Seoul Chicken Brings Korean-Fried and Southern-Fried Chicken to the LES

Justine Dungo
When Chaz Brown would visit New York City as a kid, he fell in love with the neighborhood Chinese joints, the types of places that would serve a half chicken with a side of fried rice for $5. "I wanted to put that on a pedestal," says the Fatty Crab and Fatty 'Cue alum. And now, he'll get his chance, albeit with a Korean twist. Brown is opening Seoul Chicken (71 Clinton Street) on Tuesday, where he'll serve Korean-fried and Southern-fried chicken to the Lower East Side.

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Five Restaurants That Opened in NYC This Week

Snowadays 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 food and beer hall hits Crown Heights, the East Village gets a snow creamery, and the first Denny's location opens in Manhattan.

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Here's an Early Look at Berg'n, Now Open in Crown Heights

Lucy Nieboer
The afternoon crowd at Berg'n beer hall.
After months of build-up, Berg'n (899 Bergen Street, Brooklyn; 718-857-2337) made its debut in ever-gentrifying Crown Heights this week, giving the neighborhood a brand new beer-hall-food-stall combo from Eric Demby and Jonathan Butler, the same folks behind Smorgusburg and Brooklyn Flea. The area has already embraced the place -- the massive hall was busy but not packed when the doors first opened, but later that evening, the line stretched the length of the building.

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Joseph Smith of Bobby Van's Brings Old School Philosophy to the Brand New BV's Grill

Billy Lyons
BV's Grill isn't just about steak, though you can find a great cut here if desired

In the hospitality business, common sense tells us that every customer should be treated with tender care. Unfortunately, "common sense isn't all that common," according to long time restaurateur Joseph Smith, who's latest endeavor BV's Grill (919 Third Avenue; 212-935-6800) marks his and his partners' tenth restaurant in New York.

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Inside Koro Koro, a Kickstarter-Funded Rice Ball Cafe Now Open in Jersey City

All photos by Adam Robb
A fresh-wrapped pickled plum rice ball with Japanese potato salad, at Jersey City's Koro Koro.

Forget everything you know about the tonjiki of 11th century Japan upon entering Koro Koro (538 Jersey Avenue, Jersey City; 201-432-9030), downtown Jersey City's Kickstarter-funded rice ball shop, now open a few doors down from Jersey Avenue's Choc-O-Pain bakery. Partners Carrie Grosso and Vincenzo Bove have converted a former Polish travel agency into the region's first cafe exclusively dedicated to the Japanese lunchbox eats, reinventing them with ethnically diverse meaty and vegan fillings pressed between hot white or brown rice, and wrapped up to order in triangles of fresh Nori.

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Inside the Mast Brothers' Chocolate Brew Bar, Now Open in Williamsburg

All photos by Adam Robb
The exterior of the Mast Brothers' Brew Bar at 105A North 3rd Street in Williamsburg.
The drinkable chocolates at Brew Bar (105A North 3rd Street, Brooklyn), the Mast Brothers' new not-coffee shop now open a few doors down from the siblings' Williamsburg factory, are the antithesis of Serendipity's glop, Max Brenner's price-gouging, even City Bakery's supremely sippable, seasonal abyss. The Mast Brothers version is not a hot chocolate that evokes nostalgia for thin Swiss Miss, hulking marshmallows, and the peppermint aroma of dissolving candy canes permeating your parents' living room. Brew Bar is a French parfumerie outfitted like a Quaker church, where experienced baristas hand-grind a panoply of single origin cocoa beans, all brewed to a fragrant berry and buttery climax as addictive, accessible, and questionably healthful as any hot morning cuppa or fruity iced tea.

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Here are Three Restaurants That Opened In NYC This Week

Yonekichi's rice burger.

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 boob-tastic bar in Bushwick, a Cuban-Chinese retaurant in Midtown, and a rice burger hits the East Village.

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Here's an Early Taste of Orleans, Now Serving Po'Boys in Bushwick

Orleans sits under the M train
Have you noticed that most new Manhattan restaurants are variations on a theme? With few exceptions, these places look alike (sleek and design-y, but intentionally not overwrought), sound alike ("We're trying to give the neighborhood a place where they can come four times a week," owners declare), and taste alike (there's something for everyone on the menu -- and probably octopus and kale, too -- no matter the cuisine). They're even priced alike: You're probably going to drop $60 on a weeknight, $100 on a weekend -- not so much that you have buyer's remorse, but not so little that you don't feel it, either. There are exceptions, of course, but it's hard to buck the formula in New York's most expensive borough. After all, formulas make it easy for an investor to see how they might make a profit. And given the price of doing business in Manhattan these days, that assurance must be nice.

Out in the wilds of Brooklyn, however, restaurants cram themselves into any old space imaginable, which is why Orleans (603 Hart Street, Brooklyn) can inhabit a triangle-shaped outdoor sliver right underneath the M train and no one thinks it's weird.

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Babeth's Feast Brings Frozen Food to the Forefront

All photos by Billy Lyons
The selection at Babeth's is a mix of home cooked meals and locally sourced favorites

It might not even cross your mind to traverse the city streets in search of a supermarket's frozen aisle, but a new venture is looking to change the way we perceive our freezer. Babeth's Feast (1422 Third Avenue; 877-968-3327) is the first store in New York dedicated to food waiting to be thawed and popped in the oven, and it's purveying a line-up that includes the store's own homemade French fare as well as local darlings like Roberta's pizza.

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Here's an Early Taste of Tuome, Now Open in the East Village

Tuome via Facebook
Thomas Chen has honed his knife skills and tended burners at Eleven Madison Park at Commerce, but before he was behind such storied lines, he was crunching numbers as an accountant. Four years into that career, though, he started attending cooking school at night, and he made a full transition into the restaurant world when he graduated. And now, after putting in his time at those New York City temples, he's stepping out on his own: Last week he debuted Tuome (536 East 5th Street, 646-833-7811), where he's turning out "ingredient-driven refined food with Asian influence in a casual setting," he says.

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