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August 22, 2008

New Review Fridays: Macondo

Posted at 04:06:44 PM in At the bar, Bar buzz, Bar openings, Just opened, Lower East Side restaurants, New reviews, Restaurant openings
by Justine Goodman


We took a few weeks off, but "New Review Fridays" are back and they're here to stay. This week we review Macondo, the street eats and cocktails spot that recently opened in the space formerly occupied by the LoSide Diner.

Hits: In a festive setting, you'll snack on tasty small plates and sip affordable and insanely inventive cocktails that push the boundaries of beverages.

The design feels a bit gimmicky--think Disneyland meets a Latin republic--and if you're not taking advantage of the drinks then paying top dollar for tacos may disagree with you.

Read our full editorial review of Macondo and then peruse other New & Notable bar reviews or check out our list of spots that are too new to review (but not too new to get you hammered).

April 25, 2008

Happy ANZAC Day! Ozzie and Kiwi Eats

Posted at 03:28:48 PM in East Village restaurants, Food events, Lower East Side restaurants, Nolita restaurants, West Village restaurants, Williamsburg restaurants
by Kathleen Squires


Today is ANZAC Day--the Memorial Day of Australia and New Zealand. Why do we care? Because Down Under dining spots, like Kingswood, Eight Mile Creek and Wombat, are sure to be aflurry tonight. The Sunburnt Cow, for example, is hosting a tournament of Two-Up, an Australian coin toss game, and sister Bondi Road will supersize your cocktails tonight. Both places will be giving away free ANZAC biscuits, made of rolled oats, coconut and golden syrup. But you can keep your cookies. All I want for ANZAC day? Tickets to see Flight of the Conchords at Town Hall on May 6. Thank you so much for asking.

(Photo courtesy of HBO)

April 08, 2008

The Joy of Giant Pez

Posted at 10:23:39 AM in Eat 'n' shop, Lower East Side restaurants
by Kathleen Squires


After a mad binge on a chocolate Easter bunny recently, I was reluctant when a friend wanted to stop at Economy Candy. But the detour was soon made worthwhile when I spied not only a selection of Giant Pez, but Robot from "Lost in Space." I had to have it. It's over a foot tall, holds up to twelve packs of candy and dispenses an entire roll at a time. But the best part--when you pull back its head, it talks! Robot utters about half-a-dozen phrases from "My sensors indicate a Pez collector approaching," to "Danger, danger Will Robinson!" of course. Best $18 I ever spent.

April 07, 2008

Girl-Powered Eats at Essex Market

Posted at 03:20:29 PM in Lower East Side restaurants
by Bottomless Dish

La Tiendita means "the little store," an apt name for this new addition to Essex Market. The booth is the second "girl-made and fair-trade" spot opened by the Lower East Side Girls Club, an organization dedicated to the development of economically disadvantaged young women. Among La Tienditas offerings: the club's new "Farm Girls" brand of healthy, locally made food, including granola bars, dried spice mixes, salsa, sofrito and pesto. As a bonus for candy addicts, at the club's art center (56 East 1st Street) on April 17th (6pm-8pm), there will be a photo exhibit of candy-maker Jovya, complete with a sweets tasting.

March 28, 2008

Planning Ahead: No More Mundane Mondays

Posted at 01:07:11 PM in East Village restaurants, Food events, Lower East Side restaurants, Restaurant deals, West Village restaurants
by Kathleen Squires

Kuma_inn With all due respect to Bob Geldof and the Boomtown Rats, I do like Mondays--at least as a night to eat out. Restaurants tend to be emptier as the rest of the city recovers from the weekend and there are some great deals to take advantage of around town. Here are two to kick the week off right on 3/31.

The "Greens"--the James Beard Foundation's foodies-under-40 set--will be hosting a seven-course dinner paired with sake at Asian tapas spot Kuma Inn. Know your gingo from your daigingo alongside bites like wasabi pork shumai and adobo duck with a soy, garlic and vinegar marinade. $70 for members; $85 for non-members. Advance reservations required: (212) 627-2308.

