Felice Opens at Former Giulia/Heights Cafe Site

Once again your correspondent’s wife has been busy surveying the ‘hood while he can’t. Today she found Felice, the restaurant that took over the site of the former Giulia/Heights Café (and for those with long memories, the Promenade Restaurant) at 84 Montague Street (corner of Hicks), open for business, and got this shot of its fancy new outdoor dining enclosures. Here is their website and menu.

Prices are, as expected, on the steep side, but not astronomical. The cheapest appetizer, bruschetta, is $13. Calamari, always a favorite of ours, is only available with fried baby artichokes, at $21. I’m confused by what’s under the heading “Taglieri,” described as “Chef’s Selection of Imported Cheeses & Cured Meats”; in other words, an Italian charcuterie. “[A] selection of 2″ is priced at $27. I presume that means two meats and two cheeses, not one of each. One of 3 costs $35. Several veggie additions are available at $5 each. Assuming the plates are large enough to feed two, the prices aren’t that exorbitant.

Salads are all on the expensive side, and I’m disappointed not to find a Caesar; perhaps unknown in Tuscany. In pasta entrees I find an old favorite, Spaghetti alla Carbonara, at $24; not much more than I recall paying for it at the late, great Queen. Lasagne Traditionale is $26. Oh, yes, there’s “L’Hamburger” at $23, described as “short-rib blend, taleggio cheese, bacon, red onion confit, pickle, tomato, hand-cut French fries.” With all that, it ought to be worth it. If you’re still hungry I’ll let you peruse desserts (“Dolci” and “Gelati e Sorbetti”) yourself.

Photo: Martha Foley

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  • Banet

    Lasagna at River Deli is $13. Charging exactly double a 4 minute walk away seems absurd? Oh, and it’s $13.50 at Noodle Pudding. :-/

  • Food Origins

    The Caesar salad was invented in Mexico, so it’s not unsurprising it’s not at a Tuscan restaurant.

    While we’re at it, let’s also clear up that tomatoes come from South America not Italy

    Oh, and potatoes also come from South America.

  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com/ Claude Scales

    It’s interesting how the European colonization of South America changed Europe’s diet. I didn’t know the Caesar salad came from Mexico. It is, nevertheless, a staple at many Italian restaurants.

  • wsgilbert

    And yet, the Europeans, presumably even the Tuscans, managed to make use tomatoes and potatoes in their restaurants for hundeds of years even though they came from South America. What next, I wonder? Perhaps, even apples, which originated in Asia will turn up on other continents and be as American as apple pie!

  • wsgilbert

    But the Caesar salad was supposedly invented immigrant who owned a restaurant in Mexico.

  • William Gilbert

    Edit Correction: But the Caesar salad was supposedly invented by an Italian immigrant who owned a restaurant in Mexico.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7nPOzGeyaw Arch Stanton

    I think those prices do sound astronomical, unless the food quality is stellar and service impeccable, but somehow I doubt it.

  • Peter Darrow

    Funny you should mention apples. Our local trattoria in rural Tuscany serves pork with apples noting that the practice was common before the arrival of tomatoes from the Nuovo Mondo.

  • AEB

    You can’t win for losing as far as BH restaurant’s go. With one or two exceptions (Noodle Pudding would be one; Sociale, sadly lost, was another), it’s hard to find restaurants that hit the place where good food and reasonable pricing meet.

    Restaurateurs opening places here seem to believe that the locals are loaded and won’t mind opening their wallets for their fare. Well-heeled residents may be, but there’s a curious lack of interest in spending on dining out. Covid has made the situation worse, but it’s always been so.

  • A neighbor

    In fairness, there is likely a big disparity in rents between Montague and Henry.

  • KBells40
  • francesco

    Thank you so much for the kind mention. Please come visit us in Carroll Gardens (320 Court), Toni from Noodle Pudding is a regular, we are so honored !


