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Sea Change

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Few New Yorkers venture to South Street Seaport for dinner (the captive tourist audience is another story). But with the fish market gone, Calatrava’s cubes on the horizon, and the impending greening of the waterfront, the little enclave Realtors are calling Seaport North is attracting a new wave of restaurants and bars that are setting up shop alongside historic haunts like Carmine’s and Bridge Cafe. Entrepreneurs, drawn by Front Street’s potential to become the next Stone Street (and by the well-heeled, and presumably hungry tenants of 96 new luxury rentals at Historic Front Street), are bringing estate-grown wines, buffalo mozzarella, and Fair Trade coffee to a neighborhood Joseph Mitchell would barely recognize. A preview of the new culinary landscape.


(Map by Steve Murray.)  

1. Salud! Restaurant & Bar
142 Beekman St., at Front St.; 212-566-2220
A tropical touch of Miami Beach a block away from the chain-store-glutted Seaport, Salud! specializes in Pan-Latino tapas and mixes the best caipirinha south of Chambers Street.

2. Stella Maris
213–217 Front St., at Beekman St.
Dublin-born, London-trained Darren Pettigrew, onetime chef at Ulysses on Stone Street, combined two adjacent spaces to create a French-doored breakfast nook, a black-onyx raw bar, and a dining room where he’ll serve (by August, he hopes) a seasonal, modern European menu with a gastropub touch or two: Think black sole imported from Ireland, not corned beef and cabbage.

3. Carmine’s
140 Beekman St., at Front St. 212-962-8606
Not to be confused with the uptown pasta emporiums, this decrepit red-sauce relic caters almost exclusively to a caterwauling tourist crowd but is not without its charms. Heaping platters of seafood come with an iceberg-lettuce salad and a sloppy plate of spaghetti that, truth be told, kind of hits the spot.

4. Il Brigante
214 Front St., nr. Beekman St.
Calabria native Venanzio Pasubio aims to open his trattoria-pizzeria, whose name he translates as “lonely mountain person,” by August. His thin-crust pizzas will be baked in a wood-burning brick oven and sold by the pie, along with antipasti, baked pasta, and seafood.

5. Jack’s Stir Brew
222 Front St., nr. Beekman St.
Everyone’s favorite Greenwich Village actor/philosopher/ sustainable-coffee-bean advocate Jack Mazzola brings his patented stir-brew technology (plus Ronnybrook Farm yogurt, Keeper Springs water, and vegan scones) down to Front Street this summer. Loyal coffee-geek groupies to follow.


6. Bin No. 220
220 Front St., nr. Beekman St. 212-374-9463
The owners of this new wine bar—a more sedate scene than Jeremy’s Ale House up the block—have very different tastes in wine, so they’ve organized their list accordingly: How Sandy’s choices stack up against Calli’s is for you to decide.

7. Barbarini Alimentari
225 Front St., nr. Beekman St. 212-227-8890
Starting this week, Pepe Rosso alums Claudio Marini (Caffè Linda) and Stefano Barbagallo (Paprika) sell upscale Italian groceries from burrata to speck, plus prepared foods like fava-and-pecorino salad, spaghetti alla chitarra, and open-faced veal tonnato sandwiches for takeout and catering.

8. SUteiSHI
236 Front St., at Peck Slip
Victor Chan already has two Seaport businesses—A Bite to Eat, “Home of the Slamwich,” and a remarkably versatile cyber-cigar-coffee-beer bar. His new sushi bar, which he hopes to open by September, will offer heart-shaped rolls, a Pan-Asian snack menu, and outdoor seating.

9. Nelson Blue
235 Front St., at Peck Slip
Unless his partner objects, Puck Fair bartender Paulie Morgan will name their New Zealand restaurant and bar after his antipodean hometown, Nelson, on the tip of the South Island. By the end of the year, they expect to be serving Marlborough whites, Hawkes Bay reds, and Kiwi-inspired seafood and game.

10. Pasanella and Son Vintners
115 South St., nr. Beekman St. 212-233-8383
The pet project of the architect who lives upstairs, this stylish wine shop arranges bottles by the kind of food you’d eat with them (pizza, barbecue), and displays its rosé selection in the open trunk of a vintage Ferrari.

11. Table Tales Cafe
243 Water St., nr. Peck Slip; 212-766-2370
A local catering company plans to open this BYO comfort-food café adjacent to the Seamen’s Church Institute, serving barbecued-brisket sandwiches and salt-and-pepper soft-shell crabs, after July 4.

12. Meade’s
22 Peck Slip, nr. Water St.
After three decades keeping the neighborhood awash in Styrofoam buckets of beer, Jeremy’s Ale House owner Jeremy Holin invests in china and stemware for his second spot, a comparatively posh raw-bar-and-seafood restaurant around the corner. Within a week or two, Holin hopes to be operating “the kind of place where people can bring a client for lunch.”


13. Quartino
21 Peck Slip, at Water St.; 212-349-4433
A rustic oak-planked home-away-from-home for its expat Italian owners, their friends, and anyone else seeking a place to celebrate the good life, Italian style, which of course involves wine doled out by the bottle or the quartino, as well as prosciutto, pasta, pizza, and gelato.


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