STATEN ISLAND, NY – The ever-changing restaurant scene on Staten Island can be compared to a game show with sudden twists and occasional cliffhangers. With that emotion in mind, let’s spin the old wheel of fortune for a recap discussion of the summer edition of – say it with enthusiasm! – “What’s up? What’s closed? And what’s coming?!”
First, as the audience goes wild, we’ll do a health check on an ambitious, well-advanced project in the Richmond Valley. In our last chat about the sprawling property, we explored the old house to a never-before-realized DaddyO BBQ spot. (The latter is open in just one Charleston location – Daddyosbbqnyc.com.) During that discussion, the Borough saw General Manager Joe Guli gearing up for a new a la carte venue and food hall evenly spread across the middle of a 10,000 square foot space. . The restaurant side will now be called 286 South – a nod to its address at 286 Richmond Valley Road – and the banquet side will be called Waterside Grand. Guli grows to open in September.
Meanwhile, down the road from Ellis Street, the former Waterside Bar & Grill has been transformed into Paradise Island. The owners are launching the kitchen (Paradiseislandrestaurant.com) with brick-oven pizzas, burgers and continental fare for its impending inaugural weekend. The harbor restaurant is also gearing up for service in its tiki bar, lounge, and marina.
BINGO ON THE SOUTH SHORE
The South Shore’s gastronomic scene is accumulating points in the “open” restaurant section. Soon there will be a Popeye in Tottenville’s old Taco Bell outfit. A month after opening, O’Sfizio’s pizza and Italian dishes in Annadale (Osfizio.com) are drawing crowds. Casa Nino’s Pizza Bar opened at 1281 Arthur Kill Rd. in June. The owners of this new venture (Casaninosi.com) have merged their two old salon concepts – Casa Nino’s and Pizza House.
Breaking Bread opened in Fratelli’s former home at 27 Seguine Ave., Tottenville (Facebook.com/breakingbreadsi.) Owner Nicole Cammarato said a temporary menu was in place due to the high fluctuations in prices in the current COVID world. A year later, the owner is waiting for her liquor license. Committed items on the list, however, are gourmet pizzas, home cooking, and distinct Italian cuisine with “good-sized portions,” according to Cammarato. When the staff is fully in place, she plans fish and steak specialties for the sit-down restaurant. Delivery is imminent and for now the hours are 11:30. at 21h
Cammarato is a Zollo, a name known to the owners of Mr. Pizza and Pasta House as well as the old waterfalls of Meiers Corners. Aside from the family relationship, there is no business affiliation with the New Springville restaurant.
New to the East Bank we have Lobo Loco at The Boulevard in New Dorp. Two places are fresh on the scene at 2224 and 2230 Hylan Boulevard in Grant City, with a Naz’s Halal (Nazshalal.com/team/staten-island/) and The Crepe Stop (Instagram.com/crepestopsi/) franchise respectively. We have Anthony’s Paninoteca in Eltingville (Whereyoueat.com), as well as Sundae Donuts nearby, located next to Freddie’s Pork Store and Salumeria (Freddiesgourmet.com.) The latter is open Wednesday through Sunday with “infused” ice cream. donuts,” cookie dough, coffee, and more (Sundaedonuts.com.)
Notable news at the mall: Lobo Loco’s 300-seat business will open in August at the former TGIF Friday’s. Sofia’s Guac bar will move to the former Illy Cafe space. The new location will open by August 1. Krispy Kreme’s stand-alone restaurant just had its signage applied.
In Mariners Harbour, Whiskey Hideaway and Billiard Hideway in Mariners Harbor will soon be serving drinks in the former Bootleg Mannings. And the news everyone was waiting for about the opening of Asian Foods? The answer hasn’t changed – the owner is still waiting for a fire alarm inspection and signature. And – womp womp – we’re officially in grocery store limbo on this.
On Forest Avenue, Ronnie’s Sandwich Shoppe will open shortly in the former Angry Lobster Roll digs in West Brighton. Christine Rivelli said she and her son Jesse were waiting for refrigeration and then could start serving their brand of sandwiches, take-out salads and soups.
Di Farina Pizzeria (DiFarinaPizzeria.com) opened at 1756 Forest Ave., Graniteville, in the former home of a few parlors and, several years ago, Staten Island’s only Starbucks to close.
TRIVIAL LAWSUIT AT RESTAURANT
Let’s end this program with a few anecdotes about the restaurant. Whoever hits the buzzer first gets the answer. Name this restaurant in two words or less.
What South Beach location closed for the summer only to renovate with a new outdoor dining section?
Ding, ding — Italianissimo. He will unveil his new look in August.
What is the newest supermarket in the borough, filled with a fish market, Eastern European foods, a bakery and a flower/balloon department?
Plink, plink — Island Gourmet, also known for its fresh produce and prepared meals section. This dampens the news about the loss of a rounding market with SuperFresh closing in Great Kills.
And finally, which restaurant changed hands in February after more than 30 years in existence, an operation known for its Southwestern menu and wide selection of craft beers?
Oops, oops — Adobe Blues! It is being renovated and the new saloonkeeper has promised an update officially next week. But it will reopen at some point with a new look.
And the winner of the show — wins another restaurant!
Pamela Silvestri is editor-in-chief of Advance Food. She can be contacted at [email protected].