Benares - Great food, excellent service. Went there to celebrate a birthday 4 days ago, the new Manager is very accommodating and friendly. he ensured we all got our food on time as we were pressing for it..awesome location too!
The Feed openings: Benares, Blue Bottle Coffee and more
Mon Feb 20 2012
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
The following venues are expected to open by February 29. Always call ahead, as openings can be delayed.
Beauty Bar This salon-themed bar, an East Village standby since 1995, brings its $10 manicure-and-martini happy hour to Park Slope with a second NYC location. Pay for the cocktail between 4:30 and 9:30pm at the black-stained oak bar and get a free gift card that you can redeem at the formica-and-chrome manicure tables. The 40-seat spot channels '50s kitsch glamour with rainbow-glitter walls, floral-patterned vinyl couches and vintage green hairdryer chairs. 249 Fifth Ave between Carroll St and Garfield Pl, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-788-8867)
Benares Indian cooking virtuoso Peter Beck made his name at Flatiron gem Tamarind where he won critical acclaim for his inspired take on subcontinental fare. Last year, he took a brief hiatus from fine dining to open the street-snack spot Old Delhi, but now he returns to his roots with this elegant 89-seat restaurant, decorated with mustard-colored banquettes and colorful framed saris. Although the spot was named after the city of Benares, where vegetarian cuisine reigns, the focus here is on seafood plates, like Sevai Tumato Kurma (mussels, scallops, rock shrimp and crab claws with a garlic-tomato sauce served over Indian-style rice noodles). Diners can also dig into meat dishes, such as safed gosht (ginger-garlic-yogurt--marinated lamb simmered in a cardamom-and-almond sauce) and traditional veggie-based selections, including a Kashmiri soup made with turnip, beets, pigeon peas and spices. 240 W 56th St between Broadway and Eighth Ave (212-397-0707)
Blue Bottle Coffee The siphon pot, an alchemical glass-bulb coffeemaker, takes center stage at the first Manhattan location from San Francisco roaster Blue Bottle. Like the Williamsburg outpost, this minimalist caf sports maple wood, tall ceilings and poured-concrete flours, but the six-stool siphon bar on the back mezzanine takes coffee geekery to the next level. Grab a seat at the green-and-white marble counter and watch the barista brew right in front of you—a halogen heater warms water in the implement's bottom bulb, then vapor forces it into a top chamber filled with grinds. When the heat source is removed, the coffee filters back into the bottom bulb, resulting in a crisp cup of joe that shows the bean's distinct flavors. Caffeine fiends who prefer less hoopla can order pour-overs, espresso drinks and pastries at the front coffee counter. 450 W 15th St between Ninth and Tenth Aves (no phone yet)
Cigkoftem Traditional Turkish wraps, cig kofte, are the specialty of this East Village takeout shop, the first U.S. outpost of the European chain. The sandwiches feature spiced bulgur-wheat balls that are cradled in lavash bread, then topped with herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers and pickles, plus pomegranate sauce and lemon juice. 438 E 9th St between First Ave and Ave A (212-777-8767)
Contorno's Chef David Buico (Blue Water Grill) dishes out Italian plates at this trattoria inside a Holiday Inn. The menu includes yellow-beet "ravioli" filled with goat cheese and dressed with a honey-thyme vinaigrette; octopus with white heirloom beans, spicy salami and tomato jus; and squid-ink malfatti pasta made with a spicy tomato sauce and seafood. 30 W 31st St between Fifth Ave and Broadway (212-760-0301)
Fonda Mexican chef Roberto Santibaez (Rosa Mexicana) opens this East Village spin-off of his Park Slope eatery. The 60-seat restaurant offers a similar menu of contemporary South of the Border eats, including favorites from the original, like chicken flautas and lobster empanadas. There's also an expanded selection of bar snacks, such as Taquitos San Andres, which are stuffed with carnitas, black-bean spread, salsa verde, cilantro and onions. Drinkers can sip on straight tequila (Chinaco, Don Julio, Cazadores) or throw back margaritas made with hibiscus, tamarind or guava. A five-foot-tall plant provides a focal point at the center of the space, which also features a copper-topped bar, antique mirrors and photographs from Mexico City artists. 40 Ave B between 3rd and 4th Sts (212-677-4096)
Phil's Steaks Philly native Jim Drew brings his hometown's signature sub to New York's streets with this roving truck. Drew builds his cheese steaks, as they do in the City of Brotherly Love, on rolls from Amoroso's bakery with loin-tail beef and your choice of Cheez Whiz, provolone or white American slices. For locations, visit twitter.com/philssteaks (no phone)
Pure Luck Tea Bar Kombucha fiends can sip the fermented tea drink at this 15-seat shop, from Brooklyn brand Kombucha Party. Choose from six different flavors, like pu-erh ginger and jasmine pearl, or opt for loose-leaf tea or French-press coffee instead. Keeping with the sustainable ethos, the modern 15-seat space, outfitted with concrete floors and a barn-wood counter, is housed in a solar-powered building. 439 Metropolitan Ave between Marcy and Meeker Aves, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (no phone)
Say Cheese Upper West Siders can chow down on grilled cheese at this 14-seat sandwich shop. Choose from ten varieties, including American cheese with tomato on white, Gruyre and candied bacon on peasant bread, and brioche with mascarpone and Nutella. 142 W 83rd St between Amsterdam and Columbus Aves (212-799-0080)
Toby's Public House Get wood-fired pies at this 35-seat Nolita pizzeria, the first outpost of the Park Slope original. The spin-off features the same selection of 17 Neapolitan-style pizzas—with traditional toppings like artichoke, prosciutto and mushrooms—as at the Brooklyn flagship. This location also boasts charcoal-grilled steaks, deep-fried calamari and a short-rib-and-chuck burger. 86 Kenmare St at Mulberry St (212-274-8629)