Pete Entner Rocks Boerum Hill with Boomwich

Categories: Field Notes

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Photos by Zachary Feldman for the Village Voice

After making Crown Heights a destination for gonzo pizza with his eponymous PeteZaaz pie parlor (which will soon return from the dead following Entner's recent buyout of his former partners), Pete Entner set his sights on applying a similar framework to sandwiches. The erstwhile No. 7 sous chef and pizzaiolo has taken his adventurous flavor combinations and transported them to a modern Boerum Hill sub shop called Boomwich (311 Atlantic Avenue, 718-643-9229). And while the concept undoubtedly hangs around in the same bread/filling Venn diagram circles as No. 7 Sub Shop, if you're looking for a circa-2009 Bobby Flay-less food world throwdown, keep moving. A month into Boomwich's existence, the world of bread-hugged meats and vegetables has proven it can support multiple creative sandwich operations.


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Comparative Noshing at Baz Bagel and Russ & Daughters Cafe

Categories: Field Notes

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Photos by Zachary Feldman for the Village Voice

On the morning of May 7, 2014, Lower Manhattan welcomed two enterprising shops harking back to the Lower East Side's grand tradition of Eastern European appetizing. One is a breezy sliver of Soho-meets-Florida with a side of Streisand (Baz Bagel, 181 Grand Street, 212-335-0609); the other, a sit-down counterpart to Houston Street's royal smoked-fish dynasty 100 years in the making (Russ & Daughters Cafe, 127 Orchard Street, 212-475-4881). Both have found their audiences, and this fall, Baz introduced dinner hours and several dishes skewed toward supper. Contemporary Jewish food's trendiest moments may have passed, but in their wake, two fat and tasty slices of nostalgia remain. These are good times for the latke lovers and knish kvellers who roam the sidewalks below 14th Street.


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Alder's Sunday Menu Flips a Modernist Bird at Brunch Haters

Categories: Field Notes

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Alder

Last month, Ryan Henderson replaced longtime Dufresne protege Jon Bignelli as chef de cuisine of Alder (157 Second Avenue, 212-539-1900). This is a promotion for Henderson from sous chef, a role he auditioned for -- and snagged -- with a dish that eventually made its way (after some tinkering) to the neo-tavern's opening menu: a Caesar salad "nigiri," featuring a slab of egg-yolk-sauced, cured mackerel draped over a rib of romaine lettuce. Tinkering happens to every dish at Dufresne's restaurants, but Henderson emphasizes the communal aspect of working for the progressive pioneer.


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A Modern Cuban-Chinese Primer at Calle Dão

Categories: Field Notes

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Calle Dão

In the years following the Cuban Revolution, many of the country's Chinese immigrants traveled north, settling in cities like Miami and New York. More than 50 years later (and over a century after Chinese immigrants first arrived in Cuba), both New York City's Cuban-Chinese restaurants and Havana's Chinatown are slowly fading, which is why Marco Britti's timing couldn't be more perfect. Last month, the Italian restaurateur (Favela Cubana) opened Calle Dão (38 West 39th Street, 212-221-9002), a vintage-styled homage to this niche mash-up cuisine.


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Checking In on Yonekichi's Perpetual Soft Opening

Categories: Field Notes

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Last month saw the soft opening of Yonekichi (238A East 9th Street, 646-669-9785), the city's first storefront devoted to Japanese rice burgers, which use wads of shaped rice in place of buns. But after some lukewarm initial reactions, the shop closed for a few days to fine-tune its recipes, promising an official grand opening soon. Several weeks later, the rice burgers are back on sale, but there's been no word of that promised grand debut. Still, since Yonekichi is serving food in exchange for money, we stopped in the other day to sample the starchy goods.

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Have a Taste of Bunna Cafe's Ethiopian Brunch

Categories: Field Notes

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We've been singing the praises of Bunna Cafe (1084 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn) since it opened -- not only was the place a killer vegan entrant into the New York restaurant industry, it turns out one hell of an Ethiopian feast in a city that's short on representatives from that country. So despite the occasionally slow service and long-time lack of a liquor license (that's been remedied now -- you can get beer, wine, and all manner of drinks), we found ourselves returning frequently. And this weekend, we were delighted to be given another reason to drop in: the cafe just debuted brunch.

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Find Affordable Round-the-Clock Nostalgia at Hamilton's Luncheonette in the Village

Categories: Field Notes

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Photos by Zachary Feldman

Recently, the owners of West 4th's Cafe Minerva opened a shiny new corner luncheonette and soda shop called Hamilton's (51 Bank Street, 212-661-1515). Forget the usual flair and picture menus, this is the good old days filtered through a runway lens. Celadon accents offset bare white walls for an almost sterile feel, but the behatted, perky young soda jerks are eager to please. We checked in on lunchtime service to slurp up some manufactured nostalgia with the neighborhood.


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An Early Taste of Pacifico's Fine Foods' Brunch

Categories: Field Notes

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Photos by Zachary Feldman

In January, chef Shanna Pacifico left her post at Back Forty West after a seven year run working under greenmarket pioneer Peter Hoffman. Last month, she opened her first solo venture, Pacifico's Fine Foods (798A Franklin Avenue, 917-966-2670), with Kristi Banister of High Horse Saloon and chef Roberto Aita, who also left a kitchen that had earned him acclaim (Williamsburg's Fiore) to open a restaurant bearing his name (Clinton Hill's Aita). Steps from the Franklin Avenue subway station in Crown Heights and down the block from neo-Caribbean stunner Glady's and charming New American canteen Mayfield, Pacifico's serves market-driven food with a South American bent. This past weekend, it launched brunch service.


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Vinateria Is the Fashionable Restaurant Harlem Deserves

Categories: Field Notes

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Zachary Feldman

For last week's review, I visited Harlem's Cheri (231 Lenox Avenue, 212-662-4374), a homey French restaurant from Alain Eoche that serves a great burger and not much else. Kitchen mishaps aside, Cheri also happens to be one of the more inviting restaurants that's opened in recent memory, in part because it's designed to feel like an apartment in the midst of a communal dinner party. If only the food matched the decor, it would be worth a detour, but it still serves a purpose in the neighborhood.

Then you have a place like Vinateria (2221 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, 212-662-8462), which is also beautifully designed -- this time in subdued grayscale shades -- but has a far more consistent kitchen.


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Flip for this Frothy Cocktail from Newcomer Dear Irving

Categories: Field Notes

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Photos by Zachary Feldman

Earlier this month, Yves Jadot, the man behind the Raines Law Room, Jones Wood Foundry, and Petite Abeille, among others, opened Dear Irving (55 Irving Place, no phone), a Gramercy cocktail bar that pulls together elements from his previous projects. Raines Law Room's Meaghan Dorman created the cocktail list, and Jones Wood's Jason Hicks is supposed to be the chef (more on that later). But the restaurant's most noteworthy attribute -- besides its unmarked address and the server-summoning light-up buttons that adorn the walls of its front parlor room -- is the fact that Dear Irving is inspired by Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris.


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