Recently Opened Restaurants

Dining

by Julie Besonen , 01/22/2010

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Balade
208 First Ave., 212-529-6868, East Village, Manhattan
Among the East Village's wealth of pizza options is a new one with a twist: Lebanese "pitza." House-made pita is topped with, for example, thinly sliced and marinated beef, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, basil and tahini, then baked until crisp. The owners, Roland Semaan and Youssef Said, were childhood friends in Beirut, and they hired Lebanese architect Nadim Chebli to design the rustic, hospitable space. "Balade" means "fresh" in Lebanese, and to that end the menu features salads, creamy hummus and sandwiches with fillings like Lebanese hot sausage or char-grilled tuna. Wine has been cultivated in Lebanon since biblical times, but only lately has it attracted attention in the Western world; the curious oenophile will find several samples here.

Bread and Butter
46 Henry St., 718-858-9605, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn
There's a buttery, golden glow emanating from Bread and Butter's windows, catching your eye and inviting you in. A big old clock and timeworn kitchen tools—a pail full of rolling pins, another stuffed with battered eggbeaters—further warm up the room. A bowl of house-made pickles accompanies the basket of sweet cornbread, sating your hunger until generous portions of deviled short ribs, three varieties of mac and cheese and seafood gumbo appear. Chef Robert Weiner's comfort-food menu also includes Southern fried chicken and blackened catfish with sweet-pepper stew, with nothing over $20.

Choptank
308 Bleecker St., 212-675-2009, West Village, Manhattan
Choptank sounds like the sort of place Plankton would run in Bikini Bottom, but it's actually named for a river that flows into Chesapeake Bay. Partners Bobby Werhane (dell'anima, L'Artusi) and Joshua Morgan are from Maryland, as is culinary consultant Kevin Patricio. Taking over the former Bar Q space, it's been packed since opening night with New Yorkers hungry for Eastern seaboard fare. Whereas Bar Q was pale and posh, Choptank is casual and loud, adorned with nautical maps and images of ships and sea captains. The menu features a raw bar, crab chowder, peel 'n' eat shrimp and jumbo lump crab cakes, plus there's a detour down South for Virginia ham with biscuits and honey.
 
Led Zeppole
328 E. 14th St., 212-228-2807, East Village, Manhattan
The cousins (Francis Garcia and Sal Basille) behind the perpetually mobbed Artichoke Pizza have opened a street fair–style dessert shop next door, dispensing hot, puffy zeppoles drizzled with maple syrup, making them similar to French toast. All 375 square feet of space is used for baking, deep-frying and making ice cream (try the amazing peanut butter and jelly), meaning there are no seats and you eat standing up. They also deep-fry cannoli, Oreos, funnel cake and even ice cream. The schedule isn't set in stone yet, but Led Zeppole's hours are the same as Artichoke's, from 6pm to 2am.

Recette
328 W. 12th St., 212-414-3000, Meatpacking District, Manhattan
Recette, in the former Jarnac space, retains the same cozy appeal as its predecessor, with grandmotherly antiques and a warm greeting. The compact bar offers a prime view of young chef-owner Jesse Schenker at work—as well as glimpses of the massive chef's knife tattooed on his left forearm. Schenker is a chef to watch: he worked at Gordon Ramsay at The London and got his pastry chef, Christina Lee, from Per Se. His menu features modern American cuisine made with French technique ("recette" means "recipe" in French), with everything under $20. An excellent way to go would be cannellini beans with chorizo and white anchovy followed by ocean trout with smoked bacon, bluefoot mushrooms and shellfish emulsion. Lee's sugared beignets are dreamy, served with tiny pots of raspberry-cassis jam and chocolate sauce.

 

related venues/(5)

  1. 1
    Recette
    328 W 12th St
    Manhattan – Meatpacking District
    NY
  2. 2
    Balade
    208 First Ave
    Manhattan – East Village
    NY
  3. 3
    Choptank (now closed)
    308 Bleecker St
    Multiple Locations
    NY 10014
  1. 4
    Led Zeppole
    328 E 14th St
    Manhattan – East Village
    NY 10003
  2. 5
    Bread and Butter
    46 Henry St
    Brooklyn – Brooklyn Heights
    NY

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