By: Hailey Eber and Beth Landman | New York Post
Épicerie Boulud oysters (left), Mario Batali’s (bottom right) Eataly and Minamoto Kitchoan sweets (top right) are coming to FiDi. Photo: Paul Wagtouicz; Joe Kohen/WireImage; Liz Sullivan
With the opening of 1 World Trade Center, and a boatload of new restaurants debuting to feed the tower’s tenants, the Financial District is cementing itself as a dining destination in 2015.
The World Financial Center — now known as Brookfield Place (200 Vesey St.) — expands its culinary offerings with the opening of Northern Tiger, a market-driven Chinese spot from Yunnan Kitchen, in the Hudson Eats food court later this month. Two sit-down restaurants, Parm and tapas spot Amada, will follow in the spring.
And things really get kicking in late March, with the grand opening of Le District, a 30,000-square-foot French marketplace with a classic brasserie, a chef’s counter for fine dining, a chocolate mousse bar and a massive outdoor terrace overlooking the water — call it the Francophile’s answer to Eataly. “It’s just superexciting,” enthuses Peter Poulakakos, the restaurateur behind the project.
Speaking of Eataly, it’s also coming to the Financial District. A 50,000-square-foot branch of the Italian emporium is set to open this summer at 4 World Trade Center, anchoring the WTC food offerings, which will also include Épicerie Boulud, Beer Table, Japanese sweets purveyor Minamoto Kitchoan and more.
Elsewhere down south, the historic Pier A Harbor House (22 Battery Place) is transforming into an eating and drinking hub. A first-floor beer hall, Mix, just opened, and a restaurant and more bars are set to open in the spring.
In recent years, French has been the fad, but with a number of new Spanish spots opening, 2015 is more about patatas than pommes.
Sue Torres, known for her Mexican fare at Rocking Horse Cafe, and pizzaiolo Giulio Adriani have just opened Espoleta (334 Bowery, 212-466-3300), a tapas spot with both Mexican and Italian influences — pan con tomate with burrata, a pork chop braised in Negro Modelo and ancho chilies.
In the spring, Iron Chef Jose Garces will bring his popular Philadelphia tapas restaurant Amada to Brookfield Place (200 Vesey St.). Expect elegant takes on classics like patatas bravas, special cuts of jamón ibérico that Garces promises will “just melt in your mouth” and empanadas inspired by the Ecuadorian-born Garces’ grandmother.
And, not quite Spanish but also on the Iberian peninsula, Aldea chef George Mendes will open a not-yet-named Portuguesse spot (835 Sixth Ave.) in the spring.
The fancy-comfort-food pendulum in 2015 is swinging away from fried chicken and barbecue and back to good ol’ pizza — well, more like good new pizza.
In a portion of the space that once housed Forcella on the Bowery, Neapolitan pizza master Giulio Adriani is opening SRO (334 Bowery), a pizza “speakeasy” accessed with a password (available at sropizza.com) and through a secret door within Espoleta, a tapas and wine bar.
The spot, which opens Friday, will have just 24 seats, and serve the fried Montanara pizza Adriani is famous for, along with experimental pies. “I am developing a recipe for a chicken-skin pizza that I think is going to be really great,” he enthuses.
Elsewhere in the East Village, chefs Dave Gulino and Justin Slojkowski, who earned critical raves for the tasting menu they did out of coffee spot Box Kite last year, plan to open Bruno Pizza (204 E. 13th St.) in late February, with restaurant designer Demian Repucci onboard.
In a twist from the usual import-everything-from-Italy ethos, the restaurant is sourcing all products domestically, and even looking to mill its own flour. “Bruno is going to be a modern American interpretation of Neapolitan pizza and pasta,” says Repucci. Gulino and Slojkowski also plan to offer a chef’s counter down the line.
Meanwhile, Donatella Arpaia has just opened Prova (184 Eighth Ave.) in the Chelsea spot that housed her namesake pizzeria, which closed a year ago. This time, she’s got Maurizio de Rosa from Sushi Nakazawa as a partner, pizzas with unexpected toppings like uni, and more rustic interiors.
And even the new Mission Chinese (171 East Broadway) has a classic Margherita pie on the menu. The space already had a pizza oven, so they figured, why not?
After abruptly leaving La Grenouille last spring, the city’s host with the most, Charles Masson, is back with Chevalier (20 W. 53rd St.), a new restaurant in the Baccarat Hotel, set to open directly across from MoMA in March.
Masson’s kitchen counterpart is chef Shea Gallante, who earned three stars at Cru. The pair plan a French menu with dishes like chicken grand-mère, which La Grenouille patrons will recognize, and modernized offerings such as a vegetarian bouillabaisse.
“We’ve selected a bunch of iconic classics, and some we’ve updated,’’ explains Gallante. “I’ve configured French onion soup into a velouté, then added soft caramelized Gruyere croutons and poached cipollini onions.’’
The interiors are an elegant mix of blue velvet curtains, a flame-colored onyx centerpiece and white zinc tables. At the back is an intimate area divided by a 19th-century French screen, which will be reserved at dinner for a chef’s tasting menu. “There will be four courses based on a theme,’’ Masson explains. “It will be structured, but also spontaneous.”
