As reported on Grubstreetand elsewhere, the Park Slope Mexican restaurant Barrio will reopen Monday as Barrio Plates, with a whole new look (goodbye, pink paint job; hello, blown glass and antiqued mirrors). The new menu, created with the help of chef Martell Fonville (al di là) will be Latin-tinged “Nouveau American” (e.g. calamari in Dominican-style honey glaze).
Though we had hoped this long awaited Indian food chain was opening tonight, alas we are out of luck. Latest word from the employees I talked to tonight was that itÂ may be opening tomorrow. From the looks of the unassembled kitchen I’m guessing it’s more like next week. Sorry to get your hopes up folks.
Local Indian restaurant chain Baluchi’s is opening up its doors in the Slope today (for takeout at least) over on Fifth Avenue and 3rd Street. There’s a lot of gushing going on at the discussion boards:
ljnd: I have friends from Mumbai, fabulous cooks, who swear by them. I’ve taken friends from Rome and London there – they’ve loved it – and my 10 year old is nuts about it. (But she’ll eat anything with chickpeas.) I’m so excited about this! And they have a website which permits you to place orders online, so when that’s up and running, I am in deep trouble….
The shop will have an expanded tea selection, and Ting said they are considering opening a coffee bar. But the main attraction will be the banh mi, that delectable French-influenced Vietnamese sandwich that comprises spicy pork, pickled vegetables and a mayonaise-like spread piled high into a baguette â€” a remnant of Franceâ€™s one-time dominance in Indochina.
It was only recently in the Lookout Hill is closing thread that Belzjm remarked on what business should move into the neighborhood:
i think if someone with an already established brand came and set up shop there, it would be a huge hit.
like nicky’s vietnamese sandwich shop. although i think that this particular space is too large for something like that…
Well someone heard our prayers, and according to the Gowanus Lounge, the old Tea Lounge on 7th Avenue and 10th Street will become a Vietnamese sandwich shop. Hallelujah! A GL tipster writes:
It looks like something will be moving into the Old Tea Lounge location on 7th Avenue and 10th Street soon. Men have been seen working on the space the past week. A neighbor informed me this morning that she had asked them what was coming in and they told her a Vietnamese Sandwich Shop.
We’re trying not to get too excited, but realy!?! Banh Mi?? In the Slope!? Throw in some bubble tea and I’m in heaven.
Did you smell the smoke? Jamzer says: “Rosewater is one of my favorite restaurants in all of NYC. I wish they would improve the service a little, but it is still fantastic. They do the pig roast every Fall. Yummmmmmmmyyyyyyyyy!”
SOME PIG: As might be expected in a neighborhood like Park Slope, not everyone is thrilled by seeing a friendly, big-brained, tail-waggling creature splayed out on a metal stick. The discourse on the Park Slope Message Board is quite civil, but findcate does explain her personal aversion to public roasting:
“I guess it’s just that pigs have the same brain structure as us, they nurture and love their young, and they have to suffer thru unbearable conditions and abuse being raised as meat. I guess the intelligence of pigs just makes me empathize with them, so I see the pig in that photo as a tortured corpse more than an appetizing meal, and I would be totally grossed out if I walked past it on the sidewalk. I think it’s really intrusive of rosewater.”
Where do you draw the line? Are chickens dumb enough to eat? Octopi are pretty intelligent… but not very cuddly. Sorry tentacle dudes, you lose… get in my frutta de mare!
1. Albaz, on Flatbush by the 7th Ave subway station. Great late-night cheeseburger!
2. If you’re feeling like spending some money, the kitchen at Blue Ribbon is open really late every night.
3. If you can get to Mango or Smiling Pizza on 7th Ave before 12 AM, you’re lucky.
4. If you want a cold, stale bagel, the bagel shop on 5th + garfield is open 24 hours.
5. If you want a full, sit-down meal, go to Tavern on Dean in PH – their kitchen is open mega late (3 a.m. on weekends, I think).
6. Daisy’s is open 24/7, and their pancakes are yummy.
7. 7th Avenue Donuts by 9th Street and 7th Ave. Open 24/7/365. Perfect for when you’re bombed and don’t give a shit about what’s on your plate.
