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After a quiet Thanksgiving week, restaurant openings picked up pace this week, presumably in order to welcome crowds for the holidays. Here’s a list of 10 brand, spanking new spots.
Eli’s Table (1413 Third Avenue, 212-717-9798)
Eli Zabar launched a restaurant in the old Taste space adjacent to Eli’s Market this Wednesday; the team is calling it a “market-to-table eatery,” citing dishes made from ingredients sourced from the market. The dinner menu, crafted by chefs John Carr and Montezuma Garcia, includes items like Eli’s rooftop greens with Banyuls vinaigrette, lamb shank with polenta and fall root vegetables, and charred prime shell steak with pommes frites.
Nick’s Pizzabar (365 Third Avenue, 646-918-6553)
Murray Hill’s Grace, the cocktail bar that featured a list from some of the city’s most formidable female bartenders, became Nick’s Pizzabar this week, where pizzaiolo Nick Angelis is turning out thin crust pies (though you can also get old fashioned square, too). Nick’s is also serving a massive run of pastas and Italian entrees in addition to the pizzas — spaghetti and meatballs, manicotti, and veal parmesan all make the list.
Neapolitan Express (232 East 111th Street)
Max Crespo’s midtown food truck becomes a first brick-and-mortar location today in East Harlem — and a second Wall Street location opens next week. Crespo’s truck is known for it’s eco-friendly approach, and he’s carried that ethos over to his permanent addresses, using reclaimed materials for the decor. Look for a menu of pizza, pasta, and salads.
Doughnut Plant (245 Flatbush Avenue)
Doughnut Plant continues its expansion with its first Brooklyn location, which opened its doors on Flatbush Avenue in Prospect Park on Wednesday. The company’s blog talks a bit about the design of this new space, which aimed to preserve the historical aspects of the building. “Even the bathroom is a tribute to the building’s history, covered in tin tiles we salvaged from the original space,” it says. And so you have another address from which you can get your creme brulee or peanut butter and jelly doughnut fix, plus a decent cup of coffee.
Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong (319 Fifth Avenue, 212-966-9839)
This LA-originated (and Jonathan Gold-praised) Korean barbecue restaurant opened a Manhattan location on Monday, which operates independently from the original eatery and a Flushing outpost that has been in operation for some time. Deuki Hong, a Jean Georges and Momofuku alum, is helming the burners here; look for traditional Korean barbecue fare, like short ribs and pork collar, and appetizers like a seafood pancake and stir-fried squid with noodles.
Mu Ramen (12-09 Jackson Avenue, Queens; 917-868-8903)
This long-anticipated Long Island City ramen shop flung open its doors on Tuesday. This is the permanent outpost of owners Joshua and Heidi Smookler’s pop-up, which they shut down after New York Times critic Pete Wells praised it — it became so crowded, they couldn’t sustain it. Look for a 16-hour tonkotsu and UniPo, an uni porridge topped with salmon roe, roasted seaweed, and shaved white Alba truffles. And expect a wait at the door.
Maglia Rosa (2 Fourth Place, Brooklyn; 347-227-7643)
Located in Carroll Gardens, Magila Rosa is part bike shop, part café. Swing by to get your bike fixed, and while you wait you can grab a cappuccino, pastry, or panini. Maglia Rosa is now open daily. — Jessica Lee
The Finch (212 Greene Avenue, Brooklyn)
Gabe McMackin’s The Finch opened yesterday in a 120-year-old Brownstone in Brooklyn. The Gramercy Tavern and Roberta’s alum is cooking up a seasonally-rotating American menu, and diners will find entrees such as oil poached hake with clams, mussels, winter vegetable and turnip chowder, and squid ink spaghetti with red shrimp, Brussels sprouts, saffron, and basil. The Finch is open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday. — Jessica Lee
Xi’an Famous Foods (648 Manhattan Avenue)
Xi’an’s Greenpoint address opens Saturday, December 6, and it’s offering a free noodle or burger to diners who follow it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Weibo. The shop is serving old Xi’an favorites, including hand-pulled noodles and lamb burgers, and come summer time, you’ll be able to enjoy the food in the restaurant’s backyard seating.
Espoleta (334 Bowery)
Suenos chef Sue Torres is the ongoing consulting chef for this Spanish restaurant that opened December 4 in the former Forcella space. Her new menu includes seasonal croquettes, green chorizo, celery root gratin, tamarind glazed steak, tostadas, and octopus. The crew plans to offer a Meatless Monday menu and a pintxos happy hour, too.