Restaurant and bar openings: February 10-16, 2011
New this week.
Tue Feb 8 2011
Photograph: Francine Daveta
Inside the Astor Room
The Astor Room Before its silver-screen stars decamped for Hollywood, Kaufman Astoria Studios was the center of the silent-film industry. This Art Deco supper club, housed in the space's formerly private commissary, is resurrecting the glamour of its 1920s heyday with stately decor—an original marble staircase, peacock wallpaper and antique chandeliers—old-school grub and live jazz. Take a seat at the mahogany Beaver Bar, named for the furs that first brought the Astor family wealth, and order a drink like the New Yorker (bourbon, claret, lemon juice) or the Astoria Cocktail (gin, dry vermouth, orange bitters), devised by pedigreed barkeeps Jim Kearns and Lynnette Marrero. To eat, you'll find classic fare like oysters Rockefeller, beef Wellington and Dover sole meunire. 34-12 36th St at 35th Ave, Astoria, Queens (718-255-1947)
Arancini Bros. Boozehounds at the Bushwick bar Wreck Room can quell drunk hunger pangs at this adjacent arancini counter. The tiny, late-night storefront is run by former music techs David Campaniello and Will Levatino; the pair met on tour, bonded over fried risotto balls and gained local fame for their crispy, creamy orbs at the Hester Street Fair. Their first brick-and-mortar shop offers a rotating selection of six Sicilian-style rice balls in traditional (meat rag) creative (mushroom and Taleggio) and sweet (Nutella) varieties. 940 Flushing Ave between Central and Evergreen Aves, Bushwick, Brooklyn (718-418-6347)
Big D's Grub Truck This yellow-and-orange food truck joins Korilla BBQ and Kimchi Taco Truck in a burgeoning fleet of Mexi-Korean chowmobiles. Queens native Dennis Kum (a.k.a. Big D) stuffs tacos and grinders with fillings like bulgogi, spiced pork and ginger chicken, and douses them with homemade sauces including a fiery sriracha-mayo. For locations, visit twitter.com/bigdsgrub (bigdsgrub.com).
Buvette Chef Jody Williams has helmed the stoves at West Village Italian restaurants both big (Morandi) and teeny (Gottino). At Buvette, she sticks to the neighborhood, but crosses culinary borders to France. The pretty, pint-size eatery is kitted out with antique knickknacks and a chandelier made from milk bottles, whisks and flutes by artist Warren Muller. At the Carrara-marble bar in front, the vino-inclined can order from a 75-bottle wine list split between France and Italy. Small nibbles are available throughout the day, including morning pastries, Saxelby-curated cheeses and house-made charcuterie (such as rabbit confit and pork rillettes). Come evening, you can dig into a rotating menu of heartier plates, like kidney fricassee, beef bourguignonne and coq au vin. 42 Grove St between Bedford and Bleecker Sts (212-255-3590)
Go Burger The departure of Laurent Tourondel hasn't slowed the expansion of the BLT empire, having opened its second fancy burger joint on the Upper East Side. The modern 100-seat eatery borrows from the same crowd-pleasing template as its downtown predecessor, BLT Burger, serving up kobe hot dogs, spiked milk shakes and Angus-beef burgers made from a blend of sirloin, short rib, chuck and brisket. But you'll also find new creations on the uptown menu, including the Hot Diggity (a bacon-wrapped hot dog with frise and papaya mostarda); the "UltiMELT" (a burger topped with caramelized onions and bacon and sandwiched between two rye-and-Gruyre grilled cheese sandwiches); and the Dark and Frozen milk shake (Gosling's Black Seal Rum, Reeds Ginger Brew and vanilla ice cream). 1448 Second Ave between 75th and 76th Sts (212-988-9822)
Maybelle's Cafe Husband-and-wife team Ryan Miller and Sarah Lovett have taken over the bright space that once housed coffeeshop Naidre's (where Miller was an employee). They've installed their own menu of breakfast burritos, soups, salads and sandwiches with a healthy, vegetarian slant. Grab Ceci-Cela pastries and Intelligentsia coffee in the morning, or settle into the dining room for cream-of-tomato soup and a Cajun-spiced pulled pork sandwich later in the day. 502 Henry St at Sackett St, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn (718-596-3400)
Post Office Flag-waving whiskey enthusiasts can hole up at this South Williamsburg drinks den, focused entirely on American tipples. Alla Lapushchik, one of the founders of Death & Company, has collected 30-plus varieties of the brown stuff, with an emphasis on small-batch brands, like Whipper Snapper (Oregon), Redemption (Kentucky), High West (Utah) and local favorite Kings County Distillery. For those who choke at the thought of taking a spirit neat, there's a small selection of classic cocktails (Manhattans, old-fashioneds), as well as craft beers and wines. Guests can offset the drinks with raw-bar platters, soups (look out for Borscht Fridays) and sandwiches, like chicken liver and bacon with charred onion mustard and frise on a baguette, from chef Sam Glinn (Brooklyn Star, Momofuku). The 40-seat space—named after the Charles Bukowski novel—salutes its patriotic leanings with vintage eagle-emblazoned wallpaper and light fixtures fashioned out of whiskey decanters. 188 Havemeyer St between South 3rd and 4th Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-963-2574)
61 Local David Liatti, formerly an engineer for Sixpoint and Kelso, along with artisanal-food buff Chris Munsey (Murray's Cheese, Dickson's Farmstand Meats) bring their respective talents together at this Brooklyn beer hall. The capacious, 70-seat space features exposed brick, communal wood tables and hanging glass lanterns made from beer carboys (home-brewing jugs). Drinkers can pick their quaff from a borough-shaped chalkboard highlighting the day's selections: regional brews (Ommegang Hennepin Saison), wine (Red Hook Winery Brooklynbrusco) and nonalcoholic sips (KBBK Red-Ginger kombucha, Brooklyn Soda Works Apple-Ginger), which are all available on tap. In keeping with the civic-boosting theme, small, shareable plates highlight Kings County products like Salvatore Brooklyn ricotta, Brooklyn Cured country pt, McClure's pickles and Sahadi's hummus. 61 Bergen St between Boerum Pl and Smith St , Cobble Hill, Brooklyn (no phone)