Archive for the tag 'restaurants'

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Sagdiana, a three-year-old Uzbek restaurant at 2612 East 14th Street, has given way to Azerbaijan House.

An employee of the new restaurant told us yesterday that the business changed hands about a month ago. They’ve built a website and are still working on their menu, but have a temporary roster of Azeri offerings.

Azerbaijain House is also somewhat distinct – while the number of Uzbek restaurants in Southern Brooklyn swells dramatically, there are only a handful of Azeri restaurants. Still, the employee said they would keep a number of Uzbek offerings on the menu.

Azeri cuisine is similar to Uzbek, both being nations of the Caucasus region and important stops along the Silk Road. They do have their regional differences, especially their takes on plov, of which Azeris boast of more than 40 different recipes (though the temporary menu offers only one). [Update: informed readers have pointed out that I know nothing.]

Good luck to Azerbaijan House, as well as to the former owners of Sagdiana!

Local restaurants participated in the event's launch and tasting last week at Borough Hall (Source: Kathryn Kirk/Brooklyn BP's Office)

Local restaurants participated in the event’s launch and tasting last week at Borough Hall (Source: Kathryn Kirk/Brooklyn BP’s Office)

The 11th annual Dine in Brooklyn event is set to kick off next Monday, and with $25 prix fixe dinners offered at more than 150 restaurants across the borough, foodies can pack their pie-holes with cuisines from every part of one of the nation’s most culinary diverse counties.

Over eight days beginning next week, diners can get $15 lunch and $25 dinner deals at more than 150 restaurants. The exact dates blackout restaurants’ most busy days, but those willing to go for weekday food fun will find the deals at the restaurants from Monday, October 20, to Thursday, October 23, and again from Monday, October 27, to Thursday, October 30.

A mere $25 covers prix fixe dinner menus, and most of the restaurants will offer two-for-$15 lunch menus.

Organized by the Brooklyn Borough President’s office, the event is about exposing neighbors to their local restaurants and supporting one of the borough’s most prodigious industries.

“Dine In Brooklyn celebrates the five-star flavors that make Brooklyn a ‘must-taste’ destination,” said Borough President Eric Adams in a press release. “Our restaurants fuel our borough’s economic engine, and this event is an opportunity to support their continued growth while encouraging diners to discover – or rediscover – their favorite Brooklyn dish. Most importantly, Dine In Brooklyn fosters the connections and memories that make ‘One Brooklyn’ like no place else on the globe.”

The number of Southern Brooklyn restaurants participating in 2014 has swelled a great deal from years past, with dozens now on the list. Just a few of our favorites:

  • il Fornetto (Sheepshead Bay)
  • Mill Basin Deli (Mill Basin)
  • New Ruan’s Restaurant (Bensonhurst)
  • Clemente’s Maryland Crab House (Sheepshead Bay)
  • L&B Spumoni Gardens (Gravesend)
  • Oleandr Restaurant (Brighton Beach)
  • Theresa’s Place (Dyker Heights)
  • Anatolian Gyro (Sheepshead Bay)
  • Peggy O’Neill’s (Coney Island)
  • Mama Rao Cucina Italiana (Dyker Heights)
  • Buckley’s (Marine Park)

Really, though, that’s just a sliver of the long list of truly local restaurants offering the deal, many of which we hope to try. Check out the full list here.

Which restaurants do you hope to get a taste of during Dine in Brooklyn?

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Shisha Lounge at 2711 Avenue U has closed for good after less than a year in business.

It looks like the business shuttered a month or so ago, and “For rent” signs are now up at the location. The Egyptian hookah lounge and restaurant opened in December 2013, promising “the best shisha you’ve ever had” on their website. Prices on both food and hookah were below what many in the area charge, yet it seemed the restaurant couldn’t get a foothold.

Best of luck to its owners on their future endeavors!

dunkin-donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts will soon open at 273 Avenue X, replacing an independent coffee house with a franchise.

The storefront, at the corner of Stryker Street and a block shy of McDonald Avenue, is the former home of Amori Baci,, a nice Italian cafe that served gelato and crepes in addition to standard coffee house fare. Amori Baci opened in 2011, but we’re not sure when it shuttered.

Dunkin’ Donuts appears to be making moves in the area. Another location is popping up on Neptune Avenue in Brighton Beach, as well as on Cropsey Avenue in Bath Beach. Those are the ones we know about, and their website lists dozens of existing locations in the area. With the latest additions, it’s nearly at the point where you’ll be able to find a D-n-D within five blocks of any spot in the neighborhood.

We’re not so sure that’s a good thing. What do you think?

Photo by John H.

Photo by John H.

Tipsters let us know that Pizza D’Amore is preparing to open up shop at 3003 Avenue U, the former storefront of Pizzeria Del Corso and Sammie’s Pizza.

It’s the latest outpost for the pizzeria, which also has locations in Mill Basin and Bensonhurst’s Ceasar’s Bay. The storefront is being fully renovated and the exterior got a major facelift.

The previous tenant, Sammie’s Pizza and Restaurant, opened in 2011 and closed up shop some time ago after failing to make much of a mark in the neighborhood. And, to be fair, they had big shoes to fill after taking the spot over from Pizzeria Del Corso, run by pizza prodigy Nino Coniglio.

We’ve heard good things about Pizza D’Amore, though, and readers of our sister site Bensonhurst Bean nominated it as one of that neighborhood’s best slices.

Best of luck to the new owners, and we look forward to grabbing a bite soon!

ms-pizza

Pizzeria number four is coming to the space at 2224 Avenue U, where signs for Michael & Sophia’s Pizzeria went up recently.

