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New York Restaurants - Restaurant News
July 2008 Archive

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Keep abreast of what's going on in New York here at Gayot. You can learn all you need to know about new restaurant openings, special events, and more. The information you need on restaurants in New York is here.

RESTAURANT NEWS

Openings

Man about town and New York City restaurateur Bruno Selimaj is the force behind Club A, a steakhouse opening in the space last occupied by his restaurant Bruno. It's a steakhouse, with an emphasis on outrageous, American portions: a one-pound baked potato and $37 Kobe beef and foie gras burger, also weighing in at one-pound. Bring elastic pants. Club A, 240 E. 58th St., New York, NY 10022, 212-688-4190.
 
Jimmy Carbone, of Jimmy's, has expanded to a new location with 1 Dominick. The grub here is more straight-up Italian than English pub, with small plates like a crustless fried bologna sandwich and watermelon ricotta salad. Here, there will be a selection of Italian wines instead of the rare beers you find at Jimmy's---once the liquor license is approved, of course. 1 Dominick, 1 Dominick St., New York, NY 10013, 212-647-0202.
 
Delicatessen is a modern spin on the classic diners and delis of New York City's past. With a sleek interior---white banquettes with green leather stools---and a solid pedigree, all from the team behind Cafeteria. Expect the food to be more hearty than trendy: short rib stroganoff, Reuben fritters, and cheeseburger spring rolls. Delicatessen, 54 Prince St., New York, NY 10012, 212-226-0211.
 
L'Impero was more a Scott Conant affair. Since his departure, the restaurant underwent a series of changes leading to its transformation into Convivio, with Michael White continuing to work in the kitchen. Now, the pastas are divided into those with meats, like rigatoni with tripe and sausage, and those with seafood, like saffron baby gnocchi with sea urchin and crabmeat. A selection of small plates, called sfizi, are also available for noshing. Convivio, 45 Tudor Place, New York, NY 10017, 212-599-5045.
 
The one-hundred-seat, downtown location of Fresco on the Go is now open. The café rotates a selection of soups, a pasta bar (which boasts "Mom's Homemade Lasagna"), and pizzas, all of which are also available for delivery. Fresco on the Go, 114 Pearl St., New York, NY 10005, 212-635-5000.
 
Socarrat Paella Bar specializes in that most famous and difficult of Spanish dishes, paella. Owned by the same group that operates New York tapas restaurant La Nacional, the communal table restaurant will also serve fideuas, a variation on paella made with pasta. Socarrat Paella Bar, 259 W. 19th St., New York, NY 10011, 212-462-1000.
 
Chocolate Bar Alison Nelson's Chocolate Bar is now unwrapped. The original location, in the West Village, closed earlier this year. The same cocoa-based goodness, from truffles to bars packed in paper with images of classic New York graffiti, will be available at her new East Village digs. Chocolate Bar, 127 E. Seventh St., New York, NY 10009, 212-366-1541.
 
Mercadito Cantina is hoping for a little Momofuku Ko magic. The third Mercadito restaurant to open in the city (after Mercadito and Mercadito Grove) is a taco-only affair. A long wood bar with stools dominates the small yet austere space. Luckily, you can walk right in and ditch the online reservations. Mercadito Cantina, 172 Ave. B, New York, NY 10009, 212-388-0162.
 
The General Greene has fired up its stovetop in Brooklyn's Fort Greene neighborhood. Nicholas Morgenstern (the erstwhile pastry chef at Gilt and Gramercy Tavern) cooks up American comfort cuisine. The General Greene, 229 DeKalb Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11205, 718-222-1510.
 
The second New York outpost of the Singapore-based sushi chain Sakae Sushi has opened. The West Village spot serves sushi---like its siblings---on a conveyer belt. Sakae Sushi, 135 W. Third St., New York, NY 10014, 212-228-9839.
 
