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Eat and Drink

New restaurants in the city: A second helping of Empellón Al Pastor, Dear Irving and more

Emeril Lagasse goes Greek.

The cheeseburger tacos at the new Empellón Al

The cheeseburger tacos at the new Empellón Al Pastor in the Pod 39 hotel. Photo Credit: Evan Sung

New restaurants and bars seem to open every day in New York City. Here’s a look at some of the latest eateries and watering holes to open — or slated to make their debut soon.

Empellón Al Pastor

Alex Stupak’s empire continues to grow. The chef has opened his fourth NYC restaurant, this one a second location of his East Village tacos al pastor spot. It took over the Salvation Taco space (formerly owned by April Bloomfield and disgraced restaurateur Ken Friedman) in the Pod 39 hotel in Murray Hill. Find tacos and guac, of course, as well as new items such as fried chicken sandwiches, kibbeh and pork fried rice. The drinks include margaritas and tiki-inspired fare. The restaurant will also open a rooftop bar on the 17th floor of the hotel this spring. Now open for lunch Mon.-Fri. from noon-4 p.m., dinner daily from 4:30 p.m.-midnight, brunch Sat.-Sun. from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; 145 E. 39th St., 212-865-5800, empellon.com

Dear Irving on Hudson

The Gramercy cocktail bar favorite Dear Irving expands for the first time in a major way. It’s taking over two floors of the Aliz Hotel Times Square, with drinks by bar director and partner Meaghan Dorman and a menu of bestselling small plates from the original along with expanded offerings, including toasts and finger foods like prawns. The 40th floor is open now for classic cocktails like boulevardiers, James Bond-themed décor and sky-high views, with the reservations-only 41st floor slated to follow in a few weeks. Now open daily from 4 p.m.-1 a.m.; 310 W. 40th St., 40th floor, alizhotel.com

Rodos

Celeb chef Emeril Lagasse now has a presence in the Big Apple. He’s behind the menu at this new restaurant inside Hotel Henri in the Flatiron District, which features Greek specialties but, with this being Lagasse, Cajun-Creole flavors. That translates to octopus beignets, Louisiana crawfish pasta shells and New Orleans-style barbecued shrimp. Now open daily from 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; 39 W. 24th St., 212-989-8811, rodosnyc.com

Philippe Downtown

This Chinese spot now has two locations in Manhattan for its family-style Beijing cuisine. The new spot inside the Dream Hotel in the Meatpacking District serves signatures like the salt and pepper lobster and Peking duck, as well as a special late-night menu after midnight. Now open for lunch daily from noon-3 p.m., dinner Sun.-Wed. from 5 p.m.-midnight and Thurs.-Sat. from 5 p.m.-2 a.m.; 355 W. 16th St., 212-885-9400, philippechow.com

Karvouna Mezze

Here’s another Greek spot to try, this one over on the Lower East Side. The tapas restaurant is from chef and partner Giuseppe Scalco, of the Flatiron Greek steakhouse Merakia. Here, find homestyle offerings, from mezze such as soutzoukakia (Smyrna meatballs) and kleftiko (slow-cooked lamb stew), as well as peinirli, pizza “boats” filled with kefalograviera cheese and toppings like bacon or cauliflower puree. There’s also a spotlight on the anise-flavored spirit Raki. Slated to open Jan. 24; 241 Bowery, 212-388-0052, karvounamezze.com

La Central

At this new restaurant in Chelsea’s Hotel Americano, the menu is a collaboration between chef and partner Franklin Becker (of The Little Beet and The Little Beet Table), executive chef Joseph Abbruzzese (Fusco, Maria) and the kitchen staff, with dishes inspired by Central and South America, particularly Mexico City. Offerings include savory churros ($8) for the table, octopus carnitas ($22) and crunchy cod tacos ($16 for two). Now open for dinner Sun.-Wed., 6-11 p.m., Thurs-Sat., 6 p.m.-midnight (lunch, breakfast and brunch to follow this month); 518 W. 27th St., 212-216-0000, hotel-americano.com

