Babbalucci Bringing Wood-Fired Italian Fare and Aperitivo to Harlem

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Photo courtesy Babbalucci
Babbalucci is getting ready for business.
Andrew LoPresto grew up in the restaurant industry; both his father and grandfather were bread bakers most of their lives. Following in their footsteps, LoPresto made a career out of cooking himself, working at respected eateries such as Le Madri, Ovest, and Blue Duck Tavern. Later this month, LoPresto is finally taking the plunge himself with the opening of his debut restaurant, Babbalucci (331 Lenox Avenue; 646-918-6572) in Harlem.

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Ivy Mix and Julie Reiner Prepare to Roll Out a Pan-Latin Cocktail Bar

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All photos by Zandy Mangold
It's hard to remember now, but it wasn't so many years ago that there were very few places in this city where you could find a good cocktail — the spiritous era in which we find ourselves didn't really begin in earnest until the beginning of the millennium, and it was built on the work of visionaries like Dale DeGroff, who began making drinks with fresh juices in the Rainbow Room in the Eighties, long before other bartenders deigned to give up their bottled mixes. Ten years ago, there were just a few cocktail bars here; most of them slung classics in digs that paid homage to Prohibition-era speakeasies, and they were manned by evangelizing bartenders who goaded drinkers into demanding better tipples. One of these bartenders was Julie Reiner, who opened the Flatiron Lounge, Pegu Club, and Clover Club, three of New York's torchbearers of craft mixology.

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Have a Taste of the Spanish Seafood at the Village's Brand-New Sol

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All photos courtesy of Sol
Big eye tuna
If you're a New York City barfly, you've likely patronized one of Ravi DeRossi's watering holes. His first project was the Bourgeois Pig, a space that was "originally going to be an antiques store, then an antiques store/coffeeshop, then a coffeeshop/winebar," he says. When it opened, it commanded two- to three-hour waits. And he followed that up with Death + Company, one of the city's most prolific bars. He now has sixteen drinking dens, about which he says, "I got lucky. I have zero background in this business — but Death + Company became what it is."

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Taqueria Shutters Its Lower East Side Location, Reopens on St. Marks This Week

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Laura Shunk, the Village Voice
A number of restaurants in the building on the corner of Houston and Orchard have shuttered over the last few months (prior victims include Bereket and Philly's Cheese Steak) as the new landlord prepares to raze the building and erect something new in its place. The latest casualty is Taqueria (198 Orchard Street), which has been slinging Los Angeles–style tacos to this neighborhood for the last four years. It closed its doors last night, and plans to reopen in the East Village later this week.

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City Kitchen: New Food Hall Opening in Times Square Next Week

Categories: Coming Soon

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Rendering courtesy City Kitchen
Whether owing to the desire to eat multiple cuisines at once or nostalgia for teen years spent hanging around mall food courts, food markets have been a growing trend among adults recently, with the addition of spots like Gotham West Market, Smorgasburg, Berg'n, and more. Even Anthony Bourdain has one on the way. As of next week, though, City Kitchen (700 Eighth Avenue) is the new food hall on the block, bringing with it a slew of eateries in one open space.

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Preview: Awadh Hosting Hyderabad Food Festival Next Week on the UWS

Categories: Coming Soon

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All photos by Michael Tullipan
Pathar Ka Gosht ($17)
Gaurav Anand is on a mission to expose New Yorkers to regional Indian cuisine. With Moti Mahal Delux, he's shown the finesse of authentic Mughal cuisine. At Bhatti Indian Grill and his newest eatery, Awadh (2588 Broadway, 646-861-3604), he highlights the fare of northern city Lucknow. But next week, the restaurateur is heading south: At Awadh, he's hosting a food festival celebrating the flavors of the royal courts of Hyderabad.

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La Contenta Will Bring Rare Mexican Food and Spirits to the LES

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All photos courtesy La Contenta
Chicken mole
After selling shares in Ofrenda last year, chef Luis Arce Mota took a sabbatical to his native Mexico. He spent the majority of his time traveling around, spending time in the kitchen with his father's family is his hometown of Mazatlán, eating and learning about the cuisine in Oaxaca, and examining ancient Aztec techniques in the center of the country. Mota now aims to combine his recently attuned knowledge of regional Mexican fare with his years of technique-driven French training at his newest eatery, La Contenta (102 Norfolk Street; 212-432-4180) on the Lower East Side.

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Black Seed Plots Expansion Into Old De Robertis Space in the East Village

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Zachary Feldman, Village Voice
Black Seed Bagels has been fielding long lines for its Montreal(ish)-style bagels since it first opened on Elizabeth Street nine months ago; occasionally, in the early days, it was forced to close early because it had maxed out its production capacity in this space and had no more bagels to sell. So owners Noah Bernamoff (who also owns Mile End) and Matt Kliegman (proprietor of The Smile) look forward to expanding into another kitchen in the East Village: The partners picked up the lease for the De Robertis Pasticceria space (176 First Avenue), and they'll open the second location later this spring.

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Cobble Hill's Shelsky's Is Rolling Out a Deli Counter This Month

Categories: Coming Soon

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Photo via Shelsky's Facebook page
Fans of the Jewish food renaissance have yet another reason to get excited this month. Shelsky's of Brooklyn (141 Court Street, Brooklyn; 718-855-8817) is expanding its selection beyond appetizing to include deli items in just a couple of weeks.

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Dominique Ansel Opening Made-to-Order Bakery Concept This Spring

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Daniel Krieger
Pastry virtuoso Dominique Ansel is at it again. And no, it's not a new crazy dessert combination. The chef is, instead, intermingling his innovative bakery with the operations of a restaurant kitchen. Dominique Ansel Kitchen (137 Seventh Avenue South) will be bringing made-to-order desserts and pastries to the West Village sometime late spring.

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