The former home of on, well, Union and Smith Streets, will soon house Diego, an upscale Mexican restaurant with a menu designed by Dos Caminos' Ivy Stark, said owner James Geritano.
Eagle-eyed readers and bloggers have noticed that neighborhood stalwart Union Smith recently closed after four years in business. But the change has been a long time coming -- Geritano said the Union Smith to Diego transition has been in the works for two years.
"We thought the neighborhood was lacking great Mexican food," said Geritano, who also owns and Gowanus Yacht Club.
While no Union Smith items will remain on the current menu (no more of that killer French toast!), it's hard to complain, given that Diego's cuisine will be overseen by Stark, the celebrity chef behind Manhattan's Dos Caminos.
As the chef of high-end Mexican spots like Zocalo, Rosa Mexicano and Dos Caminos, Stark has won consistent acclaim for her imaginative, adventurous cuisine. Her food "defines accessible exoticism," writes the New York Post's Steve Cuozzo and "demonstrates real imagination," per Frank Bruni of The New York Times. At Dos Caminos, for example, a traditional fish taco gets dressed up with smoked chili aioli, and black Angus skirt steak is paired with caramelized onion salsita.
Diego will be mid-priced, with main courses between $14-22. The restaurant is set to open on New Year's Eve.
Update 12:40 pm: After reading an update that Stark's role was exaggerated on Eater.com, the Carroll Gardens Patch reporter checked back with Geritano, who stands by what he told us.