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Sneak Peek Archives - Restaurant Girl: Best Food Blog & Restaurant Guide
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Inside Ramen Lab’s New Business Incubator

Posted on May 19, 2015 in Ethnic Eats, Gourmet Gossip, Sneak Peek

Instead of simply running a standard noodle-slurping counter, Sun Noodle recently decided to use their Ramen Lab space as a small business incubator as well. They’ve invited ramen chefs and fledgling restaurants from across the U.S., and even Japan, to take over the tiny kitchen for three weeks at a time, to refine their concepts, tweak their broths, and…

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Hot Restaurant Openings to Watch for in 2015

Posted on Jan 15, 2015 in Hottest Newcomers, Restaurant Spotting, Sneak Peek

While we feel like we’ve hardly even made headway in the list of restaurants we wanted to try last year, New York’s ever-expanding dining industry stops for no man. And 2015 looks like it’s going to offer another serious onslaught of eateries! From a new & improved outpost of Amanda Cohen’s Dirt Candy to the surprising resurrection of Jonathan Waxman’s ‘80’s-era favorite, Jams…

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Afternoon Tea 2.0 at The Plaza

The Palm Court

Posted on May 8, 2007 in Sneak Peek

The newest addition to the gimmicky food set has me recalling Meg Ryan (When Harry Met Sally) demanding, "I want the sauce, but only if it’s on the side."  A restaurant that actually wants to put up with New York City’s most high maintenance.  God bless him: Saucy’s chef, Simon Mann, plans to lure fickle ladies with a build-it-yourself, mix & match menu. Well, there’s certainly no better neighborhood to open this type of joint than on the Upper East Side.  Post-pilates or the exercise class du jour, starved females can retreat to the 75-seat space, outfitted with a mirror & burlap-bag festooned ceiling and black-leather banquettes, to graze on organic chicken, filet mignon or pasta with a choice of fifty globally-inspired sauces: anchovy, tandoori, calamari and a French grenadine sauce.  But the most curious offering is a garlic,...

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New York Fall 2014 Restaurant Preview

Posted on Aug 21, 2014 in Best Of, Hottest Newcomers, Restaurant Spotting, Sneak Peek

This year promises to be just as exciting as anticipated, with an upcoming collabo 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…

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Restaurant Spotting: Brooklyn’s Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

Posted on May 8, 2007 in Sneak Peek

The newest addition to the gimmicky food set has me recalling Meg Ryan (When Harry Met Sally) demanding, "I want the sauce, but only if it’s on the side."  A restaurant that actually wants to put up with New York City’s most high maintenance.  God bless him: Saucy’s chef, Simon Mann, plans to lure fickle ladies with a build-it-yourself, mix & match menu. Well, there’s certainly no better neighborhood to open this type of joint than on the Upper East Side.  Post-pilates or the exercise class du jour, starved females can retreat to the 75-seat space, outfitted with a mirror & burlap-bag festooned ceiling and black-leather banquettes, to graze on organic chicken, filet mignon or pasta with a choice of fifty globally-inspired sauces: anchovy, tandoori, calamari and a French grenadine sauce.  But the most curious offering is a garlic,...

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Restaurant Openings to Look Forward to in 2013

Posted on Feb 7, 2013 in Sneak Peek

For food writers, each year generally ends with a flurry of restaurant “Best Of” listicles, chronicling the highs and lows of eateries both old and new. But as soon as the calendar reads January 2nd, we hit the reset button, turning our attention towards a brand new crop of impending openings. From Michael White’s eagerly anticipated double header in Manhattan (The Butterfly and Ristorante Morini), to Andy Ricker’s continued expansion of his Pok Pok empire in Brooklyn (Whiskey Soda Lounge), it’s already shaping up to be a banner year for the New York restaurant scene. And who knows? A few of them just might make our “Best Of” lists at the close of 2013.

