An Early Taste of Pasta Shop, Now Serving Noodles in Bushwick

Noodle counters may be fairly ubiquitous in New York City, but thus far, they've served mostly ramen or, perhaps, another Asian staple, like soba or udon. But pull up a stool at Pasta Shop (234 Starr Street, Brooklyn), a new noodle counter in Bushwick, and you're going to get carbonara, cacio e pepe, or ragu, not tonkotsu.

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Chez Sardine Changes Course, Now Bar Sardine

Photos by Zachary Feldman

The city's fish face-eating fanatics were left distraught earlier this month when restaurateur Gabriel Stulman and chef Mehdi Brunet-Benkritly closed their eccentric West 10th Street izakaya Chez Sardine for a design and concept revamp (RIP miso maple salmon head). The petite space reemerged last night as Bar Sardine (183 West 10th Street, 646-360-3705), a bar for small plates and cocktails. We stopped in to sample and get the skinny on the new approach.

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Seven Restaurants That Opened In NYC This Week

Washington Market Tavern via Facebook

When one restaurant's doors close, another restaurant's doors open in fast-paced New York City, and every Friday, we'll fill you in on what opened up around town this week. This week: a classic 1940s diner hits the West Village, a successful LA restaurant finds a home in Brooklyn, and Hell's Kitchen gets a healthy dose of Belgian beer and waffles.

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What to Expect at The Gorbals, Now Open in Williamsburg

The Gorbals
Ilan Hall has long dreamed of opening a restaurant here in New York City, his hometown, but it took establishing himself in L.A. to make that possible. After stints under Tom Colicchio and Mario Batali -- and a Top Chef season two win -- he moved to the west coast, he says, because "I wanted a new place, new atmosphere, everything new. Opening a restaurant in New York is incredibly difficult -- L.A. is a more comforting environment. Back when I was opening, the restaurant scene was less immediately critical. It was a warmer and fuzzier place to open up my first restaurant."

Five years ago, he debuted The Gorbals in downtown Los Angeles, garnering accolades for his quirky Scottish-Israeli food. His success prompted Urban Outfitters to tap him for a restaurant in the Brooklyn outpost the company was building; this week, Hall celebrated his homecoming by opening a second location of The Gorbals (98 North 6th Street, Brooklyn) in Williamsburg.

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Seven Restaurants That Opened In NYC This Week

Billy Lyons

When one restaurant's doors close, another restaurant's doors open in fast-paced New York City, and every Friday, we'll fill you in on what opened up around town this week. This week: Canadian-style burgers invade Chelsea, Korean fried chicken arrives on Third Avenue, and Bushwick gets a saloon.

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Big Smoke Burger Brings Poutine, Canadian Style Burgers to NYC

All photos by Billy Lyons
Fries with gravy and cheese curds aka poutine at Big Smoke Burger in Chelsea

Canada isn't exactly known for its burgers, but a chain that just opened its first outlet in New York City aims to change that -- and it's serving a beloved fried potato dish, too. Big Smoke Burger (70 Seventh Avenue; 917-475-1995) opened this past Tuesday, luring crowds with its poutine and convincing them to stay for a Canadian-style burger.

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Checking in on The Meatball Shop's New Upper West Side Branch

Photos by Zachary Feldman
Families and eaters with young-at-heart palates rejoice: Michael Chernow and chef Daniel Holzman have opened the sixth outpost of their monstrously popular meatball-centric eatery The Meatball Shop (447 Amsterdam Avenue, 212-422-1752). Just how popular is it? Enough that people were willing to brave quoted hour-long waits in the rain on day two, shielding themselves with umbrellas or loitering in apartment doorways. After launching on the Lower East Side in 2010, Chernow and Holzman have made a rapid push outward, colonizing neighborhoods like Chelsea, Williamsburg, and the West Village with their ball-proselytizing ways.

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Calliope's Transition Into Contrada Is Nearly Complete

Contrada via Facebook
For the two years that Calliope held down its corner of the East Village, Eric Korsh and Ginevra Iverson built a following for their charming French cooking. Via that menu, they became so synonymous with the restaurant that when they split from the business earlier this year, remaining owner Eric Anderson struggled to find a chef willing to take over the concept and kitchen. "We were casting around for people, and we kept finding people who were super talented but didn't want to be involved with someone else's concept and food," says now-partner and general manager Michael Philip Fisher. "Slowly but surely, we realized that the only way to attract a super talented chef was to give them a fresh start."

And so the team retooled into Contrada (84 East 4th Street, 212-260-8484), an Italian neighborhood joint where the kitchen is under the command of Del Posto vet Jason Audette.

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Meet the Family Behind the East Village's Mimi Cheng's Dumplings

Thumbnail image for mimichengsdumplings.jpg
Mimi Cheng's Dumplings
Hannah and Marian Cheng have long been confused about the American notion that Chinese food is greasy. That was not the case in their childhood home: The sisters grew up with a Chinese mother, Mimi, who cooked lightly and cleanly, incorporating fresh vegetables and high quality meat and fish into dishes she put on her family's table. One of her best recipes was her dumpling, which became famous among the family's friends, relatives, and co-workers.

The dumplings were so beloved by her daughters that Mimi continued to deliver batches of the treats even after both sisters had left the house. "Marian and I both went to college in the D.C. area," Hannah explains. "She'd drive down with coolers of dumplings and her secret sauce. Our roommates would freak out. It was the same when we moved to the city -- she'd always bring us dumplings. She was always afraid we'd be too busy at school or work to make something healthy. It gave her peace of mind that she made us something healthy to eat."

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Ample Hills' Gowanus Location Is Now Open

Bradley Hawks
Ample Hills owners Jackie Cuscuna and Brian Smith
Months ago, when we spoke with Ample Hills owner and ice cream maker Brian Smith about the history and future of his Prospect Heights parlor, his reason for expanding into Gowanus was pretty simple: "We can't make enough ice cream," he told us. "In the summertime, we make 500 gallons a week of ice cream" in a tiny 150-square-foot space.

So he and his wife Jackie Cuscuna signed a lease for a bi-level, 3,600-square-foot shop in Gowanus, and they've been building out a mega parlor there for months. Smith had hoped to open in May, one month after his cookbook came out and three years after his first shop debuted. It wasn't to be, though: the Gowanus location of Ample Hills (305 Nevins Street, 347-725-4061) starts scooping today.

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