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Restaurant Openings

Week of October 8, 2007: Allen & Delancey, and Primehouse New York.


Allen & Delancey
115 Allen St., at Delancey St.; 212-253-5400
This time last year, British chef Neil Ferguson was gearing up for his American debut at Gordon Ramsay at the London, and Akhtar Nawab was anticipating firing up the stoves at Allen & Delancey, his first high-profile post-Craftbar gig. Things fall apart, though, especially in the restaurant world. Allen & Delancey was indefinitely postponed, Nawab ended up at the E.U., and Ferguson, ignominiously dismissed from his post in March, has found a new patron: real-estate developer and neophyte restaurateur Richard H. Friedberg, who also owns Allen & Delancey. This week, the long-delayed restaurant finally opens on the Lower East Side, with a sophisticated menu that bears a likeness to the one Ferguson has implemented at Monteverde at Oldstone Manor, Friedberg’s two-room Westchester inn. Dishes combine gutsy and luxe ingredients in unexpected combinations, like ham knuckle with guinea hen and foie gras, or caramelized bone marrow with caviar. And the space itself, a lived-in, layered homage to the neighborhood’s storied immigrant past, seems an apt home for an expat Englishman.

Primehouse New York
381 Park Ave. S., at 27th St.; 212-824-2600
Every steakhouse needs a shtick, and at Primehouse New York, the newest addition to Stephen Hanson’s B.R. Guest empire, it’s the beef. Or rather, it’s the bull: Prime 207L, to be precise, the company-owned Black Angus that’s the genetic source of all the steaks that end up on Primehouse tables, from a $30 hanger to the $49 bone-in Kansas City sirloin. Unlike the original outpost, which Hanson launched with David Burke in Chicago, this one is supervised by Burke understudy Jason Miller, who seems to have inherited some of his mentor’s quirks. There’s the Himalayan rock salt used to tile the aging room, for starters. Then there’s the whimsically named menu items, like “Kobe Tootsie Rolls,” and the over-the-top preparations like truffle Asiago fries and seven-layer red-velvet fudge cake with malt-crunch ice cream. And as at all Hanson restaurants, there are mixologist Eben Klemm’s cocktails, like the habanero-infused Scotch Bonnet.


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