Food gossip for the new year!

By Sarah Zorn

Brooklyn Heights is in the red, Crown Heights raises the bar, and Park Slope’s standing tal(de)! Christmas may be over, but we still have plenty of reason to celebrate — there’s a wealth of hotter-than-hot restaurants set to open in 2012. Our New Year’s resolution is to try them all — on the paper’s dime, of course!

Top chef takeover

Park Slope is feeding ground for Bravo’s Top Chef, season 4 alums! Mark Simmons laid the gauntlet down first with Kiwiana off of Union Street, but Dale Talde (who also rocked it in Top Chef: All-Stars), has also packed his knives and moved to Seventh Avenue. Expect inventive, pan-Asian fare like crispy oyster-bacon

pad thai and pretzel, pork and chive dumplings at this 70 seat spot, co-owned by the team behind nearby Thistle Hill Tavern.

Projected opening: Early January

Talde [369 Seventh Ave. at 11th Street in Park Slope, no phone].

Top chef takeover, times two

Don’t expect the original Top Chef (season 1 winner, Harold Dieterle), to secede Brooklyn to season 4 so easily. The Perilla and Kin Shop owner finally crosses the bridge for his first outer-borough venture — The Marrow — located in Downtown Brooklyn’s upcoming Hotel 718. Think dry-aged steaks, bison carpaccio, and ostrich schnitzel with spaetzle. So meaty!

Projected opening: February 16th

The Marrow [231 Duffield St. between Willoughby Street and Elm Place in Downtown, (855) 718-1955].

Crown jewel

Park Slope currently boasts a lions share of great eating options, but it was the elegant Venetian trattoria, al di la, that first made snooty Manhattan foodies stand up and take notice. Let’s see if Crown Heights gets a similar boost from little sister, Bar Corvo, which will serve Italian food, wine and cocktails from an open kitchen — with a big backyard to (hopefully) accommodate the inevitable overflow of clamoring patrons.

Projected opening: Early to mid January

Bar Corvo [791 Washington Ave. between Lincoln and St. Johns Places in Crown Heights, (718) 230-0940].

Hot tomato

The assured success of Saul Bolton’s new rustic Italian venture, Red Gravy, will be, well, just gravy atop his already delectable Brooklyn-centric empire (think Saul in Cobble Hill, The Vanderbilt in Prospect Heights, and the Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg). Can’t wait to see what a Michelin-starred chef does with nonna’s old recipes? Look for the meatballs to start rolling out in early spring.

Projected opening: April

Red Gravy [151 Atlantic Ave. near Clinton Street in Brooklyn Heights, no phone].

Asian sensation

Don’t go looking for Pad Thai at the upcoming Columbia Waterfront District location of Pok Pok, a James Beard Award winning, Portland, Oregon import specializing in authentic, Southeast Asian street food. Follow up your glass of Pandanus leaf-infused water with Muu Paa Kham Waan, soy and sugar glazed, charcoal grilled boar collar, or Hoi Thawt, crispy broken crepe with eggs and steamed mussels.

Projected opening: Early 2012

Pok Pok NY [127 Columbia St. between Kane and Degraw Streets in the Columbia Waterfront District, no phone].

The hills are alive

You take your chances when you trek to Vinegar Hill House with dinner parties under four (or of any size on weekends) — there aren’t a ton of places to pass the time during your inevitable hour plus wait for a table. That’s why the March opening of Hillside, a casual VHH offshoot, is so eagerly anticipated — ordering up a few light bites, a beer or a glass of wine is highly preferable to pounding the pavement while you wait for your chance at chef Brian Leth’s lauded red wattle country chop.

Projected opening: March

Hillside [70 Hudson Ave. at Water Street in Vinegar Hill, call Vinegar Hill House at (718) 522-1018].