  • nomcebo manzini

    Any idea why that is? Seriously. One hears that taxes are high on Montague, and I suppose a landlord starts by wanting to cover those “fixed costs.” … But I would have thought that cost per square foot in a single neighborhood would not be all over the place. Is it CURRENT reality that there’s more “traffic” on Montague? Again, I’m just looking for logic where it may or may not even figure. If a restaurant seldom has a vacant table, I’m sure both landlord & tenant make out fine, but even Teresa’s at its most robust – it doesn’t make sense to go back 10-20 years – never was as full most evenings as either Henry’s End or Noodle Pudding (where the average check had to be 2-4x what Teresa’s was.

    Hope Felice provides a “special occasion” alternative to Henry’s End and one or 2 restaurants (I think) still on Atlantic, but I’m with Arch on this one – unless the Heights Casino crowd anoints it as THE place to dine, it’ll die on the vine with those price points. (No matter how successful its 2 dozen sibling restaurants in Manhattan are.)

  • AEB

    Another thought: are people willing to spend big bucks to dine on Montague? Really. I’ll shell out for an occasion (and on occasion), but who wants to do so when the restaurant’s in a kind of mall? Because that’s what Montague is.

    Food would really have to be stellar to convince me to pay-out on tthis sad, blank, nowhere thoroughfare.

  • A neighbor

    My guess is that both property taxes and real estate prices are much higher on Montague, which has long been the elite commercial street in the Heights, in part because of its proximity to the courts, Boro hall, etc. But you can look that up on the DOF website.

    Property taxes are way out of wack in general these days, based on decades old assessments. No comparison between BH and Cobble Hill, for instance. One of the things BillyD was going to do was fix that….

  • Banet

    Apologies. I was going off prices I found via a Google search.

  • AEB

    Everything starts somewhere:


  • Mike Suko

    They’ve won me over – kind of.

    I took the most wonderful woman in Brooklyn Heights there on a date, and – to my surprise – they do NOT soak you on drinks & wine. I suspect that prices are highish because (a) the pandemic (which in their case meant a delayed opening with lots of uncertainty and considerable (?) additional expenses with their outside “glass tents.” (We had the misfortune to eat in one on a VERY cold night.) (b) food’s gotten expensive; and (c) it’s hard/expensive to staff up.

    But the kitchen & waitstaff/runners are WAY more than competent (which, on night 3 or 4 to the general public is darn good.)

    Portions are/were largish – I’m guessing they’ll shrink over time. The least little Googling and you realize that this is about the 10th Manhattan & Brooklyn outpost for some enterprising company or individual. They know what they’re doing and it’s obviously a darn good location. Definitely – if you’re eating out, you aren’t “crazy cautious” – opt for indoors until winter is a cold memory.

  • http://www.yotamzohar.com StudioBrooklyn

    I’ve been an ex-Brooklynite since late June and I missed the news that Giulia had closed and been replaced. Is it still the same owner or did they finally give up the space? And what of our beloved Dellarocco’s?

  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com/ Claude Scales

    The owner of Giulia decided to vacate that space, but continues to own and operate Dellarocco’s.

  • SongBirdNYC

    Felice Brooklyn Heights is the newest location for the Felice group. They have higher end restuarants on both Upper and Midtown East/West and two hotels. One in mid-town another on Gold Street. They have another location opening on Hudson Street. Felice is also part of a larger group of higher end hospitality groups. Montague Street is priced accordingly.

  • Brooklyn Dad

    Naysayers be damned. Try to get a reservation via Resy for 4 – they are booked for the next two weeks! BH locals have $, are sick of crossing “the Atlantic” for a decent restaurant. Build it and they will come!

  • PeterMMM

    I’ve gone to the Felice on 1st Ave/64th St on and off for years as a pal lives nearby. Food was quite good but just uncomfortably expensive. And that burger is really good ….

  • http://gloverparkgroup.com jonathankopp

    Come back to the Heights! We miss Sociale!