Photo by Erica Sherman

Welcome back to The Bite, Sheepshead Bites’ weekly column where we explore the foodstuffs of Sheepshead Bay. Each week we check out a different offering from one of the many restaurants, delis, food carts, bakeries, butchers, fish mongers, or grocers in our neighborhood. If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.

Welcome to the 25th edition of The Bite. It’s been great eating around the neighborhood, seeking out the new and unusual, stuffing my face with the great and not so great, all to edify you, our dear readers, about the wonders of eating in Sheepshead Bay. I hope I’ve expanded our culinary horizons as much as I’ve expanded my belly.

For the 25th edition of The Bite, I’m going to break tradition and throw out the one dish rule. I’m still going to tell you about a wonderful neighborhood gem, but in a whole new way. This week, The Bite explores the birth and, sadly, the demise of a restaurant.

Enter The Ocean Room, Kingsborough Community College’s Culinary Arts Program’s weekly, student-run restaurant. Oh, don’t worry, The Ocean Room will return in the fall. You’ll get your chance. Maybe. It is by invitation only, after all.

In The Ocean Room, students learn what it takes to run a restaurant. Every Friday, aspiring culinarians throw open the doors to roughly 100 guests for lunch, so that they can put the theoretical into action. Does all that shtick in the classroom translate to the real world? It’s time to put it to the test.

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DJ Johnny Versache of OPM helps inscribe the Sefer Torah / Source: Alex Gorokhov of Glatt Photography for

What makes DJ Johnny Versache different from all other DJ’s?

Well, for one thing, the disc jockey over at OPM Restaurant and Ultra Lounge, 3202 Emmons Avenue, dedicated a new Sefer Torah during a gala dinner benefiting Camp F.R.E.E. – the Gan Israel Scholarship Fund.

The highlight of the event was the commencement of a new Sefer Torah, dedicated by the well-known New York DJ Johnny Versache (Zachariah).

Supporters of the camp in attendance were honored with the writing of the first letters.

Rabbi Dan Dashevsky, the camp’s administrator, told a beautiful story comparing a Jew to a living Torah Scroll and presented the dinner awards together with the camp director, Rabbi Mendel Okunov.

Rabbi Meir Okunov, the chairman of F.R.E.E. awarded Rabbi Shlomo Galperin for the 40 years of dedication to Jewish education. Young professionals and businessmen were entertained by popular comedian Modi.

Recently garnering not such glowing feedback from seniors at a nearby retirement home, hosting a benefit for youngsters to be able to attend Camp F.R.E.E. – Gan Israel is a cause worth making a little noise over.


Photo by Gus.

Manhattan Beachs private security forces are hampered by economy, selfishness, and politics (Photo courtesy of davidsonscott15 via Flickr)

Source: davidsonscott15/Flickr

Manhattan Beach Community Group President Ira Zalcman published on the group’s website a screed against Courier-Life’s (Bay News) reporting of their latest meeting, which oversimplified a long, complicated division with the neighborhood’s private security force – Beachside Patrol – and threw fuel onto the supposed rivalry between the MBCG and the newer Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association. In it, Zalcman bashed the paper for misrepresenting or distorting facts, erroneous statements and sensationalism.

See what the MBCG thinks Bay News messed up, and what our take on the story is.

Cupcake Kings (1613 Voorhies Avenue) capped their first annual cupcake eating competition on Saturday with an outrageous and dastardly claim: Sheepshead Bites brought in a ringer!

After a cancellation left them with an empty seat at the competitors table, Cupcake Kings owners Dennis Roitman and Larry Kopylov turned to the crowd demanding a volunteer. A lone challenger stepped forward: Sheepshead Bites’ marketing assistant Jobana Soto. Clad in the golden insignia that is the Sheepshead Bites t-shirt, Soto claimed the top prize in the women’s category.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that she was the only woman at the table. And that there was no woman’s category. But that didn’t stop the accusations of cheating.

