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Restaurant Openings

Week of December 15, 2008: Kefi, Brookvin, and Bar Breton.

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Kefi's Greek spreads.   

Kefi
505 Columbus Ave., nr. 84th St.; 212-873-0200
After two years of turning away practically pitch-fork-wielding mobs of souvlaki-starved customers they didn’t have room for, Kefi’s Michael Psilakis and Donatella Arpaia have traded up to a bigger space. Aside from 130 more seats, the new Kefi has much to offer that the old Kefi did not: namely a credit-card machine, a reservationist, brunch, lunch, and some kind of ouzo-dispensing contraption. The rustic Greek dinner menu remains intact, with the addition of several new items including a Kefi burger. And the prices remain shockingly low, with appetizers ranging from $5.95 to $9.95, and pastas and entrées from $9.95 to $16.95. There’s even a new three-course prix fixe for $16.95. Now, that’s a recession special.


Brookvin  

Brookvin
381 Seventh Ave., nr. 12th St., Park Slope; 718-768-9463
Aaron Hans might know a bit more about the wine business than most. The onetime wine salesman bought the South Slope wine shop Big Nose Full Body from its original owner three years ago, and this week he unveils a companion wine bar across the street. The selections are as eclectic as his store’s inventory and range from $6 to $14 a glass, including an $8 proprietary house red custom-blended by Sonoma’s Jake Hawkes. Chef Dave Townsend, a Savoy alum, makes his own sausage, cures salumi on premises, and offers a selection of seasonal small plates like pickled vegetables, roasted cauliflower with capers and anchovies, and a tartine of lardo, parsley salad, and truffle oil. In addition to an emphasis on half-bottles, there’s draft beer and a full bar.


Bar Breton's salmon galette.  

Bar Breton
254 Fifth Ave., nr. 28th St.; 212-213-4999
You may be tempted to call what Cyril Renaud is serving at his new Bar Breton crêpes, but you’d be wrong. These specimens are made, in the style of Renaud’s native Brittany, from buckwheat flour, which qualifies them as galettes. The casual offshoot of Renaud’s elegant Fleur de Sel traffics in galettes for breakfast, and eventually lunch, dinner, and takeout, and stuffs them with ingredients both classic and contemporary. The smoked-salmon version falls into the former camp, while the “Lower East,” an assemblage of fried eggs, chorizo, and cider-infused onions, represents the latter. All may be supplemented with small plates called “niacs,” including a baked potato with oxtail-and-escargot bourguignon, and entrées like a New York strip crusted with bone marrow and shallot confit. A good galette calls for a glass of cider, and Renaud is pouring both French and local varieties.


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