Recently Opened Restaurants
by Julie Besonen, 07/07/2010
- 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/
366 Metropolitan Ave., 718-218-7632, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Hamburger hounds, race to the Commodore, a retro hangout in the former Black Betty space. Unmarked, it looks like a timeworn dive bar, but it's so much more: in addition to perfect burgers and plates of salty fries are chicken thighs served with a biscuit, green chili hominy and sides of market-fresh vegetables. Vintage cocktails are illustrated on placemats that look like something out of a '60s-era Howard Johnson's—and the $7–$8 price tag feels downright nostalgic. And hey, you can get a can of beer here for $3! People of a certain age will grow misty-eyed over the old Miller and Schlitz signs, arcade games and jukebox, but bar stools and booths are mostly filled with young hipsters who might be seeing it all for the first time.
356 W. 58th St., 212-554-6000, Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan
The Hudson Hotel's main-floor restaurant has gotten a major overhaul. The new Hudson Hall evokes an Ivy League mess hall, where you serve yourself and grab a seat at heavy, black-stained communal tables. What's also new here is the wraparound, futuristic video installation, streaming anything from the Discovery Channel to sports matches. To enhance the viewing experience, drinks are sold as shots, cocktails or by the pitcher. Chef Brian Young, formerly at Tavern on the Green, oversees the open kitchen, dishing out locavore plates of macaroni and cheese, beef sliders, heirloom spinach salad and a slew of desserts that could lead you on a perilous path back to the freshman 15.
The Local Store
316 E. 49th St., 212-935-4266, Midtown East, Manhattan
An everyday neighborhood café and wine bar is just the ticket for this heavily residential area near the UN. The emphasis is on local products inspired by the Greenmarket, but its name is a misnomer. The "Store" is a charming little spot to eat owner Richele Benway's groceries, not buy them to cook yourself—although your kitchen might be larger than hers. The menu changes weekly, divided into categories like "a little bit of this" and "a little more of that," which basically translates to soup, salads, whole grain sweets and sandwiches. On weekends look for "brunchy things," like brioche French toast, buttermilk waffles, and "not brunchy things," like fresh ricotta with basil and walnut pesto, topnotch cheeses and cured meats.
64 Frost St., 718-599-0025, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
The crazy brick wall encircling the outdoor beer garden looks precarious enough to topple over, but it's actually artistic, like something Gaudí would have constructed. Under the umbrella tables is a happy crowd of German beer lovers (there are 12 brews on tap). Sports fans may prefer the spacious indoor bar and restaurant where it's easier to keep an eye on the TV screens. The original Loreley is on the Lower East Side, and this Williamsburg outpost has a similar menu. For smaller appetites are plates of liverwurst, baked Camembert with lingonberry sauce and a basket of pork meatballs. Main courses include bratwurst, chicken in paprika cream sauce and a vegetarian casserole topped with curry sauce. Really big appetites can go for the butcher's plate: a smoked pork chop, rib bacon and smoked sausage served with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes.
456 Hudson St., 212-414-2929, West Village, Manhattan
Vegetarians, beware: grill-your-own Japanese and American Angus beef is the main event at this lively Japanese-Korean restaurant. The nose-to-tail philosophy includes unusual cuts and sweetbreads, much of it playfully—and helpfully—described on the walls, along with cooking instructions. There are 34 seats, divided among seven tables and a chef's counter, where you can watch Chef Takashi Inoue's notable chopping skills. Premium quality steaks and organs are either marinated in heady pepper paste or seasoned with salt, garlic and sesame oil, to be accompanied by sides of greenmarket vegetables with miso mayo. In keeping with the cow theme, soft-serve Madagascar vanilla ice cream is the only dessert.