The Hester Street Fair is back. As of April 26, the outdoor food market happens every Saturday at Hester and Essex Streets. This year there will be some new food vendors offering delights such as Taiwanese street food, Egyptian bread and fruit-flavored popsicles. Hester Street Fair, Corner of Hester & Essex Streets, New York, NY 10002, 917-267-9496.
Long promising to live up to its name and actually be a restaurant dynasty, Han Dynasty has opened its biggest location on the Upper West Side. The 180-seat venue for Sichuan fare also boasts a large banquet room. The long menu isn't too different from that of its East Village brethren. Han Dynasty, 215 W. 85th St., New York, NY 10024, 212-858-9060.
Stephen Starr's latest New York City eatery is Hudson Garden Grill, located inside the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. The menu focuses on New American fare crafted with locally sourced products. Eating at the restaurant does not require admission to the botanical garden. Hudson Garden Grill, New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY 10458, 646-627-7711.
Hell's Kitchen’s El Original was opened by a group of homesick Texas expats who yearned for authentic Tex-Mex fare. El Original, 735 Tenth Ave., New York, NY 10019, 917-382-5512.
Chef Marcus Samuelsson has opened Streetbird Rotisserie, a diner-style, chicken-centric restaurant in Harlem. The menu includes chicken sandwiches and Ethiopian-accented chicken dishes, among other fowl-leaning fare. Streetbird Rotisserie, 2149 Frederick Douglass Blvd., New York, NY 10026, 212-206-2557.
Manousheh is a casual two-table spot in Greenwich Village that serves up Lebanese flatbread with the choice of a handful of toppings. Manousheh, 193 Bleecker St., New York, NY 10012, 347-971-5778.
Shea Gallante, the erstwhile top toque at Cru, is the chef at Chevalier in the posh Baccarat Hotel & Residences New York. The restaurant's maître d' is Charles Masson, who achieved legendary status at La Grenouille. The menu is haute French fare and the restaurant features a 20-seat chef's table. Chevalier, Baccarat Hotel & Residences New York, 20 W. 53rd St., New York, NY 10019, 212-790-8869.
Mace in the East Village is a cocktail-centric spot that highlights spices. Drinks have names like Thai Chili, Cocao Bean and Grass, which indicate their main flavor profile. Food complements the drinks, with crab and avocado flatbread, bacon and fig jam toast, and prosciutto and melon skewers. Mace, 649 E. 9th St., New York, NY 10009, 212-673-1190.
In the former space of Todd English's Olives at W New York - Union Square comes Irvington, an American restaurant with farm-to-table fare and rotisserie offerings. Chef David Nichols' menu includes lamb tartare with harissa, bucatini with chopped porchetta, and duck confit potpie. Irvington, W New York - Union Square, 201 Park Ave S., New York, NY 10003, 212-677-0425.
Seamus Mullen, who runs the show at Tertulia in the West Village, has opened El Colmado Butchery in the Meatpacking District. The restaurant is an offshoot of the El Colmado in the Gotham West Market food hall and serves cheese and charcuterie plates as well as tapas dishes. El Colmado Butchery, 53 Little West 12th St., New York, NY 10014, 212-488-0000.
From the people who brought you Au Za'atar in the East Village comes Souk & Sandwich, a small spot in SoHo serving up Lebanese-inspired sandwiches. Souk & Sandwich, 117 Sixth Ave., New York, NY 10013, 212-625-3982.
In the space that once housed Butter comes a revamped version of Asia de Cuba. The restaurant, which existed for years in Murray Hill, offers updated takes on Asian-Latin dishes. Asia de Cuba, 415 Lafayette St., New York, NY 10003, 212-726-7755.
Chef Joël Robuchon is bringing his eponymous restaurant L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon back to New York City. The chef will open in Battery Park City, where many quality restaurants have been popping up lately. It's scheduled to debut in Fall 2015. L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, 250 Vesey St., New York, NY 10080, no phone.
City Kitchen is the latest food hall to open in New York. The 4,000-square-foot space, a stone's throw from Times Square, is filled with diverse food options, including Dough, Luke's Lobster, Gabriela's Taqueria and Whitman's. City Kitchen, 700 Eighth Ave., New York, NY 10036, no phone.
Amused, a new restaurant on the Upper West Side, serves whimsical dishes like “Pig in a Pretzel,” General Zoe's cauliflower, and carbonara ramen. Amused, 142 W. 83rd St., New York, NY 10024, 212-799-0080.
Located in Gramercy Park, newcomer Javelina focuses on Tex-Mex cuisine. Chef Richard Caruso, formerly of Rosa Mexicano and Hill Country, is in the kitchen serving up brisket tacos and barbacoa enchiladas. Javelina, 119 E. 18th St., New York, NY 10003, 212-539-0202.
