Thursday, August 09, 2007

Park Slope Food Creeps South: The Project Me! Report

future pizza

Guest blogger Krista Garcia of Project Me!, the wonderful food blog that features both great items on restaurants and recipes, was kind enough to file a report on the movement of Park Slope-style eateries into the blocks to the south. Check it out:

In the early twenty-first century I inhabited Brooklyn’s barren wasteland in the 30s, cemetery to the east, federal prison and porn shops to the west. Call it Greenwood Heights if you will (I wouldn’t). Sunset Park North, even. South Slope, not so much. Chinese take-out, Mobil’s On the Run and White Castle were about as good as it got culinarily. I quickly gave up on any scant Park Slope goodness ever creeping downward.

At the time I had a boss who lived on Eighth Street . And despite being younger than me, she reminded me of an intolerable mom consumed with repetitive, clueless questioning. She had a fondness for asking, “So, are there any restaurants in your neighborhood yet?” “No, dumb ass, same as the last time you asked me.” I tried repressing my surliness but was eventually fired anyway (in part for writing about her on the internet. C’mon, what kind of freak freely admits to calling a carbohydrate addicts hotline and doesn’t expect ridicule?).

Now, it appears that I’d finally have a fresh answer for this woman. In the past couple of months the teens and 20s have received plenty of Park Slope spillover (and it seems that all new storefronts must have three long-necked lamps over the awning). I couldn’t have waited five years for wine bars and sushi. Yet gentrification is still slow going in certain pockets. My former underdeveloped 30s? White Castle remains the only bright spot.

Has anyone visited these newcomers or have any dirt on the burgeoning scene south of the Prospect Expressway?

· Sidecar: 560 Fifth Avenue , between 15th and 16th streets.
· Vin Rouge: 629 Fifth Avenue , between 17th and 18th streets.
· Quarter, Fifth Avenue , just below 20th Street.
· Sushi will be replacing Coffee Shack on Fifth Avenue (photo below), right next to Vin Rouge.
· Brick oven pizza (photo above) is rumored for the NW corner of Sixth Avenue and 21st Street.

future sushi



Blogger Sarah said...

semi-related: does anyone know what the new restaurant on 5th between 12th and 13th (formerly an Ecuadorian cafeteria I believe) is turning into? During construction, the set-up, etc., looked fancy.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Krista said...

I don't have any first-hand knowledge about what the former Salinas space is turning into, but I just read on another blog that it will be "upscale Mexican". I'm sorry that I never got to try their cuy, a.k.a. guinea pig.

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quarter is great, although they just raised drink prices to $8. The drinks are really good -- easily competing with what you'd get in fancy Manhattan places -- but they have to be careful not to get carried away. But seriously, David (bartender) puts a lot of care into the cocktails. The best value there, in my opinion, is the $5 proper-sized Weihenstephaner. Downside is that it does attract a certain douchey element, but it's by no means the prevailing clientele. Go on an off night to get better service/vibes.

I hear Vin Rouge is nice, with friendly proprietors, but I haven't been.

And, incidentally, what is so wrong with replacing nothing with something nice? I can guarantee you the people behind Quarter aren't moguls, and I doubt the people behind Vin Rouge are either. They're regular entrepreneurs who happen to want something better than a Coffee Shack or another deli. And speaking of coffee, get a capuccino from Cafe Sutra (cadercorner from Eagle). I'm curious whether that qualifies as "Park Slope."

6:17 PM  
Blogger sam said...

upscale mexican is going in next door to commonwealth. the pizza place that you are asking about is an off-shoot of kitchen bar. more details over on my blog.

7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone know what's going into the bottom of 556 5th Avenue? It's that construction site that's been there for a year or so now. Looks like a decent size space, and it's right next do Sidecar. Looks like those brokers at Masey Knakal are doing the leasing. Anyone talk to them to get info?

1:19 PM  
Anonymous uberfrau said...

I believe the place next to Commonwealth is going to be a fancy Mexican restaurant.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

I live on 18th Street and 5th and can't believe all the new places opening up in the neighborhood. I had heard that old coffee shop was going to be a sushi place, but I didn't believe it. Vin Rogue is owned by the people over at Has Beans, a great spot for coffee. They are very friendly and run two nice places. Other places to note in that area are the BBQ place on 6th and 20th (owned and run by neighbors two doors down from me) and El Rincon Familiar on 5th and 19th.

4:15 PM  

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