Recently Opened Restaurants

Dining

by Julie Besonen, 10/16/2009

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Abe & Arthur's
409 W. 14th St., 646-289-3930, Meatpacking District, Manhattan
Lotus, a luminary supper club, had a good run (2000–2008), and now a new high-wattage venue occupies its 6,000 square feet. Abe & Arthur's aims to be more restaurant than club, with executive chef Franklin Becker (Brasserie) putting his own spin on classic American food. For dramatic effect are seafood towers as well as other shareable items like aged cheddar–filled Black Angus sliders and tuna tartare tacos. Main courses have an old-school appeal, with steaks, chops and wood-grilled, market-priced fish. As a touching tribute, nightlife gurus Eugene Remm, Mark Birnbaum and Michael Hirtenstein named the handsome bi-level restaurant and the downstairs lounge, Simyone, for their grandfathers.

Agua Dulce
802 Ninth Ave., 212-262-1299, Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan
South Beach comes to Hell's Kitchen at this mod, pretty Pan–Latin American restaurant whose turquoise color scheme evokes the ocean. To start are tropical cocktails like mojitos, caipirinhas and frozen margaritas, good to imbibe along with bar snacks of shrimp chips or spicy crab dip. Former SushiSamba 7 chef Ulrich A. Sterling showcases his eclectic talents with a hodgepodge of dishes like salmon ceviche, Brazilian seafood stew and arroz con pollo. He's also created something special for vegetarians: poblano peppers stuffed with grilled calabaza squash, topped with Galician tetilla cheese and surrounded by romesco sauce. Since Agua Dulce is close to the Theatre District and open late (food is served until 3:30am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday; the restaurant has plans to serve food until that time every night of the week at some point in the future), audience and cast members can hit it post-show.

Blue Elm
198 Orchard St., 212-777-7733, Lower East Side, Manhattan
There's bound to be something of interest for everyone on a menu that plays with West African, French and Asian flavors. Blue Elm opened quietly last month and is slowly picking up a following for beautifully executed food by Senegalese chef Malik Fall, who was trained in French technique and throws in influences from his travels to Tokyo and Hong Kong. For instance, there's grilled shrimp with avocado and chickpeas as well as sushi, sashimi and a Kobe beef spring roll. The small, narrow space is embellished with modern art, comfy chairs and banquettes, and wood tables set with candles. At brunch it's pleasant and unhurried, with create-your-own omelets and a luscious shrimp and corn cake in roasted red pepper sauce.

Fonda
434 Seventh Ave., 718-369-3144, Park Slope, Brooklyn
Park Slope got lucky when Roberto Santibañez decided to bring his polished comida mexicana to the neighborhood. The Mexico City native (and Le Cordon Bleu alum) cut his chops at the famed Fonda San Miguel, in Austin, TX, where he was named "best chef" by The Austin Chronicle. He later became the culinary director for NYC's Rosa Mexicano restaurants. While the autumn weather holds, the outdoor patio is a sweet spot to enjoy classic, made-to-order guacamole, crispy fish salpicon with serrano chiles as well as marinated skirt steak with red enchiladas. At brunch, three types of mimosas (hibiscus, guava and mango) accompany dishes like creamy pasilla chilaquiles and divorced eggs (two sunny-side up eggs separated by refried beans; one is topped with tomato salsa, the other with tomatillo salsa). Indoors is appealing, too, simply designed with bold colors.

Macbar
54 Prince St., 212-226-8877, NoLIta, Manhattan
Here's a new twist on the ultimate comfort food: 12 variations of macaroni and cheese. This canary yellow nook is adjacent to the model hangout Delicatessen, with which it shares a kitchen and an owner (Mark Thomas Amadei). Don't expect to see the zealously weight-conscious tucking into anything so caloric as the "carbonara," the creamy, peppery noodles laced with pancetta, peas and parmigiana. Other filling options include the "mac Reuben," topped with rye bread crumbs, and the "mac quack," with duck confit, fontina and caramelized onions. Small, medium and large sizes range from $5.99 to $17.99 (for one with lobster). The eatery is branded to the nth degree, including yellow noodle-shaped, lunch box–size takeout containers (which one hopes are recycled, not a landfill scourge).

 

related venues/(3)

  1. 1
    Macbar
    54 Prince St
    Manhattan – NoLIta
    NY 10012
  2. 2
    Fonda - Brooklyn
    434 Seventh Ave
    Brooklyn – Park Slope
    NY 11215
  3. 3
    Blue Elm
    198 Orchard St
    Manhattan – Lower East Side
    NY

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