From the owners of the East Village Thai restaurant Somtum Der comes Kiin Thai Eatery. The new restaurant eschews the regionalism of Somtum Der and offers Thai fare from around the country, with an emphasis on home-style dishes. Kiin Thai Eatery, 36 E. 8th St., New York, NY 10003, 212-529-2363.
Leslie Nilsson, owner of Sage General Store, has opened an eponymous eatery called mrnilsson in Long Island City. The restaurant’s focus is on Scandinavia and it’s offering four- and seven-course tasting menus in the evening from Tuesday to Saturday. mrnilsson, 24-20 Jackson Ave., Long Island City, NY 11101, 718-361-0707.
Danny Meyer has thrown his restaurateur hat into the cocktail bar ring. Porchlight features a handful of signature cocktails and cocktail-friendly snacks such as smoked beef jerky, avocado and crab toast, and smoked swordfish sandwiches. Porchlight, 271 Eleventh Ave., New York, NY 10001, 212-981-6188.
Jeremy Strawn, who previously concocted cocktails at Death & Co., has opened Lazy Point, a cocktail-centric spot in SoHo that has an urban sea shack feel. Food options include buffalo pork belly and creative takes on the grilled cheese sandwich. Lazy Point, 310 Spring St., New York, NY 10013, 212-463-7406.
The new Bricolage is a 50-seat Vietnamese gastropub in Park Slope. The restaurant was started by two alums from San Francisco's Slanted Door, and serves Vietnamese food but with some Chinese influences. Bricolage, 162 Fifth Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11217, no phone.
A pan-Latin American steakhouse? Si! K-Rico serves up Peruvian chicken, Colombian arepas and, of course, ample amounts of steak. John Greco III is in the kitchen. K-Rico, 772 Ninth Ave., New York, NY 10019, 212-757-9393.
The East Village location of Terroir (413 E. 12th St.) has changed its name to Fifty Paces. Wine is still the focus, but now diners and drinkers can get food "inspired by Hearth," a sibling restaurant a half a block away. Plates include pork ragù Sloppy Joes and braised rabbit leg with polenta. Fifty Paces, 413 E. 12th St., New York, NY 10009, 646-602-1300.
Chef Amanda Cohen's vegetarian restaurant Dirt Candy has gone from 18 to 60 seats, moving from the East Village to the Lower East Side. The new 2.0 version offers some old favorites on the menu, but there are plenty of new dishes as well. Dirt Candy, 86 Allen St., New York, NY 10002, 212-228-7732.
Village Prime steakhouse has opened in the West Village. The menu also offers crab cakes and other seafood, and there’s a 30-seat back garden for the warm weather months. Village Prime, 302 Bleecker St., New York, NY 10014, 212-727-7463.
Andaz 5th Avenue’s New Chef's Table
Andaz 5th Avenue has installed a chef's table inside the hotel. Accommodating a maximum of 12 diners, the table is run by chef Michael Santoro and is located between the lobby and the hotel restaurant, The Shop. The menu will change daily and be inspired by seasonal local food. Andaz 5th Avenue, 485 Fifth Ave., New York , NY 10017, 212-601-1234.
Is David Muñoz Coming to Town?
If the rumors are to be believed, Madrid chef David Muñoz is going to set up shop in New York City sometime in 2016. There are very few details on the possible move, only that the DiverXO chef is plotting a Big Apple eatery for next year. Whatever is the case, it's welcome news for lovers of haute Spanish cuisine.
And the James Beard Foundation Award Nominees Are …
The James Beard Foundation has announced the nominees for the 2015 awards ceremony, taking place in Chicago on May 4. New York restaurants figured prominently. Some of the nominees include: Cosme and Batard for Best New Restaurant; Maison Premiere for Outstanding Bar Program; Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern for Outstanding Chef; Momofuku Noodle Bar, The Spotted Pig, Per Se and Blue Hill at Stone Barns for Outstanding Restaurant. Good luck, New Yorkers.
Restaurateur Tony May Retires
Longtime restaurateur and owner of SD26, Tony May moves on. He has sold SD26 to restaurant chef and consultant John Doherty, who plans to keep it open until at least August and then shut it down and change the concept to a more American cuisine-focused spot. Before opening San Domenico on Central Park South in 1988, Tony May ran the Rainbow Room for 22 years. SD26 was a collaboration of father Tony and daughter Marisa. SD26, 19 E. 26th St., New York, NY 10010, 212-265-5959.
BLT Steak & BLT Prime Have the Beef
BLT Steak (106 E. 57th St., 212-752-7470) and BLT Prime (111 E. 22nd St., 212-995-8500) have acquired some very hard-to-find beef. The A5 BMS 11 Kagoshima, also known as Wagyu, twin beef ribs were sourced from Japan and are now available at both restaurants for a limited time. But it's not inexpensive --- prices start at $38 an ounce.
