When spring comes, branches and leaves appear in the most unexpected places. This week’s 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, Hell’s 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 city’s most notorious meatheads to cook up some very delicate pickled ramps, in this week’s In Season.
• In this week’s two Short List;s the late Adrienne Shelley’s 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 Café, Sandro’s
Landmarc at the Time Warner Center
In Season: Ramps
Short List: Upper Crusts
Short List: May Days
Green Home for Brownstone Eatery [NYM]