When spring comes, branches and leaves appear in the most unexpected places. This weeks food coverage is like that: There are no huge openings, analogous to maples or firs springing up overnight, but rather a rich carpet of new sprouts and saplings. Rob and Robin glory in the pig-out that is Resto, the new Belgian restaurant on Park Avenue South; Gael Greene stops in to enjoy the immense, spanking-new Landmarc in the Time Warner Center; David Chang knows just what to do with the long-awaited, precious ramps in In Season; and other unexpected treats, from a waterside barbecue in one of the Short Lists to a slew of spring Openings fill out the foliage.
Resto, a casual but surprisingly intense Belgian bar and restaurant, gets the Underground Gourmet seal of approval, leveraging some very robust food and porkophilia that approaches Momofukian levels into a glowing four-star review.
In Openings, the first Top Chef victor, Harold Dieterle, finally opens his place, Perilla, in the West Village, and Park Slope, Hells Kitchen, and the Upper East Side each get a new, affordable place to eat.
Gael Greene has been around enough big places to know how hard it is to feed customers by the hundreds. That may be why she forgives Landmarc a few failings, especially given how badly the neighborhood needs it.
In an admirably counterintuitive move, Rob and Robin prevail upon one of the citys most notorious meatheads to cook up some very delicate pickled ramps, in this weeks In Season.
In this weeks two Short List;s the late Adrienne Shelleys new film, Waitress, inspires a list of great pies around town, and three good causes get the attention they deserve, including the annual Brooklyn Pigfest at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Lastly, a brief Intelligencer piece tells the tale of how one of the shrines of the New American cooking is moving after many years.
Restaurant Openings: Spirito, Perilla, Casellula Cheese & Wine Caf, Sandros
Landmarc at the Time Warner Center
In Season: Ramps
Short List: Upper Crusts
Short List: May Days
Green Home for Brownstone Eatery [NYM]