8. The “Greasian” (Grecian) Corner at 4th St & 7th Ave. Try the grits.
9. Another option is DunkinDonuts at… I believe it’s 6th ave, and Atlantic, I think. If you go after midnight, you can get 4 donuts and 2 cappuccinos for $4.
10. There’s a White Castle at Atlantic and Grand! so worth the trip.
Best Loaf – Lopez Bakery – 5th ave bet 18 th and 19th St. The bread is very good and cheap. I always get the 7 grain. They make a nice loaf, but stay away from the pastry. The bread is baked fresh every day, but the other stuff tends to be stale. Haven’t tried the tamales yet.
Bakery – Two Little Red Hens – 8th Ave. They’re expensive, but so good.
Bodega/small grocer – La Dolce Vita – 7th Ave – Clean store and nice owner, also has a good beer selection
Toy Store – Toy Space on 7th ave around 13th – Nice selection of toys, if a bit overpriced. This place has saved me on a few occasions when I had to get a quick gift for a kid. There’s also a place on 5th ave, but I can’t remember the name.
Children’s Shoes – Windsor Shoes – Prospect Park West – The staff is very helpful and they have a good selection.
How many times has this NOT happened when it should have? KosherDave reports on Actual Customer Service, occurring at Miracle Grill on 7th Ave. in Park Slope, on the Park Slope Message Board: “… long story short, our waitress dropped a ramekin filled with catsup onto the floor next to our table, and we were both covered. We wear wearing white linen pants. It was messy.”
“The owner, however, proved to be the real miracle worker. He rushed us some club soda, lots of napkins and comp’ed our meal (obviously). He also said we should bring him the dry cleaning bills.”
“Fast forward to last week, I brought in the cleaning bills (11 bucks) and he asked how everything turned out. Our shirts were fine, so were her pants, mine still had some faint spots, but they were older pants and I did not think he needed to replace them or anything, they already did all they could and were very apologetic.”
“The owner said he was really sorry about the whole thing and as he was giving me the money for the dry cleaning, he also gave me a gift cert for dinner for two, plus cocktails.”
“Anyway, just wanted to send a shout out to that particular local business owner. He was really cool about something that could have really been a bitch of a situation. We’ll keep going back with service/ownership like that. Nice job!”
Nate of the Apiary writes: “Hello, I saw a swarm of angry bees attack Sotto Voce the other day. I have a silly photo narrative of the events up. Thought you would like it.”
Nate narrates: “Thousands of angry and deadly bees attack the restaurant for no good reason. Outdoor patrons scramble for cover. Gawkers flock to every corner of the block to get a close (but not too close) look at the madness…” More on The Apiary
“Just wanted to thank beet for leaving at least 6 menus on the stoop of every single building on PPW the other day. Sushi Master, you also done good. Nice technique, too – not secured or stuck in the door or anything, but just tossed out in the open like so much litter.”
“I’m sure I’ll be seeing those things blowing around for months. Just so you know, I got home pretty early yesterday and recycled the ones you left around our entryway instantly – nobody else even saw them.”
“I know it’s not the crime of the century, but beet really took the mildly annoying practice of menu/flyer dumping to the next level.”
So it looks like Stone Park on 5th Ave. in Park Slope took “best restaurant” honors in AOL cityguide’s City’s Best 2006 poll for New York–placing ahead of Gotham Bar & Grill, Gramercy Tavern, Daniel and Le Bernardin, among others.
Stone Park co-owner Josh Grinker told the Daily News: “… winning these types of contests really attests to the loyal support of our customers … We really see what we’re doing as bringing up the standard of neighborhood restaurants.”
It’s true that Stone Park has its fans. And predictably, this has become another opportunity for us chronic complainers at Daily Slope to hold forth (do we like anything?). laura writes in the Park Slope Message Boards: “My boyfriend and I went there once … I can’t recall what we ate, but it was so underwhelming we decided never to bother again.”
