Earlier we let you know that the venerable Blind Tiger, after trying to pass as a coffee shop and then finally shuttering, had finally been cleared for a liquor license at its new location. Now comes word that it’ll reopen in time for its eleventh anniversary this Thursday.
Recently Rob and Robin trumpeted the opening of Inn LW12, a bi-level gastropub serving late-night poutine that collaborators Daniel Boulud and Jeffrey Jah clearly hope will be the meatpacking district’s answer to the Spotted Pig (it’s strategically perched across from Pastis on Hummer-Parking Row). We’ve got two looks at the space, one after the jump. And because Rob and Robin’s mention of the pickled herring so entices, we’d also like to present the dinner, dessert, and late-night menus. — Daniel Maurer
Michael Psilakis’s ambitious new restaurant, Anthos, opens Monday in the old Acqua Pazza space. It’s been a busy, up-and-down year for the chef: His critically praised Dona closed, unexpectedly, one week into 2007. Just a couple of weeks later, he converted his high Greek eatery Onera into the more casual Kefi, which went on, in this week’s issue, to win four stars from the Underground Gourmet. The wheel in the sky keeps on turning, as they say. Looks like it’s lifting Psilakis back up. We went inside Anthos and got all the evidence.
When last we checked in with Markt, the meatpacking mainstay kicked to the curb by its landlord, it was poised to move into Sascha’s old space. It turns out that deal didn’t go as planned and everyone’s favorite spot for Brussels mussels is taking its business to the Chelsea-Flatiron area. Broker James Famularo called us yesterday hours after inking a deal that, as of today, puts Markt’s people in charge of Sensa, positioning them to recast the space. According to a Markt rep, chef Neville Soddart will Belgify Sensa’s menu by next week; sometime around July, assuming the landmarks commission gives the okay, all the old fixtures will be moved into the slightly smaller space, with doors possibly opening onto a 50-seat outdoor café. The restaurant is also eyeing locations for a second spot. Daniel MaurerEarlier: Sascha Purchased By Markt in Meatpacking Musical Chairs
While Ilan Hall wanders around airports wearing street couture (or did you not read about that?), Josie Malave, voted off Top Chef early in the game, has ditched her Marlow & Sons sous-chef job to become executive chef at Island Café Bar and Lounge. The two-floor, 220-seater, set to open in March, will serve locally farmed, Mediterranean-themed tapas. We believe Malave when she tells us that she’s “actually happy” to have escaped Top Chef when she did. After all, some “seed money” winnings can (apparently) mess with a young cook’s head.
Island Café Bar and Lounge, 35-15 36th St., Long Island City; no phone yet.
A couple of weeks ago we informed you that a mystery Grammy performer had just closed a deal to open a restaurant in the former home of Il Monello. Now we can tell you that man is none other than Justin Timberlake. According to the exclusive broker for both sides, James Famularo of NYCRS, the Tennessee boy plans to open what’s described as a laid-back, festive barbecue joint called Southern Hospitality. As with his first restaurant Destino, the shaved showman will partner with Eytan Sugarman, owner of bygone clubs Suede and producer Timbaland’s Harlem venture Cherry Lounge. Famularo says that Timberlake will have a larger stake in the new place: “I heard a lot of people with Tennessee accents,” he said of a recent drop-in. “Justin is bringing a lot of his group up to be a part of this.” If all goes as planned, the opening will coincide with the conclusion of the FutureSex/LoveSounds tour in late April. Daniel MaurerEarlier:Mystery Grammy Performer Set to Rock the Upper East Side
Morandi may be the opening of the winter, and Rob and Robin have come through with a sneak peek at the much-awaited Italian restaurant and an interview with owner Keith McNally. And now, in a powerful addition to the ever-growing glory that is our database, we’ve got Morandi’s menu, too. We could tell you how tasty these Sicilian-inflected classics look, but why not just click through yourself?
Morandi Menu [NYM]
Welcome to the latest weekly installment of the Launch, where Sam Mason, former pastry chef at wd-50, relates the ups and downs of preparing to open Tailor, the restaurant and lounge coming together on the corner of Broome and Spring Streets.
A brutal Valentine’s Day for New York restaurants, battered by cancellations owing to the lousy weather. [WCBS]
Many of the city’s best restaurants have off-the-menu specials: foie gras donuts at Telepan, Daniel Boulud’s lobster ravioli at Le Cirque, and more, all revealed here. [Restaurant Girl]
Chocolate, of all things, turns out to be New York’s No. 1 specialty-food export — if you eat it on the East Coast, chances are it came from here. Food processing is “by far the most stable major manufacturing sector” in the city, and one of the last. [NYT]
The microneighborhood just north of South Street Seaport is acquiring a distinct Italian accent, with new businesses like Barbarini Alimentari sprouting up alongside more-established ones like Acqua (the Peck Slip pioneer formerly known as Quartino). The newest arrival is Il Brigante, a rustic, brick-walled pizzeria and trattoria whose Calabrian owner, Venanzio Pasubio, last operated a restaurant in London. The room’s focal point is its wood-burning oven, which turns out thin-crusted individual pizzas that complement a menu of regional classics like gnocchi alla Sorrentina and saltimbocca alla Romana. According to Pasubio, the restaurant’s name refers to a “lonely mountain person” — perhaps what he was before meeting and marrying his American wife. — Rob Patronite and Robin RaisfeldIl Brigante, 214 Front St., nr. Beekman St.; 212-285-0222.
