Tazzina, an Italian restaurant in Forest Hills owned by a former champion of the Food Network show “Chopped,” is closing at the end of the month.
Restaurant owner and chef Jason Zukas broke the sad news to diners in a June 6 post on the eatery’s official Facebook page. Tazzina originally opened on 88th Street in Glendale in 2010 before relocating to its current spot on at 102-15 Metropolitan Ave. in Forest Hills three years later.
“It’s with a heavy heart that I have to announce the closing of Tazzina Forest Hills. June 30 will be our last dinner service,” Zukas wrote in the Facebook post. “Between the neighborhood changing, huge problems with the landlord and business being slow, I have decided to close and look for a new location.”
The Ridgewood-native Zukas trained at the Culinary Institute of America and worked at numerous Manhattan restaurants, including Ouest, La Bottega and Blue Water Grill, before opening Tazzina in 2010. The menu features a modern take on traditional Italian-American and Mediterranean cuisine.
Zukas won $10,000 on an episode of “Chopped” — the popular competitive cooking show hosted by Ted Allen — in 2009, and returned the following year to compete in a “Chopped” tournament of champions the following year.
His appearance helped get Tazzina off the flying start, and the restaurant gained a loyal following among local diners. While Zukas said he’s closing the chapter on Tazzina’s reign in Forest Hills, the restaurant still has a future.
“This is not the end of Tazzina, just a little time out until I find the right spot again,” Zukas wrote. “Tazzina was founded in 2010 and still has so much life in her. We’ll be back soon better than ever! I hope to see you all soon!”