Recently Opened Restaurants
by Julie Besonen, 03/02/2010
- 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/
Bistro de la Gare
626 Hudson St., 212-242-4420, West Village, Manhattan
An appealing, seasonal menu is under way at West Village newcomer Bistro de la Gare. French and Italian accents shine through with cassoulet, lasagna and chicken cacciatore with house-cured pancetta and polenta. Chefs Maryann Terillo, formerly the chef/partner at Jarnac, and Elisa Sarno, a veteran of Babbo, are do-it-yourself whizzes, making pasta, condiments, specialty breads and desserts (olive-oil cake, chocolate cake with crème fraîche) from scratch. Their wine philosophy draws attention to biodynamic and female producers. The small beige dining room is lined with padded banquettes, white linen–covered tables and rectangular mirrors. A local crowd is already treating it like a second home. A three-course prix-fixe meal is $36.
Le P'tit Paris
256 Prospect Park West, 718-369-3590, Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn
Longing for Paris? A slice of it has slipped in across the street from Prospect Park. Red banquettes, small café tables and a massive black-and-white image of the Eiffel Tower pay vivid homage to its moniker. Two French chefs are behind it: Olivier Jouannard and Matthieu Couratin, who also devised the affordable French wine list. The à la carte menu is reasonably priced, too, with appetizers (onion soup, salad Niçoise) for $5 to $9 and main courses (trout with roasted almonds, coq au vin) under $20. Further enticements for neighborhood folks: a $20 prix-fixe menu Monday through Friday, happy hour at the bar and nightly specials, such as all-you-can-eat mussels on Mondays for $18.
The Mark Restaurant by Jean Georges
25 E. 77th St., 212-606-3030, Upper East Side, Manhattan
The reservation line is open for Jean-Georges Vongerichten's latest enterprise at The Mark hotel. What used to feel like a hushed English gentlemen's club is now utterly contemporary, with Venetian glass columns and a skylit ceiling. The restaurant's opening completes the plush hotel's recent renovation, which includes a trippy new bar upholstered in pony-skin fabric. Pierre Schutz is the chef de cuisine, coming off a stint at the now shuttered Vong. In addition to a raw bar is a lavish comfort-food menu; winter offerings include creamy tomato soup with aged cheddar and basil croutons, buckwheat fettuccine with Maine seafood and Parmesan-crusted organic chicken with artichokes. The hamburger also gets a major upgrade, topped with black truffle dressing and Brie.
Ink48 hotel, 653 Eleventh Ave., 212-757-2224, Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan
The Kimpton-run Ink48 hotel needs to have a lot going for it to lure customers to the far west side of Manhattan, and, in fact, it does. The strikingly elegant David Rockwell design includes textured walls and a number of private nooks to break up the vast space, which used to be a printing plant. In the kitchen is the married team of chef Charles Rodriguez (Sony Club, Morandi) and pastry chef Heather Carlucci-Rodriguez (Union Square Café, Lassi), making New American fare. At breakfast, there's a scrambled egg sandwich with local cheddar, bacon and arugula. Lunch features a number of salads and a slow-roasted pork sandwich featuring Berkshire ham and fontina cheese. Dinner offers seafood, steaks, short ribs and desserts, such as frozen hazelnut parfait with espresso syrup.
1524 Neptune Ave., 718-372-8606, Coney Island, Brooklyn
Last year, the coal oven at this esteemed 86-year-old pizzeria started a smoldering fire that caused an 11-month shutdown. Other than a fresh coat of paint, Totonno's looks unchanged, its walls crowded with yellowed newspaper clippings and photos of politicians, ballplayers and entertainers. The elastic, perfectly charred crust splashed with red sauce is as tasty as ever, topped with sausage, mushrooms, pepperoni or sweet mozzarella. Wine is $5, served in airline-size mini-bottles. The Totonno's rebirth coincides with Mayor Michael Bloomberg's recent announcement of the resurgence of Coney Island, where state-of-the-art rides will debut in a $30 million amusement park Memorial Day weekend.