How Porchlight Fits In to Danny Meyer's USHG Empire

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Courtesy USHG
Union Square Hosplitality Group managing partner Mark Maynard-Parisi at Porchlight
Danny Meyer may get the spotlight, but Porchlight (271 Eleventh Avenue, 212-981-6188) is really the handiwork of Blue Smoke managing partner Mark Maynard-Parisi, who found a window into the West Chelsea bar scene where there literally wasn't one before. "It was a full catering kitchen, and all the windows were boarded up, it had drop ceilings," he says of the address. "But I saw the bones of the building and I knew what it could be."

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Here's What to Order at Brand-New GENUINE Superette

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Genuine via Facebook
AvroKO, the restaurant group behind Public and Saxon + Parole and the design and architecture team behind Beauty & Essex, is back with GENUINE Superette (191 Grand Street). Like its sibling incarnation, GENUINE Roadside (Gotham West Market), the superette serves up laid-back favorites with a California vibe: burgers, tacos, salads, juices, and ice cream sandwiches, which are "an Instagram moment for sure," says executive chef Brad Farmerie.

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Marcus Samuelsson Wants Streetbird to Be Harlem's Diner

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All photos by Laura Shunk, the Village Voice
Drop in to Red Rooster for dinner and a drink almost any night of the week, and you'll likely feel swept up in a sea of Harlem royalty — neighbors greet one another over cocktails and connect each other with new friends; deals get signed at dining-room tables stacked with fried yardbird and sides of cornbread. Bill Clinton, whose office is in Harlem, and Mayor de Blasio make neighborhood-related political announcements at Red Rooster, and actors, musicians, and artists book booths in the downstairs lounge. The restaurant's success is a testament to the vision of chef and owner Marcus Samuelsson; when he opened the place, he says, Harlem desperately needed a neighborhood brasserie, and so that's what he created.

Now, four years later, Samuelsson thinks Harlem needs a diner — and so that's what he's opened with Streetbird (2149 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, 212-206-2557), a casual eatery dedicated to rotisserie chicken.

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Take in the Views From Atop 30 Rock Over a Cocktail at SixtyFive

SixtyFive View
Katherine Knowles for the Village Voice
This is a view. Possibly The View. Empire State soaring into the sunset, the city spread out below in a sparkling patchwork. A mere five stories above, tourists have paid $30 to admire this vista, and here you are, on the 65th floor, no cover charge required, sipping a cocktail in what has to be one of the most spectacular bars in the city.

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Have a Taste of the Smorrebrod From Quickly Expanding Brod Kitchen

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Caryn Ganeles for the Village Voice
Roast chicken smørrebrød
After taking over the space of a Second Avenue Hot and Crusty franchise, Bröd Kitchen (1201 Second Avenue, 212-600-5202) is stepping up Midtown East's sandwich game. Monette de Botton, creative director of the five-month-old Danish grab-and-go eatery, had a vision for the fledgling restaurant's next big thing. "I went away and spent a weekend on my own and realized we need to do smørrebrød," she says. "We need to do these little sandwiches, and they need to be beautiful."

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An Early Taste of the Pancakes at Newly Opened Le District

le District Pancake for Open Open Open by Katherine Knowles
Katherine Knowles for the Village Voice
Drawing on the success of Battery Park's Pier A, restaurateur Peter Poulakakos and his business partner Paul Lamos are back with a new venture, Le District(Le District at Brookfield Place, 225 Liberty Street, 212-981-8589), housed off the Winter Garden of Brookfield Place (under Hudson Eats).


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Have a Taste of the Chinese-Spanish Fare at Tasca Chino

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Tasca Chino via Facebook
Flatbread
When he was sixteen years old, chef Alex Ureña left the Dominican Republic for a post at the River Cafe in Brooklyn. Since then, he's worked in local places like Blue Hill and Bouley, and he's been behind burners in France, the Bahamas, and Spain (including a stint at El Bulli). As a result, he loves culture and exploring the ways it comes to bear on different foods: He's a student of Chinese, Korean, Latin, and Brazilian fare, and sushi.

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Why High-End Chefs Are Increasingly Getting Involved With Fast-Casual Restaurants

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Zachary Feldman, the Village Voice
Uma Temakeria
Back in January of 2014, just after Top Chef Franklin Becker had opened up his quick-service, seasonally inspired, gluten-free restaurant the Little Beet, he told the Voice that he was opening a fast-casual restaurant, despite his fine-dining background, because "if we can change the masses, we can make a movement that changes the future." The financials didn't hurt, either. While he says one fine-dining restaurant is often more profitable than one fast-casual restaurant, the latter presents the possibility of growing a chain: The Little Beet currently has two locations, one in Manhattan and another on Long Island, and there are seven more already in the works, including a Washington, D.C., outpost.

Becker isn't the only fine-dining stalwart that's jumped into this game: Mas (farmhouse) and Almanac chef Galen Zamarra was recruited to head the North American culinary operations for Belgian chain EXKi, and Danny Meyer and Michael White alumnus Chris Jaeckle debuted his made-to-order sushi hand roll concept late last year.

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Have an Early Sip of the Spice-Infused Cocktails at Mace

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Scott Gordon Bleicher
Thumb through the pages of the cocktail menu at Mace (649 East 9th Street) and you won't find classic drink names upon which to seize. Instead, you'll peruse names of spices in bold-face, each one sketched and explained, in addition to being listed in a beverage. Here is pandan, a sweet herbal leaf that blends with clarified milk, rum, and pineapple juice. Or paprika, which adds just a little peppery heat to a verdant drink built with tequila, pea shrub, and tart verjus. The bar's namesake, mace, is on the menu, too — the fragrant sibling of nutmeg mixes with a bittersweet blend of Aperol, aquavit, and beet juice.

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Watch Classic VHS Movies at Nitehawk Cinema's New Lo-Res Bar

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All photos by Billy Lyons for the Village Voice
From Beyond cocktail
Though drinking in the theater has always been acceptable at Nitehawk Cinema, owner Matthew Viragh had trouble luring patrons to the downstairs bar. When his team began trying to figure out how best to entice drinkers, they found an answer that had been staring them in the face for years: the vast collection of VHS tapes decorating Nitehawk's walls. And so they opened Lo-Res Bar (136 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn; 718-384-3980), offering large-format drinks and two vintage televisions playing a continuous digital loop of VHS classics.

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