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Week of July 15, 2002

Zebú Grill
When Tania Santana and her brother Paulo Oliveira opened Circus nine years ago, they gave the stodgy lower-Sixties stretch of Lexington Avenue a transfusion of Brazilian cuisine and potent caipirinhas. But when the ground floor of the old Peter Kump cooking school three blocks from Santana's Yorkville apartment became available, she jumped at the chance to colonize her own neighborhood with the more casual, lower-priced Zebú Grill. Named for a Brazilian breed of humped cattle and outfitted with rustic wood tables, the homey restaurant offers a something-for-everyone hodgepodge of burgers, pastas, and Brazilian standards like fried yuca, empanadas, and a churrasco, a protein-packed mixed grill for two.
305 East 92nd Street
 Cuisine: Brazilian



Payard Manhasset
The Americana, Long Island's glitziest mall, has a Gucci, a Bulgari, and an Hermès -- why not a Payard? That seemed to be the thinking behind signing up François Payard to open a suburban outpost of his elegant uptown pâtisserie and bistro on Manhasset's famed Miracle Mile. Outfitted with a 64-seat terrace, a mahogany bar and communal table, and café tabletops made from shredded coconut, Payard Manhasset is as sophisticated as its city sister. But in the three weeks he's been open (and reverse-commuting), Payard has come to some disturbing conclusions about his new clientele. "They really don't eat," he says of the shopaholics who cluster on the terrace to revive themselves. "And when they do, they only want chicken." But he's happy to comply with a lighter terrace menu of fruit nectars, refined curried chicken salad, and a high-class turkey-and-Swiss. In time, Payard says optimistically, the locals will surely discover chef de cuisine John Randazzo Jr.'s exquisite seasonal prix fixe menus, his peekytoe-crab salad with tomato-and-zucchini confit, and his lavender-honey-glazed Muscovy duck with baby turnips and beets. Who knows? They might even be tempted to sample the Pont Neufs and chocolate chibousts languishing in the pastry display. Even if it means going up a size or two at Gucci.
2110-C Northern Boulevard, Manhasset
 Cuisine: Patisserie


Tea & Tea
The East Village pearl-tea scene heats up with the opening of this luminous dispensary of bubble tea in all its forms, right around the corner from a bustling branch of Saint's Alp. If all those tapioca balls don't fill you up, snack on coconut-buttered toast, roti canai, yakitori chicken, or green-tea noodles.
157 Second Avenue
 Cuisine: American


Openings Archive

Week of July 8
Epicerie, Elysée Cafe Theatro, Stage Deli, Havana Central
Week of July 1
Vanderbilt Station, Fresh
Week of June 17
Dopka, Press 195

and more ...

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

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