The new pizzeria will replace Grandpa’s Pizza Cafe, which closed in May after four months in business. Prior to that it was South Brooklyn Pizza, which had served up pies for less than a year. Before South Brooklyn Pizza, there was Calabrese Pizza & Restaurant, which was also short-lived. Before that, there was Tai Yuan, which was open for only a few weeks. Tai Shan preceded that – again, surviving only a few months.

That would make this business number seven in five years.

We wish Michael & Sophia’s the best of luck, and truly hope they succeed in breaking what appears to be a curse on this address – at least for any eatery. We hope to let you know when they’re open.

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Walking past the Emmons Avenue staple Randazzo’s Clam Bar on Monday, we spotted that the restaurant overhauled its iconic lobster sign.

Gone are the days of single-color neon red lighting lining the lobster above the 2017 Emmons Avenue storefront. Good ol’ claws has been modernized. More color. More flashing. More lobsterrific.

I set up to take one photo of it, but couldn’t decide which color I liked best. So I took as many as I could and stitched the photos together into an animated GIF. In real life, the colors don’t change as quickly. But here at Sheepshead Bites, we do everything faster. Try not to have a seizure.

Here’s one I art-ed up a bit for you:

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Gourmanoff, a new gourmet supermarket from the folks behind NetCost Market, is now open at 1029 Brighton Beach Avenue, taking up the ground floor of the former Millenium Theater.

The owners celebrated the grand opening Monday evening with an invite-only party, with Vegas-style cocktail waitresses handing out champagne and a full display of the market’s culinary talents. Here’s our photo tour.

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“We want Gourmanoff to be Lexus to NetCost’s Toyota,” said executive chef Zack Hess, pictured above. “It’s a different caliber than NetCost. Our products are super high-end.”

Hess, 32, said the market only sells organic meats, and all seafood is shipped fresh from Alaska, Maine and Long Island.

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The third-generation chef comes to Gourmanoff after stints at Manhattan restaurants and ritzy country clubs. Now he oversees Gourmanoff’s prolific kitchen, which produces dozens of hot items served along the market’s perimeter. From sushi to shashlik, lobster rolls to olivier salads and a huge display of smoked fish, Hess, a Sheepshead Bay native, has a hand in all of it.

His favorite items on the menu are the scallop ceviche and short ribs, which we can attest were among the best of the dozens of samples offered Monday night.

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dunkin-donuts

Brighton Beach will be home to a new Dunkin’ Donuts in the near future, with construction set to wrap up soon at 361 Neptune Avenue, on the corner of Brighton 3rd Street.

The lot has been home to the shell of an old gas station and garage for quite a number of years, and it looks like plans for the franchise coffee and sweets shop have been in the works since late 2012, judging from Department of Buildings records. The plans were finally approved in January and work began thereafter.

It doesn’t look like they’ll have a drive-through operation, but there will be parking for as many as 13 cars in the lot – which has yet to be paved. It looks like they’re still working on the interior, too, and the cracked, weed-covered sidewalk around the perimeter will probably be redone as well.

What do you think – good place for a Dunkin’ Donuts?

The same lot in 2012. Source: Google Maps

The same lot in 2012. Source: Google Maps

fridays

Source: Fridays

Thank the lord for America’s independent, free press, delving into the weightiest and most controversial of issues, serving as a public watchdog, the fourth estate, protecting our freedoms… and eating mozzarella sticks for 14 hours so we don’t have to.

In case you haven’t heard, T.G.I. Friday’s launched a new promotion at select locations, giving patrons the chance to eat an unlimited amount of appetizers for just $10. Creatively, it’s called “Endless Appetizers.”

I know what you’re thinking. “Psha. Endless? Yeah, right. They’ll crack down on you by hour three and start demanding you order something or get out.” Especially in the no-nonsense, rough-and-tumble Sheepshead Bay location, right?

That’s what Gawker’s Caity Weaver thought too. So she did her journalistic duty, trekked down to Harkness Avenue, ordered some endless mozzarella sticks (you only get to choose one of seven appetizers – madness!), and sat their for four… teen… freakin’… hours.

Forget Israel. Forget the Ukraine. Somebody get this lady a Pulitzer and tell all those other reporters to go home.

What resulted from the effort was a whopping 6,000-word opus to utter self-contempt in a nearly minute-by-minute breakdown of her stay. All-in-all, Weaver didn’t eat all that much; just 7 orders, or 32 mozzarella sticks in total. That’s an amount most of fat, big-mouthed jerks behind keyboards think is just pitiful, but Weaver attributes it to the fact that Friday’s mozzarella sticks, which have been gussied in up in vain with a Parmesan and Romano dusting, were just god awful. And I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt, because by the end of it she so clearly hated herself in a way that suggested she ate three times that amount.

The conclusion? Well, the Endless Appetizers deal is unlimited, although Weaver potentially sabotaged the report by disclosing to management before she began that she was there to test the policy. So further research must be done. (We’re on it.)

Other takeaways? Friday’s mozzarella sticks reportedly suck. Heinz makes you do too much to participate in their back-of-the-bottle promotions. The daytime service at Fridays is nice; in the evening, not so much. Weaver doesn’t care much for Plumb Beach channel, which she describes thusly, “as nice as any scenic bay or rainbow gasoline puddle.” There appear to be a few creeps who hang out there and say weird things to pretty girls covered in mozzarella-stick-grease.

Oh, and Caity Weaver is funny as hell. Read this thing. It was the best part of my day.

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