CHB Reviews: Dino

The new restaurant that's taken the place of LouLou - Dino - is now open, and last night I checked it out with Kath Hansen of PUPS. I had only been to LouLou a few times, but Kath remarked on the "great reno job" on the inside.


The back yard was small and cute, clean and simple.


The bread had one of the most delicious dipping bowls I have ever encountered. The olive oil was enhanced with mashed olives, along with tiny pieces of orange rind for extra flavor.


Kath had the chicken, as she says "you can judge a restaurant by its chicken."  She gave it two thumbs up, for both quality and portion size (she took half of it home with her).


I had the rigatoni, also delicious and a generous portion.


And the icing on the cake: the staff overheard Kath mention that she was taking me out for my birthday and they brought me a gigantic piece of tiramisu on the house.


Service was wonderful- friendly and helpful staff, a great sounding selection of seasonal cocktails (we opted for the rose, which was crisp and great for summer -- but we think this place would be worth stopping in to for a fancy drink!), they already have liquor license and take credit cards (which is not so common for new restaurants in this neck of the woods).  Pricing was "around the same as LouLou," per Kath, but "better than LouLou."  Simply put from me: delicious food, great staff, and they have their sh*t together.

(Sorry, I didn't have my nice camera with me!)

Dino 222 DeKalb Ave

Pet Stores: A Comparison

There's been a lot of internet chatter both here and on the Local about how the neighborhood now has "too many pet stores."  I don't disagree necessarily, but I don't want to wish failure on the new guy just because I'd rather see something else in the space.  Plus, as someone who often buys heavy pet care items (cat litter), and has both a cat and a dog, I'm all for competition if it means the prices, stock and service gets better.  Not to mention an option close-by. So which store is the best overall? I decided to stop at every local pet store (and a few grocery stores) to compare prices on some of the items I buy most to see which shop was Top Dog.

Here's what I was looking for:


  • Wellness dry food, small (47 oz) or medium (6lb)
  • Feline Pine cat litter, 7lb bag
  • Wee Wee Pads, 50-count

Associated (Waverly Ave) Wellness (small) 15.59 Wellness (medium) N/A Feline Pine  4.19 Wee Wee Pads N/A (Myrtle Ave) Wellness (small) 12.99 Wellness (medium) 20.99 Feline Pine  8.99 Wee Wee Pads 25.99 (Bonus: friendly in-store cat)

Who's Your Doggy (Willoughby and Adelphi) Wellness (small) N/A Wellness (medium) 17.99 Feline Pine 8.99 Wee Wee Pads 24.99 (Bonus: SUPER friendly in-store cat)

ABC Pet Supply (DeKalb Ave) Wellness (small) 11.99 Wellness (medium) 15.99 Feline Pine 7.99 Wee Wee Pads 19.99

Kiki's (DeKalb Ave) Wellness (small) 13.99 Wellness (medium) 16.99 Feline Pine 6.99 Wee Wee Pads 32.99 (Bonus: buy 10 bags of food, get the 11th free)

Elly's Market (DeKalb Ave) Wellness (small) 16.99 Wellness (large) 18.99 Feline Pine 4.99 Wee Wee Pads N/A

Interesting.  ABC did the best overall, offering the lowest price on 3 of the 4 items I was looking for.  The rest of the stores offered  range of pricing.  The price variation was small enough that I'd probably pick the closest store to me for most of this (aside from the Wee Wee Pads, which I would NOT buy at Kiki's, and the Feline Pine, which I WILL go out of my way to buy at a grocery store and not a pet store).

If you do your own price comparison based on your regular buys, let us know what turns up.

Feliz Brooklyn

outside Feliz On Saturday, I happened past the mysterious new store on DeKalb, once home to Urban Spring and Picnic, two failed eateries.  I had heard rumors that it was a shoe store, but that clearly wasn't the case once inside.  The store, called Feliz Brooklyn, celebrated its opening that day and offers a small selection of shoes for kids and adults, jewelry, aprons, Tocca candles and lotion, greeting cards, home decor, antiques and more. Owner Lilly Genevieve said that the store will carry some items year-round, while other items will be sole seasonally (sandals, umbrellas, etc). Her husband, from Argentina, built all of the display shelving.