Gotham Bar & Grill Gets "Mad"
Gotham Bar & Grill chef Alfred Portale is offering a new, optional prix-fixe lunch menu in honor of "Mad Men" throughout April. The three-course (plus two martini) meal for $45 includes such selections as the Gotham Caesar, steak Diane and poached salmon. Gotham Bar & Grill, 12 E. 12th St., New York, NY 10003, 212-620-4020.
J.G. Melon, the legendary burger spot on the Upper East Side, has announced it's opening a Greenwich Village outpost. The newcomer should be open sometime in April. J.G. Melon, 89 MacDougal St., New York, NY 10012, no phone.
Chicken Concept from David Chang
David Chang announced at SXSW that he is turning the old Momofuku Ko space in New York into a restaurant that serves fried chicken and fried chicken sandwiches. As of now, there is scant information about the concept, except that it will be called Fuku. Fuku, 163 First Ave., New York, NY 10003, No phone.
Sushi Zen to Triple in Size
Sushi Zen, the underrated sushi spot in Midtown, will move three blocks north and triple in size by the end of 2015. Sushi Zen, 108 W. 44th St., New York, NY 10036, 212-302-0707.
Dead Rabbit, New Menu
The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog has just debuted a slew of new cocktails plus their third menu, all in honor of the second anniversary of this cocktail bar and restaurant. The new book-size menu includes 64 new cocktails in addition to a guidebook-like chapter of 19th-century New York saloons and other fun tidbits about bar culture in New York history. The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog, 30 Water St., New York, NY 10004, 646-422-7906.
And the James Beard Semifinalists Are...
The semifinalists for this year's James Beard Foundation Awards have been announced. For New York, there are many familiar names. Best New Restaurant semifinalists include Batard and Cosme, while Outstanding Restaurant of the year are The Spotted Pig, Momofuku Noodle Bar, Per Se and Blue Hill at Stone Barns. The finalists will be announced on March 24 and the winners will be awarded at the big ceremony in Chicago on May 4.
It's one of our favorite weeks of the year: Restaurant Week is back. From February 16 to March 6, dine at up to 340 participating restaurants. The three-course prix-fixe meals are $25 for lunch and $38 for dinner. New participants this year include Little Park, Bar Primi and All'onda.
Nobu New York on the Move
Big news in Nobu Land. Nobu New York, the sushi stalwart of TriBeCa, has announced it will be moving. It's planning to go further south to plant itself in the Financial District. The move will take place sometime in 2017, and the new location will be 195 Broadway at Dey Street. Nobu New York, 105 Hudson St., New York, NY 10013, 212-219-0500.
Guenter Seeger Finds a Home in the West Village
Guenter Seeger, the chef who made a name for himself in Atlanta, has found a space for his restaurant, Guenter Seeger NY, in the West Village. The 38-seat establishment will serve a tasting menu only when it opens later this year. Guenter Seeger NY, 641 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014, no phone.
Louro, the West Village restaurant with a Portuguese accent, has a new dish that is exciting regulars: perpetual stew. The pork broth-laden soup is available for dine-in at the bar or take-out for only $5. Louro, 142 W. 10th St., New York, NY 10014, 212-206-0606.
Jams, the California Redux
Jonathan Waxman, the chef at Barbuto, is reviving his California cuisine restaurant Jams in Midtown starting this spring. Jams, which was open from 1984 to 1989, was one of the first venues offering California fare in New York City. The restaurant will open inside the new 1 Hotel. Jams, 1414 Sixth Ave., New York, NY 10019, no phone.
The New York City Department of Health is mulling a stricter code for how the city's restaurants prep sushi for serving. In the proposal, sushi chefs would be required to freeze the raw fish they serve, thus altering the quality of the sushi and dramatically changing the sushi eating experience.
Daisuke Dreams of Seafood
Daisuke Nakazawa, the raw fish master behind Sushi Nakazawa and one of the stars of the hit documentary "Jiro Dreams of Sushi," has just announced he's opening a new restaurant. Located in the West Village, likely on Grove Street, the place won't have sushi but will focus on seafood.
Dominique Ansel Coming to the West Village
Dominique Ansel, inventor of the cronut, is moving into the West Village space that recently housed the German bakery Landbrot. But don't start queueing up for cronuts at Dominique Ansel Kitchen, as their availability is limited to Ansel's first bakery in SoHo. Dominique Ansel Kitchen, 137 Seventh Ave. S., New York, NY 10014, no phone.
Jasmine Shimoda is the new chef at Happy Ending, the French restaurant on the Lower East Side. She replaces Francis Gabarrus. Happy Ending, 302 Broome St., New York, NY 10002, 646-998-3184.
