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Restaurant Openings

Week of June 8, 2009: Sel de Mer and Saraghina.

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Sel de Mer
374 Graham Ave., nr. Conselyea St., Williamsburg; 718-387-4181
Think of the menu at Sel de Mer, a new seafood–focused restaurant in the old Najeeb’s space, as “a Mediterranean–meets–Long Island kind of thing,” says chef-owner Jeff Slagg: whole roasted dorade and three moules-frites preparations, but also steamers, fish-cake sliders, and fish and chips. That goes double for the new bar. “I wanted it to look like an old dock,” says Slagg, who did a stint at Oceana and more recently ran the kitchen at Sweetwater. “I’m just really into the water.”


Saraghina
435 Halsey, nr. Lewis Ave., Bedford-Stuyvesant; no phone yet
Pizza continues to be all the rage among restaurateurs seeking to offer customers something they can still afford, but do not mistake Edoardo Mantelli and Massimiliano Nanni—who open Saraghina pizzeria this week—for a pair of Gianni-Come-Latelies. “It’s like a dream come true,” says Mantelli, whose day job is co-owner of the Tocca clothing brand. In Italy, according to him, children do not aspire to grow up to become firemen, astronauts, or heads of state, but rather pizzaioli. “Yes, really, every child wants to make pizza.” At Saraghina, named for a character in Fellini’s 8 1/2 that pizza will be Neapolitan in style, as taught to Mantelli by his friend Michele Iuliano of Luzzo’s in the East Village, and cooked in a wood-fired oven. Nanni also owns Piadina in Greenwich Village, and his wife, Paola Citterio, has designed Saraghina’s rustic space using mostly recycled materials. For now, it’s just pizza, salads, cured meats, cheeses, and dessert, but in the coming weeks, the team will expand the menu and the space.


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