New kids on the block: Recent restaurant openings
By Pervaiz Shallwani
Special to amNewYork
The economy cant keep a tastemaker down. A host of restaurateurs are hoping New Yorkers will be willing to part with a few dollars and give their new eateries a try.
Anchored by the opening of Keith McNallys much-awaited sophomore Italian
spot, here are six eateries that have opened in the past month.
113 Macdougal St. at Minetta Lane,
When tastemaker McNallys name is associated with a project, the citys
ravenous food blog world follows with a blow-by-blow of every artistic flourish and construction delay. A few weeks past its scheduled opening, the doors were finally unlocked last week to reveal the restaurant impresarios classic touch. A mainstay in the West Village for 72 years, this once forgettable Italian restaurant where the gritty restaurant scenes of Sleepers took place, this rendition features plush maroon banquets, white tablecloths, tin ceilings and a series of black and white photos of boxers and beatniks who frequented it back in the day. The new menu shows more ambition with French undertones giving way to classic Italian fare such as the Arrosto di Agnello: slow roasted lamb shank in a rosemary & natural jus ($19).
90 Worth St. at Broadway,
Schooled in the art of four-foot Roman pies at the famous Il Forno pizzeria, Italian hip-hop artist Alberto Cretera is recreating the masterpieces at this 15-seat TriBeCa pizza joint. A triple-decker electric oven anchors the open kitchen Cretera had it shipped in pieces from Parma and put it together himself. Hes put the same care into the ingredients for his pies, paninis and calzones, using organic high-gluten flour, tomatoes from San Marzano and mozzarella that arrives fresh from Italy twice a week. Pies range from classic margarita to the more ambitious potato, onion, mozzarella and black pepper. Slices range from $2.50-$3.50, whole pies begin at $22, but the Roman beat-box croon is well, priceless.Butcher Bay
511 E. 5th St., between Avenues A and B,
The hard-luck owners of now closed gastropubs E.U. and Seymour Burton have joined forces to convert the former Burton space into an urban seafood shack on a quickly gentrifying block of Alphabet City. The menu mixes down home cookin with seafood fried chicken shares space with a bacon-oyster po boy and the once-dry space now has liquor and a raw bar to boot.
999 Atlantic Ave., Clinton Hill, Brooklyn,
Not long ago, Thierry Cabigeos was making a modest living selling charcuterie, pastries and flowers out of Choice Market, a small spot on Lafayette Avenue in Brooklyn. In December, Cabiegos expanded to Choice Greene, a well-stocked market on Greene Avenue. And just a few weeks ago Choice Atlantic became a colorful addition on the otherwise industrial Atlantic Avenue. For now, Choice Atlantic is his largest space, serving as a coffee shop, bakery, patisserie that will double as a catering space and central kitchen for continued expansion. A claret faÃ§ade and cursive yellow typeface projecting a homey feel. Havent had enough? A fourth Choice will sprout soon in Dumbo.
231 W. 40th St. between Seventh and Eighth aves.,
Japanese chains continue to take a hold of New York. Following in the footsteps of recent newcomers Go-Go Curry, Ramen Setagaya and Ippudo, the owners of this robata-style spot opened their first stateside location in the New York Times building. In the classic grilling style, chefs cook over coals right in front of the customer and use a three-foot stick (hara) to serve customers. Along with fresh vegetables and wagyu beef, the menu boasts seafood shipped daily from the legendary Tsukiji Market in Tokyo. There is no music for a reason: Entertainment is meant to be limited to the calls of servers and cooks.
2170 Broadway, between 76th and 77th sts.,
After more ambitious ventures that have now failed (Borough Food and
Drink, Chop Suey), pork-authority Zak Pelaccio is back on the Malaysian
street food wagon that made him a culinary hit. The second location
of Fatty Crab is what one might expect when a successful restaurant moves
uptown. With 74 seats made up of salvaged chairs, the new space means a
littler easier time getting a table than at its Meatpacking counterpart. As
for the food, classics, such as spicy chilli crab and the heavenly watermelon pickle and pork salad, share the menu with Fatty sliders (mini pork-and-beef burgers), and a chicken and scallop satay, a safe bet for the more finicky neighborhood.
Chelsea takeout hotspot, tbsp, will open TBSP brunch (17 W. 20th St., 646-230-7000) on March 28th. Dishes such as the best ever granola with fresh house made yogurt and locally caught brook trout with grits, show Spoon founder Melissa Chmelars dedication to local and organic ingredients. The table service brunch will be served on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
On March 27, the W Hoboken hotels new Tuscan steakhouse, ZYLO (255 River St., 201-253-2500), will open for dinner. Designed by the architects of Gramercy Tavern, the restaurant boasts indoor and outdoor dining rooms and great views of Manhattan and the Hudson River. Organic and grass-fed beef, handmade pastas, fresh seafood, and made-to-order pizzas will be prepared by executive chef Troy Unruh formerly of Del Posto, and an extensive Italian wine list and its a done deal.
Breakfast and lunch launch on March 28th. (Emily Mathis)