Recently Opened Restaurants
by Julie Besonen, 07/07/2009
One Bryant Park/135 W. 42nd St., 212-319-1660, Midtown West, Manhattan
Bank of America's fortunes may have gone downhill, but that didn't stop its new tower from going up, housing its NYC headquarters. Charlie Palmer's relocated Aureole occupies the ground floor—an airy, contemporary showplace designed by Adam Tihany. It's worlds away from the original Upper East Side town house favored by the Rockefellers and their ilk as a neighborhood canteen. The Midtown West locale is more Condé Nast and cultivated traveler–style. Performing the executive chef role is Christopher Lee, who shares Palmer's aesthetic for seasonal New American fare. Look for dishes like West Coast halibut "bouillabaisse," with fruits de mer, vegetables and garlic potatoes, as well as a 21-day aged beef rib eye with chanterelle mushrooms. The wine list of 1,000 selections—15,000 bottles are on the premises, and 3,500 of them are displayed along a glowing mezzanine—can be browsed via a handheld electronic device. A 15% discount is in place until the restaurant's official mid-September opening, which coincides with the revival of Bye Bye Birdie in the tower's newly built Henry Miller's Theatre.
33 Ave. B., 212-228-4461, East Village, Manhattan
Drinking is the main event at Poco, but the Spanish-inspired tapas menu also makes a strong appearance. A happening scene has developed over the past four months at this windowed corner spot, thanks to promotions like drag queen bingo (Tuesdays) and trivia night (Wednesdays). On Saturdays and Sundays, the $20 brunch menu includes unlimited mimosas, sangria or Bloody Marys. On Sunday nights, bottles of wine are half-price with dinner. Mushroom truffle croquettes, vegetable paella and white bean hummus with toast points are some of chef Abe Lopez's standouts. His experience as chef de cuisine at SoHo's Aquagrill also means his seafood snacks are safe bets.
La Cense Beef Burger Truck
Various locations, 800-935-4699, Midtown, Manhattan
Is it the power of Twitter or the powerful appeal of a $7 grass-fed, hormone- and antibiotic-free beef burger that has trend-spotting Midtown workers lining up outside of a lunch truck? La Cense, a Montana ranch, has been in business since 1869, but it wasn't until late June that ambassadorial duties were bestowed on a sky blue truck that took to the streets of Manhattan. Its Monday-to-Friday location is revealed by Twitter updates, boasting more than 1,500 followers. The unconnected can generally find it a few blocks north of Grand Central. Juicy, medium-well, 6-ounce burger patties are sandwiched in sesame seed buns with caramelized onions. Cheese and pickles are 50 cents extra, and a bag of chips is $1. On rainy days the truck makes free deliveries with a minimum order. Follow LCBBurgerTruck on Twitter.