Clarification: Ranjit’s photo is at least a year old. It’s doubtful the renovations going on at Dizzy’s right now have anything to do with this auto mishap.
blksafyre writes in the Park Slope Message Boards:
“Is it kind of dumb that Dizzy’s decided to do renovations now? In the winter business is slow there, which would make sense for renovations then.”
From livetotravel: “May the renovations last forever! I’m so over this place. They clearly rely on past rumors of excellence and uniqueness for their business. There are just way too many people clamoring for tables on the weekends, resulting in consistently overcooked omelets, overcooked pancakes, overcooked coffee, underwashed dishes and utensils … “
From 8thandprez: “I love Dizzy’s. The huevos rancheros with veggie sausage are to die for. That said, the place is wildly overpriced. Insanely overpriced.”
“Something tells me the reno isn’t going to help that situation …”
ugarte writes in the Park Slope Message Boards: “2 Toms is excellent and very, very old school Italian. It doesn’t feel like it has a mafia past; it feels like it has a low-level soldier-in-the-mafia present. The food, though, is excellent.”
“Meat (steaks and chops) are excellent but quite expensive. Pasta – I linguine w/ calamari al arrabiata (spicy) is also great but not so expensive. Yes, worth the trip, but if two people are going I’d suggest sharing a steak and a pasta to keep the cost down.”
kittygolightly adds: “Last I went, there were two kinds of wine – red and white, and both were self-serve from the fridge. I also had the best pork chop of my life.”
CAVEAT:There is no set menu, and thus no price tags, according to your neighbors who have been there. It may seem inexpensive but the prices add up in a hurry. The portions are very large, so it may be best to do some family-style sharing. digital_buffalo writes: “I went with a group of 7 and somehow our bill came to $300 and half of what we ordered was still on the table when we left – just too much food.”
Looks like this bakery (actually… not much actually got baked there… “baked goods reseller?”) is leaving 7th Ave.
Judging from comments on the Park Slope Message Boards people are going to miss Reggie, the big ginger cat who liked to be scratched on the head much more than the baked goods, which always seemed a bit pedestrian, and were “no different than what you could get at Key Food or any other chain grocery store,” according to Daniel.
What’s on deck for this prime bit of Park Slope retail space? Another high-end boutique selling neoprene wine carriers and letter-pressed cards? Another Brooklyn Industries?
Oh my… Are these legitimately overenthusiastic customer comments? Or just shameless shilling by the ownership/staff of Beet Thai? It’s so hard to tell anymore… Please… turn on your “fake customer radar” and let us know what you see. (These comments originally appeared on the “Park Slope Restaurants That Suck” post.)
1. “I do not think Beet is suck. Food is quality. Fair Price. Nice presentation and nice waitstaff. I pass by everyday in the evening. Beet is always crowded.
Posted by: Kenneth | December 18, 2005 03:14 AM”
2. “I do not think Beet is suck, either. I have tried several thai restuarants in park slope, and I found that BEET THAI restaurant is the BEST. Their tasty food makes me hungry at all time. They have great services and friendly wait staff. I love the decor; it brings its’ brightness to the customers. BEET THAI is definitely a ROMANTIC restuarant to dine in w/ friends and family. FAIR PRICES!!!
Posted by: Tony | December 30, 2005 01:17 PM”
8thAndPrez writes in the Park Slope Message Boards: “I was so disgusted by the whole affair I felt it was only right to post…”
“I was originially excited when Star of India opened at 5th/Prez. Disappointed the few times we ordered from them and went to eat there. We more recently decided to give them another chance and ordered delivery.”
“The food looked fine when it arrived, but the first taste revealed an overwhelming flavor of burnt plastic. Both of our meals had the same flavor – overwhelming melted plastic.”
“I called SoI to explain… they very reluctantly sent over a replacement order. I made the delivery guy stay at the door while we tasted and, again, plastic. The delivery guy even tasted the food and agreed. When I called SoI they refused to acknowledge the problem – insisted it was our problem, and refused a refund.”