The store was bustling with people, and most passers-by stopped in to take a peak.  Maybe people were curious as to what was next for the space.  Or maybe retail, and not food, is the right fit for this particular storefront.

Feliz on DeKalb

Feliz Brooklyn

Feliz Brooklyn 185 DeKalb Ave

ABC Pet Supply Coming to DeKalb

abcpet abcpet2 The fun hat store on DeKalb closed recently, and a pet store will open in its place.  The merchandise has been loaded in over the last week.  No idea yet what it will be like, but this past weekend I could see a whole selection of cat trees / scratching posts in the window.

Will this be an outpost of the ABC Pet Supply on PPW in Windsor Terrace?  (I've never been there - just did a quick Google search).

Negative points for the unimaginative name; positive points for the hearty supply of scratching posts.  What do you think?

(Aside - I remember when there was at most one pet store nearby.  I think perhaps we're reaching our saturation point of pet services.)


I recently received this menu under the door:

Normally I wouldn't pay much attention, but the name of this place is truly awesome.  A Google map search says this place is located near the park.  I know there's a pizza place there, but I had no idea it had such a kick-ass name!  Have they recently changed their name, or has it always been Luv-n-Oven?  I'm sure I'll get a few comments of the "What, are you some newcomer that you don't know about this place?" variety, but I've been spending the last six years ordering from the equally-awesomely-named Not Ray's on Fulton.  NR's does NOT offer Buffalo wings, while LnO does.  Maybe I'll give them a try?  (And speaking of that, I have on my to-do list a review of all of the Bflo wings in the nabe.)

So, what's up with Luv-n-Oven?  How are the pies?

April Art at Tillie's

April 2010 EventsTillie’s of Brooklyn 248 DeKalb Avenue Brooklyn NY 11205 718 783-6140

Special Silent Auction to benefit victims of the earthquake in Haiti Presented by Pratt Institute's Community Engagement Board One evening only: Monday, April 19th 6 – 8 p.m. All artwork is done by Pratt Institute faculty, alumni and students. Bidding will start at 6:00pm and will end at 8:00pm. Whoever bids the most by 8:00 p.m. will take their work of original art work home. Money raised will go towards relief efforts in Haiti through Unicef.

Cloud Paintings Lucy Sikes April 20 – May 22, 2010 Lucy Durand Sikes is known to many as “The Brownstone Artist” because of her many portraits of homes and landmark buildings in the neighborhood. Less known are her paintings of landscapes and clouds. She came to Brooklyn to study graphic art and illustration at Pratt Institute in the 1950s, when whole blocks of houses were abandoned and being torn down in the name of urban renewal. With her late husband, Bill Sikes, she became dedicated to brownstone preservation. Together they helped found the Brownstone Revival Committee, which started the Back to the City movement and worked with the Pratt Area Community Council, and later the Clinton Hill Society, to preserve the houses of the neighborhood. Though she created scores of brownstone portraits, Lucy Sikes never abandoned her love of landscape painting.

