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Restaurant Openings

Week of December 3, 2007: Viñas, Le Lupanar, and Gottino.


109 S. 6th St., nr. Bedford Ave., Williamsburg; 718-782-2333
Colombia-born Mike Jaramillo is a mini-tycoon in Williamsburg, where his holdings include Sweet Farm bakery and Maxim gym. This weekend, he opens Viñas, a South Side homage to his Latin American roots as well as those of his Puerto Rican chef, Henry Lopez Jr. Spanish and Latin American wines will be offered alongside Pan-Latin-inspired fare like quail a la plancha with a reduction of chipotle, espresso bean, and honey, and the 75-seat space is furnished with salvaged wood that’s meant to send the same eco-friendly message as the recycled takeout containers they’ll pack your leftovers in.

Le Lupanar
103 Essex St., nr. Delancey St.; 212-260-2036
One of the most important things about opening a restaurant, we’re told, is choosing a name. Kieter Chan and Ian Brahmstedt, partners at Le Lupanar, slated to open this week on the Lower East Side, asked their French friends for help. “We wanted something kind of goofy, something exotic,” says Brahmstedt, and they wound up with a colloquial French word for brothel. Brahmstedt’s menu, colored by stints at San Francisco’s Jardinière and La Table, reads more refined, with dishes like braised lamb shoulder with rutabaga and baby carrot, and filet of beef in an olive jus sauce.

52 Greenwich Ave., nr. Perry St.; 212-633-2590
It’s hard in this blogged-down food world to open a joint “softly,” but that isn’t stopping Michael Bull, who unveiled his rustic enoteca (with investor Jody Williams) a week ago. The focal point of the brick-walled, candlelit space is a long bar from which comes a selection of Italian snacks divided into categories of cheese, salumi, fish, and vegetables. Despite this and a full house lapping up Italian wines, broccoli-rabe crostini, and shaved-Brussels-sprout salads the other night, Mr. Bull—seemingly taking a page out of Graydon Carter’s playbook—insists that he still isn’t “open.” “We don’t even have our awning up,” he says.


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