Recently Opened Restaurants
by Julie Besonen, 04/14/2010
- more recently opened restaurants/
- The Best Chocolate Cake in the World and Rabbit in the Moon
- Eddie's Pizza Truck, The Famous Pink Tea Cup and Toto Ramen
- Lina Frey, The Plaza Fodd Hall and Seersucker
- Balkanika, Kaz An Nou and The Matcha Box
- The Counting Room, Teany and South Brooklyn Pizza
- Beba, Four & Twenty Blackbirds and Otarian
- Annisa, Iris Cafe and Terroir Tribeca
- more in dining/
214 Mulberry St., 212-966-7366, NoLIta, Manhattan
Do-it-yourself hummus served mortar-and-pestle style is one of the unique pleasures at this new Mediterranean–Middle Eastern restaurant. Mash up the garbanzo beans, tahini and roasted garlic and spread it on glossy, toasted rounds of pita. Falafel-crusted, grass-fed meatballs are another specialty, served with green tahini sauce. Falafel figures largely at chef-owner Einat Admony's West Village shoebox, Taïm, but here she's got a lot more space to work with and an expanded menu. There is also creamy sunchoke and chestnut soup with yogurt and nigella seeds (jet black, slightly smoky), and bouillabaisse with crab dumplings and saffron aioli. An open kitchen and shelves of cookbooks warm up the big-windowed, high-ceilinged dining room. The liquor license is pending.
Crop to Cup Coffee Co.
139 Atlantic Ave., Cobble Hill, Brooklyn
The first retail location for this importer of family-farmed Ugandan coffee is cooperatively owned, with a scuffed, bohemian look and a hodgepodge of antiques for sale. For snacks, there are bagels, cookies and passion-fruit cupcakes. The café also serves as a corner grocery, selling organic flower teas, McClure's Pickles, Early Bird Granola and Happy Cow milk from the family-owned Battenkill Valley Creamery. Then, of course, there's the coffee, everything from frothy cappuccino to iced espresso horchata. Catering to locals, Crop to Cup has room for strollers and laptops and can be used as a drop-off point for CSA food deliveries.
The Empire Room
350 Fifth Ave., 212-643-5400, Midtown West, Manhattan
If you're planning to stop for a cocktail at the Empire State Building's swanky new ground floor bar, dress accordingly. No sneakers, flip-flops or torn jeans are allowed; men's shirts must have collars but jackets aren't required. Art deco touches, plush seating and a grand chandelier do a fine job of masking that the space formerly served as a postal substation. Mark Grossich's company, Hospitality Holdings, masterminded the transformation, similar to their conversion of The Campbell Apartment in Grand Central Terminal. Jonathan Pogash developed the vintage cocktail program, to be accompanied by fancy bar food like truffled popcorn, rib eye sliders, mini beef Wellington and a Cobb sandwich with roasted chicken and bacon. Drinks are served until 3am.
415 Tompkins Ave., 718-483-9111, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn
Freshly baked pies and cakes on the counter, bluesy music and a friendly welcome set the tone at this Southern-style roadhouse. The small space is enclosed in pine, like a cabin in the woods. The sister restaurant to both Peaches and The Smoke Joint, also in Brooklyn, it's a true neighborhood hangout, and also a destination for fried chicken piled atop Texas toast, fried green tomatoes with aioli and thick-cut bacon, and wild mushrooms strewn over creamy grits. For dessert is peach pie with cornbread crust, strawberry shortcake and warm, triple chocolate brownies. The compact bar will feature a serious bourbon lineup (the liquor license is pending).
105 Thompson St., 212-625-2388, SoHo, Manhattan
This sweet, sunny little storefront offers an array of sandwiches inspired by Korea (grilled bulgogi–marinated steak with pickled daikon slaw), France (Hudson Valley applewood-smoked duck breast with frisée and chopped egg salad) and New Zealand (Nutella and banana), with plans to introduce another international sandwich each month. This is the first enterprise for Aaron Collins, former director of operations for Ian Schrager's hotel group. He's keeping things modest, with fresh flowers in the window and on each of the three tables. Soups vary daily and always include a vegetarian option.