Bar Boulud’s Wine-Tasting Table, Chop Suey’s Dining Room Both Half-Full
The first time we dropped in on a batch of new restaurants to take head counts, we hit the East Side. Then we threw it over to the West Side. Last Friday we took it uptown to see what’s doing above 42nd Street. It wasn’t easy hitting half a dozen spots between the hours of 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., but luckily we were navigating familiar territory — Mermaid Inn? Magnolia Bakery? Blue Ribbon Sushi? Zak Pelaccio’s new spot? It’s like we never left downtown.
Full Houses at Gottino and El Quinto Pino, Room to Spare at Bar BlancLast time we ran a Spot Check, we dropped in on several newly opened East Village restaurants between the hours of 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. to take head counts (though in the case of Cantina, there were no heads to be counted). This Saturday we threw some love to the West Side and repeated the procedure with six new establishments in the West Village and Chelsea.
A Nearly Full House at Momofuku, But Tumbleweeds at CantinaYou’re a brave soul if you plan on checking out that new East Village or Lower East Side restaurant this weekend — if it’s full-up, you’ll be turned onto the streets with the entire teenage population of Strong Island. That’s why last Saturday we hit eight spots between the hours of 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. to take inventory — our head counts may or may not hold true this weekend when there will be far less drunken Santas running amok, but we’re pleased to see that the wait has lessened at Momofuku (in fact, there wasn’t one!) and are a bit shocked to discover that Jason Neroni is sometimes pretty much the only person in the dining room at Cantina. Bet he’s counting the seconds till 10 Downing.