Vai serves small plate Italian food. Look for all the standards at Vincent Chirico's Upper West Side wine bar, from yellowtail crudo with sea salt cheese to charcuterie samplers and spaghetti with baby clams. Vai, 225 W. 77th St., New York, NY 10024, 212-362-4500.
 
The first project of Bryan Calvert (Union Pacific, Bouley) is James, a seasonal American spot he's opened with his wife. The space is a 100-year-old townhouse bedecked with vintage stools and other aged fixtures in Prospect Heights; the menu includes dishes like fava bean ravioli with morels and crispy sweetbreads with a rhubarb honey glaze. James, 605 Carlton Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11238, 718-942-4255.
 
The Cacio e Pepe empire has expanded above 42nd street: Salvatore Corea's Alloro is open on the Upper East Side. The menu, like the restaurant's whimsical green and white décor, is more playful than that of its downtown siblings. Here, caprese is bufala mozzarella and tomato tartare, and the kitchen even makes a variation on fried spaghetti. Alloro, 307 E. 77th S., New York, NY 10075, 212-535-2866.
 

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News Bytes
Aldea, All Night
George Mendes, of Tocqueville and Bouley, plans to open his own restaurant this fall called Aldea. The cuisine will be Spanish and Portuguese with a menu that changes daily. And as a bonus for fans of big portions, the emphasis will be on three courses instead of small plates.
 
Drinking for (20) Dollars
How much can you drink in two hours? Bondi Road and The Sunburnt Cow dare you to find out during their "2 Hours of Happiness" happy hour challenge. Every Monday through Friday between 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., each location features "2 Hours of Happiness"---unlimited tap beer, wine, their famous Moo-Juice house cocktails, and well-spirits for two hours for only $20 per person.
 
Summer Cocktails
The Hudson River Café and master mixologist Alex Ott have teamed up to create a killer summer cocktail list. Libations include the Harlem Renaissance (Chianti, raspberries, Godiva chocolate liqueur and whipped cream) and the Manhattanville (strawberries, guava juice, Grand Marnier, Belvedere vodka and lime juice). Plus, there are eight others in the line-up. Hudson River Café, 697 W. 133rd St., New York, NY 10027, 212-491-9111.
 
Top Rent
Top Chefs for the upcoming season of the Bravo television series are going to be ensconced at 20 Bayard, a new condo development in Williamsburg. The chefs are expected to move in sometime in the next month.
 
Bar Boulud Boulud Gets Bigger
Daniel Boulud is expanding Bar Boulud into the bank space next door. There's no word yet on when the new space will be open. Bar Boulud, 1900 Broadway, New York, NY 10023, 212-595-0303.
 
New Ammo for Ammos
Ammos Estiatorio, the Midtown Greek eatery, has a new menu. Chef David Ogren's new Greek-Middle Eastern fusion dishes include cast iron-seared foie gras in a sweet cherry sauce, rack of lamb with Indian spices, and plenty of fish crudo drenched in olive oil. Ammos Estiatorio, 52 Vanderbilt Ave., New York, NY 10017, 212-922-9999.
 
Welcome to Steak Country
The upstairs dining room at The Dining Room at Country will be transformed into Country Steak in September following the closure of the old dining room in July. Look for a bovine bonanza with a European lilt, as far as the menu goes. The Dining Room at Country, The Carlton, 90 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016, 212-889-7100.
 
Porcão’s Lunch
Brazilian steakhouse Porcão Churrascaria is featuring a new lunch menu. Think grilled Brazilian sausages, slices of grilled sirloin or a caprese salad---and most menu items clock in at around $10. Porcão Churrascaria, 360 Park Ave. S., New York, NY 10010, 212-252-7080.
 
McNally on the Bowery?
It's being reported that über-hip restaurateur Keith McNally will be moving into the Bowery. No word yet on what the eatery will be---besides French and ultra scene-y.
 
