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Alex Garcia

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Varietal’s Kitchen Closes in Chelsea

Bronx: Italian pastry shop Egidio has a history steeped in family feuds, politics, and adultery; now a cannoli-wielding former owner has opened up shop nearby. [Lost City] Chelsea: Varietal has closed its dining room, though wine’s still being served at the bar. [Restaurant Girl] Great Small Works performing-arts group will host a Spaghetti Dinner this Sunday evening on the roof of the 14th Street Y. Besides bowls of garlicky pasta, ticket holders can look forward to “puppet theater [and] New Orleans brass band music.” [Blog Chelsea] Greenpoint: The Original Soup Man (a.k.a. the Soup Nazi) joins other chains on Manhattan Avenue and shocks customers by charging $9 for some selections. [Gothamist] Hell's Kitchen: Alex Garcia’s new restaurant, Gaucho Steak Co., at 752 Tenth Avenue, is now open for lunch and offering delivery. [Grub Street] Soho: Savoy’s Clambake Dinners start July 6 and run through the end of the month. [Restaurant Girl]

One Restaurant Opening This Week Isn’t Enough for Alex Garcia

These are busy days indeed for Nuevo Latino chef Alex Garcia. Having just opened Carniceria in the space formerly occupied by Porchetta, Garcia is about to open another restaurant, this one on Manhattan’s West Side. Gaucho Steak Co., which goes live today, is an Argentine steak concept based on the chef’s smaller establishment, Gaucho Steak, in Montclair, New Jersey. “In Argentina, if you want steak, they have a place called a parilla, which is just a guy behind the grill,” Garcia tells us. “He’ll make you a steak, French fries, chorizo on bread, whatever you want. It’s really casual, and that’s what we’re trying to do.” That plan seems to run counter to the fairly elaborate kind of cooking that established Garcia as an avatar of new Latin American cooking at Novo and Calle Ocho. However just as at Carniceria Garcia has found a way to express his style through the appetizers, presumably he’ll do something similar at Gaucho Steak. No Alex Garcia restaurant is ever likely to be really reminiscent of “a guy behind a grill.” Earlier: Porchetta Reborn as Carniceria, With Alex Garcia at the Helm

Porchetta Reborn as Carniceria, With Alex Garcia at the Helm

The ghost of Jason Neroni has been banished from Porchetta. The Carroll Gardens restaurant is coming back today as Carniceria, a Latin American steakhouse helmed by Novo and Calle Ocho chef Alex Garcia. Garcia’s menu will center on Uruguayan free-range beef, but he also plans on sophisticated Nuevo Latino appetizers, including oxtail empanadas with tomato escabèche and rosemary Malbec sauce, and a seviche of scallops lightly poached in white wine. “We wanted to change direction and distance ourselves from what happened with Jason,” owner Marco Rivero tells us. Carniceria will be having a soft opening between 7 and 9 p.m. tonight and will formally open this weekend. Earlier: Porchetta Survives the ‘Desperate Chef’