If you're on more of a budget, The East Village's sexy snack spot, the Bourgeois Pig, sells every bottle of wine on the list $60 and under for half price on Monday nights.

March 12, 2008

New Reviews: Adour, Kuta Satay House

Posted at 01:54:56 PM in Lower East Side restaurants, Midtown restaurants, New reviews
by Bottomless Dish

(Adour's dining room; photo courtesy of Eric Laignel)

That Alain Ducasse is a smart man. For Adour--his third stab at a New York restaurant--he not only nabbed the former Lespinasse space in the St. Regis Hotel, but he also tweaked the room just enough to keep the whole affair from feeling like Dinosaur Land. That's especially true with the interactive wine bar, which, while a little silly, certainly did its job of whipping up press. Finally, prices were dropped to merely expensive (compared to his previous restaurants' astronomical prices). But how's the food, you ask? Comme ci, comme ca. Click through to read the full review, plus our take on Kuta Satay House and more new and notable restaurants. Then, take a gander at some of Ducasse's dishes--like the sweetbread "meuniere" seen below--in our Adour slideshow.


March 05, 2008

New Reviews: Dovetail, Cafe Katja

Posted at 12:37:38 PM in Lower East Side restaurants, New reviews, Upper West Side restaurants
by Bottomless Dish


Can a restaurant's decor impede your restaurant experience so much that you have trouble enjoying the food? Granted, I don't get up to the Upper West Side to eat very often so perhaps Dovetail's dining room is just something I'm not used to. Browns and beiges dominate the color scheme, and the drab carpet doesn't do much to freshen up the space. Which is a shame, because the room distracted me from some of the bold combinations that chef John Fraser (formerly of Compass) is trying on the menu--blood orange hollandaise on scallops, bacon in bread pudding. Some of those dishes worked for me while others didn't, and you can find out which by reading the full review, and also our take on the Lower East Side's Cafe Katja and more new and notable restaurants.

March 04, 2008

Chubo Closed: To Become Japanese Cafe

Posted at 10:48:03 AM in Lower East Side restaurants, Restaurant gossip, The chopping block
by Bottomless Dish

ChuboJust into the inbox: Chubo, long reported to be for sale, has finally closed up shop as of February 29. As regards the future of the space, directly from the Chubo folks: "The premise has been sold to Japanese cooking school, which will open its flagship cafe/pastry shop this summer."

February 26, 2008

Meat Marketing: LaFrieda Burgers Abound on Menus Around Town

Posted at 04:52:54 PM in Behind the scenes, Financial District restaurants, Flatiron District restaurants, Lower East Side restaurants, Restaurant gossip, West Village restaurants
by Kathleen Squires


Restaurant craze du jour: Labeling "LaFrieda burgers." This week alone, I noticed wholesaler Pat LaFrieda's patties highlighted on menus at Seymour Burton, Cooper's Tavern and Steak Frites. Though LaFrieda has been anonymously providing premier beef for years at spots including the Spotted Pig and Shake Shack, this blip of burger branding has been spurred on, no doubt, by recent props from the likes of Men's Vogue, Grub Street and all the hoopla about the beef becoming available for consumers at Market Table. Or maybe that creepy chicken on LaFrieda's Washington Street building has some sort of subliminal, hypnotic power?

February 20, 2008

New Reviews: Tre, Elote

Posted at 11:41:57 AM in Lower East Side restaurants, New reviews, Williamsburg restaurants
by Bottomless Dish


It's nice when a restaurant surprises you. With a name so generic it will prove tough to find in search engines, and a decor that dredges up the oh-so-90s aluminum chairs, Lower East Side newcomer Tre could easily have been lost in the city's overstock of Italian restaurants. And, yet, its creative twists on classic fare seem to have won our critic over in the end. The cheat sheet: "Bound for the bestseller list: Terrific pantacce, shreds of pasta tossed with sausage, grape tomato and caciotta cheese, and a lovely ricotta and creme fraiche cheesecake." Combined with a review of Mexican spot Elote in Williamsburg (which has a killer brunch deal), it's a good week for the underdog in our list of new and notable restaurants.

(Photo by Gregor Halenda)

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