Recently Opened Restaurants

Dining

by Julie Besonen, 10/09/2009

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Bark Hot Dogs
474 Bergen St., 718-789-1939, Park Slope, Brooklyn
A $4 (or more) hot dog is not something all New Yorkers can stomach, but when the meat is from an upstanding sausage maker and pickles and oak-barrel-aged sauerkraut are made in-house, well, that adds up. Chef-partners Joshua Sharkey (Café Gray) and Brandon Gillis (Franny's) also went to the trouble of sourcing heirloom beans, quality smoked bacon and cool salt and pepper grinders with theft-protective "stealing is for losers" labels. Tempura-light onion rings and killer milk shakes are other lures. The knotty-pine setting is appealing, with schoolroom lab stools set around communal tables. On your way out is a busing station for compost (both food and its packaging) as well as free biscuits for your pooch.

Kolache Mama
45 E. 45th St., 212-922-1856, Midtown East, Manhattan
Along the lines of Hot Pockets and pigs in a blanket are kolaches, the Czech contribution to the genre. In the old country, the kolache [kuh-lah-chee] is a sweet pastry with fruit and cheese fillings, but American-Czech communities across America have repurposed it to also include savory meats and vegetables. Kolache Mama, a grab-and-go spot located outside the Roosevelt Hotel and convenient to Grand Central Terminal, has 26 varieties. Trays of fresh-baked kolaches are laid out like so many colorful doughnuts, divided into the categories "meatie mama" (crowned with corned beef or jalapeño-cheddar sausage), "veggie mama" (baby spinach, feta and olives) and "sweetie mama" (baked apple with caramel custard, chocolate ganache).

Luke's Lobster
93 E. 7th St., 212-387-8487, East Village, Manhattan
Lobster rolls are a serious matter here, where the fresh-from-Maine claws are meticulously stuffed into split-top rolls. There's no filler, just a bit of mayo and butter (which are optional), so prices are very fair for what you get ($8 for 2 ounces, $14 for 4 ounces). While in line in the small, boxy space, observe the driftwood-framed beach scene, lobsterman gear and the beleaguered cashier sincerely repeat, "I'm sorry about that" to customers taxed by the longish wait. For true lobster lovers, it's worth it, though you'll have to fight for one of the eight stools or eat it on the street. Luke (Holden), by the way, is a 25-year-old Maine lobsterman turned banker who also hauls in treats like thumb-size empress crab claws and sweet shrimp.

Schnitzel & Things
Various locations, 347-772-7341, Brooklyn and Manhattan
One of Austria's supreme creations, the schnitzel, makes a proud showing at this spiffy lunch truck, parked everywhere from Midtown to the Financial District to DUMBO. In fact, the enterprise just won the "Rookie Vendor of the Year" award at the fifth-annual Vendy Awards, the Oscars for street vendors. (For other delicious options, check out our Meals on Wheels feature.) Once you establish where the truck is parked (go to its Twitter page or blog), set aside 30 to 45 minutes to stand in the snaking, though convivial, line down the block. Chicken and pork schnitzel are pounded thin, breaded and fried to a lovely golden hue, served on ciabatta or as part of a platter with two sides—choices include cucumber salad, braised sauerkraut and Yukon Gold french fries. The juicy, deep-fried schnitz burger deserves an award of its own.

Travertine
19 Kenmare St., 212-966-1810, Little Italy, Manhattan
For New York history buffs, it was hard to see Little Charlie's Clam Bar go after so many years (1926–2007). An Australian restaurateur, Danae Cappelletto, has succeeded in carving out a fresh identity for it, however, etching a new name on the travertine stone facade. The glamorous, modern surroundings bear no trace of its predecessor, notoriously used for high-level Mafia meetings. The executive chef is Manuel "Memo" Treviño, whose years as a sous chef at Babbo helped pave the way for creating his own Italian-inspired menu. Look for fagottini stuffed with spinach and truffled sheep milk ricotta; local fluke with shaved fennel, pine nuts and orange butter; and grilled rack of lamb with olive oil crushed potatoes. In a nod to the past, there's also Little Charlie's linguine, with pancetta, cockles and fire-roasted tomato sauce.

 

related venues/(3)

  1. 1
    Bark Hot Dogs
    474 Bergen St
    Brooklyn – Park Slope
    NY
  2. 2
    Travertine
    19 Kenmare St
    Manhattan – NoLIta
    NY
  3. 3
    Luke's Lobster
    242 E 81st St
    Multiple Locations
    NY

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