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Armando's returing to Bklyn Heights this spring

from today's New York Daily News:

The restaurant's old phone number was reinstalled Thursday. And, in three months' time, Armando's will reopen on Montague St., said former and future owner Peter Byros.

The Italian eatery closed last year, and the sandwich chain Spicy Pickle opened briefly in its place. "They didn't make it; they defaulted on their lease," said Byros, who also owns the building and retired last year. "I thought I'd had enough after 27 years."

Byros is the third owner of the restaurant, which opened on the spot during the Great Depression. Maria Byros, Peter's daughter, will manage the new Armando's.

"We're going to keep it in a similar style - Old New York - but freshened up," said the younger Byros, noting the menu will feature some yet-to-be-determined new items, along with some old favorites.

- - -

Personally, I was never impressed with Armando's food, given the nearby alternatives (Noodle Pudding, La Traviata, Caffe Buon Gusto), bus perhaps the "freshened up" style will make all the difference.

Mar 17, 2009
gerrymander in Outer Boroughs

Arby's to move into Gage & Tollner space

According to today's Daily News, a Brooklyn franchisee plans to open 41 Arby's restaurants in NYC in the next ten years has filed an application with the Landmarks Preservation Commission to convert the G&T space into one of them. Quoting the Daily News: "We’re keeping everything in place, and anything we move in will be nonpermanent and easy to move out.....It will probably be the most beautiful Arby’s ever.”

How the mighty have fallen

Mar 12, 2009
gerrymander in Outer Boroughs

Upscale Indian or Thai in Brooklyn (Downtown or Williamsburg)?

What about Joya? Not specifically in Downtown Brooklyn, but only about 5 blocks south in Cobble Hill at 215 Court St. (bet. Warren & Wykcoff Sts.) Gets a 23 Food rating from Zagats.

Mar 04, 2009
gerrymander in Outer Boroughs

Things no longer hopping at Eight Mile Creek

I took some friends out to dinner this past weekend, and suggested Eight Mile Creek for Aussie food. When we arrived, we noticed that half of us had menus with Kangaroo options (skewers on the Appletizers list and loin on the Entrees) and half of us did not. When we asked the waiter, he said that they were no longer ALLOWED to serve Kangaroo (not clear is this was the City, FDA or whom) and that the older menus were being taken out of circulation. A pity, since the last time was there, I was told by the dinner arranger (a Vegetarian) that it was not acceptable to ORDER Kangaroo in her presence (however, the Emu carpaccio was still okay).

Other than the lack of Roo, the Emu, Tuna, Barramundi, Lamb and Sticky Date pudding were all excellent, as were (needless to say) the Australian wines.

Dec 11, 2008
gerrymander in Manhattan

Lunch places near Back Bay?

I'm travelling to a Conference next week at the Westin Copley Plaza. Setting aside the chains and usual deli type establishments, do you have any recommendations of where to go for a lunch hour? Pasta, salad, ethnic meals are all in my usual group of lunch plans.

I need a 10th Anniversary Dining Group suggestion

Price is before tax and tip, and the group size will probably be 15-20. Also, we need accomodation for vegetarians.

Nov 26, 2007
gerrymander in Manhattan

I need a 10th Anniversary Dining Group suggestion

I'm a member of a group which has been eating out every other week since 1998. The basic rules have been:
- Manhattan location
- Approximate cost of $34-$40 per person
- No restaurant repetitions
- No cuisine repetitions in a calendar year

We're looking for a restaurant to celebrate our 10th Anniversay in January with a higher price tage ($50-60?). What can people suggest for a celebratory meal that really conveys the viariety of food choices available in NYC?

nb - participation in the group is open to anyone with an interest in food and good conversation. More details available at

Nov 26, 2007
gerrymander in Manhattan

New Food Store in Downtown Brooklyn?, a blog focused on Brooklyn real estate recently ran the following item:

"Which Foodie Is Coming to Court and State?

