By David Porat
Walking up Bleecker St. last week, I noticed an attractive storefront which had opened just that day. It looks like a lifestyle statement focusing on Mediterranean living and food. The front of the store is tastefully filled with specialty food, housewares and food-friendly books to take home. The back holds a bar and tasting area where much of the product can be sampled. The opening menu is a good selection of “small plates” and a full bar.
305 Bleecker Street
Aux Merveilleux de Fred
Driving up 8th Ave. in the fall, I noticed a very attractive bakery storefront with a distinctive chandelier. Walking in the Left Bank of Paris at the end of January, I noticed the same place—they have locations in London, Geneva, Brussels in addition to Paris and New York—the world does grow smaller. Both stores I saw were very appealing. From the window, I watched meringues being filled with whipped cream and finished with chocolate, coffee, and caramel. Their signature product is promoted as gluten free and “low calorie meringue pastry.” When filled and topped, they are hardly low-calorie, but they did win an appreciative nod of approval at Chelsea Market Baskets for a recent birthday, and are a bit less expensive by the dozen. They have a few other products, but the merveilleux are available in a few different sizes and many flavors and were indeed special.
37 8th Avenue at Jane Street
The area that was once the Bagel and Rugelach storefronts and kitchen has now become many smaller businesses with eat-in and take home possibilities. As reported in February, Li-Lac Chocolates (another location for them) is already open, and new store fronts are due to open any minute—including Filaga Pizzeria (a spin-off from L’Arte del Gelato) and Dizengoff (an extension of their Philadelphia based Israeli hummusiya.) As reported in Eater, Dizengoff NYC will include both lunch and dinner service and advertise their specials on Instagram.
409.5 15th Street
La Sirena Risorante
La Sirena opened after much construction in the Maritime Hotel on the Plaza level. A new Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich restaurant, it is their first in over a decade with an Italian pedigree. The attractive space has a 60’s feel. You can enjoy the indoor space lined with windows looking out now, and once weather permits they will open the extensive outdoor space. La Sirena has a bar and is open for breakfast and dinner every day.
88 9th Avenue
GLOBAL MERINGUES: Sweet treats at Aux Merveilleux de Fred in Paris, very similar to the one in New York. Photo by David Porat.