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Restaurant Openings and Buzz

Week of July 1, 2005: Annona. Plus, innovative pizza pickings.


Sara Jenkins at Annona  

Cars and food have had a long and complicated relationship, from the Michelin Guide to the American drive-through. But rarely has their conjunction seemed as arbitrary as it does at Annona, a new Italian-inspired restaurant built above, and by the owners of, a new Hamptons car dealership. On the ground floor, Manhattan Motorcars of the Hamptons sells Bentleys and Ferraris; upstairs, it traffics in fried blowfish tails and slow-poached duck breast with farro and lovage, prepared by chef Sara Jenkins, late of 50 Carmine and Patio Dining. Jenkins, known for her devotion to local and seasonal produce, has no doubt scoped out all the East End farm stands, and plans to harvest herbs and vegetables from her own kitchen garden. And even though culinary adviser Zak Pelaccio, who helped envision the restaurant and drafted Jenkins, will be too preoccupied with his 5 Ninth duties to spend much time at Annona, he has ensured that its menu is properly larded with pork, from pancetta in the artichokes to pork belly with the guinea hen—not to mention the 24-month-old prosciutto with peas. As at 5 Ninth, the cocktail list is compiled by Dave Wondrich, and combines Italian classics with spirited new concoctions.
112 Riverhead Rd., nr. Rogers Ave. Ext., Westhampton Beach, N.Y. 631-288-7766

Pizzas and Herb
When a polished chef like Waldy (Beacon) Malouf sets out to reinvent the slice joint, he doesn’t stop at creatively topped pizzas. “I wanted to evolve the condiment counter, too,” he says. So where you’d normally find a crusty old sugar shaker filled with garlic powder, at Waldy’s Wood Fired Pizza & Penne, you get fresh herbs sprouting forth from a window-box-size planter. Customers wielding garden clippers snip away at fragrant basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme. So far, basil is hands-down the favorite accoutrement. “Everyone I know is growing basil for me in their back gardens and in their windows,” says Malouf. “That’s how we’ve been replenishing the supply.”
800 Sixth Ave., nr. 27th St.; 212-213-5042.


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