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Sneak Peek: Empellon Cocina

Posted on Sep 9, 2011 in Sneak Peek

When chef Alex Stupak announced he was leaving WD-50 and the world of modernist cuisine to open a Mexican joint in the West Village, the food world seemed perplexed to say the least. Afterall, this was a talented pastry chef making the strange leap into tacos and tequila.  Open less than a year, his restaurant, Empellon, is not only surviving, but by the looks of the nightly crowds in the dining room, it seems to be thriving.  In fact, he’s already working on a second outpost, called Empellon Cocina. With just 65 seats his newest venture will serve as a more upscale counterpart, trading tacos for a tasting menu and tortilla chips for elegant ingredients and plating.  Stupak envisions tasting menus with wine pairings. Just what kind of food will Stupak be making at Empellon Cocina? Modern Mexican, or perhaps...

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Sneak Peek – Coppelia

Posted on Apr 4, 2011 in Sneak Peek

Right around this time each year, as the weather finally begins to warm up, we start cravingLatin flavors and its vibrant spices. So we were excited to find out that Julian Medina, the chef behind both Yerba Buena outposts and Toloache, had plans to open a “Latino diner.” And we’re even more thrilled to learn that it’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Just this week, Chef Medina flung open the doors of his funky eatery in Chelsea.  Decked out in checkerboard floors and red and blue leather banquettes (meant to evoke the bench seat of your uncle’s old Chevy), the space has all the underpinnings of a classic diner. Bar stools, coffee service and a dessert display scream greasy spoon, but nothing is as conventional as it looks. The coffee is Cuban and consulting pastry chef Pichet Ong has stocked...

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Sneak Peek – Mr. Robata

Posted on Mar 29, 2011 in Sneak Peek

I love robata (open-fire grill) cooking.  I love yakitori, izakayas, and sushi, too.  In fact, I’m pretty much in love with the entire genre of Japanese food.  So when Mr. Robata opened it midtown just a few weeks ago, I was eager to there.  My only concern was the location.  Historically speaking, the theater district isn’t exactly a dining destination.  Most New Yorkers only eat in the theater district out of necessity, like when they’re seeing a show or work in the neighborhood.  From a restaurant perspective, it’s hard to survive unless you’re surviving heaping platters of spaghetti and meatballs (Carmine’s) or unlimited breadsticks (Olive Garden).   So I was a little skeptical about what I would find. The first thing you should know about Mr. Robata is that it’s right next door to Flash Dancers, “A Gentleman’s Club.” ...

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Sneak Peek At Alex Stupak's Empellon

Posted on Mar 22, 2011 in Sneak Peek

When pastry whiz Alex Stupak announced this fall that he was leaving WD-50 to open a taqueria, the food world at-large scratched its head.  Why would someone with Stupak’s pedigree leave the kingdom of molecular gastronomy (or modernist cuisine, or whatever the term du jour might be) to sling tacos in the West Village?    So we sat down with him to find out what inspired this sudden and unexpected move.  Stupak explains, “My goal was to open a restaurant of my own by the age of thirty.” He had worked not just in the kitchens of WD-50 and Alinea, but also staged at some of the finest restaurants in the world including, Copenhagen’s Noma.  While most assumed he’d continue along that path, he wasn’t convinced. While planning his wedding in East Los Angeles, where his wife was born, he...

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Rouge Tomate 2.0 – A Concept & Menu Change

Posted on Sep 6, 2010 in Sneak Peek

While everyone was lounging on the beach and seizing the last days of summer, Rouge Tomate was busy revamping its menu and its dining room.  It was always an original concept: There aren’t many, if any, restaurants with a pedigreed chef, locally sourced ingredients, an in-house nutritionist that clocks calories, and a S.P.E. charter  devoted to Health Through Food.  The result is a Michelin-starred meal that you don’t have to feel guilty about.  Really, the only drawback was the formality of the menu and the size of the plates.  Nowadays, no one likes to commit to one dish, so they tossed that concept and started from scratch.   Rouge Tomate 2.0 has newly installed an upstairs lounge and a small plates menu for casual, grazing endeavors that’s available anywhere you sit.  It’s a smart move.  Now, you can nibble on...

