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Restaurant Openings & Buzz
Week of May 5, 2003
best of the week

Taste of Tribeca
Fifty-six great downtown restaurants, from Chanterelle to Bouley, set up shop on Duane Street, and a $40 ticket ($35 in advance) gets you six good-sized selections. Music, historic walking tours, and more round out the program, which benefits the local public schools.
Tickets available at, or at A.L. Bazzini Company, 339 Greenwich Street.
May 17


Deep within the haute cuisine soul of chef Tom Colicchio beats the heart of a Bensonhurst deli man—or so it seems from his proliferating sandwich empire. Craft begat Craftbar, with its Italian-style tramezzini and pressed panini, and now, two doors down, Colicchio is putting the finishing touches on the less expensive and even more casual ’Wichcraft. The new shop opens in mid-May for breakfast and lunch, featuring chef Sisha Ortuzar’s creative takes on timeworn classics like grilled cheese, fried egg with bacon, and even something loosely approximating a Philly cheese steak. Plus soups, sides, and pastries courtesy of Craft’s Karen DeMasco.
47 East 19th Street

Before he opened his own baby bistro, Krim Boughalem was a waiter at Bouley, and since then he’s made a habit of hiring chefs who’d done time there, too. At his second spot, Snackbar, slated to launch the week of May 12, fellow Bouley alumnus Nick Tischler is orchestrating the menu of small plates and simple grills. The décor of white leather banquettes and textured bamboo wallpaper matches the modern approach to bite-size morsels like the Snackbar canapé, a toast point adorned with Parmigiano-Reggiano, white chocolate, rosemary, and apricot. And every grilled or roasted piece of meat or fish comes with a choice of ten sauces, from anchovy rémoulade to Cabernet mignonette.
111 West 17th Street


Fast Break
L’Impero’s new Espresso Lunch (available in the bar or on the terrace) doesn’t move quite as quickly as the line at Pret A Manger, but with Scott Conant’s $18 menu of warm asparagus-and-mussel soup, grilled mortadella panino, biscotti, espresso, and an optional $6 glass of Lambrusco, plus the lovely view of the park from the outdoor tables, you may want to linger.
45 Tudor City Place


Ask Gael
My friend is the fussiest eater I know.
I bet mine is fussier. Even though Cassandra suffered deeply dragging herself up to the West Side, she really loved Pelagos. She told me twice. The place looks and tastes a lot like the late Dias, with clear-eyed fish tucked under ice, waiting to be beatified by fire. Only now Dias chef Peter Spyropoulos co-owns the place, too. Given his résumé (Milos, Avra, Trata), fish fans will know the menu. Tangy char-grilled octopus, the lush Greek salad, and my grilled and stuffed calamari are starters piled high to share. I’d return for grape-leaf-wrapped salmon baked in a clay pot. Even the meat-loving Road Food Warrior digs sesame-coriander-crusted tuna. Cassandra’s slightly overcooked loup de mer is fresh as can be. But sweet memories of baked apple and creamy goat’s-milk yogurt with honey fade fast when the bill comes: My slightly plump dorado ($21.95 a pound) runs to $29.95. Hey, Peter, this is the Upper West Side.
103 West 77th Street

In the Archives

April 28, 2003
Ocean's 21, 360; craftbar's brown-sugar delight; buffalo yogurt; gourmet shopping in Park Slope; Avenue C's new hot-spot.

April 21, 2003
Nick's, Morrells Restaurant, Nice Matin, Chubo, Azaza, Franchia; find comfort in Home's cooking.

April 14, 2003
Chennai Garden, Barking Dog, Kitchen 82; dessert tasting at Blue Hill; feastable lemon-meringue; Chef Rebecca Charles's new book; Patroon gets another wake-up call.

More Openings & Buzz

Photos:Courtesy of the restaurants, Kenneth Chen, Carina Salvi (3-4), Ellie Miller.

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