Chef Cesare Casella has left Ristorante Rosi, the restaurant he helped start on the Upper East Side. He is still associated with his Upper West Side spot, Salumeria Rosi. Ristorante Rosi, 903 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10021, 212-517-7700.
Wes Whitsell is the new chef at the in-house restaurant of Soho House New York. Soho House New York, 25-39 Ninth Ave., New York, NY 10014, 212-627-9800.
Contrada, the Italian restaurant in the East Village, has a new chef. The top toque is now John Paidas, who has worked at Le Bernardin and Charlie Bird among other restaurants. Contrada, 84 E. 4th St., New York, NY 10003, 212-260-8484.
Akhtar Nawab, formerly of La Esquina and La Cenita, is the consulting chef at Gelso & Grand, located inside the erstwhile Italian Food Center. Gelso & Grand, 186 Grand St., New York, NY 10013, 212-226-1600.
Keith Geter is the new chef at Midtown East’s 212 Steakhouse. Geter has worked in the kitchens of Artisanal, Picholine and Brennan's Seafood & Chophouse. 212 Steakhouse, 316 E. 53rd St., New York, NY 10022, 212-858-0646.
Chef Matthew Lightner has left Atera. He'll move on to his own fine dining restaurant project in New York. The new chef at Atera will be 32-year-old Danish chef Ronny Emborg. Emborg has spent time in the kitchens of elBulli in Spain and AOC in Copenhagen and even served as the personal chef for the Queen of Denmark. Atera has shut down through April and will reopen with Emborg as chef. Atera, 77 Worth St., New York, NY 10013, 212-226-1444.
Cameron Dale, a mixologist who has shaken and stirred cocktails at Minetta Tavern and ZZ's Clam Bar, has joined Cafe El Presidente in the Flatiron District. Certainly, he's going to mix up a mean margarita. Cafe El Presidente, 30 W. 24th St., New York, NY 10010, 212-242-3491.
Moran's, the longtime Chelsea restaurant, has closed. Later in 2015 a new restaurant called The Fillmore Room will open in the space. Moran's, 146 Tenth Ave., New York, NY 10011, no phone.
Skal, the Icelandic restaurant on the Lower East Side, has shuttered permanently. Skal, 37 Canal St., New York, NY 10002, no phone.
Crown, the upscale restaurant in the John DeLucie empire, has shut down due to a conflict with the building’s landlord. Crown, 24 E. 81st St., New York, NY 10028, no phone.
Florencia 13, the California-focused Mexican spot in Greenwich Village, has rolled its last burrito. The casual restaurant and neighborhood favorite has permanently closed. Florencia 13, 185 Sullivan St., New York, NY 10012, no phone.
Mitali East, an Indian restaurant on the East Village block that was once lined with subcontinental eateries, has shut down after more than 40 years in business. Mitali East, 334 E. 6th St., New York, NY 10003, no phone.
Puebla, a 25-year-old taqueria in the East Village, shut down permanently after service on March 23, 2015. Puebla, 47 First Ave., New York, NY 10003, no phone.
Terroir Murray Hill shut down after March 14, 2015 service, leaving the once-expanding Terroir empire with just one spot: Terroir Tribeca. Terroir Murray Hill, 439 Third Ave., New York, NY 10016, 212-481-1920.
Benny's Burritos, the 27-year-old restaurant in the East Village, has shut down. Benny's Burritos, 93 Ave. A, New York, NY 10009, no phone.
Waterfront Crab House in Long Island City has closed after 40 years in business. Waterfront Crab House, 2-03 Borden Ave., Long Island City, NY 11101, no phone.
La Parisienne, serving up simple comfort food since 1950, has shut down. La Parisienne, 910 Seventh Ave., New York, NY 10019, no phone.
The Elm, the acclaimed Williamsburg restaurant where chef Paul Liebrandt was the top toque, has shut down. Liebrandt says he'll move on to his own restaurant project soon. The Elm, 160 N. 12th St., Brooklyn, NY 11249, no phone.
Seasonal Restaurant & Weinbar, the acclaimed Austrian establishment in Midtown, has shut down. The new restaurant in the space, Loi Estiatorio, is Greek and run by Maria Loi. She has retained Arno Mueller, the chef from Seasonal. Seasonal Restaurant & Weinbar, 132 W. 58th St., New York, NY 10019, no phone.
Terroir, the original wine bar in the East Village that spawned a few different locations around Manhattan, shut down on January 31. But chef Marco Canora plans to retain the space and turn it into an entirely new concept. Terroir, 413 E. 12th St., New York, NY 10009, no phone.
La Bottega, the Italian restaurant inside The Maritime Hotel, has closed. This summer the space will become a coastal Italian restaurant run by Mario Batali. La Bottega, Maritime Hotel, 363 W. 16th St., New York, NY 10011, no phone.
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