Dining

Fall Into Food

Friday, October 12, 2018
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There’s no time more vibrant for the New York restaurant scene than fall, when people have returned from summer travels and new projects abound.


“We are back in business!” declared Julian Niccolini, who along with partner Alex von Bidder reopened the iconic power dining room Four Seasons in a handsome new location in August, after a nearly two-year break. Thirty million dollars later, the magnificent room designed by Isay Weinfeld will have considerably fewer seats than the original Philip Johnson space, so book early!


Yoga in the Time Warner Center’s third-floor restaurant corridor? The building’s latest tenant, D&D London, just opened Bluebird, its first U.S. location. The restaurant will offer community outreach programs like yoga, wine classes and bake-offs along with its 1960s glam–inspired décor and British-accented menu. Look for dishes like Cornish chicken pie with leeks, mushrooms, cream and tarragon, and Sipsmith gin–cured salmon with dill, mustard and cucumber.


There’s lots of action on the west side. Michelin-starred chef John Fraser left Dovetail this summer and will oversee food and drinks in Ian Schrager’s upcoming Times Square Edition at 701 Seventh Avenue. Among the dining spots he will open is one with a 5,800-square-foot, multilevel terrace.


Meanwhile, Chef Adam Leonti, who served as executive chef at Vetri in Philadelphia, will take over the Dovetail space at 103 West 77th Street, teaming with Fraser’s former partners in an Italian restaurant to be called Leonti. The chef most recently worked for John McDonald at Sessanta.


Fresh off the heels of the huge success of Kyma in Flatiron, owners Reno Christou and Joe Ragonese are opening the slightly more casual Eléa at 217 West 85th Street. Plenty of Kyma favorites will be on the menu, including sesame-crusted feta with Greek honey and zucchini and eggplant chips with tzatziki, along with new options like calamari pasta and filet of sole baked with potatoes, onion and tomatoes. “We saw an opportunity to bring the Upper West Side a warm and welcoming Greek restaurant that is equally inviting for a quick bite or a drink as it is for a sit-down

dinner,” says Christou.


Benjamin Vaschetti, who grew up in Avignon and worked in the kitchens of three-Michelin-starred L’Auberge de l’Ill, Le Cirque 2000, London’s Four Seasons, and the Hotel Sofitel, in Paris and then Shanghai, is opening his own place at 464 Amsterdam. Mokum will have a global focus, with dishes such as Amish country roasted chicken breast Provençale with upstate NY brussels sprouts and fingerling potatoes, and roasted madras curry organic cauliflower salad; with toasted almonds and pomegranate seeds. Says Vaschetti: “Mokum honors the farm-to-table roots of my grandmother’s kitchen on the small-town farm in France where I was raised.”


Geoffrey Zakarian has tapped Galen Zamarra, former chef/owner of recently shuttered Mas (Farmhouse), to become executive chef at the The Lambs Club. “Galen has demonstrated a unique ability to blend modernism with classical techniques, which suits the Lambs Club,” explains Zakarian.


The Mas (Farmhouse) space at 39 Downing Street was not dormant for long. A Korean fusion restaurant called Windrose is opening there with former Jean-Georges chef Sung Park at the range.


Cote, the popular Korean steak house at 16 West 22nd Street, is opening a lower-level bar and lounge called Undercote, which is accessible via stairs from the restaurant. It will offer cocktails, champagne and small bites.


Bring on the red chicken and green shrimp! Philippe is branching out, opening a second Manhattan location in the Meatpacking District’s Dream Downtown Hotel. Along with signature satays and Beijing chicken, there will be dim sum carts and rotating DJs. “The Meatpacking District is the epicenter of fashionable dining and nightlife,” says Abraham Merchant, president and CEO of Merchants Hospitality. “Knowing New Yorkers’ hesitation to trek above 23rd Street, we are bringing the timeless Philippe Chow experience downtown complete with an exclusive private dining room, and expanding it with a late-night menu.”


Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee has finally opened above 14th Street. After six downtown spots and two in the Hamptons, the cult favorite fair trade organic coffeehouse known for innovative drinks and vegan baked goods is premiering at 1335 Lexington Avenue. “There was an overwhelming request from our customers asking when we would open uptown, so to finally move above 14th Street is really exciting for us,” says Jack Mazzola, founder and CEO of the chain. 


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