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Restaurant Openings & Buzz

Week of Feb. 21, 2005: Zozo's Juice and Grille, De Vino, Lassi. Plus, fresh mozzarella bars.

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Openings
Lassi
Inspired by a friend’s Punjabi home cooking, pastry chef Heather Carlucci-Rodriguez (late of L’Impero and JUdson Grill) has temporarily forsaken panna cotta and soufflé for Indian snacks and smoothies in a takeout shop not quite as large as some of the kitchens she’s worked in. Parathas are stuffed with ingredients like daikon and goat and griddled to order; lassis, made with the Yogurt Place’s artisanal low-fat yogurt, come in flavors as traditional as mango and rose and as unexpected as coffee (prompted, no doubt, by Carlucci-Rodriguez’s intense and lingering addiction to the Dannon version). When she stumbled across the Village storefront, which used to be Thali, she knew she’d found her spot: “They already had Hindu gods in the kitchen.” The renovation was a team effort. Friends did the woodwork and the logo; Heather’s mom does the dramatic floral displays.
28 Greenwich Ave., nr. W. 10th St.; 212-675-2688


Zozo’s Juice and Grille
Many a high-end chef has stooped to conquer the humble sandwich: Witness Laurent Tourondel’s lobster roll, Tom Colicchio’s meat loaf, even Daniel Boulud’s glorified burger. Now Steven Zobel, chef of midtown’s tony Triomphe at the Iroquois hotel, and his partner, hotel manager Paul Celnik, have opened a Lower East Side sandwich shop inspired by the fast food and tropical-fruit juices and shakes they encountered in Rio de Janeiro. Zobel starts with basic building blocks like filet mignon and free-range chicken, which can be ordered “Plain Jane” or gussied up with cheese, chipotle, and avocado; blackened with Cajun mayo; or rubbed with harissa and dabbed with mango chutney. He also offers hot dogs, truffled chicken salad, and burgers—advertised, for some inexplicable reason, as “extra-lean,” a minor fast-food transgression that’s redeemed by buttermilk-battered green beans and broccoli, and brownie sundaes concocted by Zobel’s pastry-chef wife.
172 Orchard St., at Stanton St.; 212-228-0009


De Vino
Gabrio Tosti has the perfect pedigree to run a wine shop: For five years he introduced New Yorkers to indigenous Italian varietals and obscure blends at Il Posto Accanto, the cozy wine-bar annex of his sister Beatrice’s beloved restaurant, Il Bagatto. Now, in a former floral shop two blocks south—and, coincidentally, a couple doors down from another wine bar, Punch & Judy—he’s stocking precisely those wines his former clientele fell in love with and couldn’t find for sale anywhere else. Here, though, his inventory extends to such far-flung viticultural regions as Lebanon, Slovenia, and South Africa—just the sort of global approach you’d expect on the Lower East Side’s preeminent restaurant row.
30 Clinton St., nr. Stanton St.; 212-228-0073


Takeout
Daisy May’s BBQ USA
Adam Perry Lang has made a deliciously down-home mark on Manhattan’s street-cart landscape, but truth be told, man cannot live by Texas chili and pulled pork alone. Lang’s new soup repertoire is a refreshing change of pace—especially his rich, creamy butternut squash with black trumpet mushrooms and the distinctly unbarbecued aroma of truffle.
Park Ave. at 47th St.; Park Ave. at 52nd St.; 40 Wall St.; Broadway at 39th St.; Sixth Ave. at 50th St.

Sides
Metropol
Plenty of New York bistros model themselves after Paris in the twenties; Metropol harks back to New York of the seventies and eighties, with photos of Andy Warhol, menus decorated with vintage Esquire magazine covers, and a late-night menu.
234 W. 4th St., at W. 10th St.; 212-206-8393

Atlantic Chip Shop
After what has seemed like a grease-bereft eternity for Brooklyn Heights fish-and-chips fans, the long-awaited Atlantic Chip Shop has finally opened, with all the deep-fried delights its Park Slope sister shop made famous. The new location is a collaboration with the Brooklyn beer bar the Gates, a match made in English-food heaven.
129 Atlantic Ave., nr. Clinton St., Brooklyn; 718-855-7775

Teany to go
Teany to go, the tiny new takeout annex of Moby's tea shop, happily delivers any of its 98 unsteeped brews and vegetarian snacks and desserts.
92 Rivington St., nr. Orchard St.; 212-260-4351


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