Who just signed the retail lease in the new building at the corner of State and Court in Brooklyn Heights? That was the question that had members of the audience scratching their heads at last week's quarterly Brooklyn Real Estate Roundtable held at the Brooklyn Historical Society. The corner location, which includes about 2,500 square feet on the ground floor and another 2,500 in the basement, just rented at a record-high $125 a foot after "long and protracted" negotiations, according to Massey Knakal senior partner Tim King. As to who the tenant is, King would only drop the tantalizing clue that it's a company that's been in the food production biz for the last hundred years. The two that leapt to our mind—Zabar's and Di Palo—only go back to the 1930s, so scratch them. An announcement is expected in the next week or two, but we thought if we all put our heads together, maybe we could figure it out. Ideas?

Anyone have information or insight?

Nov 21, 2007
gerrymander in Outer Boroughs

Visiting and eating for 1 week in NYC - what not to miss?

No objection to a lunch dessert, but I've gone three times at 8-8:30 PM, and never had a problem with the waiting time...

Aug 18, 2007
gerrymander in Manhattan

Visiting and eating for 1 week in NYC - what not to miss?

Your menu seems skewed toward oriental. How about some Indian? I can recommend Chennai Garden on E 27th Street: "kosher vegetarian" and very fresh with a bargain lunch buffet.

For dessert, find a restaurant in the East Village, and then go to Chikalicious on E 10th St for their prix fixe dessert menu ($12 for amous bouche, your choice of dessrt and petit fours.

Aug 18, 2007
gerrymander in Manhattan

The "new" Cafe on Clinton - - not so sure...

A previous thread discussed the fact that Cafe on Clinton, a popular neighborhood bistro in Cobble Hill, had closed in June for restructuring, and that Chef Charlie Statelman from Patois was taking over and reorganizing the menu. My wife and I stopped by today, and found it newly re-opened (apparently the second night).

My first impression about the menu, is that Chef Statelman is attempting to emulate Brooklyn Heights's JACK THE HORSE - a neighborhood restaurant/bar but with a more "sophisticated" menu. You can still get a burger, but most of the old favorites are gone, or have been spiffied up. The first thing I noticed on the chalkboard menu was "crispy sweetbreads" and a Chef's Tasting Menu with wine-pairings; not necessarily what I expect at a neighborhood joint. The main menu now has a pate appetizer, nothing approaching a basic green salad, and the entrees come with optional sides, rather than a set plate. The wine list has been substantially expanded, but is still affordable (I had a nice South African blend for $25. The bread basket now comes with a crusty boule, served with olive oil rather than butter. The dessert list seemed surpisingly simple for the new menu: pear tart, chocolate tart, pineapple crumb cake, etc.

The food quality, as of last night, was mixed. My vegetable dumplings were in a fairly thick dough, and the dish didn't come with a dipping sauce to moisten the; instead you were supposed to use pickled vegetables on the side. My stake (bare on the plate -- veggies and potatoes are now optional sides) was well cooked and tasty, but had a hint of bacon, which wasn;t mentioned in the description (no objection, but it was a surprising tase that I wasn;t prepared for). My wife's frise salad was very good, but her spaghetti with oil, pignoli and lemon zest seemed a little plain -- maybe a garnish of herbs.

I'm willing to concede that, on their second night, service issues still need to be worked out, but the wait staff seemed overwhelmed by the full house (the same kitchen crew was there however, and kept up with all orders, including the party of 10 that was sitting next to us. We were approached by two different waitresses to see if we had ordered yet. We had to ask for a bread basket after seeing it delivered elsewhere, then had to ask for the olive oil that was supposed to come with it. And -- what always steams me -- is being told after dinner that they don't have the "official" clear bags in which I am allowed to take my wine home. I don't care what the law says: in the past three years, I have come across exactly one restaurant that carries these things (and was unable to figure out how to open them). Put it in a regular takeout bag and let me be on my way.

Will we go back? Probably, but I don't know how often. The old COC had a comfortable neighborhood feel, and I new I could always find something to eat, either simple or elaborate. Now, the simple seems to be gone.

Aug 18, 2007
gerrymander in Outer Boroughs