Her work has been featured in one-woman shows in the Kaymar Gallery, Valsamis Gallery, Atlantic Gallery, Grand Army Plaza Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, the Long Island University Gallery and the Town Hall Gallery in Johnsonburg, NY, as well as group shows in the Brooklyn Museum, the Broome Street Gallery, Cork Gallery at Lincoln Center and the Lever House Gallery. Over the years she participated in and helped organize many Clinton Hill Artists’ shows. She is a member of South of the Navy Yard Artists. Her art has appeared in Friends Journal, the New York Times, and The Phoenix newspaper. Artists’ Statement: “I am a realist and I suppose my art could be described as impressionist. I paint out in the fields and woods. Sitting on the ground with my paints spread out around me, I let myself become a conduit for the beauty in front of me. But I am always conscious of the underlying structure, which is defined by light: the mass of the hills and the volume of the trees. Clouds, although ephemeral, have every bit as much substance as the mountains and valleys. The movement of water is especially fascinating to me. Cumulus clouds as they move majestically across the sky are the subjects of my art. I feel their beginnings in moisture rising from earth, invisible until they reach a sharp line high above the ground -- a change from warm to cold air. Suddenly I see them billowing up. Ephemeral though they are, nonetheless they possess a beautiful structure in their brief solidity. The heart of my imagery is in western New York, with its long hills and valleys. I relish the colors of alternating woodlots and fields, and the subtle colors in the clouds. I return to the same farms and wooded waterfalls year after year. Always the same, yet always different, these images form a spiral as I grow in my understanding of their color.” Reception: Wednesday, April 21, 2010, 7-9 p.m.

$10 Yoga Classes at Lucky Lotus through April

Recently received this April promotion for $10 classes at Lucky Lotus Yoga on DeKalb.  I've actually caught a few classes here recently and liked it a lot.  And check out a post on Lucky Lotus from the Local here. (No, I have not done "death yoga."  Not my bag.  But the non-death yoga classes have all been enjoyable!) WHAT:           $10 Yoga Classes at Lucky Lotus Yoga

FOUR WAYS to GET LUCKY – The Lucky Lotus 4 Leaf Clover: ·      Every Day one $10 Class is Offered on the Schedule ·      APRIL: Stop in to LuluLemon Brooklyn and pick up a $10 Lucky Lotus Card for ANY Class ·      APRIL: Bring in your April receipt from LuluLemon to Lucky Lotus and attend ANY class for $10 ·      APRIL: Attend a FREE CLASSES at LuluLemon Brooklyn, taught by a Lucky Lotus teacher, and you next class with that teacher is $10.

WHEN:                 The Month of APRIL

WHERE:               Lucky Lotus Yoga in Ft. Greene 203 Dekalb Avenue (btwn Carlton & Adelphi) Brooklyn, NY 11205

Subway: C to Lafayette Avenue G to Clinton/Washington N/R, B, Q to Dekalb Avenue

Lunchtime With Tillie: Amin

“It’s Tillie and Pops/Tillie and Pops/We’re pullin’ out all the stops/It’s Tillie and Pops/Tillie and Pops/Better watch out and call the cops … ” Hey everyone , and welcome back to Lunchtime With Tillie! I was feeling a little nostalgic so I thought I’d share some of the lyrics to a little song I made up when I started staying home with Tillie. That song came to mind because this is the first LWT of 2010 where it’s just the two of us as Tillie’s mom couldn’t make it out. (She says hi!) We missed her, but the show must go on, and that it did as T and I went to Indian restaurant Amin on Dekalb Avenue.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m usually a Kinara’s guy: Really good food and a great lunch special (50 percent off the whole menu!) make it hard to top. But since Tillie and I hadn’t gone to Amin yet in our food forays, I thought it would be nice to drop by. And personally, I hadn’t been there since way back when it was the only show in town. Back then, I wasn’t blown away by it, but things change, so who knows?

Anyway, we got to the place kind of late one afternoon and it was empty, except for the employees. Tillie and I had our run of the place as far as seating went, so I took a spot where I could leave the stroller unfolded. I got a high chair from one of the guys working there, but bad news: The buckle to strap the kid in was broken and it was the only high chair they had. Great, I thought, because keeping Tillie down in a high chair is tough under optimal conditions and these conditions were a little far from that. I set her in it, with extra attention paid to her escape ambitions!

She had a menu to play with that kept her occupied, while I took a look at mine to see the lunch specials. I usually go for a lamb dish when I eat Indian food, so I picked the lamb bhuna this time: chunks of lamb cooked in a thick, spicy sauce. I ordered that, along with some plain nan and an order of samosas for an appetizer.

