Brooklyn Heights says sayonara to sidewalk seating, a top Clinton Hill tacqueria goes up in flames, and Sheepshead Bay bellies up to the bar. The temperature’s hot this week, and so’s the gossip!
Take a bao: Brooklyn Heights bids goodbye to gyros and grape leaves, and hello to bubble tea and banh mi. Our friends at Brooklyn Heights Blog report that Hanco’s, the popular Vietnamese sandwich spot with branches in Park Slope and Boerum Hill, is taking over the Montague Street space formerly occupied by Mr. Souvlaki. The new takeout joint will provide a jolt of Southeast Asian flavor that’s sure to be welcome on the notoriously insipid strip.
Fighting Iris: What the Heights has gained in sandwiches, it has lost in outdoor eating options. Our friend Rachel Graville tells us that her cozy Iris Café has been forced to kick its sidewalk seating to the curb, after a complaint was lodged with the Department of Consumer Affairs by one noise-averse neighbor. This has already caused outcry from Iris’ devoted coffee klatch, as well as from our own Iris-going editor. And Brooklyn Heights Blog’s Karl Junkersfeld is also irate. Check out his impassioned video on the BHB!
Mama mia: Here’s yet another reason not to bother travelling into Manhattan for a meal. Mama’s Food Shop — Greenwich Village’s favorite cheapie soul spot — is setting down roots in Williamsburg next month, with prices even lower than at its original location. Can’t wait for heaping, affordable plates of fried chicken, meatloaf, mac and cheese, and collard greens? It’s still unnecessary to take a bridge out of Brooklyn — Veronica People’s Club in Greenpoint hosts a Mama’s pop-up every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 6-10 pm. Take that, NYU undergrads!
Drinking on the dock of the bay: Sheepshead Bay’s Draft Barn has finally opened just off of Emmons Avenue. As we reported back in June, the mini-chain would open its fourth old-world beer garden, boasting almost 300 bottles, perfect for washing down a hog knuckle, some Hungarian sausage, or a plate of friga — pan roasted potatoes with bacon and melted mozzarella cheese.
Beards and brews: Prospect Heights residents are also getting their drink on, at a groovy new cocktail emporium called the Bearded Lady. Owned by former alums of the Gowanus Yacht Club and Bar Great Harry, the Washington Avenue joint offers a requisite short list of schmantzy tipples, like the Mr. Howell (single malt Islay Scotch, aged rum, lime juice, cane syrup) and the Kinky Krown (Plymouth Gin, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc, Benedictine, and lemon juice), although co-owner Patrick Britton insists to the sometimes-gullible Prospect Heights Patch that Bearded Lady is just a “shot of cheap whiskey and Budweiser” kind of place. Sure, and Williamsburg’s just a fashion backward, non-trust-fund-having sort of place.
Upper crust: Joining Smith Canteen is Restaurant Row’s newest resident, Bien Cuit, offering the ultimate respite for coffee-and-Danish–fatigued morning commuters. Owned by husband-and-wife team Zachery Golper and Kate Wheatcroft, the tres magnifique Smith Street bakery peddles “petit pains,” miniature, crusty loaves with saffron, pink peppercorns and fleur de sel, brioche with cherries, chocolate, and hazelnuts, and roasted peach tarts with raspberry and lemongrass. This is why breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
New fondue: Get ready for dunkin’, Carroll Gardens, and we’re not talking donuts. Grub Street reports that a second location of Bourgeois Pig — a fancy East Village fondue parlor — will open on Court Street within the next three months. Think Gruyere and caramelized onions with apples and asparagus, cheddar and grains of paradise with cornichons, and Emmentaler and roasted mushrooms with braised artichokes, accompanied by decadent cocktails. Let them eat melted cheese!
Burn notice: Word has spread like wildfire about the tragic torching of the critically acclaimed Clinton Hill taco spot, Cochinita. According to a Fork in the Road interview with owner Adam Frank, the fire — which appears to have originated in an apartment above the restaurant — has caused such devastation, it could be months before the eatery is able to reopen. Frank hopes to cater and do pop-up stints in the meantime — which we hope will include renditions of his justly lauded pibil tacos on freshly made tortillas.