-By Caroline benveniste
Saikai (24 Greenwich Avenue), the somewhat expensive Izakaya that we reported on in our “Restaurant Row” article, is now serving a very reasonably-priced $8 lunch of rice and noodle bowls. Gansevoort Market (353 West 14th Street) is almost entirely populated, although not all the stands have opened yet. You can’t get tacos from the Tacombi Volkswagon microbus anymore, but soon tacos will be available from Taco Delicatessen. Also still to come, and with signage up, is the third location of Big Gay Ice Cream and a Mediterranean spot called Grape Leaf. Also, Burgers Inc. is now open for business.
Brooklyn Fare (The Archive, 666 Greenwich Street): The big opening news this month is the long-awaited Brooklyn Fare. The store started in soft-opening mode on September 23rd, but word got out quickly to the supermarket-starved neighborhood. The space is huge and the selection is mammoth. I found a cleaning product, hot sauce, and ice cream flavor that I have not been able to locate elsewhere. The prices are reasonable, but the sale prices are sometimes spectacular. The cakes and pastries in the baking section look very promising. The pleasant and helpful staff, the slightly offbeat vibe, and the upbeat 80s soundtrack make for an enjoyable shopping experience.
ENFÖLD (411 Bleecker Street): This newcomer from Japan has minimalist décor and lots of white, black, and gray clothing, some of it reminiscent of Uniqlo but more stylish and more expensive.
Neely and Chloe (373 Bleecker Street): Neely and Chloe are Tory Burch’s nieces, and at this pop-up shop, their accessories, including relatively affordable handbags, are available and can even be monogrammed in-store.
Stolle (109 West 10th Street): Suddenly, with little fanfare, this Eastern European bakery and café opened in the long-shuttered space where Pet Palace used to be. Stolle opened its first store in 2002 in St. Petersburg, and now has over 49 locations in Russia and Europe. The menu consists of freshly-baked pies, both savory and sweet. The pies are quite tasty and fairly inexpensive ($6.25 for a large piece of the sweet pies and a little more for some of the savory pies).
Clean Table (28 7th Avenue South): This reasonably-priced vegetarian restaurant is also vegan-friendly, with seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients. Juices from Liquiteria are available in the attractive space that used to house first Mas (La Grillade) and later Almanac.
Mah-Ze-Dahr (28 Greenwich Avenue): September was a good month for bakery openings. About a year ago, New York Magazine reported on the imminent opening of Mah-Ze-Dahr. Now, it is finally here. The lemon pound cake has intense bursts of lemon and the brioche donut sports the donut hole like a little hat. A communal table in the back will be used for events and cooking classes in the evening, and can also be rented for private functions.
NY Frost Factory (106 MacDougal Street): This store offers Taiwanese shaved ice which is more like shaved ice cream. It is flash frozen, then run through a shaving machine which gives it a frilly appearance. It comes in exotic flavors such as matcha, passion fruit, and taro.
Expanding / Moving
Taqueria Mez-A (95 7th Avenue South): This Mexican restaurant appeared in the space that used to house Gallo Nero. Gallo Nero is now at 1 7th Avenue South. For a while it was at both locations, but the owners decided to turn one of them into a Mexican restaurant, hence the Taqueria.
Village Prime (302 Bleecker Street): This restaurant, which was supposed to be an uptown-style steakhouse, lasted only a year and a half despite some positive reviews. Variazioni (323 Bleecker Street) closed at the end of September. The cashier explained to me that retail on Bleecker was impacted by people coming in to try on items, and then purchasing them on the internet for less. Variazioni has many other stores and is therefore not too upset about closing this location. All’Onda (22 East 13th Street) was heavily covered by the food world when it opened because Chef ChrisJaeckle had been the chef at Ai Fiori when it received a three-star rating from the New York Times. The beginning of the end came in August when the main dining room closed and the downstairs area was retooled as a wine bar. Chris Jaeckle is also a partner in Uma Temakeria, the fast-casual hand roll spot with a location near 14th Street and 7th Avenue.
Uncorked (98 Christopher Street): wine store is the latest casualty on a stretch of Christopher Street with many empty storefronts. Bespoke Kitchen (615 1/2 Hudson Street) was an unusual and excellent restaurant, but never seemed to get the recognition it deserved. On the door of the empty restaurant are dueling signs, one from the restaurant promising to return in a week after some maintenance, and the other, from late August, is the sad and recognizable Marshal’s notice, indicating that the restaurant is not coming back. Nighthawks (679 Greenwich Street) sadly could not survive the prolonged work on their gas line which was noisy and disruptive and eventually left their restaurant with no gas.
A sign on a lamppost indicates that an entity called Kubbeh applied for a liquor license in the old Charlie Mom space (464 Avenue of the Americas). In the old Café Condesa space at 183 West 10th Street, construction is advancing for what will be a small restaurant with a mixology program.Pinto, a modern Thai restaurant that has had a location at 118 Christopher Street for 10 years (and also a Brooklyn location), is coming to the space that used to house Café Asean (117 West 10th Street). With Pokee (121 West 3rd Street), the poke craze comes to the West Village along with “Aloha in every bite”. New York Kimchi (102 MacDougal Street) which has a location in the Rocke-
feller Center area will tout the health benefits of kimchi in the West Village.
Photos by Maggie Berkvist
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