Recently Opened Restaurants


by Julie Besonen, 05/26/2010

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Diablo Royale Este
167 Ave. A, 212-388-9673, East Village, Manhattan
Cinco de Mayo saw the debut of this rollicking Mexican saloon, an offshoot of Jason Hennings' Diablo Royale in the West Village. The tequila-heavy bar is backlit in devil-red, and the entire, expansive space is aflame with patron saint jar candles. A young, cute crowd shouts and laughs over the strains of the Clash and the Ramones, swilling margaritas and making friends while waiting for tables. The open kitchen turns out fried oyster tacos, adobo spare ribs and croque monsieur chimichangas with roasted poblano sauce. In the 30-seat backyard, suckling pig (available for $40 per person, including sides) is spit-roasted. The party continues downstairs in a bar fashioned like an old bordello.

The Lion
62 W. 9th St., 212-353-8400, Greenwich Village, Manhattan
Chef John DeLucie has left The Waverly Inn to lead The Lion to similar success as the restaurant of the moment. His partner, Mark Amadei (Delicatessen, Cafeteria), is also savvy about such things. A pride of well-heeled hepcats has already made the restaurant its kingdom—international males with pocket squares, women with just-so hair and tawny skin, plus names like Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher and John Leguizamo. The former Village bistro space has an interesting history: in the 1960s, it was a gay bar (also called The Lion) whose stage launched the careers of Barbra Streisand, Joan Rivers and Bette Midler. Today, the front tavern evokes a low-ceilinged farmhouse, while the grand dining room is bedecked with vintage gangster portraits, Andy Warhols and Jean-Michel Basquiats. The menu is a tantalizing compilation of lobster potpie, artichoke fritters, Dover sole for two and a double chop of Berkshire pork.

St. Anselm
355 Metropolitan Ave., 718-384-5054, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Sometimes a deep-fried hot dog really hits the spot, especially when it's supplied by a known entity like Karl Ehmer Quality Meats and wolfed down in a backyard patio. All of the sausages and beef sliders at St. Anselm are from heritage-breed animals raised without hormones or antibiotics. The rough-hewn space is across the street from barbecue darling Fette Sau and next door to beer specialist Spuyten Duyvil (the same owners are behind all three) and has a comparable raffish charm. Brick walls are curiously covered with enough handsaws to arm a horde of extras in a horror movie. The sausage-centric menu will expand in time, but for now extras include house-made scrapple and potatoes in a cup (a fancy way of saying "fries"). Until the liquor license comes through, try settling for root beer on tap.

Thistle Hill Tavern
441 Seventh Ave., 347-599-1262, Park Slope, Brooklyn
Thistle Hill may look like any number of Brooklyn pubs—exposed brick, pressed-tin ceiling, an abundance of windows—and yet it's been singled out as a Park Slope destination ever since it opened earlier this month. Not every tavern has such a superb cheese selection, diver scallops with crisp bacon and sorrel pesto or pan-seared ricotta gnocchi with spring peas, almonds and mint. Chef Rebecca Weitzman learned how to do things right through stints at Bobby Flay restaurants (Mesa Grill, Bolo, Bar Americain) and at the ever-popular 'inoteca. Musician Mike Burkett (Fat Mike of NOFX) is also a partner. Sourcing locally is a priority—not just for produce, dairy, meat and seafood, but also for Brooklyn-made wine and beer.

82 W. 3rd St., 212-353-8963, West Village, Manhattan
Amid the area's comedy clubs is a serious wine bar in a dramatically designed setting by Jan Roelfs, an Oscar-nominated Dutchman responsible for the looks of Gattaca, Orlando and the upcoming Get Him to the Greek. Picture a modern, black, high-ceilinged lounge with low lights playing off latticework walls, and you've got the idea of Vyne. Other players include Monika Caha assembling a winning European wine list, plus partners from Flatiron Lounge, Pegu Club and the Dutch-themed NL. The food is an eclectic mix that includes chicken schnitzel, pizza, grilled sardines and New Zealand cockles.


related venues/(3)

  1. 1
    St. Anselm
    355 Metropolitan Ave
    Brooklyn – Williamsburg
    NY 11211
  2. 2
    Thistle Hill Tavern
    441 Seventh Ave
    Brooklyn – Park Slope
    NY 11215
  3. 3
    Diablo Royale Este
    167 Ave A
    Manhattan – East Village
    NY 10009

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