Recently Opened Restaurants
by Julie Besonen , 06/12/2009
DBGB Kitchen and Bar
299 Bowery, 212-933-5300, Lower East Side, Manhattan
Daniel Boulud on the Bowery? Mais oui! It's obvious what the "DB" stands for; "GB" is whatever you want it to mean—though it's clearly a play on CBGB, the storied music club that called it a day in 2006. The Bowery is a lot different these days (see: The Bowery Hotel), so this vast, industrial brasserie is an apt addition. Boulud shows his downtown stripes with a come-as-you-are dress code, 24 beers on tap and an affordable wine list that starts at $27. The menu features sausages (14 varieties), seafood platters and, for hard-core appetites, tripe, pig's trotters and veal tongue. Desserts reenter the comfort zone with a soufflé and sundaes.
Delacorte Theater, mid–Central Park at 81st St., 646-747-5354, Manhattan
Don't bother bringing your picnic basket to Central Park this summer. Danny Meyer (Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, Shake Shack) is overseeing concessions at the open-air Delacorte Theater. This means that while you're waiting endlessly for tickets to see Anne Hathaway, Raúl Esparza and Audra McDonald in Twelfth Night, you'll have your pick of healthy fare made with flair—an organic chicken salad sandwich, a BLT made with artisanal bacon, and a lemony salad of sugar snap peas, arugula and asparagus. Sweets include fun treats like a whoopie pie, a root beer float and peanut butter-and-jelly cookies. All food is under $7, and wine is even a bargain, starting at $6 a glass. On performance nights, Public Fare will keep serving through intermission.
103 First Ave., 212-777-6677, East Village, Manhattan
East Villagers will probably never stop missing Teresa's, an endearing Polish diner that closed a few years back. The people behind Bar Veloce installed Solex in its place, but the snappy, upscale wine bar didn't make it in these hard times. Now they've warmed up the long, narrow space with red-checkered tablecloths and changed the name to Veloce Pizzeria. And what pizza it is: puffy, charred pies in square pans with quality toppings, courtesy of Sara Jenkins, whose pork-centric hotspot, Porchetta, is around the corner. Her frito misto and fried calamari with arugula are equally tasty. Prices are reasonable: $6 to $8 for most of the appetizers, $15 to $17 for shareable pizzas. If only the wines (all Italian, starting at $32 per bottle) didn't cost twice as much as a pizza.
455 Madison Ave., 212-891-8100, Midtown East, Manhattan
Villard Mansion's neo–Italian Renaissance courtyard, once its carriage entrance, has opened as a classy outdoor lounge. Fifty-five stories of rooms tower over Palace Gate, located at the New York Palace hotel. Even if you're not staying here, you may find yourself in the area since it's close to St. Patrick's Cathedral, Saks Fifth Avenue, the Museum of Modern Art and Rockefeller Center. It's a pricey but lovely place to sip a champagne cocktail or a Pimm's Cup and feast on snacks from Gilt, the hotel's restaurant and bar—which has earned two stars from the Michelin Guide—including truffle potato fries, suckling pig tacos and chilled oysters on the half shell. Fans of Gossip Girl will recognize the hotel from the show (it's the site of Lily Van der Woodsen's apartment, in case you were wondering) and can pay tribute by ordering the Gossip Grill ("You Know You Love It") grilled cheese, with fontina and truffles and a side of tomato gazpacho.