STATEN ISLAND, NY – Like an animal waking up from a winter slumber, we’ve raised our heads in this pandemic recovery period to rediscover our restaurant landscape. Let’s explore what’s open, what’s closed, and what’s coming to Staten Island. Take a deep breath – there is plenty to drink!
With this, wassup with Fabulous fit? It is owned by a new owner as Northside Coffee in West Brighton. And Masseria DeLuca comes into town diagonally across the street, a more laid back version of DeLuca of Tottenville. These former Project Brunch digs are undergoing a makeover as owner Rob DeLuca clears the place and builds the bar for a rustic Italian farmhouse experience.
On the South Shore Juicy lucy will take over Smashburger in Eltingville. The award-winning Ocean Breeze-based barbecue restaurant will be next door to Sofia’s Taqueria, as advertised on Advance’s The Dish cooking show. With the Rosebank and Mall locations in place, Peter Botros’ third canteen will be set up at 4370 Amboy Road, where Denny’s and Perkins once pumped pancakes.
Happy times are back to Talk about the city, a Great Kills water point which is fully open and is once again serving its regulars.
WHAT IS CLOSED
Ask Alex Dushkin of local restaurant guide and menu finder WhereYouEat.com: “What are the latest big losses in the borough’s food scene? And he calls Big elephant by Rosebank and Jade Asian Bistro, a New Dorp spot nurtured by Angela Chow, a dynamic manager who became the owner. The last day of the restaurant was May 29.
Asian Foods Market fans are losing their minds to the delayed opening of the specialty grocery store in its new location in Mariners Harbor. Hold the dumplings! The contractors installed refrigeration in the space and interior work began.
Asian Foods will be located in the Roman shopping center which is about to open between South and Northfield avenues. The resort is named after late real estate mogul and Holocaust survivor Roman Blum, and the supermarket will open in August. This is one of many restaurant tenants to come to the 86,250 square foot mall. The fryers and hotplates will soon be operating at Taco Bell, Burger King and Teriyaki One, a tea house with hibachi and bubbles.
And speaking of Japanese dishes, Japanese wasabi steakhouse at the Empire Outlets has its chef in place. A gourmet bakery (open in the next few weeks) as well as an outdoor bar and brasserie (July 4th weekend) also come to the waterfront mall.
“As we begin to roll out our dining options, I am delighted to invite Staten Islanders to be among the first to experience our offerings at Clinton Hall, Wasabi Japanese Steakhouse, and Bake Culture, all with expansive outdoor decks overlooking the Manhattan skyline, ”said Joseph Ferrara, director of BFC Partners and developer of Empire Outlets.
Ad by Jimmy Steiny will be back at 3 Hyatt Street on July 1. But wait a minute … aside from the ham sandwiches available behind the bar, BYOF (bring your own food) is encouraged until September. Karaoke is scheduled on Thursday and Saturday evenings throughout the summer after the reopening. For those who work in courts or serve on a jury: Rank this tidbit if you get it wrapped by Borough Hall.
Still closed – but not for good – are Navy Pier Prime in the Urby complex in Stapleton and Enoteca Maria. Both are expected to open later this summer, a representative from each said.
Enoteca owner Jody Scaravella said he and his team were in “upgrade mode” and at the mercy of the contractors. He reported that the famous restaurant run by Nonna was planning an outdoor seating structure. Construction begins next week.
Wynwood Cafe in Urby suffered a crisis after the breakfast-brunch center was flooded in a recent downpour. Owner Mike LiDonni says he’s never experienced anything like this in his lifetime. He estimates at least a month before the repairs are completed.
The eagerly awaited Shaw-naé’s house opened in Stapleton. Dixon offers his customers a soul food menu in Vida’s former home. Michelin rated Vida closed before the pandemic when its owner Silva Popaz pulled out of the business.
Just outside the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, commuters can once again sip on local beers and don lobster bibs at River dock cafe. Sal Himani and his family have resumed operations after nearly a year of closure due to COVID-19.
Further into the town of St. George a short walk from the ferry, The Gavel Grill has a new direction with Mario Ferraro as co-owner. It recently reopened Mary 2 next door, a spin-off centered on the pizza of its Marie’s Gourmet at Silver Lake. The Saint-Georges district of Ferraro also hosts Talay Thai, formerly of Dongan Hills, in the ancient Bella Giornita excavation at 154 Stuyvesant Place. There are now two Thai restaurants on the same block, including Chang Noi Thai at 100 Stuyvesant. We are therefore happy to report that there is no shortage of Pad Thai in St. George.
But let’s come back to Ferraro and a company from the South Shore. he will open Vitalia coming soon to the South Shore Commons, a resort in Charleston with another newbie, Luce Rooftop Restaurant, and very soon to come, Dolce Fantasy for a second pastry shop and restaurant. The original Dolce Fantasia is in West Brighton and another is on its way to Redbank, NJ
Also in the openings department – there are a lot of them and we will come back to that in more detail this summer – we have Detox juice bar and Kebab grill at 1612 Forest Ave., Port Richmond. Nearby is new Sparrowlight kitchen which serves African dishes at its deli and grocery store at 1414 Forest Ave., also in Port Richmond. La Plaza Mexican Deli is fresh on the scene with a restaurant in the back at 400 Victory Blvd., Tompkinsville.
While the Richmond Valley property where DaddyO’s was supposed to cook a barbecue sits dormant, the St. George-based operation has twinned next to Millie’s Dumplings in Charleston. Meanwhile Ronnie’s sandwich shop extended to dinners with expanded seating.
Kosher mustard The panini and hot dog stand comes to Meiers Corners, next door to The Pizza Parlor. The latter opened its second location in Staten Island for take-out, pick-up and delivery. Its corresponding seating position with lounge will reopen later this summer.
Stay tuned for Greek avocado, a pop-up format that first appeared in the New Dakota Diner. He will arrive at Travis with a morning concept dubbed Mo’s Better Breakfast.
WHAT IS TRANSITION
As restaurants spawn restaurants, Al Baraka Restaurant at 610 Richmond Road has become the new Halal rotisserie fried chicken. As the name suggests, the Concord take-out shop sells halal food as well as roasters and fried chicken a short walk from the neighborhood mosque.
Kume Sushi in West Brighton has become Wild crab. We saw a similar migration to a crustacean concept with Shishito: the Japanese place of Dongan Hills is now known as Sup Crab. And Hibachi Seafood comes to 645 Bay Street after the old 7 Days restaurant.
Pamela Silvestri is Editor-in-Chief of Advance Food. She can be reached at [email protected].
In other culinary news ….
The Pizza Parlor runs a restaurant on the North Shore. . . and other events along Jewett Avenue
Seafood by the sea in a restaurant on the South Shore | The dish
Tales from the kitchen. . . or, you won’t believe it | Pamela’s Food Service Diary