Jean Marie Patisserie and Juliebelle’s Closed, Pinkberry is Open, and Sake 68 and BareBurger are Coming.

Lots of culinary news to report this week in Great Neck Plaza.

While walking up and down Middle Neck Road, I’m still saddened to see the closed storefront of Bruce’s, still empty and dark, and still sad to see that great promising restaurant Miraku empty as well. I was shocked to see that now Jean Marie Patisserie and Bistro has shut its doors as well. I just saw Kasi’s post on our Facebook page that this happened over a month ago–and Juliebelle’s has bitten the dust as well. It’s sad, because these aren’t bad restaurants that are closing. 🙁

On the other hand, there are signs that a new generation of restaurant owners is looking to give it a shot. Just a few weeks ago, the Pinkberry opened. I’m not sure in a town that already has a 16 Handles and a 32 Degree Fro Yo whether another yogurt place is really necessary, but on the other hand when I went in the other day I was happy to see that it was sparkling clean and that unlike 16 Handles, they don’t charge by weight. This kind of competition can only be good for us as the consumer.

The hamburger chain BareBurger is setting up at 32 Middle Neck Road, just next to the former Bruce’s. I haven’t had a BareBurger yet, but I’ve heard good things about its Michelin Guide-recommended, grass-fed burgers. From the looks of it, they’re pretty close to opening, and of course I’ll write a review when it does 🙂

Another interesting looking new storefront is that of Sushi and Sake 68 at 68 Middle Neck Road. From the pictures on their Facebook page, it looks like a Japanese fusion place. Let’s hope that the quality comes up to the dearly departed Miraku as well as the king-of-the-hill (in my book) Chez Kama across the street.

I noticed an interesting sign on the Sake 68 window–they say that the first 20 people to Like them on Facebook will receive a $20 gift certificate. I was #17, so hurry up if you want to get one of the last 3!! You can visit their Facebook page here.

In other news, Ethos has a Groupon for sale again. It’s the same one they were selling a few months ago good for one appetizer and two entrees for only $35. They say it’s a $74 value, but when I went there last night I maxed out at $62 of food. Still, for $35 that’s not a bad deal, and as I’ll post in a review shortly, I was very, very impressed by how they’ve improved their quality since the last time I was there. Click here to get yours.

Finally, I noticed on a banner by the train station that Great Neck Restaurant Week 2013 is coming. Menus have not yet been posted at the Great Neck BID’s Web site, but I see in the list of restaurants that a couple of favorites, including ERA Asian Cuisine, Daruma, La Rotonda, Lola, Wild Ginger, and Bruce’s are on the list. Restaurant week will be from Saturday April 20 to Saturday April 27, 2013. Once the BID site posts menus, I’ll post them here and give you my personal picks.

So to sum up, it’s the worst of times and the best of times in Great Neck. The next time you’re set to hop in the car or the train for dinner in the City, remember that a lot of the restaurants in our little town rival restaurants in the City, at much lower prices and much less hassle! Despite losing a lot of good restaurants, we still have some great ones. Be sure to drop by your favorite from time to time to support them, or they may suffer the same fate as the dear ones we’ve lost.

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