Williamsburg goes blue collar, Fort Greene gets too many Mo’s, and Bay Ridge dishes out two scoops (on one street) in this weeks serving of slurpable gossip:
Oh Mo you didn’t: Moe’s, the popular Fort Greene watering hole that closed six weeks ago in a rent dispute, is set to reopen on this week under new management. The name of the revamped joint? Mo’s! People aren’t pleased. “I wouldn’t think that anybody would do such a thing,” former owner, Ruby Lawrence, told The Local, a blog. “I don’t think it’s a smart business move, and it’s incredibly rude.” Not only that, but the date of the official kick-off party is June 22, which would have been Moe’s 10-year anniversary. Nervy! A group of Moe’s regulars have taken up arms on Facebook, and plan to (peacefully) demonstrate outside of the bar during the opening.
Top Chef — Park Slope: Not only has Mark Simmons — formerly of Melt in Park Slope, and the eighth contestant eliminated on Season 4 of “Top Chef: Chicago” — announced plans to open a New Zealand-inspired restaurant, Kiwinia, on Union Street, but Here’s Park Slope reports that Dale Talde (11th chef eliminated on Season 4), will head a modern Asian bistro on Seventh Avenue near 11th Street. Given Talde’s redemptive turn in “Top Chef All-Stars” — and the fact that his new venture is an offshoot of the popular Slope spot, Thistle Hill Tavern — we don’t think the Brooklyn-bound cheftestant will be told to pack his knives and go anytime soon.
Chain chain chain, chain of sushi: Fushimi, the Asian Fusion restaurant with branches in Staten Island and Bay Ridge, is getting ready to sling sashimi in a new, 7,200-square-foot space on Driggs Avenue in Williamsburg. The restaurant revealed on its website that it plans to serve its Japanese specialties in an open bar under a 30-foot glass-enclosed ceiling, promising a “family-friendly, yet stylish setting that will appeal to upscale, late-night crowds, as well as families and hipsters alike.” LOL!
Salty balls for Smith: Smith Street doesn’t lack much as far as restaurants go, but it didn’t have a spot for residents to get a deep-fried squid ball fix — until now. Izakaya, a new joint serving, well, izakaya (classic Japanese finger foods), has opened between Warren and Wyckoff streets in Cobble Hill, with goodies such as yakitori, okonomiyaki, onigiri and takoyaki (grilled meat skewers, Japanese-style omelets, rice balls and the aforementioned squid balls, respectively) making up the heart of the savory menu.
Salty balls for Smorgasburg: Kooky restaurateur Alan Harding (late of the Food Truck at Hot Bird on Atlantic Avenue) has migrated to Smorgasburg in Williamsburg, doling out rice balls in a new venture called Four Pi R Squared. Harding’s balls pay tribute to the tasty arancini once sold at the shuttered Joe’s Superette in Carroll Gardens, although most flout the traditional equation of Arborio rice, cheese, and red sauce. Try the Svengali, with basmati, mustard seed, yellow split peas and cilantro chutney, or the Languedoc, with mixed rice, Armagnac-plumped currents, red wine roasted shallots, and duck fat fried chicken livers.
Scooped! Sweetie, the new frozen yogurt spot on Third Avenue and 92nd Street in Bay Ridge, is getting some unexpected competition from its next-door neighbor, The Little Cupcake Bakeshop. The popular cupcakery is dishing out homemade ice cream from a spanking new cart parked in front of the store. Sweetie has ramped up its own marketing campaign, handing out samples to passerby, but is otherwise playing it cool (for now) on the cone controversy. “You can’t control where people go, but we’re still confident that they will continue to come to us for healthier treats,” said manager, Gordon Guo.
Get juiced: Forget the fro yo — real Bay Ridge health nuts can get the ultimate full-body tune-up at Bicycle World on Third Avenue and 89th Street. The front half of the 30-year-old cycle shop has recently been converted into a smoothie and juice bar, serving up glasses of Morning Mist (celery, cucumber and pear juice), and Cookie Pedals & Cream (soy milk and Oreos) to go along with Eastern Traildiggers and Ellsworth AM Wheelsets. “The juices definitely sell better than the smoothies,” confirmed employee, Tania Abbate. “The people that come in here are like, really healthy.”
Out with the new: Changes are coming fast and furious at the recently reincarnated Monte’s on Carroll Street in Gowanus, with Executive Chef Christian Sbordi flying the coop less than a week after the soft opening. “He came from a hotel background, and it was his first time running his own kitchen. I think he just got overwhelmed,” said co-owner, Tina Esposito. Native Sicilian Salvatore Zapparata, formerly a sous chef at Tavern on the Green, has taken up the toque, and, according to Esposito, plans on “putting a creative spin on traditional Italian dishes, from both the Northern and Southern region.” Sounds like spaghetti marinara might not be a thing of the past at Monte’s after all.
Quitting time: Finally, Williamsburg residents have a place to unwind after a long day of hard labor. The new Two Door Tavern on N. Fifth Street takes inspiration, according to its website, from the old factories that used to dot the Williamsburg skyline, where “hundreds of hard-working people walked through two factory doors every day with a simple purpose: to make something of quality and make it well.” We’d be happy to dine here anytime, but somehow, can’t picture those aforementioned factory workers eating spinach artichoke dip and homemade pigs in a blanket, or drinking Delirium Tremens Ale and Cucumber Agave Margaritas in the heart of Hipster-ville.