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Restaurant Openings

Week of February 16, 2009: Spunto and Butcher Bay.

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Spunto
65 Carmine St., nr. Seventh Ave. S. 212-242-1200
As the newest addition to the proliferating pizza chainlet that includes Gruppo, Posto, and Vezzo, Spunto shares all the requisite DNA: gold-leaf window signage, a name that ends in o, and a menu of ultra-thin-crust pizzas. The West Village outpost is equipped with 64 seats, a beer-and-wine license, a gas-fired brick oven, and entrances on both Carmine Street and Seventh Avenue South. But what most distinguishes it from other local parlors is the range of toppings and combinations, from the Shroomtown (portobello, shiitake, button mushrooms, white-truffle oil) to ChixPotle (chipotle chicken, pineapple, and cilantro).


Butcher Bay
511 E. 5th St., nr. Ave. A 212-260-1333
If ever there were a pair of restaurateurs who’d been run through the wringer, it would be Jason Hennings and Bob Giraldi, the team behind the beleaguered now-open, now-shuttered, now-open-again, now-shuttered-probably-for-good-this-time E.U. They’ve joined forces with another hard-luck restaurateur Adam Cohn (of the late, lamented Seymour Burton) presumably to commiserate and swap war stories, but also to open Butcher Bay in the old Seymour space. The dining room has been gutted: Where once there was a communal table, now there’s a bar and a raw bar with some salvaged marble from the Kurowycky butcher shop. The menu reads part fish-shack (oyster chowder, fried clam bellies, lobster) but also delves into mid-Atlantic Americana and beyond with boiled blue crabs, oyster po’ boys, shrimp hush puppies, and chili dogs. And it looks like Cohn’s beloved Maryland-style fried chicken (which he had once hoped to sell from a takeout window at Seymour Burton) has finally made the cut.


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