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pastoralia Feb 19, 2008 06:30 AM

Is it true?

  1. f
    foodpyramid Mar 24, 2008 11:00 AM

    This cocotte post is on the old side now, but I took a stroll up 5th avenue yesterday and was really shocked to see how many places have closed (including that weird place drama cafe-- closed again after opening for about 5 minutes). It looks like the high rents (and...recession?) have already taken its toll on 5th avenue. not just restaurants, but two of the home goods stores right near serene rose are boarded up. I couldn't find any outer board postings about the new cafe 'Snice right near 5th and 3rd-- but it'll be interesting to see how it fares...

    6 Replies
    1. re: foodpyramid
      elecsheep9 Mar 24, 2008 11:19 AM

      I can't confirm, but I suspect that 'Snice is by the owners of Tea Lounge. Certainly, the decor and the writing on the chalkboards looks very reminiscent of Tea Lounge.

      I could be wrong though.

      1. re: elecsheep9
        lambretta76 Mar 24, 2008 12:53 PM

        They're unrelated:


      2. re: foodpyramid
        TBird Mar 24, 2008 07:56 PM

        "It looks like the high rents (and...recession?) have already taken its toll on 5th avenue."

        it's more like mediocre food and service did these places in. amazing how the blame flies everywhere else.

        1. re: TBird
          foodpyramid Mar 25, 2008 01:06 PM

          I don't know, Tbird, I think it's really debateable-- and it's not really about placing blame...I used to see Cocotte full on many occasions when I'd walk by. I had a few meals there that were fine-- not distinctly better or worse than a lot of the many medicore places that persist on 5th avenue like belleville, moutarde, or really any of the numerous Thai and Sushi places around them. There isn't necessarily a science to what keeps one mediocre place open longer than any other-- but increased costs of ingredients and other overhead certainly contributes. But now, I fear....we're off topic from discussing the chow!

        2. re: foodpyramid
          jen kalb Mar 25, 2008 07:09 PM

          daughter went to s'nice without thinking and her sandwich was vegan (fake meat) and unappealing. So this is a special interest place.

          1. re: jen kalb
            TBird Sep 8, 2008 06:25 PM

            saw them working on the cocotte space today, the sign simply stated "italian restaurant coming soon"...

        3. j
          jdmetz Feb 19, 2008 11:21 AM

          According to eater, it is true and they have the picture of the sign on the door to prove it. It is a real shame. I was just there Friday night as it is on my block and was always a reliable, if not always consistent, casual, spur of the moment dinner option. I thought the food had been getting consistently better lately and Friday was one of the best dinners I have had there. Everything we had was being prepared with more care than it had been for a little while. Cocotte was always good for a satisfying, easy brunch too. I am sorry to see it go and hope that it can be replaced with a place as welcoming and friendly that also has good, comforting food.

          10 Replies
          1. re: jdmetz
            famdoc Feb 19, 2008 08:09 PM

            With the cost of operating a restaurant so high, Fifth Ave. rents continuing their relentless rise, and the surplus of restaurants in the region, I fear we're in for a shakedown. The restaurant operating below capacity is endangered. This is just the first. We liked Cocotte. They didn't move the earth, just made decent bistro fare.
            Wine list was always interesting, weeknight specials (two-for-one, BYO, etc.) were nice options.

            1. re: famdoc
              Juanita Feb 20, 2008 06:34 AM

              Biscuit BBQ has closed too. This could be the long-anticipated Fifth Ave. restaurant implosion.

              1. re: Juanita
                elecsheep9 Feb 20, 2008 07:06 AM

                Just remember -- this is the SECOND time Biscuit has closed. While I marginally liked it, I never thought it was all that good, and was never compelled to go there -- in either of its iterations. Also, that spot where the latest Biscuit was does not have a good history. Before that was the dreadful Night & Day (I really wanted to like that place, but we had an ABYSSMAL meal there). Before that was Bibi's, which I actually kind of liked for take-out, but never found its stride. Before that, it was empty for about a year.

                1. re: elecsheep9
                  sam1 Feb 20, 2008 07:16 AM

                  wow...biscuit closed...again.

                  i had the strange feeling they were doing ok in the 2nd location. i hated their food but it seemed relatively crowded whenever i walked by.

                  wow...crazy...i guess al roker cant save this place.

                  1. re: sam1
                    famdoc Feb 20, 2008 07:26 AM

                    With rents running in excess of $100 per sq. ft., any restaurant not filling tables will be forced to close. Until the Fourth Ave. corridor attracts more crowds into the neighborhood (ugh!), the number of restaurants exceeds the demand. Watch for more closings.
                    Do we really need so many Thai joints? Sushi joints? Pizza/pasta joints?

                    1. re: famdoc
                      elecsheep9 Feb 20, 2008 08:02 AM

                      There was a time back about 3-4 years ago when Mulino used to really draw in the crowds. I was a big fan back then -- nothing fancy, nothing groundbreaking, just good old fashion southern italian red-sauce cooking.

                      However, the co-owner Isiago, left a while back, and, while it is still good, its just not the same. And you can tell because the crowds have dissipated.

                      I hate to say it, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Mulino go before too long.

                      (Not that this board would miss it much, methinks.)

                    2. re: sam1
                      redgirl Feb 20, 2008 03:21 PM

                      sorry but i hear that the owner is just reopening it under a new format - same owner. ugh.

                      1. re: redgirl
                        elecsheep9 Feb 20, 2008 06:15 PM

                        By "the owner", do you mean the owner of Biscuit or the owner of Night & Day? When Biscuit re-opened, it was a joint venture between the owner of Biscuit and the owner of Night & Day. I would guess that it is probably the latter, in which case, I would be interested in giving it a try.

                        As bad as my dinner at N&D was, the menu definitely had potential and the owner seemed interested in fixing the mistakes (I had gone within a month of opening).

                        1. re: elecsheep9
                          Juanita Feb 21, 2008 06:12 AM

                          I think the Night & Day owner and the Biscuit owner fell out a long time ago.. certainly the Biscuit guy had not worked in the kitchen in about a year.

                          1. re: Juanita
                            elecsheep9 Feb 21, 2008 07:11 AM

                            Given the inconsistencies of Biscuit even when it was on Flatbush, I'm not so sure that his absence was a bad thing.

            2. s
              sam1 Feb 19, 2008 07:15 AM

              dunno if its true but it deserved it for years of mediocre food and crap service.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sam1
                elecsheep9 Feb 19, 2008 07:21 AM

                I used to quite like Cocotte. However, when the manager, Emmanuel, left about 2 years back, the place seemed to go into a downward trend, and we eventually stopped going altogether.

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