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Early Look at Angelina Cafe’s New Location, Opening Soon

Photos: Nicole Guzzardi

Angelina Café will open across the street from its former location as soon as it gets a visit from the gas man.

Rafik Bouzgarrou, the owner of the Mediterranean bistro, said he moved out of his modest digs at 36B Avenue A last month because his landlord wanted to raise his rent of $7,500 per month. He’s now paying a similar amount for a space that’s three times the size.

At 37 Avenue A, Mr. Bouzgarrou has installed a proper wine bar, where Mediterranean and Basque wines are displayed on a rack. One wall is decorated by a map of the Mediterranean, painted by Angelina customer John Bean. The build-out was also the work of friends and customers, said Mr. Bouzgarrou. “They all knew I didn’t really have money to move here,” he said. Read more…

After Aegean Coast and Sheepshead Bay, Turkish Chef Lands On 2nd Ave

ReynaMelvin Felix Chef and owner Levent Akyol at Reyna Turkish Restaurant and Mediterranean Grill.

Reyna Turkish Restaurant and Mediterranean Grill opened in the former Mission Cafe space on Second Avenue over the weekend. Owner and chef Levent Akyol, a veteran of many a Mediterranean kitchen, plans to concentrate on the food of western Turkey, which he said was more Greek influenced and seafood-heavy than its eastern counterpart.

Mr. Akyol has been in the restaurant business since he was 10 years old. Back then, he cooked fish in his family’s restaurant in the city of Izmir, one of Turkey’s primary port cities. He moved to the United States in 1999 and was the owner of Marmaris Restaurant in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, until it closed in February. Here, he’ll serve a similar menu: seafood casseroles, char-grilled fishes, meat kebabs, cold appetizers such as cod caviar salad and hot appetizers such as cheese rolls and stuffed mushrooms. True to Reyna’s name (it means “new again”), there will also be new dishes like Turkish chicken wings.

Check out the new restaurant’s menu below. It’s B.Y.O.B. while it awaits a license to sell wine and beer, and will begin delivery soon. Read more…

On 13th, Another Spot for Hookahs and Hummus

Sahara CitiPhilip Ross
Sahara Citi 3Philip Ross

Aziza isn’t the only new hookah lounge in the neighborhood. Sahara Citi opened on 13th Street earlier this month. The restaurant sells about 30 flavors of tobacco and Mediterranean cuisine (see menu below). An inspirational message on the wall reads, “It is what it is…but it will become what you make it,” which might well be a reference to the casual ambiance and modest decor. Another small sign reads: “Wine me up and watch me go!” Unfortunately, despite a last-minute blessing from the community board, Saraha Citi’s beer-and-wine license is still pending, so alcohol won’t be served for at least another month. See the menu…