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Week of November 25, 2002
"I don't like Indian food in New York," says English expat Christopher Sell. "It lacks flavor." Especially in comparison with the Birmingham balti, the stir-fry that emerged with that city's mid-seventies influx of Pakistani immigrants. Named for the cast-iron pan it's cooked in and served traditionally with nan bread instead of cutlery, the balti has become as inherently British as fish and chips. So it makes perfect sense that Sell would open the CurryShop directly next door to his ChipShop, advancing his one-man British invasion of Park Slope. The mix-and-match menu invites diners to pair five meat or vegetable selections with five sauces, from creamy korma to hot vindaloo, plus appetizers that include another English innovation — coronation chicken salad.
383 Fifth Avenue
Park Slope, Brooklyn

· Cuisine: Indian

Mad Tea Cup
One thing you can't help noticing while visiting the new Burberry store is the customers' loyalty. Even while shopping for new Burberry (plaid hair scrunchies, motocross jackets, socks), they wear old Burberry (scarves, pants, hats). Presumably by demand, then, the store's third-floor Mad Tea Cup, a communal tea table run by the folks at Alice's Tea Cup, features a custom "Burberry blend" black tea and everything that goes with it: heartier-than-usual finger sandwiches like lapsang souchong chicken, pumpkin scones, peanut-butter-chocolate-chip cookies, a terrific mocha-chocolate-chip cake, even a kids' menu. It's a good place to contemplate an impulse buy, like that Burberry-plaid skateboard.
9 East 57th Street

· Cuisine: American, tea

Thalassa brings the Greek-fish-market formula popularized at Milos— and knocked off by Avra and Trata, where Thalassa chef Gregory Zapanti used to work — to Tribeca. But this soaring, mosaic-tile-and-sailcloth-clad duplex (whose name means "the sea") has a built-in advantage: It's owned by a family of Greek-food importers with a line on seriously succulent olives and estate-bottled oils who've even built a cheese cave in the basement. The day's catch is displayed over ice and priced per pound; if you'd rather the bill didn't come as a surprise (or a shock), opt for something off the regular menu, like arctic char with artichoke-fava fricassee, seafood risotto, or lamb shanks braised in red wine.
179 Franklin Street

· Cuisine: Greek

The low-ceilinged, stucco-walled room evokes Arizona 206, but the wine list, full of interesting New World selections, is a happy surprise in a place that visually prepares you for a margarita onslaught. The whimsical menu, too, breaks the mold with unexpected combinations like mole-braised short ribs with jalapeño gnocchi and "Santa Fe shepherd's pie of chili mac and Iggy's jack."
140 Seventh Avenue South

· Cuisine: Tex-mex

If at first it doesn't succeed: Ethiopian-Eritrean fare didn't fly in the overfed Flatiron district, so Caffè Adulis has reconceived itself as a French restaurant with global accents, a concept that doesn't sound as foreign. Bye-bye, injera; hello, goat-cheese-eggplant terrine and fig-and-almond-crusted rack of lamb. •
39 East 19th Street

· Cuisine: French, Global

The little Village cheese shop that could has branched out with a European-style kiosk at the bustling Grand Central Market, a boon for commuters and midtown office workers in search of a perfectly ripe Reblochon or a hunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Grand Central Terminal

Terrance Brennan's
Dairy king Terrance Brennan has filled the void Larry "Captain America" Forgione left when he checked out of the Benjamin hotel. In a modern twist on the traditional chop house, meat and seafood are accessorized with your choice of sauces and butters; even the salt-baked potato comes with a condiment tray. Prime rib and chateaubriand for two are carved tableside. Plus flaky gougeres, onion soup, and cheeses straight from Artisanal's cave.
565 Lexington Avenue, at 50th Street

· Cuisine: Steakhouse

Openings Archive

Week of November 18
Tenement, Shula's, General Store
Week of November 11
Caserta Vecchia, Assenzio, Blue 9 Burger, The Upstairs at '21'
Week of November 4
Dish, Biscuit, Bruno's, Savannah Steak, Willow Creek Fresh Baja Grill

and more ...

Photos: Kate Lacey, Kenneth Chen, Bruce Katz

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