Eagle – NoHe Food Scene is Hot

The Brooklyn Eagle reports that the North Heights food scene is booming (just like we did in March).  The paper focuses its piece mostly on the reinvented "Corner of Cranberry" ventures, notably the recently opened Oven.  It touches briefly upon the real drivers of this renaissance — Jack the Horse Tavern and Le Petit Marche as well as nabe mainstays Henry's End and Noodle Pudding (which is enjoying a bump thanks to a new chef).

Brooklyn Eagle: Henry Street Becomes a New Restaurant Row: The area has seen a proliferation of new food establishments recently starting with The Blue Pig ice cream parlor, which opened a year and a half ago.

Chris Fehlinger, owner and manager of Oven, which occupies one of three storefronts at 60 Henry St., says the area is “the most vibrant I’ve seen it in 10 years.” Based on his success, Fehlinger already wants to expand Oven before the five-year lease runs out.

Fehlinger credits the success of his restaurant, and the overall improvement of the area, to this end of Henry Street becoming something of “a destination” and the increase in the number of young couples. Two restaurants, Henry’s End and Noodle Pudding, have been successful there for several years, and they were joined in the past year by the French bistro, Le Petit Marché.

A person identified as "Alex" (no last name) from Uncommon Grounds sheds some light on the cafe's decision this week to renovate:

“Uncommon Grounds hasn’t found its identity, some kinks are being worked out,” he said. Uncommon Grounds, which gained popularity with nighttime music shows, is undergoing renovations and switching to an after-work wine bar.

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  • nabeguy

    The Busy Chef is “extremely successful”? Where did that quote come from? It would appear that the reporter visited the area during the day, hence the lack of quotations from anyone from Le Petit Marche, and Henry’s End, which represent both the vanguard and the mainstays of the area venues. Too bad. Whatever your opinions of the quality of these new places (and man, do you guy’s have opinions!), they have given the area a much-needed wake-up call. I’ve never seen this particular strip so lively, especially on weekend evenings. Now, if only the BBQ and bodega spaces could be filled, although that may be difficult if the landlord is only offering a 5 year lease, which might explain their long-term vacancy.

  • nohe-resident

    has anyone read this?
    beginning to wonder what corner of cranberry is really serving.


  • nabeguy

    nohe resident, you didn’t really think that was mozzerella on top of the pizza, did you?

  • Maroon

    I don’t think it’s that hard to sell food cooked by Batali.

  • Teddy

    And don’t even think of calling the South Heights – SOHE.

  • landy

    so this guy is bragging in this article about how he has the ability to sell diarrhea to people and then he shows up with a restaurant that sells it…kind of proves the point doesn’t it?

  • fishermb

    how has everyone’s meals at Jack the Horse been? have walked past a few times and looks like a charming little restaurant, but unfortunately its not often that I can get my friends from manhattan to come down to brooklyn, but when they do I’m always looking for different places to take them

  • nabeguy

    Chicago has the Loop, San Francisco has the Castro, Las Vegas has the Strip. So how about “the Bog” for the Cranberry St. area?

  • eric

    Fehlinger sounds liek a real ahole. I knew that place had a bad vibe. Now I definitely wont be eating there.

  • Vishnu Jones

    Chris is the chef? Don’t think so. Isn’t it this guy:
    in this video?

  • toni l

    where in that article does it say anything about “diarrhea” ? i am beyond curious what do you people have against these 3 locations ? is it the businesses themselves or is it a real estate situation that someone was interested in and didn’t get ? that you seem to be going out of your way to crucify these establishments. as I have said prior I have eaten at all 3 places and find nothing wrong what so ever with the food ! you sound like vindictive/spiteful children ! ! ! care to comment back to why such efforts to disparage them ?

  • eric

    Toni, did you read the link nohe-resident provided? http://beebo.org/smackerels/rogue-waiter.html

    The article is speaking of the owner of Oven (and Busy Chef?)

  • toni l

    oh i definately read it eric , hence comment no mention of “diarrhea” ;) . i just believe way to much effort is used to disparage these establishments.that article is also almost 10 years old ! sounded as if he was young and cockey in article. listen people are entitled to there opinions in this world but the attempted crucifixion of those restaurants is out of hand in mho :) people have there favorites so leave it at that no need to drag what is the lively hood of people from the area down the tubes.

  • nabeguy

    Not for nothing Landy, but his ability to “sell diarrhea” says nothing about his skills as a chef, only his ability as a waiter. Remember, it was Mario Battaglia who was coming up with the menu (and don’t believe the egotistical claims Fehlinger makes about coming up with an “all-offal menu”; Battaglia would never take the advice of a waiter). I haven’t tried Oven, as I’m not a fan of gourmet pizza, but I believe everyone should be allowed to judge it with their tastebuds, and not based on the trash talk that’s being posted here.

  • http://brooklynheightsblog.com Qfwfq

    I have nothing against the “Corner of Cranberry” places, just very, very, very, suspicious.

