Zibetto Espresso Bar
It takes nerve to open an espresso bar across the street from Starbucks—especially an inconspicuous nook without drip coffee, free wi-fi, or even seats. But Anastasio Nougos, who moved here from his native Sweden to open Zibetto, is relying on his readily apparent strengths: pulling and serving the hands-down best espresso drinks we’ve had in recent memory. Trained at Sosta in Stockholm and devoted to his craft, Nougos serves Danesi-brand coffee in ceramic cups, each with a glass of ice water, at a stand-up white-tiled marble bar. Pressed panini, Italian sodas, and mini pastries round out the menu, but Zibetto’s draw is its exquisitely rich, smooth coffee, and Nougos’s attention to detail. For now, it’s a one-man operation, but when he hires baristas, he intends to train them for two months before they make a single drink. 1385 Sixth Ave., nr. 56th St.; no phone
Sascha Lyon must feel at home in the meatpacking district. This week, after five years cooking at Pastis, he opens his eponymous restaurant around the corner in partnership with his wife, Latoya, and his meat-wholesaling landlords, Robert and Jerry Romanoff. In a break from his recent culinary past, Lyon calls his menu classic American, with a soupçon of Eastern Europe in dishes like Wiener schnitzel and poppyseed strudel. The casual Gansevoort Room will be open all day from breakfast to late night; the upstairs dining room serves more-elaborate fare, like whole roasted Dover sole and chateaubriand for two. Determined, finally, to do things his way, Lyon calls the adjacent Sascha Bakery a sweets shop, not a boulangerie. Parker House rolls, sticky buns, and layer cakes, yes. Croissants? Maybe. 55 Gansevoort St., nr. Ninth Ave.; 212-989-1920
AND . . . On April 15, Sara Jenkins returns from an extended stint cooking above a Hamptons Ferrari dealership to take over the kitchen at Bread Tribeca.
Don’t Swivel Now, But Isn’t That Ruth Reichl Over There?
Not to take anything away from Andrew Carmellini’s superb cooking at the brand-new A Voce, but neck and neck with the braised-lamb tortellini in the compliments department are the restaurant’s swiveling Eames executive chairs. “One of my pet peeves,” says Chris Palikuca, the COO of the restaurant group that owns A Voce, “is that when I have my coffee at the end of the meal, I like to cross my legs, and I thought the swivel effect would be perfect for that.” It’s also a boon for rubberneckers looking to discreetly survey the foodie-packed room without pulling a muscle.