With Carbone in 2013 and Dirty French in 2014, Major Food Group has had two back-to-back hits, and Rich Torrisi, Mario Carbone and Jeff Zalaznick have no plans to slow down.
On Monday, the downtown darlings will open Santina (820 Washington St., 212-254-3000) underneath the High Line, focusing on coastal Italian, with mostly fish and veggies on the menu. “This style of food is naturally a lighter style of cuisine that we are very excited about,” says Zalaznick.
In May, the gang will finally open Sadelle’s in Soho (address TBA), an artisanal bagel shop with master baker Melissa Weller. They also plan to debut two new locations of their casual chain, Parm, in the first half of the year in Battery Park (250 Vesey St.) and Williamsburg (162 N. Fourth St.).
And, later in the fall, they’ll open a new spot in the old Torrisi Italian Specialities (250 Mulberry St.) space, which closed Jan. 1. “It will have 15 seats and an emphasis on fine dining from an a la carte perspective” is all Zalaznick will say.
Ralph Lauren’s new boîte, The Polo Bar (1 E. 55th St., 212-207-8562), opens Friday, and it looks just as you’d expect, with wood paneling, aged leather banquettes, fireplaces and horsey paintings creating a clubbish warmth.
The menu features burgers and steaks, some of which will be sourced from beef from the designer’s ranch in Colorado, and there’s a good chance the staff might be dressed better than you.
Chef Sepp Stoner, who worked at the Arlington Club, will also whip up crispy kale salad and crab cakes, among other selections, while coffee ice cream will be homemade with Ralph Lauren’s own bean blend.
Lincoln Square Steak: The Upper West Side finally gets a classic steakhouse, with nine cuts of beef aged on premises, an extensive seafood selection and 30 wines under $30. 208 W. 70th St.; 212-875-8600; January
Monte-Carlo NYC: Linda Evangelista has already booked a dinner party at this new French boîte from Alexandra Pollet, formerly of the Waldorf Astoria. 181 E. 78th St.; 646-863-3465; January
The Ribbon: The Bromberg brothers of the Blue Ribbon empire are opening a 200-seat American brasserie. 20 W. 72nd St.; February
ABC Home Grown: Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s vegetarian farm-to-table addition to his ABC empire is due to finally open. 38 E. 19th St.; spring
Hunt & Fish Club: With 50,000 pounds of marble decorating its two levels, this new steakhouse is going after the hedge fund crowd. 125 W. 44th St.; 212-575-4949; January
La Goulue: Jean Denoyer’s quintessential socialite hangout reopens in a slightly larger location just a few blocks south of its original perch. 29 E. 61st St., spring
Little Sal’s: Gently priced, generously portioned old school Italian-American from Andrew Silverman of City Lobster and L’Express. 10 E. 16th St.; 212-243-1616; January
Loi Estiatorio: Maria Loi, the “Martha Stewart of Greece’,” opens a casual spot serving her healthy, Mediterranean fare. 132 W. 58th St.; January
Oxido: San Antonio chef Jesse Perez brings authenticity to fast-casual Mexican. 18 W. 23rd St.; February
Rouge Tomate: The stylish, healthy restaurant left its sprawling 60th Street home for a new, more intimate Flatiron location. 126-8 W. 18th St.; 646-237-8977; fall
Zuma: The ninth location of the posh, London-based Japanese megarestaurant. 261 Madison Ave.; January
Café Clover: Lambs Club restaurateur David Rabin is teaming up with Jeff Kadish, Kyle Hotchkiss Carone and chef David Standridge, an alum of L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. 10 Downing St.; winter
Dirt Candy: Amanda Cohen will finally get a real kitchen with two ovens and a grill at the new incarnation of her haute veggie mecca. 86 Allen St.; 212-228-7732; January
Rebelle: The Pearl and Ash crew have joined forces with chef Daniel Eddy of reknowned Paris restaurant Spring. 218 Bowery; spring
Sessanta: Downtown scenemaker John McDonald is going coastal Italian with his new place next to his fashionista-packed bar, the Gordon, in the Soho Hotel. 60 Thompson St.; March
Stanton Street Kitchen: Former “21” chef Erik Blauberg is behind this ambitious gastropub. 178 Stanton St.; 917-963-6000; now open
Untitled: When the Whitney’s new building opens in the Meatpacking District this spring, it will have a vegetable-driven Danny Meyer restaurant with Gramercy Tavern chef Michael Anthony in the kitchen. 99 Gansevoort St.; May
BLVD Wine Bar: The Queens wine bar has vino on tap for a mere $6 per glass and finger foods such as sliders, cheese and charcuterie. 4720 Center Blvd., Long Island City; 718-440-8520; now open
Ganso Yaki: Chef Tadashi Ono and cookbook author Harris Salat will serve fare inspired by Japanese street food and an extensive collection of craft beers and artisan small batch sakes. 515 Atlantic Ave., Downtown Brooklyn; 718-403-0900; February
Khemistry Bar: New American dishes like orange zest pork chops in a vintage apothecary setting. 216 Malcolm X Blvd., Bed-Stuy; 347-715-6458; January
Streets: This international eatery will serve and celebrate street food from countries all around the globe. 53 Broadway, Williamsburg; January