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Week of September 17, 2001
Tarallucci e Vino
When Pepi di Giacomo and Luca di Pietro converted the East Village bakery that used to be Alcazar into Tarallucci e Vino, they went from selling coffee beans to brewing them. As American emissaries of Danesi, the Roman coffee roaster, they supplied Alcazar's beans, and when the space became available, they added a cozily rustic seating area and an excellent Italian-sandwich menu. But until the liquor license arrives, don't expect to find the namesake vino or tarallucci, the savory semolina cookies that accompany wine. Instead, sample an iced espresso, vigorously shaken in authentic Italian fashion, according to Di Giacomo, who confides, "We're very picky about it." We bet.
63 First Avenue
 Cuisine: Cafe, Italian

Roberto Ruggeri launched his Italian-food empire with Bice, expanded it with Med Grill and Salute!, and then inexplicably veered off the proven pasta path at Grill on the Park, his multicultural conversion of the old Wolf's Deli. The tourists, alas, weren't biting, so two weeks ago, he reopened the space as a second Salute!, with craggy stone columns, a warmer, woodier feel, and a return-to-his-roots menu of crowd-pleasing pizza, crusty focaccia, and hearty pastas.
101 West 57th Street
 Cuisine: Italian

Cicchetti Bar at Scopa
According to Evan Kleiman's Angeli Caffè's Pizza, Pasta, and Panini cookbook, the oldest Venetian cicchetti bars were a place for frazzled workingmen "to shoot back a few tiny glasses of great white wine and quickly gulp down two or three small rolls." Something like what chef-owner Vincent Scotto had in mind, we presume, with the opening of his Cicchetti Bar at Scopa, the latest addition to his ever-expanding Scopa restaurant complex. Tempting Venetian nibbles like cipollini-wrapped sardines, grilled polenta with baccalà, and prosciutto-wrapped figs stuffed with gorgonzola, plus a good all-Italian wine list, should keep those hardworking expense-account bankers and insurance types in top paper-pushing form.
79 Madison Avenue, near 28th Street
 Cuisine: Italian

Looking Ahead...


Fiamma, 206 Spring St., 212-653-0100
Set-up: Tri-level space in SoHo with exterior glass elevator and 130 seats
Cuisine: Italian
Chef: Michael White (formerly at the four-star Spiaggia in Chicago and chef di cucina at Ristorante San Domenico in Imola, Italy)
Owners: Stephen Hanson (Blue Water Grill, Park Avalon, Ruby Foo's)


Marseilles, 630 Ninth Ave at 44th St., 212-333-2323
Set-up: Two-story, 4000 square-foot space designed in 1940's French-Moroccan style with zinc bar and ebonized mahogany accents.
Cuisine: French/Mediterranean
Chef: Alex Urena (Blue Hill)
Owners: Simon Oren (Sushi Samba, Le Express, Maritime)

The Minnow, 442 Ninth St., Park Slope, Brooklyn
Set-up: Cozy 60-seat space with exposed brick walls, hardwood floors and private garden.
Cuisine: Eclectic American/Seafood
Chef: Aaron Bashy (Slate, Alva)
Owners: Aaron Bashy and wife, Vicki (Former pastry chef at Boston's Four Seasons Hotel)

Suba, 109 Ludlow St., 212-982-5714
Set-up: Subterreanean, multi-level grotto with moat, underwater lamps, and floor-to-ceiling glass-paneled doors. Designed by Andre Kikoski.
Chef: Stephane Bucholzer (L'Actuel)
Owners: Yann De Rochefort and Phillip Morgan

The Harrison, 355 Greenwich St., 212-274-9310
Set-up: Designer Mark Zeff creates a 100-seat dining room filled with wainscoting, handmade chandeliers, and a walnut bar. Nine French doors will open onto the street, with an additional 40 seats available for sidewalk dining.
Cuisine: Eclectic American
Chef: Joey Campanaro (protégé of Jonathan Waxman)
Owners: Jimmy Bradley and Danny Abrams (The Red Cat)

April, 2002

Blue Smoke, 116 East 27th St.
Set-up: Jazz joint with a built-in barbecue pit at former 27 Standard space.
Cuisine: Barbecue
Chef: Pitmaster Kenny Callaghan (Sous Chef, Union Square Cafe)
Owners: Danny Meyer (Gramercy Tavern, Union Square Cafe, Eleven Madison Park)


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Openings Archive
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Citarella: The Restaurant, Sugar Hill Bistro
Week of August 13
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Arezzo, Lunettes et Chocolat, Sherwood Cafe

and more ...

Photos: Patrik Rytikangas.
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