Takeshi  

NYC has another omakase experience. Chef Takeshi Sato (Hatsuhana, Sushi Dojo, Sushi by Bou, Nare) is behind the intimate SoHo spot, which serves two prix-fixe sushi options for lunch ($45/eight courses, $90/16 courses) and dinner ($65/eight courses, $130/16 courses) at the counter. Now open Tues.-Sun. from noon-3 p.m. and 5-10 p.m.; 28 Grand St., 917-675-0771, takeshisushiny.com

Gitano Jungle Room NYC

The folks behind the seasonal pop-up Gitano NYC are back, this time with a year-round tropical oasis indoors at the James Hotel in SoHo. Find plenty of palm trees throughout the Tulum, Mexico-inspired subterranean space. To eat, there’s a modern Mexican-inspired menu developed by consulting chef Mads Refslund (Noma) and executive chef Yvan Lemoine (Bodega Negra), with small plates including a black truffle quesadilla ($21); large plates such as trout in a banana leaf ($28); and mini churros with spiced Mexican dipping chocolate ($12) for dessert. As for drinks, chill out with the CBD-infused Golden God cocktail ($18) or warm up with the double hot chocolate with chipotle-infused mezcal ($18). Now open daily for cocktails from 5 p.m. and dinner from 6 p.m. until midnight Sun.-Wed. and 1 a.m. Thurs.-Sat.; 23 Grand St., grupogitano.com/nyc

MAVSOHO  

The team behind Mulino a Vino and Raviolo have another Italian spot, this one in Hotel Hugo in SoHo. The colorful menu from executive chef Massimiliano Eandi includes black spaghetti with uni and black carbonara sauce ($28) and a deep blue risotto with blue butterfly-pea flower, anise and caviar ($30). The beverage program includes an extensive wine list and plenty of spritzes. Slated to open Jan. 16; 525 Greenwich St., 212-608-1211, mavsoho.com

Big Mozz

Now you can find the Smorgasburg vendor’s mozzarella sticks and fried cookie DO on a regular basis, with its new permanent outpost at Chelsea Market. The expanded menu includes a Cuban sandwich and the Mozz Bomb — fresh mozzarella injected with basil pesto. Craft beer and wine are also in the works. Beyond Chelsea Market, the Brooklyn-based brand is looking to continue to expand, with food trucks in New York City and Los Angeles and stalls in new stadiums and venues around the country. Now open daily 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; 75 Ninth Ave., bigmozz.com

Valerie

Find bistro-inspired bites and craft drinks at this bi-level cocktail bar and restaurant in midtown. The menu from executive chef Darren Pettigrew features signatures like a Brandt Beef burger with white cheddar and French onion jam on a Sullivan Street Bakery brioche bun. Drinks from head bartender Marshall Minaya include classics like the Sazerac and nonalcoholic options featuring Seedlip. Now open Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-4 p.m., 5 p.m.-midnight, Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-3 p.m., 5 p.m.-midnight; 45 W. 45th St., 212-302-4545, valerienewyorkcity.com

Sauce Pizzeria

The East Village slice shop — a sister spot to Adam Elzer’s Sauce Restaurant — is expanding to the Lower East Side. Find signature pies like the al pastor and vodka along with a brand new menu of square pies made with a dough that has potato in the flour that include an upside down cheese pie with mozzarella and pecorino and a sausage pie. Slated to open the week of Jan. 14; 84 Rivington St., saucerestaurant.com/saucepizzeria

Upside Pizza

Noam Grossman (Dig Inn, B.GOOD) has teamed up with Anthony Falco (formerly Roberta’s, currently an “international pizza consultant”) for what’s being dubbed a ’90s-inspired slice joint. The Garment District spot will serve brick oven pizza with house-made toppings. Slated to open in mid-January; 598 Eighth Ave., 646-484-5244, upsidepizza.com

Understudy

Downtown Brooklyn food hall DeKalb Market Hall is adding a cocktail bar to the mix. Understudy will serve drinks and a rotating menu of snacks, both created by DeKalb Market Hall vendors, in a space designed by HOME Studios. It will open in tandem with the events space DeKalb Stage. Slated to open in late January; 445 Albee Square W., Downtown Brooklyn, dekalbmarkethall.com

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