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Restaurant Openings

Week of December 6, 2010: Edi & the Wolf, Goat Town, and Compose.

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Edi & the Wolf  

Edi & the Wolf
102 Ave. C, nr. 7th St. 212-598-1040
The inspiration for Edi & the Wolf, a new downtown spot from Seäsonal partners and Viennese expats Eduard Frauneder and Wolfgang Ban, is the traditional eastern Austrian wine tavern known as a Heuriger. Ban defines this type of establishment as “a very rustic restaurant usually connected to a winery that serves very simple dishes,” and although his new spot lacks the requisite winery, it does feature an extensive array of Central European varieties like Riesling, Rotgipfler, and Grüner Veltliner. Accompanying them are plates of classic Austrian comfort food, from pork schnitzel and pickled sardines to variously topped flatbreads baked in a pizza oven installed by the previous tenant. As for the space, designed by architect Philipp Haemmerle, it’s as handsome and rustic as Alphabet City Heurigerscome, with a pair of Victorian military boots turned into flower vases and some 40-odd feet of old rope, salvaged from a church bell tower and artfully looped above the distressed-copper bar.


Goat Town
511 E. 5th St., nr. Ave. A 212-687-3641
Former Cookshop colleagues Joel Hough and Nicholas Morgenstern reunite to open this American bistro named for the Anglo-Saxon term from which Gotham derives. The sustainable, farm-to-table philosophy is in full force: on the menu, which features seasonal fare like autumn-vegetable ribollita and caramelized Romanesco cauliflower; in the garden, which will eventually provide herbs and vegetables, to be pickled and preserved; and in the décor, by Greenpoint-based hOmE, the brothers behind the rustically reclaimed looks of Manhattan Inn and Paulie Gee’s. A central oyster bar will dispense seafood towers and fried oysters, and happy-hour specials include a $14 grass-fed burger and a can of beer.


Compose's poached diver scallop.  

Compose
77 Worth St., nr. Broadway; 212-226-1444
Jodi Richard made a splash in new-wave coffee circles last January by installing New York’s first Slayer espresso machine in her coffee bar, RBC NYC. This week, she expands her Tribeca fiefdom with Compose, a restaurant that resembles, in its ambition and scale, precursors like Brooklyn Fare and Momofuku Ko. Only ten seats a night are available for chef Nick Curtin’s multicourse tasting menu, which features ingredients like jamón Ibérico steaks and cocoa-butter-poached lobster, and runs from $100 to $150; reservations must be made at Opentable.com. Same-day reservations may be booked by phone for the remaining twenty seats, at which guests may order bar snacks and $15 “dialogue-based” cocktails, tailored to customers’ preferences and assembled with hand-carved ice from the Queens studio that supplies Ssäm Bar and Weather Up. The iPad wine list offers roughly three dozen grower Champagnes, and coffee, should you desire it, can be made by siphon, Chemex, or pour-over.

AND … Ingrid Roettele closed her Swiss-German restaurant Roettele AG eight years ago and returned to Germany, but was lured back by former East Village neighbor Christos Valtzoglou of Pylos to cook at his new Heartbreak. Roettele, who went through 200 pounds of cheese a week in her fondue heyday, will revive that signature, plus doughy delicacies like maultaschen and schupfnudeln (29 E. 2nd St., at Second Ave.; 212-777-2502) Michael Psilakis has once again reinvented the space that was Onera, then Kefi, and finally Gus & Gabriel, this time as Fish Tag. At the so-called seafood parlor, Psilakis collaborates with chef Ryan Skeen on dishes like a baccalà-and-skordalia brandade “melt,” paccheri with braised sepia, and an array of cheese, cured meat, and “appetizing,” including a smoked-salmon “vertical” (222 W. 79th St., nr. Broadway; 212-362-7470).


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