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Restaurant Openings & Buzz

Week of Aug. 29, 2005: Cookshop. Plus, strawberry season at the Greenmarket.

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Openings
Cookshop
Noho’s popular Five Points is known for its rustic, Greenmarket-inspired menu and its casual hominess—both of which owners Vicki Freeman and her chef-husband Marc Meyer hope to reproduce at their new Chelsea outpost, Cookshop. The glass-walled corner spot has an open kitchen equipped with a wood-burning oven, rotisserie, and grill—built, as they tend to be, by “a crazy old Italian,” according to Freeman. Meyer will use that central appliance to turn grass-fed meat, locally caught fish, and sustainably raised poultry into dishes like grilled Montauk squid with capers, lemon, and parsley, and rotisserie-roasted chicken with fire-charred fingerlings. Vegetables will be just as seasonal and local (if it’s late August, it must be heirloom tomatoes, above), and fish will be cured in-house. And in a canny bit of design, the bar faces the window, making for convenient West Chelsea people-watching.
156 Tenth Ave., at 20th St.; 212-924-4440


At the Greenmarket
Strawberry Season Forever
If you, the aspiring foodie, thought the time for local strawberries had already come and gone, you, would be mistaken. Tristar—a local strawberry variety, not the movie studio—bears fruit until the first hard frost. Small and complexly sweet, Tristars are “day-neutral,” which means they’re not so dependent on long, glorious summer days, like a lot of less self-assured early-season berries. They’re also the essence of well-balanced flavor, and beloved by chefs like Blue Hill’s Dan Barber and Savoy’s Peter Hoffman (both of whom like to loiter around the Berried Treasures farmstand, one of three Union Square Greenmarket sources, including Samascott Orchards and Fantasy Fruit, that sell the berries for about $4 a pint). Until the season winds down—well into October, some years—you’ll find Tristars tarting up tarts at City Bakery, adorning cakes at Café Sabarsky, and festooning long, thin rows of deconstructed cheesecake at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Perry St.


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