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Corn chowder at the Water Table
Photograph: Virginia RollisonCorn chowder at the Water Table

Restaurant and bar openings: December 5-11, 2013

The Water Table, the Heath and more roll out in New York City.


The following venues are expected to open by December 11th. Always call ahead, as openings can be delayed.

Box Kite Cora Lambert and Erik Becker—alums of the shuttered, übergeeky RBC NYC—inject some cocktail-world trends into this East Village café-bar, equipped with a custom navy Synesso machine. Inspired by beer flights, the duo showcase “1+1” boards, a combo featuring two espresso shots—one with milk, the other without—made with Madcap or Ritual beans. At night, Lambert—founder of the Coffee Cocktail Mash-up contest—rolls out boozier offerings, including wine-and-java pairings and coffee cocktails. 115 St. Marks Pl between First Ave and Ave A (212-574-8201)

Drunken Munkey NYC Inspired by the cafés and bistros of Old Bombay, this Yorkville cocktail bar recalls colonial British India with cricket-ball doorknobs, elephant coat hooks and chandeliers decorated with hand-carved monkeys. At the stone bar, bartenders in Nehru jackets pour quaffs like the East India (cognac, Combier, maraschino and Peychaud’s Bitters) and the Gymkahana Swizzle (rum, port, mint, lime juice), as well as a paanch (five-ingredient Indian punch) of the month. Balance the booze with Anglo-Indian eats from Fatty Crab alum Derek Alfaro, such as tandoori lamb kebabs with mint chutney, Sindhi fish curry in tamarind-fenugreek sauce and pork vindaloo with chili-vinegar tomato sauce. 338 92nd St between First and Second Aves (646-998-4600)

The Heath Punchdrunk—the London troupe behind hit Macbeth-inspired production Sleep No More—peels back the curtains to its latest work, a 150-seat restaurant underneath its bar, Gallow Green. R.L. King (former executive chef at Hundred Acres) crafts a menu of modern American and British fare: quail with a walnut-bacon marmalade; roasted chicken with charred broccoli, apples and hazelnut; and a short-rib-and-chanterelle-mushroom pie. Cocktails with names like Queen & Bee (rum, amaro, rosé) and Scottish Sour (Scotch, orgeat syrup, red wine float) bow to the company’s U.K. roots, as does the decor: the wooden booths and dangling pendant lamps are inspired by Scotland’s train station restaurants. McKittrick Hotel, 530 W 27th St between Tenth and Eleventh Aves (212-564-1662)

1 Knickerbocker A storied space—once an 1890s German grocery, brothel and World War II textile factory—is reincarnated as a 102-seat American restaurant. In the 2,300-square-foot room—decorated with tweed wall panels, wooden cathedral doors and tiled walls overlaid with photos of industrial Bushwick—chef Steven Hubbels (Chicago’s Michelin-starred Veerasway) offers roasted celery heart with braised and lovage, crispy pork cheek with brown-butter-carrot puree, and smoked sablefish with egg sauce and parsley-onion salad. For drinks, find seasonal cocktails like eggnog and a bourbon-based Hot Scarecrow (apple-nettle tea and clove). 1 Knickerbocker Ave at Johnson Ave, Bushwick, Brooklyn (347-987-3751)

Pop @ Pod Fill up on comfort food and suds at this hotel canteen from the Pop Burger franchise. The 100-seat space—outfitted with vintage foosball tables and high-definition televisions—serves the chainlet’s signature mini burgers (like the Gobble Gobble turkey sliders), along with new dishes (farro salad with grilled shrimp, sriracha wings) by former Flex Mussels chef Andre Dudkiewicz. In addition to craft brews (Brooklyn Brewery lager, Voodoo Pilzilla), there are beer cocktails like the Steamroller (Anchor Steam Old Foghorn beer, elderflower liqueur, grenadine) and Bees Knees (Hefeweizen, gin, spiced honey syrup). The Pod Hotel, 230 E 51st St between Second and Third Aves (646-277-2900)

Thelma on Clinton Chef-owner Melissa O’Donnell has transformed her decade-old Salt Bar—a Lower East Side staple since 2003—into a New American bistro, updating the space with white-oak floors, a marble-topped bar and banquette seats. Named after her Lebanese grandmother, the restaurant mirrors the nabe’s melting-pot sensibility with dishes like house-kippered salmon, chicken-liver mousse and risotto with caramelized onions. In the open kitchen, the toque also crafts cheeses, pickles, sausages and ice creams. 29A Clinton St between E Houston and Stanton Sts (no phone yet)

Tokya Chef Eiji Takase (Sushi Samba) oversees the menu at this 80-seat lounge, equipped with a gold-tiled DJ booth and 60-foot-long sushi counter. Drawing on his travels to Peru, Takase fuses Latin and Japanese flavors, dispatching plates like yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño and shishito peppers; a chimichurri-slicked tuna roll with yucca chips; and a madai-and-pink-grapfruit sunomono. To drink: Nippon beers (Orion Okinawa), sake (Hatsumago junmai) and Scorpion bowls. 40 E 58th St between Madison and Park Aves (212-308-6888)

The Water Table Kelli Farwell (Rye, DuMont) takes waterside dining straight to the river. Aboard a repurposed vintage Navy Yard Patrol craft, the Maine native and licensed captain dispatches a three-course New England prix fixe twice a night while sailing from Greenpoint to the Hudson. In the wood-paneled cabin, find seasonal dishes like corn chowder with applewood-smoked ham, a vegetable-and-goat-cheese pie, and mussels with roasted fennel and smoked paprika. Desserts include butterscotch cookies with a shot of rum—the bar features a sipping list of seven varieties, including English Harbor five-year and Pusser’s British Navy. Cocktails skew classic (Sazeracs, sidecars) and are all infused with bitters from the '40s'—the era the vessel was built—while craft beers keep faithful to the chef’s Northeast roots, with Nantucket’s Cisco Grey Lady and Portsmouth’s Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale on tap. India St Pier at West St, Greenpoint, Brooklyn (917-499-5727)

Xi’an Famous Foods Food & Drink Award winner Jason Wang brings his Chinese chainlet to Morningside Heights, with this sixth outpost. Like its sister locations, this 17-seat spot showcases the mouth-tingling cuisine of Xi’an—once the starting point of the Silk Road—with a short menu of hand-pulled noodles and cumin-spiced lamb burgers. Chow down at a wooden counter as a high-def TV plays clips of Wang and his dad making noodles. 2675 Broadway between 101st and 102nd Sts (no phone)

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