Recently Opened Restaurants
by Julie Besonen, 12/17/2014
Roasted squash. Photo: Sasithon Pooviriyaki
31 Great Jones St., 212-253-5700, NoHo, Manhattan
Five Points was a pioneer in NoHo 15 years ago, settling on cobblestoned Great Jones Street long before neighbors like Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria, DBGB, Acme (the current incarnation anyway), Lafayette, Gemma, Saxon + Parole and others encroached on their territory. Rather than pull up stakes, owners Vicki Freeman and Marc Meyer (Cookshop, Hundred Acres) completely overhauled the space and menu, renaming it Vic's just to make it clear it's not what it used to be, although plenty of people still loved what it was. The space is lighter and airier now, and chef Hillary Sterling (Beatrice Inn, Bar Bolonat) has developed a completely new, New American–Mediterranean menu. An appetizer called crispy eggplant doesn't begin to describe the genius of the dish, the thin strips bathed in buttermilk and fried into curled chips, showered with Parmigiano Reggiano and fresh herbs and served with a thick, cheesy dip. One of year's best inventions, hands down. Littleneck clams in a stew of crunchy pistachios, shelling beans and lovage, thin-crust pizzas and ultra-rich pasta cacio e pepe are other reasons to welcome Sterling to the neighborhood.