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Spring Restaurant Preview

FR.OG (of French Origin)
There’s life at Philip Kirsh & chef Didier Virot’s French-bent downtown venture.  Fashionablly located across from Balthazar, this two-level space will play host to 120 guests.  By way of an open kitchen, you can even watch the handsome Virot create French, Lebanese and Moroccan delicacies: sardine tart, canelloni of lamb, roasted lobster with almonds and honey, and duck leg in pastilla.  Having just secured their liquor license, FR.OG has reported that they’re merely waiting on the physical permit receipt from the city.  (For god’s sake, I’ll go pick it up).  An opening date?  Any minute now to a week…

71 Spring St., btwn. Broadway & Lafayette Sts.

After a month-long delay due to gas issues with the
city, it seems Mercat will finally open its doors no later than April
16th.  On Noho’s Bond Street, the 90-seat tapas bar stage is set and
hopefully ready for primetime where native Barcelonian Jaime Reixach
plans to dish out Catalan-bent small plates, homemade sangrias and an
exclusively Spanish wine list.  Through the subway-tiled kitchen, diners be able to watch chefs David
Seigal (Bouley) & Ryan Lowder (Jean Georges) in action.

45 Bond St., btwn. Lafayette & Broadway

Zipper Factory

Premiering next Friday off-Broadway (literally), chef Larry Kolar makes his re-entree into the dining world with a butchershop chic tavern.  Formerly a zipper factory, this spot rides London’s dinner theater trend, joined at the hip to The Zipper Theater.  With seating for 90, this is Kolar’s culinary homage to the butcher shops and bakeries that once peppered the Garment District.  With homemade pastas, prime rib and charcuterie, light dining it’s not.
If you can make it up the stairs, you can apparently smoke a cigarette in the outdoor bar.  That’s what they say.  It almost makes you want to see a play.

336 W. 37th, at 9th Ave.


Carne Vale
Just in time for spring, this East Village
Brazilian steakhouse introduces a charming outdoor patio (seating for
20) and a fish-laden a la carte menu.  While churrascaria’s usually
evoke images of intimidating hunks of skewered meat, this spot has
snuck swimsuit-friendly fare into the mix: pacu fish ribs, roasted
tilapia and brazilian ceviche.  The owner of Le Souk, Marcus Jacob is
the man behind Carne Vale’s spring makeover.

46 Avenue B, btwn. 3rd & 4th Sts.

If you blinked you would’ve missed the closing of Varietal, which reopens this evening with fusionist chef Wayne Nish, a new $48 prix fixe menu and oodles of restaurant drama.  Wayne will be pulling double duty, overseeing both his Sutton Place townhouse (Nish) as well as Varietal’s newly Progressive American.  For the prix fixe averse, a la carte will be offered in the lounge.

138  W. 25th St., btwn. 6th & 7th Aves.

Until we eat again,
Restaurant Girl

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