The Village just got a little slice of Queens. Tonight Milk & Hops, a Manhattan spinoff of Astoria Bier & Cheese, celebrates its grand opening with a par-tay: $35 gets you in on a buffet-style meal of meat, cheese and sandwich platters, Mast Brothers chocolate, and a steady flow of draft beer.
There’s more upheaval on the East Village’s Curry Row, where Banjara and Brick Lane Curry House moved away in recent years. Earlier today, workers were spotted moving fixtures out of Mitali East, the Indian restaurant that, having been open since 1973, was the oldest existing eatery still on East 6th Street, between Second and First Avenues. A sign on the door reads, “We lost our lease” and directs customers to sister spot Haveli.
“I grew up right down the block,” Johnny Huynh (co-owner of Lucy’s, a tiny new Vietnamese restaurant in Bushwick) explained, beaming. “I’m a native. But it’s funny– I was never home. I was always out being a bad kid. So that was part of the ambition for this place, I wanted to learn to cook Vietnamese to learn more about my heritage.” Johnny, who is spotted with tattoos and looks as young as 25 sounds, sat down across the table from me at Lucy’s after I’d furiously whipped through a bowl of his fragrant bowl of vegetarian pho. This broth will be the base for all pho on offer here– no chicken or beef broth, but you can throw in some brisket if you’re feeling frisky. But man, Johnny’s broth is right up there with any of the meaty broths I’ve had, and honestly it only had to be about a quarter as good as this was to keep me coming back.
Here’s a fun drinking option if you’re heading to the Pixies/TV on the Radio show or anything else in Asbury Park this summer — Andy Ivanov, a founder of Williamsburg’s Radegast Beer Hall, has converted a former Lerner’s department store into a massive beer garden.
Umami Burger dropped a flavor bomb on Williamsburg yesterday, announcing at 4pm that it was giving away dinner to the first 150 people who signed up at its new location at 158 North 4th Street, off of Bedford Avenue. I happened to be nearby, so I put my name on the list. Ooo mami, It was finally time to pop my UB cherry and find out why exactly there’s always a wait at its Greenwich Village location.
The people behind Boobie Trap, most likely Brooklyn’s first and only boob-themed bar, are taking over their Bushwick block. Back in January, the owners of Verde Coal Oven Pizza (what used to be something of a neighborhood institution many moons ago before it slid slowly into apathy) put the casual Italian restaurant up for sale. Kristen North and Paul King bought the place, gut-renovated it, and turned it into Pizza Party, which they described to me as “Boobie Trap’s little brother.”
After opening an upstairs oyster bar back in September, the owners of Ludlow Street basement boîte Chloe 81 have turned their adjacent spot, Sebastian LC, into a “New American bistro” called Farmhouse.
It’s sad to lose longstanding French favorite Casimir, on Avenue B, but local Francophiles needn’t fret because over the past two months Casimir’s owner, Mario Carta, has spent the last two months transforming the space into his new French tapas joint Pardon My French; he says Casimir had a good run of 16 years, and with his business partner Antonin Brune and a new chef he’s ready to introduce the East Village to what he says is a more fresh, modern concept. It opens Monday.
Maybe it had something to do with the fact that we could feel exactly zero of our extremities by the time we rolled up to the Comfort, a new diner on the Lower East Side, but something about this place was so… comfortable. Roomy old-school vinyl booths and a springy color scheme offer a seriously cushy respite from the brutal second coming of the Ice Age happening outside right now. Oh, and the Comfort, unlike its older sister restaurant the Comfort Diner (which has called what’s perhaps the least comfortable spot on the planet, Times Square, home for the last 20 years or so) has possibly the best cure for New Ice Age-related ecophobia: booze.
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Pour some sangria out for La Paella. After 20 years on East 9th Street, the Spanish spot just got a Cuban makeover.
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It’s another case of boot camps replacing bohemia: physical therapy has replaced Fellini at both former locations of Kim’s Video on St. Marks Place.
On the corner of Second Avenue, Taiji Body Work just opened in the space that once housed the second location of Kim’s; on the other end of the block, Nimble Fitness has moved into the former home of Mondo Kim’s.
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Looking to channel Blake Lively? Look no further. Womens’ apparel designer Lindsey Thornburg reopened last week at 21 Orchard Street after a rent hike forced her to move from her residence of two years, at 114 Stanton.
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