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Exclusive Look — Inside The Breslin

Posted on Sep 20, 2009 in Sneak Peek

As you can see, The Breslin isn’t quite ready to open its doors.  But it’s getting there and it’s going to be a looker.  The restaurant, named for the Breslin hotel that once inhabited the space, is one of fall’s most anticipated openings.  This is a dramatic transformation for both the space and for the neighborhood, which used to be a ghost town and night.  Pedicabs and taxis are already lining up outside the Ace hotel, which is fast becoming a hipster destination.  The layout includes a restaurant with its own bar, hotel bar, and lounge.  The Ace lobby looks and feels like a large living room, furnished with book shelves, desk lamps, a wall-sized American flag, and a sea of red velvet couches.   The Breslin is partners Ken Friedman and chef April Bloomfield’s biggest undertaking yet.  The team...

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First Look: Crave on 42nd

Posted on Dec 5, 2007 in Sneak Peek

Top Chef alum Dave Martin (pictured right) opened the doors to his first restaurant, Crave on 42nd.  Upon dispatching a regular correspondent to the opening event, we’ve learned that Martin himself has personally painted the brightly colored squares that adorn the walls.  The specials are cutely written, as if with lipstick, on a large mirror facing the entrance.  Not to be confused with the east side ceviche bar Crave, Martin will be serving "upscale American comfort food."  On the kitchen agenda: Dave’s black truffle mac n’ cheese and the hanging tenderloin martini- steak with carrot puree served cocktail style in a martini glass. Though Martin did not reign victorious on Top Chef, there are new aspirations that diners and fans will be making the trek to the western wilderness of 12th Avenue.  Time will certainly tell… Crave on 42ndAddress:...

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First Look at Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill

Posted on Nov 4, 2007 in Sneak Peek

No matter what culinary genre they’re tapping into, Bruce & Eric Bromberg (Blue Ribbon restaurants) seem to have a knack for drawing crowds and maintaining a devoted clientele.  At Blue Ribbon Brasserie, the two manage to deliver a just as first-rate steak tartare as they do a comforting Matzoh ball soup.  While many often falter and overreach when mixing cuisines, the Bromberg Bros. have built a lucrative empire off the formula. At Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill, they’ve integrated their two Sullivan Street concepts at 6 Columbus Hotel, just a few steps from the Time Warner Center.   Though this incarnation has sadly left the signature steak tartare and cheese fondue behind, there’s a sizeable Japanese-centered menu with a generous raw fish selection in addition to cooked meats and seafood. Seeing as there was a forty-five minute wait at...

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Bacon Hits Happy Hour

Posted on Oct 23, 2007 in Beer Bars, Best Of, Sneak Peek

This weekend we stumbled upon a truly peculiar cocktail at Double Down Saloon, the New York spin-off of an infamous Las Vegas bar.  This artful dive bar serves up a house-infused bacon vodka.  Committed to his peculiar vision, the owner has special bacon flown in from Kentucky, which he then fries up and soaks in high-quality vodka to create a “Bacon Martini” or Bloody Mary.  And if bacon vodka wasn’t sufficiently audacious, each martini is topped with a juicy stick of Slim Jim to gnaw while sipping.  Bartender Joan likens the libation to “a good scotch.” Address:14 Avenue A, just above Houston St.Phone: (212)982-0543doubledownsaloon.com Until we eat again,Restaurant Girl**Don’t forget to subscribe for Restaurant Girl’s weekly...

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BLT Market Revealed…At Last!

