Ample Hills, 421 Van Brunt Street (at Beard), Red Hook
Ample Hills debuted its newest location, a 15,000-square-foot factory in Red Hook, on July 4, according to The Bridge. Along with scooping out frozen treats for customers, the new location will begin hosting factory tours later this month!
The facility will produce one million gallons of ice cream a year for its growing roster of stores which include the original at 623 Vanderbilt Avenue in Prospect Heights, 305 Nevins Street in Gowanus, Dekalb Market Hall in Downtown Brooklyn, and a seasonal location on Pier 5 at Brooklyn Bridge Park. No updates yet on when the planned shop at 192 Prospect Park West is expected to open.
Imani Caribbean Kitchen & Bar, 271 Adelphi Street (at Dekalb), Fort Greene
This new Caribbean eatery debuted in Fort Greene about three months ago, serving “traditional Caribbean flavors and a little Brooklyn flair,” according to their website. Dishes are prepared with locally-sourced ingredients and include “daily market specials, jerk spices, comfort food and rum cocktails.” Some of the dinner options include Spicy Spare Ribs, Jerk Corn on the Cob, Oxtail Stew, Tiger Shrimp & Grits, Jerk Ramen, an Island Burger, and more.
Madcap Cafe & Bar, 387 Court Street (at 1st Place), Carroll Gardens
This quirky, new neighborhood spot by Chef Heather Fuller (formerly of Ko and Nix) offers brunch everyday (with Housemade Cinnamon Bunz with a lemon glaze) as well as an all-day menu featuring Snacks & Greens (veggie nachos, guacamole & chips, salads, a cheese plate) and Larger Plates & Sandwiches (squash dumplings, meatballs, and the CGBG or the Carroll Gardens Burger.) Check out Gothamist’s thumbs-up review here.
Mori, 351 5th Avenue (between 4th & 5th Streets), Park Slope
This tiny, contemporary Asian eatery has taken over the former Surfish Peruvian Bistro space across from MS 51. Helmed by Chef Mike Ding (formerly of Jean-Georges and Picholine), the cozy spot with 24 seats is perfect for enjoying sake, beer, and Asian cuisine prepared with a “bit of French flair.” The seasonal dinner menu currently includes tuna tartare, rice bowls with fresh fish, seared Wagyu beef, a classic burger, a Korean fried chicken sandwich, and more.
Pizza Secret, 72 5th Avenue (at St. Marks Place), Park Slope
Shortly after its June 30th debut, this new pizza restaurant was suddenly closed last week by the Department of Health due to “issues related from the previous ownership,” a note on the door states. Another pizzeria, Locanda Peperoncino, occupied the corner storefront for 14 years until it closed on May 30. Pizza Secret’s Executive Chef is Rosario Granieri of Eataly’s Rossopomodoro. Hopefully the necessary repairs will be quick and Pizza Secret can get back to business soon.
Polo Caffe, 803 8th Avenue (at 8th Street), Park Slope
Launched at the end of June in the former Park Slope Pharmacy space, this cafe features Intelligentsia coffee, pastries, Italian sandwiches made with imported ham, fresh mozzarella and prosciutto, as well as beer and wine. There’s no website for the new eatery and the Facebook page is minimal, but Yelp reviewers already seem to love it!
Sofreh Brooklyn, 75 St. Marks Avenue (at Flatbush), Prospect Heights
Opened on June 20, this new restaurant features “authentic Persian home cooking made with love,” according to the website. Sofreh’s Chef/Owner Nasim Alikhani moved from Iran to NYC in 1983 where she has worked in restaurants and catering, according to Eater. Alikhani makes her own bread, yogurts, pickles, and marmalades to accompany her dishes including Kohresht Beh Aloo, a lamb and quince stew, and Fesenjan, a chicken stew simmered with ground walnuts and pomegranate molasses.
Thai Festival, 193 Smith Street (at Warren), Cobble Hill
Recently opened in the former Spice Thai space, this colorful new eatery aims to “to bring a touch of the rural atmosphere of temple parties in Thailand to New York” with carnivalesque decor and Thai country music. The menu offers traditional Thai dishes including Fried Fish Balls, lots of seafood, curries, noodles, and vegan options.
Velvette Brew, 279 5th Avenue (at 1st Street), Park Slope
A reader recently sent us a tip that a Velvette Brew, a barista-owned and operated coffee shop, is coming to the corner spot at 5th Avenue and 1st Street that previously housed Henri on 5th. Another Velvette Brew opened up at 251 Smith Street in Carroll Gardens last July.
In sadder news, another reader wrote in recently to let us know that Italian restaurant Il Sogno Secondo at 310 5th Avenue closed last month. The original Il Sogno remains open in Staten Island.
Also Brooklyn’s only Papaya King outpost at 6 Flatbush (between Nevins & Fulton) has closed after two years, Grub Street reported. “We are currently concentrating on other channels of the frankfurter business,” Papaya King owner Wayne Rosenbaum told the food blog, which includes distributing their hot dogs and fruity drinks nationally.