Recently Opened Restaurants
by Julie Besonen, 09/02/2014
Courtesy, Union Bar & Kitchen
Union Bar & Kitchen
300 Spring St., 646-791-0005, SoHo, Manhattan
Not far from SoHo's brimming arteries of boutiques is a refuge where you can spread out. Head west on Spring Street to the contemporary, high-ceilinged Union Bar & Kitchen, especially nice at happy hour (Monday to Friday from 4 to 7pm) when freshly shucked bluepoint oysters are $1 each and beer and wine are discounted. The extraordinarily amiable attitude of the staff must trickle down from the top. In this case, the good vibes start with Jonathan Renert, who used to work in finance in Japan and New York City but left the field to follow his dream of opening a restaurant. Japanese influences figure in the ultra-fresh hamachi tartare and excellent panko-crusted, ginger-scented fried chicken (only on the bar menu). San Diego–style specialties like fish tacos and crispy taquitos also have honest origins since Renert grew up there. Chef de cuisine Gavin Citron executes the global menu, bringing disparate elements together in a way that works well.