menu will most likely change.

They'll be sticking around until springtime, when fellow Brooklyn Flea standby People's Pops will be returning to the space. As of now their hours are 11 AM - 8 PM daily.

Landhaus, 808 Union Street Brooklyn NY 11217.


Watana Siam Is Now Jai Dee

Watana Siam, the Thai restaurant on Seventh Avenue between 13th and 14th Streets, quietly morphed into a completely different Thai restaurant last month.

The space itself and prices are about the same, but just about everything else has changed. The name, Jai Dee, is new, as well as the ownership and menu. This new menu offers few surprises, and seems to stick to the tried-and-true Spice-style formula, focusing on a solid lunch special, appetizers like Thai spring rolls and chicken satay, Tom Yum soup, fried rice, sauteed noodles, curries, grilled meats, duck, and crispy whole fish.

Now that's not necessarily a bad thing (not every new Thai restaurant can be Pok Pok), and loyal fans of Watana will most likely be able to find something analogous to their standbys, but the few Yelp reviews seem to indicate that the new version isn't exactly an improvement on what was there before. The scallion pancakes (which are closer to fritters), seem to be standouts, though, along with the grilled pork and green curry.

Jai Dee Restaurant 420 Seventh Avenue Brooklyn NY 11215. Phone: 718-832-1544.

Click through for the full menu (click on the images for larger versions).

Click to read more ...


Open for Business: La Casa Artesanal, 512 Fifth Avenue

A charming new jewelry and furnishing shop has opened on Fifth Avenue between 13th and 14th Streets, in a space most recently occupied by a half-price clothing outlet. Called La Casa Artesanal, it's run by Roberto Lopez, who also owns El Milagro up on Seventh as well as the shuttered Artesana Home, which was replaced last year by Bare Burger.

Whereas El Milagro's primary focus is on jewelry and Artesana dealt in high-end rugs and furnishings, La Casa Artesanal is the best of both worlds, focusing mostly on imported gift-worthy items.

The center of the room is dominated by cases displaying jewelry from all over the world, and the rest of the shop is filled with exotic wall hangings, lamps, Mexican tile mirrors, very cool little metal niches (below), candles, and seasonal items like Christmas ornaments from Bali. The majority of items for sale are imported from Latin countries, and just about everything is handmade.

La Casa Artesanal, 512 Fifth Avenue Brooklyn NY 11215. 718-369-2009.


Almondine Bakery Still Shuttered Post-Sandy

In the couple of weeks that have passed since Hurricane Sandy struck our fair shores, just about all the neighborhood's businesses have gotten back to normal. As luck had it, very few businesses in the area were affected by the storm at all; the bulk of the damage seemed to be awnings that collpased and have since been fixed. Dao Palate, which has been closed since the storm hit, is in fact only closed for the season and will be re-opening in January (or so we've been told).

One business, however, has been closed due to Sandy-related damage and has yet to re-open. Almondine Bakery, on Ninth Street just east of Seventh Avenue, has ceased selling their famous croissants, baguettes, and French pastries, and now their front windows have been papered over.

The message on their website's front page from chef/owner Herve Poussot makes it clear: 

"To all of our valued customers, please be advised that Almondine Dumbo & Almondine Park Slope are closed due to Sandy. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patronage."

Don't forget, there is a second Almondine down in DUMBO, a neighborhood that was greatly impacted by the storm's flooding. All their ovens and most of the baking equipment were in the basement, which was submerged up to the ceiling. The Park Slope location can't operate if DUMBO is out of commission, and all of their resources right now are focused on getting that back up to speed.

A group called Friends of Almondine has been formed, are are raising funding and awareness. Here's a photo they posted to Facebook of the damage in DUMBO:



Dao Palate on Fifth Closed Until January

Dao Palate, the two year old vegan Asian restaurant on Fifth Avenue near Union Street, has been locked tight since Hurricane Sandy hit. I asumed that it would re-open soon after, as most other local businesses did, but that never happened.

So I gave a call to the original Dao Palate, not too far away on Flatbush Avenue opposite Seventh, and the manager confirmed that while it hasn't closed for good, it'll be closed for the winter.

"We do less business in the winter, so we decided to close it for the season and combine the two," she said. "We're redirecting the phone line to the Flatbush location, and it will re-open in January."

It's an interesting move considering they're still paying rent for both spaces, but it makes sense considering both locations are so close together.