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EDITED BY ROB PATRONITE AND ROBIN RAISFELD
Week of February 25, 2002
NYC
Lesly Bernard, best known for opening hot spots like Pravda and Clementine, brings downtown cred and nightlife connections to NYC, a country-kitchen-quaint remake of what used to be Greenwich Cafe. He and partner Sarid Drory have installed ivory wainscoting, glass cabinets, and — most impressively — Herb Wilson, formerly of Bambou and Jack's Fifth, who will run the newly ambitious kitchen. Wilson's penchant for Greenmarket-inspired ingredients crops up in a harvest of vegetable sides, from roasted carrots with vanilla butter to pepper-and-mint slaw. And while he demonstrates his range, with appetizers like squid salad with black olives and capers, he's shrewd enough to indulge the comfort-food craze with burgers, steaks, and doughnuts.
75 Greenwich Avenue
212-366-6004
·
 Cuisine: Eclectic

 

 

Beekman Kitchen
Upper East Siders were perplexed last spring when the owners of China Fun closed their bustling Second Avenue branch, only to relocate a block south. But all becomes clear this week when the Wu family, whose dim-sum empire extends to the West Side, opens Beekman Kitchen, an American restaurant, bar, and takeout shop, on the old site. Designer Larry Bogdanow has transformed the corner storefront with a glass-and-metal façade, light fixtures made from perforated antique pie plates, and an open kitchen and hearth. Chef-owner Albert Wu (pictured, at left, with co-chefs Derek Hunt and King Phojanakong) plans to use the wood-fired oven for everything from molasses-braised short ribs to clay-pot paella, and he even pays tribute to San Francisco's renowned Zuni Café with a version of its signature dish: herb-roasted chicken with bread salad. Croques monsieurs at lunch, huevos rancheros at brunch — but no dim sum.
1239 Second Avenue, at 65th Street
212-308-0600
·
 Cuisine: Eclectic

 

 

re-opening
Bemelmans Bar
It's always slightly alarming to hear that an old New York time-capsule classic is undergoing a complete renovation. But patrons of the ultrasophisticated Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle, reopening March 1 after a swanky makeover, needn't worry too much: The baby grand hasn't been displaced by a D.J. booth, nor will Nicky Hilton be dancing on the tables anytime soon. Instead, celebrity designer-architect Thierry Despont has luxed things up, adorning the newly lengthened bar with fluted mahogany facing and a black granite top and gilding the ceiling. To accompany the new look, bartender and Dale Degroff disciple Audrey Saunders, who wowed us at Beacon, will shake and stir her way through a new cocktail list. And from executive chef Jean-Louis Dumonet's kitchen comes a new French-accented bar menu including homemade foie gras terrine, a lobster club, mini lamb chops, and (in tribute to Ludwig Bemelmans, author of the Madeline series and creator of the bar's murals) savory cheese madeleines.
35 East 76th Street
212-744-1600
·
 Cuisine: French Bar Menu

 


Openings Archive

Week of February 18
Negril Village, Kai, Cipriani Dolci, ONY
Week of February 11
Calle Nueve
Week of February 4
Q Café , Cast Iron Cafe, Bouley, Michael Jordan's the Steak House NYC Wine Salon




and more ...

Photos: From top to bottom- Patrik Rytikangas, Carina Salvi, Kenneth Chen
 
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