But regardless of these facts and falsities, Soto kept pace with the men, cramming 14 cupcakes in her mouth in the 10-minute competition, besting others, but not all. She joined our other representative at the table, competitive barbecue chef Jim Ryan (above), in making the site proud for their notable capability to jam sugary dough puffs in their pie-holes.

Keep reading about the cupcake conquerors and view photos from the event.

Photo by Erica Sherman

Here at Sheepshead Bites, we are all about spreading the love, even if it means posting porely-spelt “Missed Connections” from Craigslist.

u were walking to subway on sheepshead bay road… – 27 (Sheepshead bay)

…I drove pass and we made heavy eye cocntact a few times. u looked good, masculine and seemed interested, but hesitant. hit me up if this sounds familiar around 620am. let me know

Not that I am one to dole out romantic advice to anyone, but if you want to try to really ‘wow!’ a member of the opposite sex, or even a member of the same sex, while you are cruising at 6:20 a.m. underneath the train trestle, try giving the impression that you graduated from fifth grade. Although, truth be told, I have not had much luck with that tactic myself.

Hey, Valentine’s Day is less than eight months away — why not get a head start?

Detectives from the 61st Precinct are on the hunt for the man photographed above on suspicion of Grand Larceny.

In early June, the suspect approached an unsuspecting woman from behind and snatched her purse. The theft occurred on East 17th Street between Avenue X and Avenue Y.

After fleeing the scene, credit card records show he made several purchases using her account at stores along Avenue U.

Please help keep our streets and property safe! If you have seen this man, call Detective Stephen Cavendish of the 61st Precinct’s Detective Squad at (718) 627-6620.

This is the second in a three-part series by Allan Rosen, examining why service cuts are bad, how ineffective planning hurts the system, and how the MTA can deliver better results.

THE COMMUTE: Yesterday, I mentioned that the MTA is proposing cuts to Manhattan’s bus service as part of its routine service adjustments it does quarterly. These cuts will save the MTA $900,000 per year.  So what is the rationale behind saving this money if, as NYCT President Thomas Prendergast said, the purpose of the cuts is not to save the MTA money?

Did overall patronage in Manhattan go down by one percent to merit a one percent reduction in service? If so, why is it that when bus patronage increased by 10 percent when the economy was doing well, bus service only increased by three percent? The explanation given at the time was that the existing service was able to absorb most of the additional ridership. Perhaps that was a valid explanation, but if service doesn’t increase one for one, it shouldn’t decrease one for one either. What percent of service does $900,000 per year represent? The MTA owes us an explanation.

Between 2005 and 2010 bus ridership declined by 13.2 percent, but subway ridership rose by 12.6 percent. Yet both bus and subway service was cut last year. If subway ridership is continuing to increase, why is it that the routine service adjustments do not reflect this with service being added? The MTA will say that the increases were not great enough to merit the addition of extra trains, which were supposed to be added when the Service Planning Guidelines are exceeded.

What are the guidelines? No one knows! Keep reading…

Photo by Boris Shekhman.

Requiescat In Pace, Carmela "Chubby" Versace | Source: John J. Healey Funeral Home

Ever read an obit and think that you cannot possibly relate less to the person you are reading about? Take Huguette Clark, for instance — the reclusive 104-year-old copper heiress and daughter of a former U.S. Senator from the state of Montana. Who among us was “reared in Beaux-Arts splendor in a 121-room Fifth Avenue mansion” awash in the works of Rembrandt, Donatello, Rubens and Degas?

But then, I happened upon a loving tribute for Sheepshead Bay resident Carmela “Chubby” Versace, 85, who leaves behind a grieving family larger than those of the Bradies and Partridges combined, and I thought, “I could have known this lady,” because she is as salt of the earth as they get.

Born in Greenwich Village, Carmela moved to Sheepshead Bay in 1940 and, like so many people I know who are 65 and older, sold Stanley Home Products door-to-door (or, alternately, Fuller Brush). But you know what really separates this sassy, loving, family-oriented Brooklyn gal from the stodgy old fuddy duddy Huguette? One sentence: “In the words of Chubbs ‘I have two words for you and it’s not Happy Birthday’.”

Check out Versace’s obit.