“Mediocre Indian food and poor service to boot. Anyone else have similar experiences with SoI?” Read more…
Pitu writes in the Park Slope Message Boards: “Yes, I’ve tried them both. And unless Cocoa has undergone some magic transformations in its young life . . . well, I just can’t imagine.”
“I have these friends, a new couple in a sort of cute-but-annoying way, who are constantly swooning and having chocolate dates . . . they’d want me to tell you The Chocolate Room is the place. I think they were comped a misordered plate of something delicious there, which is also nice. Chocolate has good attitude.”
Favorite bar or restaurant? Hunan Delight in Park Slope has great chicken with mixed vegetables and soft tofu with mixed vegetables. Oddly, they also have a flashy Flash-based website. I’m going to tell them that I mentioned them in this interview, and hopefully they’ll print it out and put it in the window, so that way, whenever I walk in, I’ll see myself recommending them and won’t have second thoughts. Also, Russ and Daughters–great herring.
Jessica Berthold writes in The (Allentown, Pa.) Morning Call: “The site chronicles the journey of Allentown native Farid Ali as he opens a Latin restaurant with a friend in trendy Park Slope, Brooklyn. It takes the reader from the beginning steps of procuring loans, through hiring (and firing) staff, all the way to September’s grand opening party and beyond.”
The article quotes Ali: “… Now I’m looking at it as a way to record some stories about my experiences in the restaurant, as well as a marketing tool. People come into the restaurant and joke and say ”Will I be on the blog?’ because I like to take photos of customers. I think they kind of dig it.”
“I didn’t anticipate lifting boxes at the age of 40, hauling meat and fish over my shoulders. Also, quite often your employees make more money than you. The dishwasher makes more than me right now.” Read more…
Where is the best dessert to be found in Park Slope? You’ve done Two Little Red Hens, and admired their pig stool (thanks, Ranjit). What’s the alternative, Jane asks in the Park Slope Message Boards?
Daniel says the Opera cake at Cousin Johns (7th Ave + Berkely) is “incredible… Most of the baked goods there are great – we had a chocolate ganache cake (as they were out of Opera cake, and we forgot to pre-order) for my birthday …”
When it comes to baked goods in South Brooklyn, however, Court Street is the place to go, according to Jack: “The Slope simply does not have anything that comes close to the goodness of the stuff over there… It depends on tastes, but it’s yuppie-ish and good and it’s called Sweet Melissa has some great stuff. You defiinitely pay a little more, but it’s very much worth it.”
“If you want Cannoli and some great Italian pastries, Court Pastry is great as well. Not too heavy when it should not be too heavy. And just the right balance of richness all around. These are Italian baked goods exactly as they should be…”
As reported on MSNBC: Zagat has listed TEMPO as one of the “Top Newcomers” in its annual New York City restaurant guide, which was just released. Here’s what they say:
TEMPO, 718-636-2020. “Manhattan-style dining comes to Park Slope, [Brooklyn],” via this “terrific” new Mediterranean offering “robust flavors” in “big, airy” “SoHo-like” digs. Though “service is Brooklyn friendly,” locals better “be prepared to spend” like they were in the city.
BLACK PEARL: New seafood restaurant on 833 Union St. at 7th Ave., in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Phone: 718-857-2004. Food is prepared by Frederico Duarte, who worked at Dos Caminos and Da Silvano, according to the New York Times.
Read: Park Slope’s Seafood Wars [Curbed.com]
Lobster Roll at Black Pearl (Manhattan) Gets One Star [NYMetro.com]
“I hail from southwestern Ohio, land of chili-topped spaghetti and the Cincinnati Bengals. In their own unfortunate ways, they’re both horrible. Yet for the first time since Home Alone was a hit, it’s October and the Bengals are undefeated. Where do I watch this Halley’s Comet season?”
“Park Slope’s 200 Fifth. It’s like Ellis Island for the sports-fan Diaspora. Vikings rooter? Texans supporter? Chargers cheerer? No problem. Every game is broadcast every Sunday. This makes for a jersey-clad, backward-baseball-hat-wearing melting pot of men and the occasional womanâ€”not so unusual, given that this is Park Slope.”
