It’s out with the old (Italian) in DUMBO, and in with the new (Italian) in Crown Heights and Cobble Hill — in this week’s family-sized serving of saucy gossip!
It’s the end of Italian food as we know it! Like the 100-year-old Monte’s Venetian Room in Gowanus before it, DUMBO’s own centenarian staple, Pete’s Downtown, is laying down its parmagiana and shutting its doors. Although often outshined by nearby neighbors The River Café and Grimaldi’s, it was hard to beat Pete’s for no-muss-no-fuss eggplant rollatini and impeccable waterfront views.
Crown Heights just may have a contender on the posh pizza scene with the newly opened Pete Zaaz, an upper-crust entry with owners that hail from the quirky No. 7 in Fort Greene and the distinguished Pulino’s in the East Village. Sure, you can get your slice topped Brooklyn-style with tomato and motz at this pioneering pie spot, but why not try a Cold Fried Chicken, with curried yellow squash, fontina, stewed collards, and pickled Thai chilies; or the Baked Potato, with bacon, cheddar, green onion and crème fraiche? Mama mia, that’s not your nonna’s pizza!
Every chef wants a spot on Smith Street, and according to Grub Street, Bridgehampton-based Joe Isidori, chef/owner of the sustainable seafood loving Southfork Kitchen, has just snagged one. Expect gussied up Italian at his upcoming restaurant, Arthur on Smith, like Hudson Valley guinea hen saltimbocca, with farm fresh eggs and responsibly sourced speck.
Bun in the oven
Greenpointers with a jones for bacon caramel corn, ginger beer cupcakes, and gluten-free pistachio agave cookies may soon be in luck! Ovenly — a two-woman baking business that supplies handcrafted treats to upscale retailers like The Brooklyn Kitchen, Coolhaus, Eastern District, and Greene Grape Provisions — is looking to open a dedicated storefront at 31 Greenpoint Avenue. How sweet it is!
Tears for beers
It seems the casks have run dry (at least until mid-month) at Park Slope’s popular artisanal ale house, Beer Table. According to Grub Street, a paperwork kerfuffle with the SLA and the local community board has resulted in their license being pulled temporarily. Until then, owners Justin and Tricia Philips hope to keep patrons sated with a teetotaling lunch and brunch service, including an arugula salad with cippolini onions and sunflower seeds, heirloom beans with duck sausage and sage, and, if you must do the brew, beef and beer stew with malt vinegar and toast.
Winner, winner, chicken dinner?
We’re not sure how to feel about the fact that the first Brooklyn location of Pudgies, the franchised, skinless fried chicken hut, is coming home to roost on Bay Ridge’s resolutely mom-and-pop-oriented Third Avenue — although we do appreciate the fact that owner Brett Cohen (who also owns nearby Globe Drug and Surgical) has deep roots in the community. Do you cry fair or fowl, Bay Ridge? Discuss.
Reach Arts Editor Juliet Linderman at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-8309.