While we waited for the food, Tillie noticed an elephant statue on the floor that she wanted to go over and play with. I took her out of the chair—which wasn’t too hard, seeing as how she wasn’t exactly strapped down—and let her walk over to the statue. She pet it a few times, pointed at the various studs adjoining it and pretty much just got a kick out of it. In the midst of this fun time, the samosas arrived.

We got back to the table, ready to dig in—or at least I was: Tillie was still thinking about her new pal on the floor. I thought samosas—pastries stuffed with potatoes and peas—would be perfect for Tillie, so I gave her the first bite. She seemed to like it, so I followed her up with a bite of my own. It was OK, nothing to write home about. The samosas were served over a brown sauce and a green sauce. (Sorry I don’t know the proper names of them, but I’m sure you readers out there know what I’m talking about: I can call them brown samosa sauce and green samosa sauce!) Tillie liked the brown better than the green, and me? I’m kind of ambivalent about them: I guess I’m not the sauce-distinguishing connoisseur that Tillie is!

The lamb, rice and lamb arrived shortly after and I have to say, it all looked pretty good. I took a bite of the lamb first to see if it was going to be too spicy for Tillie. I thought it had a little kick to it, so I gave T some rice with the brown samosa sauce on it. She was eating that pretty steadily, which was a good sign as far as her getting a decent serving of food in her lil’ tummy. I was able to fix myself some lamb over the rice and I have to say I was a little disappointed. The first bite I took before serving Tillie didn’t blow me away and the follow-up failed to, as well. The dish was a little greasy and the sauce seemed to be like a coagulant over the meat: In other words, it wasn’t enough to hit all the rice. And as far as dipping my nan in the sauce, forget about it: There just wasn’t much to go around. I tried to offer Tillie some nan dipped in what little sauce I could muster up, but she wasn’t interested.

As I mentioned, the dish had a little kick to it, so I finished my water early on in the meal. I was about halfway through with my food before anyone came back around to give me any more. Tillie’s sippy cup of milk never looked so good …

I ended up giving Tillie a taste of the lamb and rice, and it wasn’t too much for her to handle. Then I finished up and asked for the check. When it came, it reflected my whole experience there: disappointing. The bill was $14.35, not including the tip, which is a little much for a below ho-hum meal.

So in other words, I don’t think we’ll be back: The lunch special wasn’t that special, the water was distributed as if they were conserving it and there’s only one broken high chair. But I guess T had fun with that elephant, so if she wants to go back, she’s picking up the check: Her half of the royalties on the “Tillie and Pops” song should be enough to cover it.

Fort Greene Tennis Association Fundraiser

There's a new group in town who are working towards getting the Fort Greene Park tennis courts renovated.  They're also focused on providing active recreation for public health. We'll speak to them in depth in the next week or so, but in the meantime they're having a fundraiser tonight at General Greene:

I'm digging their logo.

Valentine Happenings

It's that time of year once again to show your special someone how much you care.  If you're going to participate in the holiday, here are some options for keeping it local: FULTON

Greene Grape and GG Provisions: Fondue tastings and wine tastings, Friday and Saturday

Aqualis Grill 773 Fulton Street (between S. Portland and S. Oxford) $55/person four course and champagne and/or wine included

Dajeh Restaurant and Wine Bar 919 Fulton Street (between Clinton & Waverly) Caribbean-Influenced, Wine-Paired Tasting Menu for Valentine’s Day. 5-course tasting menu $129 per couple. Each of the five courses is paired perfectly with a different wine in collaboration with Wine Consultant Veronique Fitzgerald, DWS. (the price without wine: $105.00 per couple).

