According to AZ chef Patricia Yeo, there's a lot of similarity between Mediterranean ingredients and Asian ones: tortellini and wontons, salami and Chinese sausage, fritattas and egg foo yung. And now, with the opening of Pazo, Yeo and co-chef Pino Maffeo (pictured) get a chance to explore the similarities firsthand as they shuttle between their acclaimed Asian-fusion kitchen and their new coastal-Mediterranean one. The menu features house-made bacon and chorizo, inventive surf and turf, and witty variations on familiar themes like vitello tonnato of tuna carpaccio and harissa-braised veal shank. Nancy Mah's vaguely Moorish redesign of the former Sono space is equally whimsical and dappled with light.
106 East 57th Street
· Cuisine: Mediterranean
If Serafina on the Run's new name, Serafina Sandro, isn't enough of a clue, then frequent sightings of a big guy in yellow jungle-print Joey Buttafuoco pants bolting into the dining room to sprinkle Parmesan over someone's spaghettini al limone or deliver a round of grappa on the house should suffice. That would be Sandro Fioriti, the celebrated Roman chef who, after a falling-out with his ex-partner, left his eponymous Chelsea restaurant three months ago and all but disappeared. ("He was jealous of me," Sandro explains.) Lucky for us, Serafina's owners and Sandro's new partners, Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato, aren't the envious types. Not that they don't have a reason to be: Chef Sandro has brought his bag of tricks with him, and he's already drawing a lot of attention from the fabulous Upper East Side crowd with signature dishes like ravioli filled with sea-urchin roe and porchetta with broccoli rabe. "Everyone is how do you say it? really happy about it," says Fabio.
38 East 58th Street
· Cuisine: Italian
Ever since New York's premier purveyor of old-fashioned, Coney Island-style custard closed last September, downtowners have been bereft of the lusciously eggy, delectably dense stuff. A makeshift outdoor cart has been selling a few flavors for the last month or so, but on August 15, the shop reopens, Belgian-waffle sundaes and all.
2 World Financial Center
· Cuisine: American
Prompted by the sluggish economy and inspired no doubt by the success of two-tiered places like Gramercy Tavern chef John Villa has turned Pico's former bar area into a café, where he's serving less-expensive versions of his pricey Portuguese fare. The opening menu features light bites like oysters, portobello mushroom tart, and a pressed suckling pig sandwich with spiced fries, plus ten wines by the glass and three kinds of sangria.
349 Greenwich Street
· Cuisine: Portuguese