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New record set in time to closure - Citronelle is gone.

Well, it might be a new speed record for a closure along Henry St. in Brooklyn Heights.

Citronelle, which JUST opened after earlier being some student-oriented Bar/Grill (anyone remember the name?) is now closed up and has a sign in the window saying it will be...

Mike's Kosher Steakhouse

I have to say -- my expectations are not exactly high for this place.

Peter in the Heights

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  1. Wow that is indeed a fast one. I was actually going to give it a shot soon too.

    If they had more $, I suppose we could have a competition between them and the soon to be opened Food Maestro to see who could last the longest. I'm assuming, of course, that if Chez Henry wasn't quite what the neighborhood wanted then Food Maestro will not fare any better. Perhaps I'm just a tad too cynical....

    1. Oh by the way, it was Clark Street Station

      1. Mike's Kosher Steakhouse? What a terrible name. Any idea what the menu will be like and when it will open? I wish restaurants would put more thought into what they are trying to do, like Jack the Horse Tavern, which seems to be doing pretty well so far.

        4 Replies
        1. re: JennS

          By the way, where is Jack the Horse Tavern located? Thanks.

          1. re: JennS

            Small correction -- it's "Mike's Steakhouse" with a big "Kosher style" below that on the printed banner in the window. Just what everyone's been clamoring for in the Heights -- a kosher-style steakhouse!

            1. re: Peter

              I know the man (Mike) who is in charge of the forthcoming Steakhouse. What "kosher style" in this case means is that all his meat and products are kosher, but he will be open on Friday night and Saturday and has no rabbi giving his hechsher (seal of approval). What this means for the food is unclear. He used to run Pastrami Box, the late, not-so-lamented kosher deli on Livingston Street that is now a Chinese restaurant. With any luck, the food will be good - just because the meat is kosher doesn't mean it's bad, folks! Check out Le Marais kosher steakhouse in Times Square, which is beloved by kashrut observers and the secular alike as it has extremely delicious steaks at much more reasonable prices than many of the famous steakhouses in the city.

          2. Ugh, this is so depressing! I almost wish that bizarre BagelLady store was still there. Wouldn't a tapas place be a better addition to the neighborhood?

            Does anyone know what Food Maestro is going to be (aside from another restaurant with an absolutely terrible name)?

            1. I'll hazard a guess and say another restaurant with terrible food?

              1. My friend and I walked past yesterday and kept ourselves entertained for a while trying to figure out how the menu might read. Black and blue brisket? Flanken a la Bordelaise? Cabbage stuffed mit filet mignon?

                3 Replies
                1. re: JoanN

                  A kosher steakhouse wouldn't serve Flanken a la Bordelaise.

                  1. re: Claire

                    True. But this isn't Kosher. It's "Kosher Style." Which isn't Kosher. Which is why we couldn't figure out what the h**l it was supposed to be.

                    1. re: JoanN

                      Presumably it means no dairy products or shellfish (so no butter in the sauces, for example) but without necessarily using kosher ingredients.

                2. Semi-related - any news on the place opening on Henry and Warren...Bucco ???

                  1 Reply
                  1. Mike's steakhouse- food maestro. Maybe their in a contest to come up with the most unappetizing name they can think of. Right now the winner is that blue ice cream place- eyeeewww.

                    1. You would think a tapas place would be a good addition, but there was one at the cursed spot where Food Maestro will be. I think it was the first of all the failed restaurants after Su-Su's way back in the day. Anyway, that tapas place couldn't survive either.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jdf

                        That tapas place wasn't good -- that's why it didn't survive. If Tia Pol opened up there, it would do awesome.

                      2. I have had a few conversations with the owner; I have to say I am not suprised. I thought the original idea, a student bar, would have worked. Not that I want it, but given the dorms there, it certainly would of worked. He didnt not want to run a frat/dive bar, he had/had greater aspirations, so this is what we get. There have been many many discusions on the sorry state of food in the Heights. This case is just so absurd. As far as the old Tintos/Chez henry spot is concerned, who would lease from a building that keeps the spot covered in scaffolding year after year after year. That makes oh so tough.

                        1. The formula for the Heights is simple, yet so many restaurateurs don't get it.

                          The food has to be very good, the prices have to be reasonable.

                          For many, the Heights is a destination restaurant place, you can't count on locals for business. Residents work very long hours, leave town on the weekends, and tend not to spend a lot of money locally.

