Summer tends to be a sleepy season for restaurants (although, it sure wasn’t this year!) with most fledgling eateries electing to save their big debut for the fall. And this year promises to be just as exciting as anticipated, with an upcoming collaboration between Stephen Starr and Justin Smillie, and a Danny Meyer-less venture for Floyd Cardoz, not to mention a spate of spots from our Summer Preview, that should (finally!) open their doors come September, like Enrique Olveras’ Cosme, Geoffrey Zakarian’s redux of “The Palm Court” at The Plaza, and Dirty French from the Torrisi team!
White Street: After spending a large part of his career working for Danny Meyer and his Union Square Hospitality Group, esteemed chef Floyd Cardoz is finally branching out on his own, with this upcoming restaurant in the former Churrascaria space in Tribeca. His modern American eatery will evoke the sophistication and glamour of old New York, with chandeliers, tall ceilings, and a marble-floored lounge, and Tocqueville vet Jason Lawless will help Cardoz execute this contemporary menu with “global influences.” We certainly hope a bulk of the dishes showcase Cardoz’s homeland of India!
Upland: Il Buco Alimentari’s Justin Smillie left the rustic Italian establishment back in June, so he could team up with big time Philadelphia-based restaurateur, Stephen Starr, on this farm-to-table eatery in the old Manzanilla space in Gramercy. Slated to open in October, Upland is named after the California town where Smillie was born, and will feature California-inspired cuisine, like Sprouted Chickpea Croquettes and Coffee-soaked Lamb Belly with okra, tomatoes, and beans.
Aldo Sohm Wine Bar: The first real spin-off of the seminal seafood palace, Le Bernadin, this upcoming wine bar is a collaboration between Eric Ripert and his acclaimed sommelier, Aldo Sohm. Located in the former Palio space right by the Midtown restaurant, the sleek bar will include a first floor lounge area, and house a separate, 200-seat private dining room up above, where Ripert will serve a small menu of very simple food, designed to complement Sohm’s highly curated list of undoubtedly exquisite wine.
GG’s: When not overseeing his perennially mobbed scoop shop, Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream, Nick Morgenstern has been busy transforming his casual, East Village favorite, Goat Town, into a brand new concept called GG’s. Set to open in September, the 45-seat restaurant will showcase dishes cooked in a double-deck oven, like the Half Baked Lobster with tarragon butter, a signature 1986 Pizza (a nod to chef Bobby Hellen’s love of the NY Mets), topped with spicy soppressata, fennel agrodolce, pickled peppers and anise hyssop, and a Whole Salt-Roasted Branzino.
Alegre: Frequent “Chopped” judge and celebrity chef Aarón Sánchez is returning to his New York roots (he started his career at Paladar in his early 20’s), by opening this 80-seat spot on Orchard Street in late fall. The restaurant will pay homage to Sanchez’s Mexican heritage by showcasing his own interpretation of the food his grandmother and mother cooked. What to expect? Albondigas (meatballs) in a Chipotle Broth, and a musky, earthy Huitlacoche, Chanterelle Mushroom and Black Truffle Queso Fundido.
Yellow Magnolia Café: Prolific Brooklyn chef Rob Newton sure hasn’t been taking it easy since his recent Smith Street switcharoo, which involved closing his original, Southern-styled restaurant, Seersucker, replacing it with his Vietnamese street food spot, Nightingale 9, and using that space to house his casual fried chicken joint, Wilma Jean. Come October, he should be ready to reveal his brand new project in the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens called Yellow Magnolia Café, which will serve breakfast and lunch, have a “vegetable focus,” and even source ingredients from the lush, surrounding gardens themselves.
Ganso Yaki: Fresh off their recent re-launch of Ganso Ramen, Harris Salat and Chef Tadashi Ono (formerly of La Caravelle and Matsuri), will open Ganso Yaki in September, focusing on Japanese street food. Chief among the dishes will be an assortment of “Yakitori” items, prepared on a special grill imported directly from Japan. Other items will include Miso-cured fish and meat, street-style Tempura, savory Okonomiyaki pancakes, Japanese-style Fried Chicken and Tokyo-style Soba, as well as lesser-known specialties like Air-dried Skate Wing, Tripe-Miso Stew and Calf Liver Sashimi. An extensive Japanese and American craft beer list will complement the menu as will a wide selection of artisan-brewed, small-batch sake.
Stanton Street Kitchen: Chef Erik Blauberg, formerly of of Manhattan’s venerable 21 Club, will open Stanton Street Kitchen on the Lower East Side this September. The 70-seat restaurant will pay homage to the late 1920’s by featuring brick walls, high ceilings, copper accents and black granite. Look for small plates, such as Sugar Pea Risotto with cepes and delicata squash, Homemade Tagliatelle with hen of the woods mushrooms and wild boar sausage, and Port-Braised Oxtail with foie gras and fava bean ravioli. There will also be a Chef’s Feast Tasting Menu at the 14-seat bar, an assortment of “Beer Bites,” served on toast, such as Spicy Prawns with cracked corn, jicama and cilantro, and an expansive drinks program including 100 varietals of beer from around the world, 24 rotating seasonal drafts, and a selection of creative, handcrafted wine coolers.