Restaurant Reviews
  Openings & Buzz
  In Season: Weekly Recipe
  Underground Gourmet
  Ask Gael
  Restaurant Roundups
  Best of NY Food Picks
  Where to Eat 2005
  Uptown Delivery Guide
  Cheap Eats
  Recipe Archive
  Restaurant Insider
  Weekly e-mail with reviews, recipes, and restaurant news and openings.
  Sign Up
Week of July 8, 2002

None of the furniture at the East Village's Flea Market Café is for sale, so we didn't actually expect to do our weekly shopping at the owners' second venture, an elaborately concealed restaurant and bar posing convincingly as a contiguous crèmerie (dairy), tabac (newsstand), and épicerie (grocery store)—a virtual Main Street from pre-supermarket France, transported intact to the Lower East Side. Like any reputable grocery, this trompe l'oeil Epicerie is convincingly stocked with fancy French foodstuffs—all for show—but the real draw is moderately priced bistro fare like escargots, beef tartare, pâté maison, and moules marinières. And Café Charbon, the dark, wood-beamed bar next door, evokes the days when men visited the local market to buy coal (charbon) to heat their homes—and meet friends for a drink.
168-170 Orchard Street
 Cuisine: French bistro



Elysée Cafe Theatre
Just because Pascal DiNoia named his new Soho restaurant Elysée Cafe Theatre and structured the French menu like a three-act play, don't expect the waiters—Method-trained, we presume—to lapse into monologues between the niçoise salad and the steak-frites. The place is just DiNoia's gold-leafed, somewhat theatrical foray into the restaurant business after nineteen years on the prosaic linen-service fringes, and to him, the ritual of dinner is high drama. Behind the scenes, Argentine executive chef Fernando Trocca wields culinary props like chimichurri steak sauce, yuca chips for the salmon tartare, and a tropical-fruit "seviche."
199 Prince Street
 Cuisine: French


Stage Deli
With its new Upper East Side branch, the 65-year-old classic deli emerges from under the looming shadow of its closest competitor (the Carnegie) to ply another neighborhood with triple-decker behemoths named after celebrities like Ozzy Osbourne (pastrami, brisket, and Muenster) and Halle Berry (salami, tongue, and pastrami). If you don't feel like eating leftovers for three days, opt for the always-comforting matzo brei or cheese blintzes.
1481 Second Avenue, at 77th Street
 Cuisine: Deli

Havana Central
This new Cuban cocina offers a few cholesterol-conscious variations on the rice-and-beans theme, like vegetarian alternatives to Cuban pressed-pork sandwiches and beef empanadas. There's also a paella bar, where finicky diners can customize their orders with add-ins like artichoke hearts and pineapple; a sangria and mojito bar; and Latino breakfasts (arepas con queso) and desserts (churros with a trio of dipping sauces).
22 East 17th Street
 Cuisine: Cuban

Openings Archive

Week of July 1
Vanderbilt Station, Fresh
Week of June 17
Dopka, Press 195
Week of June 10
The Gowanus Yacht Club and Beer Garden

and more ...

Photo: From top to bottom- Carina Salvi; Kenneth Chen

Copyright © 2018 , New York Metro, Llc. All rights reserved. About Us | Contact Us |  Privacy Policy | Terms of Use |  Search/Archives  | Advertise with Us  |  Newsletters  | Media Kit
New York Magazine: About New York   | Contact New York |  Subscribe to the Magazine |  Customer Services  | Media Kit