Soft Spot Owner Brings Kilo Bravo, a New Neighborhood Bar, to Williamsburg

Categories: Coming Soon

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Kilo Bravo
When Kate Buenaflor opened Soft Spot in Williamsburg nine years ago, it became a neighborhood bar to a very different kind of neighborhood. "There wasn't a whole lot of things going on," she says. "I shopped at a bodega. Having a bar here back then was so much fun -- there wasn't anyone here. Soft Spot is a reliable, friendly, neihborhood spot. Our early customers were regulars because there was nowhere else to go."

Since then, she says, she's enjoyed watching the neighborhood change exponentially. Now, she's getting ready to open Kilo Bravo (180 North 10th Street, Brooklyn), a new neighborhood bar, with business partner and friend Richard DeVore, and she hopes it will serve the needs of current Williamsburg denizens.

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Wassail, NYC's First Cider Bar and Restaurant, Is Coming to the LES

Categories: Coming Soon

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Stella Dacuma Schour
Over the past three and a half years, husband-and-wife duo Jennifer Lim and Ben Sandler have built the Queens Kickshaw -- their beer bar, restaurant, and coffeeshop in Astoria -- into a must-visit for this city's cider fiends and cider-curious. The list has grown as their obsession has deepened, and it now features dozens of selections, a showcase of some of the most interesting ciders being made in this country in addition to pours from France, Spain, Germany, and the U.K.

As they've learned the industry, they've become leaders in the cider movement here in NYC, and they'll cement that position further in the coming months: They've landed a Lower East Side liquor license and lease, and they're planning to use it to open Wassail (162 Orchard Street), the city's first cider restaurant and bar.

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Bar Below Kitchen & Cocktail Vault Will Bring Comfort Fare to the Penn Station Neighborhood

Categories: Coming Soon

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Wyndham New Yorker
The Wyndham New Yorker Hotel gets another new restaurant
The neighborhood around Penn Station, long a culinary black hole, is showing signs of life, not least because of the redevelopment of Hudson Yards, which will bring skyscrapers, housing, and, yes, restaurants to the area. We told you recently about the forthcoming Trattoria Bianca, and now we have details on Bar Below Kitchen & Cocktail Vault (481 Eighth Avenue), a kitchen and cocktail vault that's slated to open soon.

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Stanton Street Kitchen Plots a Beer-Centric Restaurant on the LES

Categories: Coming Soon

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Stanton Street Kitchen via Facebook
Erik Blauberg got his first restaurant job at the ripe old age of 12, landing a gig as a pot-washer when a desperate owner needed help after a kitchen walk-out. He started learning to cook the next year, and that set the stage for a career that's included such prolific stops as Tavern on the Green, Bouley, and the 21 Club. For the past several years, he's been consulting all over the globe, and he launched a high-end culinary travel program to expose gastronauts to foreign delicacies. He's back in New York City now, though, and come mid-September, he'll open the Stanton Street Kitchen (178 Stanton Street), a beer-centric restaurant on the Lower East Side.

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Trattoria Bianca Will Bring Casual Italian to Midtown South

Categories: Coming Soon

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Cooper's Tavern is becoming Trattoria Bianca this fall
Nearly 45 years ago, Joseph Baum, revered for his work with elaborate themed restaurants, and Michael Whiteman, founding editor of Nation's Restaurant News, created Baum + Whiteman International Restaurant Consultants, a company that's been behind such prolific New York projects as the restoration of the Rainbow Room and the creation of Windows on the World. Now, the company is working on a project on 35th Street and Eighth Avenue, turning Cooper's Tavern into Trattoria Bianca (481 Eighth Avenue), an informal trattoria meant to draw the neighborhood with simplicity and comfort on the plate.

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Botequim Will Bring Brazilian Culture to Union Square in September

Categories: Coming Soon

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Botequim via Facebook
Feijoada completa, one of the dishes served during the Botequim pop-up
Did you have a chance to drop into the Botequim pop-up during the World Cup? Chef-owner Marco Moreira, a native of Brazil, turned the bottom floor of his space at the Hyatt in Union Square into a restaurant that channels his home country's botequims, casual neighborhood restaurants where people meet for drinks and snacks. They're not unlike bistros or bodegas, co-owner Jo-Ann Makovitzky says, and during the World Cup, the place drew Brazilians from all over the city, who watched the matches while feasting on Brazilian snacks.

The pop-up has closed for the summer, but come September, Botequim (132 Fourth Avenue, 212-432-1324) will rise again, becoming a permanent restaurant.

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Charlie Palmer Divulges Details on a Trifecta of Upcoming Projects

Categories: Coming Soon

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Courtesy Charlie Palmer Steak
If you've felt like Charlie Palmer's been a little more prevalent in the news lately than normal, it's because he has a trifecta of concepts about to come to fruition in this city, at least one of which has been in the hopper for a couple of years. This month, he'll open Crimson & Rye, a midtown cocktail bar he built to "feel like it would belong downtown;" later this year, he'll debut Charlie Palmer Steak -- an outlet of the steakhouse he first launched in Las Vegas and then took to D.C. -- and then a restaurant at the Knickerbocker Hotel, about which he's still not saying much more than it will serve his take on progressive American cuisine.

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Meet Claus Meyer, the Noma Co-Founder Who's Plotting a Food Hall in Grand Central

Categories: Coming Soon

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Claus Meyer via Facebook
Long before he co-founded Noma, the new Nordic restaurant that really put Copenhagen on the map as a gastronomic capital, Claus Meyer grew up in what he calls "the darkest period of Danish food history," an era in the 1960s and 1970s when his country's cuisine revolved around canned food, margarine, deep fried stuff, powdered food, and stale bread crumbs. "I didn't realize it; I hadn't tasted anything else," he says.

His awakening came when he became an au pair boy in France -- his employer taught him to cook certain staples -- and then moved on to stay with a fourth generation baker and chef, who embraced him as a son and fed him constantly. "It changed my life," he says. "I wanted to be someone who changed the food culture of my country."

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Annabel Brings Up-Market Pizza and Beer to Hell's Kitchen

Categories: Coming Soon

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All photos by Jeremy Aiken
It's been 15 years since Amnon Kehati, Sam Erlich, and Avi Camchi first opened Thalia in Hell's Kitchen, putting down new American roots in a rapidly changing neighborhood that was then bereft of good dining options. The territorial gamble paid off -- Thalia became a neighborhood joint, a rising boat in the tide that soon swelled and lifted the area, and the owners were able to pursue more openings in the city, like MarkBurger down on St. Mark's.

Now, the trio is returning to Hell's Kitchen with Annabel (809 Ninth Avenue, 212-245-2215), a pizzeria that'll also turn out a sizable list of entrees and a board of craft beer.

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Choza Taqueria Brings Ceviche and Margaritas on Tap to Gotham West Market

Categories: Coming Soon

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Choza Taqueria via Facebook
Choza Taqueria first started slinging its tacos, burritos, and tamales in 2010, eventually expanding into a pair of locations, one on MacDougal Street and the other on Madison Avenue. Now, in preparation for a third outpost in Gotham West Market (600 Eleventh Avenue), it's brought on a new chef and partner, Akhtar Nawab, who's spent time behind the burners at Craft, La Esquina, and Ellettaria.

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