  • Vishnu Jones

    I hope they all do well. At least they’re taxpayers.

  • Worked For Mario

    I worked for Mario when he opened Lupa, then promptly vanished to do $10k food demos in Atlantic City and that stupid TV show where he talks like he’s on crack. No wonder he had an anyeurism (you’re all well informed and know that). He does not create his recipes any more than Daniel Bouloud or Alice Waters do at this point. As for these places, at least Busy Chef, everyone I’ve talked to is a Brooklynite and many are local. But let’s hope they go out of business so some local people lose their jobs, and then Subway can come in paying minimum wage. At least you could go on jarted’s diet then.

  • Truth Williams

    WFM – Subway is delicious.

  • Vishnu Jones

    “Worked for Mario”….riiiight. If by “Brooklynite” you mean a con man from Boston, then sure.

  • http://brooklynheightsblog.com Homer Fink

    Please keep this civil folks!


  • eric

    Toni, its true he comes off cocky in that old interview, however, more frightening than that, he comes off as malicious, or even as a bit of a sociopath. To whit (from wikipedia) :

    Psychopathy is currently defined in psychiatry and clinical psychology as a condition characterized by lack of empathy or conscience, and poor impulse control or manipulative behaviors.

    It’s a game,” he says. “You decide what you want a table to have before they have it.” Sounds awful manipulative and lacking in empathy to me.
    Talking trusting customers into buying offal for $60 a plate for the thrill of it sounds like someone who lacks a conscience to me.

  • toni l

    eric, psychopath , sociopath ? maybe narcissistic , but whatever the reason behind the games played to get people to order something how much of what was said in interview was completely honest. bottomline maybe we should just quit nagging about these places and move on , sound like an idea ?

  • http://brooklynheightsblog.com Truth Williams

    Toni, what’s your connection to these places? It’s obvious you’re involved this is New York people don’t care that much if they’re not.

  • eric

    I see your point that these boards tend to bash the new comers on CranNHen a whole lot.
    But obviously a number of people found that link to the interview new and informative (including me.)

    Hmn… not sure if I caused confusion using sociopath and psychopath interchangeably, but, according to some (most?) psychologists, both refer to the same state of mind (state of being?) only differing on the impetus for the aberration from the norm.

  • landy

    I have no alterior motives…i have actually been to all three places, thought the food was terrible at oven ( and I don’t think I’m alone there) had a run-in with Chris at busy chef in which he was extremely rude and condescending, and was barked at in uncommon grounds….so no, I have no desire to see three places which do not have good food or hospitality succeed just because they are locals, I’d rather see people like the ones at Jack the Horse open something up over there. I think it’s funny that everytime a post comes up about these places there are 20 to 30 comments…

  • Artie

    I too have nothing against any of these places except that the food is awful. I go out of my way to support local businesses but I can’t support any of these.

  • http://www.brooklynheightsblog.com Henry

    I found the food at the oven to be quite good, and enjoy the baked goods from busy chef. I really don’t care who owns what. One thing though, as far as I know there isn’t a new chef at noodle pudding, (which is the best restaurant in the heights). Can anyone verify this?

  • Mom from the Heights

    I’ve eaten at Oven, I’ve brought my teenagers, and I’ve had a few quiet dinners with my husband there. I love that if I want a smallish meal, I don’t have to eat at a pizza joint. If my husband wants a larger meal, he finds things that can satisfy his appetite. I’ve enjoyed the various pizzas, the salads, the antipastos and the occasional glass of wine. I find Oven a welcome addition to the neighborhood. My guys think the pizza has great flavor, and the size is great for the teenage appetite.

  • Sarabeth

    this blog reminds me of junior high… the cliques getting together to decide who is “in” and who is “out… most of you come off as vicious, snotty little children, amazing since most of you see to bitch and moan ABOUT the snotty little children in this ‘nabe. the guy at busy chef is nice, he likes dogs, he’s nice to kids, and i have to say the food is good. (not the croissants though, too doughy not flaky) con man? suspicious? sociopath? get a grip. really, this is beyond pretentious and waaaay into slander land. personally, it’s nice to see more business opening up, i hate the dreary stretch of empty storefronts. and someone who keeps his place of business clean, employs locally, PAYS TAXES, waves to you in the street, puts biscuits out for dogs… isn’t that the kind of business we WANT here? or should we just ask outright for another starbucks; better yet, let’s get Dunkin Donuts/Pizza Hut and KFC to open in all 3 places. on second thought, you’re right. lock up the women and kids; he’s probably just being subversive, biding his time until he can unfold his master plan…

  • the unfortunate acquaintance

    Chris Fehlinger is not the owner of anything. He’s been going around for years claiming he’s the owner of THIS place, or the owner of THAT place, when it is just not the case. I’ve known a few enthusiastic investors who ran away when he pitched the idea of opening up a place. Perhaps it has to do with a penchant for getting shitcanned or quitting every job in short order. Until i see that name on a lease or tax papers, i don’t believe it for a second.