Posted on Aug 13, 2007 in Sneak Peek

Laurent Tourondel has successfully done steak (BLT Steak), seafood (BLT Fish) and like everyone else, a burger joint (BLT Burger).  Now, he’s jumping on the market bandwagon with BLT Market.  A seasonal affair, BLT Market will embrace locally-sourced produce with a menu that rotates monthly.  Come fall, chef Tourondel will dabble in dishes like an arugula and dandelion salad, pan-seared striped bass with cranberry bean caponata and fennel confit, and Amish chicken Provencal.  A glimpse of the interior reveals creamy walls lined with vibrant paintings of tomatoes (an obvious nod to the market component) and bare bulb light fixtures which hang over reclaimed wood tables and chairs.  Though this appears a more casual endeavor for Tourondel, we can’t forget it’s housed in Central Park South’s Ritz Carlton. Opening its doors August 16th, BLT Market will serve dinner on a...

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Centro Vinoteca's Devilish Dish

Posted on Aug 2, 2007 in Sneak Peek

The newest Italian to descend on the “boot-saturated” West Village reveals a determined kitchen with ingenious little twists on food that manages not to take itself seriously.  With Felidia, Savoy and numerous stints as Batali’s sidekick on Iron Chef America, Centro Vinoteca is Anne Burrell’s solo show.  While it’s still too early in the game to jump to any conclusions, I’m compelled to bask in the sheer delight of their truffled deviled eggs.  Now twice bitten, these nibbles proved themselves to be no fluke.  Let’s break them down, shall we?  Behold, these hardboiled whites; deceptively simple groundwork for wickedly creamy puffs of black truffle-specked yolks, doused with truffle oil & sprinkled with fresh chives.  Here’s the clincher: they’re a mere $4.  I’ll never see a deviled egg quite the same way again. Address: 74 Seventh Ave., at Barrow St.Phone:...

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Dish of the Week

Posted on Jul 30, 2007 in Sneak Peek

As I plow through the perpetual blizzard of new eateries, I’ve discovered many a dish that aught be devoured immediately.  Thus, I’m officially kicking off my newly inducted weekly edition of “Dish of the Week”, or in this particular case…dessert.  Seeing that summer’s in full and much of the New York dining set have, for better or worse, made the Hamptons their weekend escape, I’ve sifted through the lot and happened upon a dessert so divinely dreamy it’s just wrong.  That’s right…dreamy.  While the parking lot mayhem at dining fixture Nick & Toni’s may compel you to continue farther East to The Clam Bar in Amangansett (a worthwhile & laid back alternative), the peach & walnut tarte is inarguably worth clamoring for a parking spot.  As we sunk our spoons into the gooey depths of this blissfully warm nibble...

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Townline BBQ in Previews

Posted on Jul 13, 2007 in Sneak Peek

The moment has finally arrived; well, almost.  While Townline BBQ doesn’t officially open to the public until July 19th, we’ve managed to get our hands on the menu.  But first, let’s do a little background check: Owner Mark Smith & executive chef Joe Realmuto (of Nick & Toni’s Hamptons fame) set out on an extensive roadtrip across Texas to sample the Lone Star State’s best barbecue joints. After doing their proper due diligence – pitmaster Joe Realmuto completed an intensive bbq class, properly mastering the artistry of low & slow cooking – the two have returned to the beach to peddle their newfound ‘cue cooking.  They even picked up a few already christened smokers to get the job done right.    While Alison’s by the Beach is all but a memory, what’s emerged in its place is a down...

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UES Gets Sauced

Posted on May 8, 2007 in Sneak Peek

The newest addition to the gimmicky food set has me recalling Meg Ryan (When Harry Met Sally) demanding, "I want the sauce, but only if it’s on the side."  A restaurant that actually wants to put up with New York City’s most high maintenance.  God bless him: Saucy’s chef, Simon Mann, plans to lure fickle ladies with a build-it-yourself, mix & match menu. Well, there’s certainly no better neighborhood to open this type of joint than on the Upper East Side.  Post-pilates or the exercise class du jour, starved females can retreat to the 75-seat space, outfitted with a mirror & burlap-bag festooned ceiling and black-leather banquettes, to graze on organic chicken, filet mignon or pasta with a choice of fifty globally-inspired sauces: anchovy, tandoori, calamari and a French grenadine sauce.  But the most curious offering is a garlic,...

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