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Restaurant Openings

Week of April 4, 2011: Love Gelato, Caffe Muzio, Ba’al Cafe and Falafel, and more.

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It might not be peak ice-cream season just yet, but that hasn’t stanched the flow of Italian-style gelato into town. Earlier this month, Love Gelato simultaneously opened a factory in the Terminal Warehouse in West Chelsea, with a retail counter coming soon (642 W. 28th St., nr. Twelfth Ave.), and a sleek West Village storefront (167 Seventh Ave. S., at Perry St.; 212-929-2870), where crêpes, Lavazza coffee, and small Italian sandwiches are offered alongside rotating flavors like yogurt and chestnut. Amorino, a burgeoning European franchise founded in 2002 by Italian partners in Paris, hopes to open its American flagship by summer in the Greenwich Village space formerly inhabited by fro-yo-swirling Recess (60 University Pl., at 10th St.). And Capogiro, Philadelphia’s locavore “Veneto style” gelateria, has yet to open a New York branch but continues to infiltrate our retail shelves; its brand-new, biodegradable pint containers have recently arrived at Foragers Market in Dumbo and Brooklyn Fare in Boerum Hill.

Thanks to his co-ownership of Jane Street’s Grounded café, you might associate Mark Greenberg with coffee. But his new retail shop, Sullivan Street Tea & Spice Company (208 Sullivan St., nr. Bleecker St.; 212-387-8702), specializes in organic teas, in addition to more than 150 spices, culinary and bath salts, herb plants, and kitchen gadgets like spice grinders and nutmeg shavers. His restoration of the onetime Triangle Social Club where Vincent “the Chin” Gigante hung his robe preserves the original mosaic-tile floors and a 1965 wall mural that Greenberg had to excavate from countless layers of cigar smoke.

Bobby Werhane resuscitates the space that previously housed his seafood spot Choptank—or at least half of it (an adjacent restaurant is forthcoming). Caffe Muzio will serve Italian bar food (bone-marrow sformato, razor-clam scapece) and cocktails made with house-infused liquor. On chef-mixologist Kevin Patricio’s roster: a michelada made with Calabrian chiles, and an amaretto-spiked egg cream called “The Died & Gone to Brooklyn” (310 Bleecker St., nr. Grove St.; 212-675-2009).

Named for the Semitic people’s god of food and fertility, Ba’al Cafe and Falafel will bring Middle Eastern salads and sandwiches (and—who knows?—maybe a population spurt) to Soho when it opens next month. Besides falafel on thick, puffy pita, expect za’atar bread, fattoush, stuffed zucchini, tabbouleh, and Gimme! coffee starting at 8 a.m. (71 Sullivan St., nr. Broome St.; 646-368-9957).


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