Tonight Regaté opens up a few doors down from Zucco (the place with the lavatory library). It’s the third French restaurant on the block, and in fact, chef-owner Marc Jehan did the lunch menu at the neighboring Café Charbon (before that, he operated seafood distributor Early Morning). Now he’s serving bistro fare like sesame salmon, lamb shank, a few varieties of mussels, and steaks in pepper, Roquefort, or béarnaise sauces; plus dishes (e.g. mouclade) from the isle of Re, where Jehan’s wife was born (she’s a hostess; his brother Jocelyn is a partner). Jehan is still waiting for some paintings to clear customs, but for once no there’s no SLA snafus: That’s a full bar you see. Daniel MaurerRegaté, 198 Orchard St., nr. Houston; 212-228-8555
Costume designer Ellen Lutter met Tom Anderson, the movie electrician who would become her husband, on the set of Friday the 13th Part II. Since then, they’ve been putting in sixteen- to-eighteen-hour days and spending weeks apart on location, looking for a way out of the motion-picture industry.
We were tipped off to the month-old Seven’s Mediterranean Grill by Orhan Yegen, the city’s ambassador for Turkish food. As at Yegen’s East Side restaurant, Sip Sak, an array of house-ground, delicately spiced kebabs are complemented by fresh yogurt sauce and freshly baked bread. There’s also a big selection of the Turkish-Armenian spiced pizzas called lahmajoun. Chef and co-owner Aziz Seven has a history in New York kebab circles: His work at Ali Baba on East 34th Street was much admired, and his most recent New York venue, Sunnyside’s Turkish Grill, was a favorite of connoisseurs. Neither place, though, featured Seven’s oven-baked halvah, a must-have dessert of hot sesame pudding topped with toasted walnuts.
Seven’s Turkish Grill, 158 W. 72nd St., nr. Columbus Ave.; 212-724-4700.
Last month the construction paper came off Bayard’s Ale House (no relation to Bayard’s the new place is named after the builder of its 1826 edifice, formerly home of Sazerac House). The new owners operated establishments in Ireland before managing Noho Star and Smith & Wollensky; we don’t know what they did with the portrait of Quentin Crisp that used to hang over wine bottles, but they’ve at least retained some Sazerac chefs to keep turning out crab cakes (but not jambalaya, for better or worse). The main thing here is the twenty beers on tap, but as the menu shows, touches like a burger with horseradish sour cream and, for brunch, a bagel with salmon and citrus cream cheese indicate this may be slightly smarter than your average pub. Daniel Maurer
“I don’t miss anything about California except Mexican food and Vietnamese food,” says Vinh Nguyen, a onetime UCLA premed who fell into the hospitality business as a bar back at Santa Monica’s legendary Father’s Office. Since moving east three years ago, Nguyen has found New York’s Vietnamese options sorely lacking, especially when compared to the home cooking of his mother, an immigrant who left school at 9 to sell street food in Hue. The problem, as he sees it, is laundry-list menus that are too hit-or-miss, combined with “atmospheres” defined by single-white-napkin dispensers and dirty bathrooms.
You might have heard a little bit about GoldBar lately. It's the hottest thing since Death & Co. two weeks ago and until Star Lounge goes into soft launch … this weekend. We were pretty confident the décor of this Cain offshoot would be gold, and the involvement of skulls seemed likely. But until last night’s opening to "friends and family,” all details were little more than informed speculation. Now, finally, the truth can be told.
We like our yakitoris with Sapporo-splattered floors and burnt tinfoil walls, but the owner of this Ludlow Street newcomer ain’t having it. A designer who has also worked with Banana Republic outfitted the narrow space with dark wood paneling, mirror inlays of sakura flowers, and comfortable brown-leather bar stools. The opening menu is limited to grilled skewers like a heavily peppered black Angus beef in teriyaki sauce, capelin fish stuffed with roe, and kurobuta sausage, a baby bratwurst made from corn-fed pig and topped with mayonnaise dotted with fish roe. A dessert special consists of Jell-O stars made from osmanthus petals. Expect the chef to get still more fanciful when a full izakaya menu kicks in later this month. The restaurant has been awaiting a liquor license for eight months, and it may be a while longer before 30 types of sake are on offer; in the meantime, September Wine & Spirits is just across the street. Daniel MaurerYozakura Kushiyaki Bar, 168 Ludlow St., nr. Stanton St.; 212-226-2066
Brooklyn’s beer and bourbon connoisseurs have their headquarters: Bierkraft and LaNell’s, respectively. But where does the single-malt scotch enthusiast go to peruse lowland whiskies and talk piney finishes and peaty aromas? Starting today, Smith and Vine, the Carroll Gardens wine store owned by Patrick Watson and Michele Pravda. They’ve moved down the block, more than doubling their space and establishing one of the city’s biggest single-malt-scotch collection, with between 50 and 80 labels. Stinky, the cheese shop Watson and Pravda opened in the fall, is staying put. We’re just disappointed Smith and Vine hasn’t been renamed Drunky.
Smith and Vine, 268 Smith St., nr. Degraw St., Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn; 718-243-2864. Correction, Jan. 30, 2007: Smith and Vine was originally misidentified as being in Park Slope.
It wasn’t hard to see, after Jeffrey Chodorow’s infamous dustup with Rocco DiSpirito three years ago, that he had about had it with celebrity chefs. Except, apparently, he hadn’t: Chodorow hired Todd English a year later, in hopes, futile, that he’d redeem Tuscan, successor to Tuscan Steak. Earlier this week it was revealed that English Is Italian, the third restaurant to fill that space, will also bite the dust. Finally, Chodorow’s group is determined to avoid celebrity chefs. English Is Italian closes March 17. Wild Salmon, a seafood restaurant with a Pacific Northwest vibe, is slated to open in its place the first week of April.