200 Fifth | 200 Fifth Ave. (btw. Union St. and Sackett St.), Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY. 718-638-2925.
From lowercase L, a Park Slope blog dedicated to William Levin’s obsession/annoyance with hand-written signs with letters in all-caps, except for the letter L (“It looks like an uppercase i … WHY DO PEOPlE WRITE lIKE THIS?”):
“This chalkboard menu sits outside the new Cocoa Bar, a coffee, chocolate and wine lounge around the corner from me on 7th Ave. in Park Slope, Brooklyn. What makes this sign extra special is not just the GlASS, but the GlASS of PINOT BlANCO … or is it BIANCO?! See, Pinot Bianco is the Italian term for a varietal pressed from the family of Pinot grapes, and Pinot Blanco is the Latin term. So is this a case of double lowercase L’s, with GlASS and the Latin BlANCO? And then there’s that GIANDUJA Chocolate …
William concludes: “I am reluctant to patronize this establishment, at least until they fire the employee who wrote this menu.”
Overall, Bruni seems to have a gentler hand than our Daily Slope posters.
An appetizer of roasted asparagus was distinguished by the Parmesan fondue on which the spears rested. It was satisfyingly rich without being heavy, and scattered here and there were crisp bits of pancetta, needed and appreciated less for their salt than for their crunch. The contrasting texture lifted the dish a notch.
With an anonymous and savage Daily Slope poster:
I had an asparagus appetizer that came with a tepid, watery cheese slurry. It congealed somewhat into a more edible consistency, but it was pretty icky.
“I have to give yet another hearty endorsement … after a stellar performance Sunday evening. …around 4:00 in the afternoon, and we agreed to meet at Cafe Steinhof for drinks and a snack.
“… beer was only $3 a pint, as it always is during happy hour – even on weekends! We snagged a table on the sidewalk, ordered a round, and after a few Gaffel KÃ¶lschs, KÃ¶strizers and Jevers, we were joined by several of my friend’s buddies who just happened to walk by while we were sitting there. Before we knew it, the table was piled high with schnitzel sandwiches, bread dumplings in mushroom broth, chicken paprikash with spaetzle, and a smoked trout salad…”
Pictured: The people from Minnow were handing out
free oysters on the half shell in a Katrina relief fundraiser at the
Grand Army Plaza greenmarket this past Saturday
Famdoc wrote in the Park Slope Message Boards: “Long-time Park Slope residents can recall when the nabe was a wasteland, restaurant-wise. Any decent restaurant was doomed by boomers who preferred fast-food or trips to Manhattan.”
“Then came Cucina. And Al Di La. And Blue Ribbon. And Cocotte. And Belleville. And The Minnow. And now the explosion. What is clear is that the large number of restaurants on Fifth Ave. and the new additions on Seventh cannot all survive. How will things shake down? Well, people vote with their pocketbooks …”
“Tastes change, but PS is full of people with sophisticated taste. What tasted good at Belleville two years ago doesn’t taste as good now that you’ve tried Stone Park. Al Di La still creates masterpieces. Blue Ribbon’s fish is fresher than almost anywhere, except maybe The Minnow. A half-dozen sushi chefs around the slope create inventive sushi. Everyone likes to try the new place.”
“What’s a person to do? Look for creativity. Look for value. Look for ambience. If you’re 25 years old and want to drink, ambience means crowds and noise. If, like me, you’re in your forties and accustomed to NYC restaurants, you want a quiet room, the ability to see and hear your dining companion, fresh, inventive food and good wine.”
“Communicate with fellow PSers about your experiences. This blog is one forum. An even better forum is chowhound.com. Don’t be afraid to tell a waitperson, host or owner what you liked and what you didn’t like about their restaurant. (I’ve eaten at Stone Park frequently since they opened. Following last year’s two star NYTimes review, they copped an attitude, which only got more unpleasant during Brooklyn restaurant week. I shared my concern with a hostess and was happy to see things revert back to the old warmth I expected there).”
“A year from now, at least a dozen PS restaurants will be out of business. That leaves three dozen to thrive and thrill our tastebuds. Support the restaurants that please you.”