Open & Closed--Say Hello to Locanda Verde; Goodbye to Union Prime (Er, Steak Frites... Er, No, Union Prime)

Robert De Niro isn't too broken up over the closing of Ago, especially now that a new Andrew Carmellini-cheffed restaurant has opened up in its place. Locanda Verde will feature affordable rustic Italian dishes like gigantoni with shrimp meatballs, gabagool with broccoli rabe bread, and fire-roasted garlic chicken for two. The place will open at 7 am for pastries and espresso, and will serve up Carmellini's signature Sardinian sheep's milk ricotta. For dinner, why not go family-style with la grande abbuffata (the big pig-out). [Eater]

New York Ranger Sean Avery took time out from losing the Stanley Cup to open a sports bar with Matt Abramcyck (who took time out from fighting to reopen the Beatrice Inn, which he owns along with Smith & Mills). The walls are adorned with framed photos of great Rangers, a lit goalie's mask marks the entrance, and five flatscreen TVs are hidden behind retractable screens. Pints of beer are listed alongside wines by the glass on the menu. [Observer]

Joaquin Baca, David Chang's original co-chef and partner at Momofuku, Ssam Bar, and Ko, has struck out on his own with The Brooklyn Star in Williamsburg. Serving up takes on southern American comfort like the much talked-about Dr. Pepper pork ribs, the restaurant's centerpiece is a 110-year-old wood-fired oven. [The Feed]

Sometimes, restaurants--like people--can suffer identity crises. And that is precisely the case with the Union Square establishment that was formerly known as Steak Frites, and even more formerly known as Cafe Society. Rumor has it that the place has closed again to reopen as, get this: Steak Frites! The current Steak Frites in the West Village will soon be replaced by American comfort-food joint, Lucy Browne's. [Grub Street]


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