                          1. My four reasons Restaurants have trouble in Brooklyn heights
                            *Same as you mentioned: Local demographics. The locals do not eat out in the heights very often. Throw in the other big local group:
                            * A Large portion of population are J Witnesses. They do not have a great deal of money or eat out often
                            * The Court house crowd. The area is filled during the day, but empties at night. Places can get by catering to lunch crowd.
                            * Silly high rents.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: driggs

                              You touched on another Brooklyn Heights restaurant problem. There is a "day" population, tens of thousands who work in the area and fill the inexpensive ethnic places for lunch. These people leave at 5 pm. The "night" people who live in the Heights are mostly working couples with families. This is not a good target group for restaurants.

                              The JWs get special discounts in many local restaurants and do patronize them. Some others, like LA TRAVIATA, attract a diverse group from other areas on a consistent basis and are always packed.

                            2. But then why are Noodle Pudding and Henry's End consistently packed? I think the area could easily sustain at least one more GOOD restaurant.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: JennS

                                And in my experience, they're packed with locals.

                                1. re: JoanN

                                  I agree. If the food's good- the locals will come out.

                              2. Actually, if you don't think of it as a steakhouse, in the full death-by-meat sense, it's not bad at all. The main thing is delicatessen style sandwiches and appetizers, which are good, and there's a nice bar. If you want steak, there's also steak. And there are draft beers.

                                1. BTw, if it's not obvious from the post above, Mike's Steakhouse is now open. And yes, as mentioned, in addition to the steak, there are a lot of jewish deli-like sandwiches.

                                  Anyone eaten there? What's the word?

                                  1. I just ate a pastrami sandwich from there. It was ok. The meat was warm, tasty, and had a good texture. It wasn't as good as katz's, of course, and the bread was too soft, but it's close by where I live. If you go, make sure you request mustard on it. They left it off mine and didn't give me any packets (I got takeout), so I had to go out and buy some mustard before eating it. (I'm fairly new to the area, and haven't stocked my fridge with condiments yet)

                                    Anyway...In the unlikely event it lasts more than a month or so, I'd probably go back. It does have a big bar space, so maybe people will start hanging out there, though maybe they can't afford the space, if they just have customers who drink...

                                    1. A pastrami sandwich is at least $12.95, if not more, the price for the same at Carnegie Deli. The sandwich pales in comparison. Another rip-off.

                                      1. Carnegie is at least 30 minutes away on the subway, and I got a sandwich there once and wasn't really impressed. It was good, I guess, but just way too much meat. I suppose if you take it back with you, you'll have enough to eat for a few days, but who can eat that much pastrami or corned beef? Katz's is only 3 or 4 stops on the F train, and it's really good, I think the next time I'm in the mood for a jewish deli sandwich I'll head over there, but if I want pastrami without getting on the train, I'll go to mike's if it still exists, or else someone can point me to a better place in heights/cobble hill/dumbo.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Alan72

                                          About the "Kosher style" thing: I spoke briefly to the owner today (who used to own Pastrami Box on Livingston Street, which I believe was kosher), and he said the new place is kosher -- meat only, no dairy. It's now open for lunch, but was completely empty at 1:00ish today.

                                          1. re: parkslopemama

                                            Even if it just has meat it's still not kosher. For a restaurant to be certified kosher, it needs to get certified by a rabbi. It may be pretty close, though. They may get all their meat from kosher suppliers, but it still wouldn't be technically a kosher restaurant. Also, Kosher restaurants aren't open on friday evenings, and saturdays, because work is not permitted on the Jewish sabbath.

                                        2. It is now certified kosher (Rabbi Steinberg - 718-232-4275 - Vaad HaRabanim LeMishmeret HaKashrut). He is the one who certifies Ben's in the city and some of the Indian places. The restaurant is open on Shabbat, though (as is Ben's).

                                          1. Judging by the *burnt greasy* smell, emanating from Mike's exhaust in front of the restaurant, and now making Clark & Henry
                                            smell like one of those shish-ka-bob-stand grills, I think I'll pass.
                                            Just for that exhaust, the place should be condemned.

                                            With all the students around there, a nice cafe would work.
                                            One of the reason's the original sports bar closed, was all the noise, from people hanging out in front until 4am. Lots of complaints.
                                            A bar on Clark never seemed like a good idea, because of the cavernous, narrow street.