Stonehome Wine Bar 87 Lafayette (between S. Elliott and S. Portland) 4 courses for $65 per person, with wine pairings add $40 per person. Seatings at 6, 7, 9 and 10pm For Reservations, call 718-624-9443

Cure Beauty Bar: Valentine Special:  Basic Mani/Pedi/ 1 Dozen roses/glass of sparkling wine - $90 or for couples $165 (which can be friends/Spouses/sibling etc.) Runs from Feb. 12th -14th. Must make a appointment and pre-pay by Feb. 11th 2010

Social Therapy Group What’s Love Got to Do With It? Prepare for Valentine’s Day by getting better at loving.  Explore where you are with love and friendship and create more intimacy in your all your relationships. Come to a social therapy group and work at making your Valentine’s Day more loving.  Come alone or bring your loved one –whether it’s your friend, your partner, your mother or lover.  We will help you get better at creating loving conversations. Saturday, February 13, 2010, 11am – 1pm.  Fee: $30/person or $50/couple or twosome.  Contact:  Ann Green, 718-797-3220 ext. 319 or


iCi: Brunch from 9am to 4pm and a $45 5-course-prix-fix Menu for Dinner from 5.30 to 11pm

Chez Oskar: $36 Prix Fix menu Sunday evening


Tamboril: $25 Prix Fix 5:30-11 on Saturday Jazz music at 7 and 9pm on Sunday

Chez Lola: $32 Prix Fix menu Sunday evening

Is Kif Closed?

A few readers have emailed asking if Kif restaurant on DeKalb is closed.  Apparently, it's been shuttered for two weeks.  I did a walk-by on Monday and saw people having beers at the bar, but when I called later no one answered the phone.  There are no signs on the door that point to a closure.  What gives? outside at kif

Kif has the most gorgeous back yard area, so I am hoping they're just on vacation.

Art at Tillie's: Reflections

January's Artwork at Tillie's: January 4 – February 6, 2010 Reception Friday 1/8/10, 7 – 9 p.m.

Brooklyn-based artist David Macaluso achieved international recognition last year with his portraits of Barack Obama painted with used motor oil, a medium he’s been using since 2005. He regards this technique, one of many at his disposal, as a means of recycling while also serving as a metaphorical undercurrent in his work. The portraits prompted ExxonMobil to become a client. In October 2009 the "Barack Obama: Made in Motor Oil" portraits were published in a hardcover edition called Hope: A Collection of Obama Posters and Prints.

The artist states: “I regard my work as part of a vast and enigmatic evolutionary continuum, a verse in a powerful play.  Each work I create, and the body of my work as a whole, seems guided by some overarching vision which is hard for me to define and is often fragmentary.  My work rarely seems to fit neatly into any distinct category, but is more like an urge, one that is simultaneously constructive and deconstructive, pushing toward a deeper awareness.”

David Macaluso has studied at Hunter College, the New School, and Parsons School of Design. He has shown his work at the Athens Institute of Contemporary Art in Athens, Georgia; at the Deborah Martin Gallery in Los Angeles; and at Artists Space, the Paula Barr Gallery, and Art Gotham in Manhattan. He was featured in the Saatchi Gallery online and is a member of the Brooklyn Arts Council.

Nearby in the Blogosphere

I'm trying to come up with a catchy name for my recurrung series of checking up on other local blogs.  Anyhow, here's what else has been going on:

  • Myrtle Ave Holiday Window contest winners announced! [Myrtle Minutes] (My favorite window won second place!)
  • Red Bamboo to start serving meat, rename self Poppa's Place [The Local] (There are plenty of places for meat-eaters (me) in the 'hood, so this is neither here nor there for me.  But I will say that I am generally not a fan of non-meats overseasoned and masquerading as meats, so I will def be trying their new menu.)
  • Pratt Coffee Shop reno ongoing [Brownstoner] (Strangely, I had never been in the Pratt Coffee Shop.  Guess I always assumed Mike's was superior based on the lines out the door.)
  • Images for Life moves to Myrtle Ave [Myrtle Minutes] (CHB first wrote about them when they were on Franklin Ave)