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
Restaurant Openings & Buzz
Week of June 9, 2003

If you ever ate in the elegant environs of the late Destinée, you won’t believe what the new owners (partners at Le Colonial and Le Bilboquet among them) have done to the place, but the new name—Kitsch—should give you an idea. The cluttered, colorful décor sets a playful tone, and chef Franck Maucort matches it with his multiculti menu of mostly small plates, from fajitas to foie gras. The kitchen accommodates larger appetites with a half-dozen main courses and the inevitable hordes of lunching ladies with entrée salads and open-faced sandwiches. From June 9 to June 23, the menu’s 30 percent off.
134 East 61st Street


Ida Mae Kitchen-n-Lounge
Kenneth Collins isn’t lacking for role models. The chef-owner of Ida Mae Kitchen-n-Lounge, opening this week in the fashion district, looks to David Bouley and Alfred Portale for inspiration—not to mention the memory of his great-grandmother, the restaurant’s namesake. After heading upscale kitchens in Connecticut and New Jersey, Collins braves the big city with an American menu reflecting his French training and southern roots. Just don’t call it a soul-food joint: Collins’s style runs more to refined combinations like lobster ravioli with spicy pumpkin jus, and trendy flourishes like ginger foam on the shrimp-carrot terrine.
1400 Broadway, entrance on 38th Street


Summit Restaurant and Lounge
KIf only Ol’ Blue Eyes were still kicking: He and his pallies would never be at a loss for finding a swingin’ joint to toss down tumblers of Jack, have a bite to eat, meet some broads, and otherwise indulge their midlife-crisis needs. The latest such place is Summit Restaurant and Lounge. Owner and Sinatra fan Vincent Sgarlato celebrates Frank’s Ocean’s Eleven period with plush banquettes, zebra and tiger rugs, and a mural of Palm Springs; chef Bill Seleno (Moomba, Guastavino’s, Moda) whips up “screaming oysters from hell,” foie gras with bitter-chocolate biscotti, lamb chops, and dry-aged sirloin, plus lunch and bar menus.
308 East 49th Street

the underground gourmet

Westville Ho

The terrific new restaurant Westville seems like it was uprooted from some lazy summer vacation town, then trailer-towed, Grapes of Wrath–style, to West 10th Street. Wide-open doors, slow-spinning ceiling fans, and a bench out front say Oak Bluffs or Montauk snack shop; the quality of the food, though, speaks another language. “Nothing fancy” is partner Jay Strauss’s motto. Which means paper napkins, tables so close your neighbors are going to ask what you’re eating, and some understandable new-restaurant blunders by the friendly, refreshingly untrendy staff (not a belly-baring gamine in the bunch—for now, at least). But that doesn’t rule out organic greens for the salads, a brawny first-rate burger on a Portuguese muffin, and a Niman Ranch Fearless Frank on a house-baked bun. The “Westville market” blackboard special, a $10 plate of “vegetables, grains, and salads,” seems like proof that someone got up early and hauled him- or herself over to Union Square: You choose any four items, like Greenmarket-fresh grilled asparagus or roasted-tomato-and-smoked-mozzarella crostini. There are bigger plates—shell steak and fries, grilled salmon and spinach—for bigger appetites, but whatever you do, save room for dessert. Ivy Tack, the pastry chef who’s stayed late tonight to help stanch the overflow crowd, bakes like a woman who’s out to win a blue ribbon at the state fair. Her delectably homey berry galette deserves one. — ROB PATRONITE
210 West 10th Street

Sweet Simplicity
When Chocolate Bar opened a year ago, it satisfied the West Village’s voracious appetite for tantalizing truffles, ornate confections, and hot and cold cocoa drinks. But until now, customers had to make do without a plain, unadorned block of chocolate. The shop’s new line of signature quarter-pound slabs ($6 to $6.75) fills that niche deliciously, and no wonder: They’re produced by top local talent like Jacques Torres and Andrew Shotts of Garrison Confections. Available in milk, bittersweet, and white plus infused flavors like orange and an exquisitely balanced dark mint.
Chocolate Bar
48 Eighth Avenue



Ask Gael
I want a deal on a great steak.
How about $20 for a sixteen-ounce strip? My resident carnivore and I agree that ours is the best sirloin of this year. It seems the folks running The SteakHouse at Monkey Bar gauged the bustle at their steak joints—Michael Jordan’s and the Strip House—and decided a big dose of cow might fix the languor here in the handsome salon that echoes fifties Gotham. Every night, $20 buys a different cut of prime aged beef, same size as the porterhouse and chops the house sells for $32.50 and up. Saturday, it’s a mammoth prime rib with a half-bulb of sweet garlic saving the plate from total nakedness. Two can order rib chops (Tuesday) or porterhouse (Wednesday), then share a $5 side and a starter of pork-belly orecchiette or a salad—the thick-sliced, sweetly smoked bacon in a lush layering of romaine and crumbled Stilton is a revelation. Add two glasses of red. Now even the young hunters crowding the Monkey Bar taproom up front can afford to linger for dinner.
The SteakHouse at Monkey Bar
60 East 54th Street

In the Archives

June 2, 2003
SheepMeadow Cafe, Alma Blu, Ruth Chris Steakhouse; Rocco DiSpirito Q&A, Sidecar at P.J. Clarke's; new Sullivan Street Bakery pizza.

May 26, 2003
Max Cafe, Flatiron Lounge, Eleven Madison Park Hotdog Cart; Aigo; Morrells Restaurant's Friulian pancakes; Fauchon's summer sorbets; Gael is Amuse'd.

May 19, 2003

Crudo, Bacchus, Dumonet, Il Fiore, Klatch, Say Cheese; comfort eats at Mooncake Foods; salad perfection at Prune; meatless midtown eats; splurge for lunch at Shun Lee.

More Openings & Buzz

Photos: Tina Rupp, Kenneth Chen (2, 3, 4), Patrik Rytikangas.

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