5 & Diamond
2072 Frederick Douglass Blvd., nr. 112th St.; 646-684-4662
Ryan Skeen, late of Allen & Delancey, has found a new home at the 5 & Diamond in Harlem, where he’s a partner. “This is the first restaurant where I haven’t been constrained by any other owners’ concepts of what I should do,” he says. What this means for the Mediterranean-leaning American menu is that everything on it, from shrimp-and-grits hush puppies to rabbit-and-ratatouille sausage, is the stuff Skeen likes to eat himself. There is housemade pasta, lamb cassoulet, and a burger made from a blend of beef cheek, flap steak, and pork fatback. Skeen’s partners, Lia Sanfilippo and Selene Martinez, are first-time restaurateurs who live in the neighborhood and hope to use the 35-seat former hardware shop as a vehicle for community activism, via cooking classes and other projects. “We don’t want to be just a great restaurant, we want to be a very conscious restaurant,” says Skeen.
6th St Kitchen
507 E. 6th St., nr. Ave. A; 212-477-4649
After a fifteen-year run in the East Village, the Pan-Asian pioneer O.G. closed in 2008. One of its partners, Chris Genoversa, kept the space and has leisurely been replacing kitchen equipment, ripping out beams and floors, and contemplating what New Yorkers are hungry for in 2010. His conclusion, which debuted quietly last week, is 6th St Kitchen— “very homespun, very simple,” with multiculti comfort food and a three-for-$18 assortment of small plates, including baba ghannouj, housemade chorizo, and two kinds of meatballs (lamb with garlic-yogurt sauce, Calabrese-pork-and-veal). It’s dinner-only to start, with beer and wine, but Genoversa plans to expand into all-day service, with a lunch menu ranging from fish tacos to cheesesteak.
And… The short-lived Civetta reopens as Kenmare, with new partners Paul Sevigny and Nur Khan and a Mediterranean-American menu from Little Owl’s Joey Campanaro (along with his signature meatball sliders). Also: cocktails from Charlotte Voisey, housemade cannoli, and cookies based on recipes from various staff members’ grandmas (98 Kenmare St., nr. Cleveland Pl.; 212-274-9898).... The long-awaited arrival of Zak Pelaccio’s Fatty ’Cue brings Asian-American barbecue to Williamsburg’s South Side, where pitmaster Robbie Richter is smoking everything from pineapple to crab. Also on the menu: clams with bacon and bone broth (pictured), plus vegetables like the ’Cue Crudite, “to promote health and rapid transit” (91 S. 6th St., nr. Berry St., Williamsburg; 718-599-3090).... We have yet to see a Michael “Bao” Huynh restaurant open on time, but d.o.b. 111 just might (call ahead). With his partners in OBAO, Huynh has transformed the former Australian Homemade into a destination for crispy quail with spicy chives biscuit, kaffir-lime duck confit, and all-day brunch fare like green-tea French toast (115 St. Marks Pl., nr. Ave. A; 212-228-2500).