Summer Restaurant Week
This year's Summer Restaurant Week runs from July 21-25 and July 28-August 1. The three-course price-fixed lunch is $24.07 and dinner is $35. Some of the restaurants participating in the event are 5 Ninth, Bar Boulud, Devi, Gotham Bar & Grill and Nobu New York, among others. For more participating restaurants, visit nycvisit.com.
 
Hung in There
"Top Chef" winner Hung Huynh is reported to be about five months away from opening his own eatery in Murray Hill. Which means the actual opening time will be about eight months. Stay tuned.
 
Going, Going, Ko!
Momofuku Ko auctioned off dinner at the restaurant as part of a charity auction sponsored by Grow for Good. The dinner for two, with a wine pairing, went for a staggering $2,870. Momofuku Ko, 163 First Ave., New York, NY 10003, No phone.
 
Oceana Quite the Catch
Oceana will move to the McGraw-Hill Building in late 2009. The current location of Oceana will stay open for at least a year while the McGraw-Hill space is constructed. Oceana, 55 E. 54th St., New York, NY 10022, 212-759-5941.
 
We Scream for Helado!
Rosa Mexicano has kicked off its annual (and popular) ice cream festival. Until July 20, ice cream lovers can enjoy flavors like salted butter avocado, mango and rum. All three locations are participating. Rosa Mexicano, 1063 First Ave., New York, NY 10022, 212-753-7407. Rosa Mexicano, 61 Columbus Ave., New York, NY 10022, 212-977-7700. Rosa Mexicano, 9 E. 18th St., New York, NY 10003, 212-533-3350.
 
Robuchon Out to Lunch
L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon is discontinuing its lunch service after July 20. L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Four Seasons Hotel New York, 57 E. 57th St., New York, NY 10022, 212-350-6658.
 

Chef Shuffle
Gary Robbins is out as the chef at the recently opened Sheridan Square. Franklin Becker has assumed his duties. Sheridan Square, 138 Seventh Ave. S., New York, NY 10014, 212-352-2237.
 
César Ramiriz of Bar Blanc (formerly of Bouley) who established Bar Blanc with fellow Bouley veterans, Kiwon Standen and Didier Palange, has amicably left the partnership to begin anew. No word yet on where Ramiriz will go from here. However, another Bouley veteran, Sebastiaan Zijp picks up the reigns at Bar Blanc. Bar Blanc, 142 W. Tenth St., New York, NY 10014, 212-255-2330.
 
It's being reported that chef Marcus Samuelsson and the Meatpacking District restaurant Merkato 55 have split. The restaurant hasn't been the critical success anyone had hoped for, but there's no official word yet on why Samuelsson has left. Merkato 55, 55-61 Gansevoort St., New York, NY 10014, 212-255-8555.
 


Closings

Arezzo, a quaint Italian spot in the Flatiron district, has closed.
 
The self-proclaimed "celebrity hangout" Senior Swanky's has closed in Greenwich Village.
 
Zoë Townhouse has shut down. It's been reported that the restaurant will become Fish Legs after a renovation. Zoë Townhouse, 135 E. 62nd St., New York, NY 10065, 212-752-6000.
 
Rain has closed and will reopen in the fall with chef Michael Huyhn in the kitchen. Rain, 100 W. 82nd St., New York, NY 10024, 212-501-0776.
 
Pio Maya, the Eighth Street burrito joint, has closed down.
 
Maremma has closed. As previously reported, Joe Campanale and his team from Dell'Anima will take over the space. Cesare Casella, meanwhile, plans to open Salumeria Rosi, a specialty Italian grocery store on the Upper West Side.
 
Restaurant Florent finished all five stages of grief and is now closed. Meanwhile, after failing to find a taker for the space, the landlord will reopen the diner as the R&L Restaurant---what it was called in the days before Florent.
 
Amy Sacco's once-popular eatery, Bette, has shut down.
 
The Theater District Italian eatery, Southside Café, has shut down after a decade of serving hearty dishes.
 

CULINARY EVENTS
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