Three Restaurants That Opened in NYC This Week 10/31/2014


When one restaurant’s doors close, another’s open in fast-paced New York City, and every Friday we’ll fill you in on what opened up around town this week. This week: a gastropub in Astoria, a veggie-focused restaurant in Williamsburg, and a California-inspired spot from Stephen Starr.

Semilla, 160 Havemeyer Street #5, Brooklyn, 718-782-3474

José Ramírez-Ruiz and Pam Yung have opened Semilla, a veggie-centric restaurant in Williamsburg that channels the success of the pop-up they ran for months nearby. The small space has just a handful of counter seats, where the pair, aided by one front-of-the-house staffer, serve a $75 fixed price menu of in-season dishes. Look now for pumpkin soup — served in a tiny pumpkin — and a vegetable fall roll with rutabaga, grapefruit, mustard greens and more. Yung once operated a bread CSA, and she’s serving whole-grain baked items here, too. A recent night brought a seeded sourdough rye, delivered hot from the oven with Cow Bella butter. Semilla is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday.

The Bonnie, 29-12 23rd Avenue, Queens

Owned by the folks behind Sweet Afton and the Penrose, the Bonnie is striving to be a local Astoria watering hole. The space features two bars with a custom cocktail menu as well as an extensive menu for dinner and snacks. The gastropub focuses on staying seasonal, so expect menu changes as the weather changes.

Upland, 345 Park Avenue South, 212-686-1006

Chef Justin Smillie, formerly of Il Buco Alimentari, has partnered with restaurateur Stephen Starr to bring us Upland, a restaurant inspired by the chef’s California hometown. The cavernous space, last home to Spanish restaurant Manzanilla, is marked by a glowing wall lined with preserved lemons and wine. The menu is split into pizzas, appetizers, pastas, and entrees, and diners can expect dishes like pear pizza, crackling pork rib, and farro spaghetti served cold with Maine sea urchin. Upland is now open daily for dinner, with plans to open for lunch and brunch soon.