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Restaurant Openings

Week of March 3, 2008: Terroir, The Mercury Dime, and Burger Shoppe.


Photographs by Nick Atlas  

413 E. 12th St., nr. First Ave.; 646-602-1300
Marco Canora and Paul Grieco, partners at Hearth and Insieme, expand their domain this week with Terroir, a 24-seat wine bar down the street from Hearth. For the occasion, Canora is reviving some of the Italian snacks he concocted at Craftbar, like his sausage-stuffed sage leaves and a signature panino of duck ham with hen-of-the-woods mushrooms and taleggio. He also promises veal-ricotta meatballs; turkey wings agrodolce; braised rabbit leg with tomato, black olive, and polenta; and white anchovies with pickled onions (pictured). As for the wine list, grape nut Grieco has selected international bottles that best express their terroir—that ineffable quality that connotes the juncture of place, culture, climate, soil, and any other factor that contributes to a wine’s distinctive essence.

The Mercury Dime
246 E. 5th St., nr. Second Ave.; 212-533-3295
Sasha Petraske and T.J. Siegal, West Village natives and friends since Stuyvesant High School, haven’t started their workday at 6 a.m. since—well, probably ever. As veterans of the hospitality industry (Petraske as owner of the trendsetting Milk & Honey cocktail lounge, Siegal as a former bar manager, fromager, and waiter at Alto, Picholine, and L’Impero), their biological clocks are set just a tad later. But this week, look for a bleary-eyed Siegal manning the Faema E61 espresso machine at the Mercury Dime, the partners’ new East Village coffee bar. Despite Siegal’s intensive study of the local caffeine scene and his procurement of a custom blend from Queens-based Dallis Coffee, the Dime didn’t start out as a coffee bar. It wasn’t until the nightlife-wary neighborhood nixed the plan to open a wine bar that the café idea took hold. But even if East Fifth Street comes to realize that a fastidiously curated selection of European wines and cheeses poses no imminent threat, auditory or otherwise, Siegal plans to continue operating the café by day, with free Wi-Fi and a small menu of pastries and made-to-order sandwiches.

Burger Shoppe
30 Water St., nr. Broad St.; 212-425-1000
It’s a well-established fact that as the economy sputters, comfort food soars. Which is why the opening of Burger Shoppe couldn’t be better timed. Glum Wall Streeters can now take solace in $4 burgers, two-for-$5 hot dogs, and buttermilk-batter onion rings. A two-in-one burger concept, the Shoppe’s ground floor is done up like an old soda fountain, with twelve stools and a Formica counter. The second floor is more P.J. Clarke’s than Peach Pit, with its vintage bar and trendy bar menu (bone marrow on toast!). This being the financial district, there are big deals: The 100-burger “party monster” requires only one hour’s notice and goes for $365. Now that’s a stimulus package.


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