Last month I took a break from In & Out so I could work on the Village Directory. But this month In & Out is back, with a new opening, a number of recently re-opened spots, and a couple of closings. Some of the trends we’ve noticed are family/large format meals, restaurants pivoting to selling groceries and “do it yourself kits”, and limited menus.
Pane Pasta (58 West 8th Street between 6th Avenue and MacDougal Street)
“Pane Pasta …the Sicilian experience in the heart of the West Village” opened in mid-March just before the shelter in place order took effect, and then re-opened in early May. Their delicious-looking carb-loaded offerings are available for take-out and delivery. In addition to pizza and pasta, the menu features panini, arancini, and desserts, including the krapfen, a giant filled donut, available with vanilla or chocolate cream. The owners are both from Sicily so the food is authentic, and also quite inexpensive.
The Corner at Bar Sardine (183 West 10th Street at the corner of West 4th Street) has opened in the Bar Sardine space. Their theme is “Stayin’ in the City? Us too. Let’s have some fun. Like Montauk in Manhattan”, and their dinner menu has lobster rolls, shrimp rolls, cold fried chicken and shrimp cocktail. Breakfast and lunch are still to come. Gabe Stuhlman, the head of Happy Cooking group (formerly Little Wisco) which includes a number of local spots such as Joseph Leonard, Fedora, Fairfax, and Jeffrey’s Grocery recently wrote a letter to local officials encouraging them to support Bill 1932-2020 which would “temporarily prohibit the enforcement of personal liability provisions in commercial leases or rental agreements involving a COVID-19 impacted tenant. This would apply to businesses that were impacted by mandated closures and service limitations in the Governor’s Executive Orders.” In his letter, Stulman elaborates: “We have applied for every loan and grant that we’ve deemed worthwhile…To date, we have not been approved for a single application. Without aid (whether private or government funded)—specifically in the form of GRANTS—we will likely close multiple businesses. I believe my current circumstances are shared by the majority of small restaurant owners in New York City. Emotionally and financially, I am preparing for this possibility of going bankrupt and belly up. Not being able to pay vendors, utility companies, taxes, etc. should be enough—however, that is not where this story ends. I am concerned that my landlords, in addition to them keeping my security deposits (most of them three months and in excess of $60,000), are entitled to—and likely will—sue me personally for my obligations under my various leases.” Stulman recently re-opened Jeffrey’s Grocery as more of a grocery than a restaurant, with meal kits, prepared foods, fruits, vegetables, pantry staples, wine and beer, etc. as a way to hire back some of his employees.
Miznon (Chelsea Market, 75 9th Avenue between 15th and 16th Streets) has reopened (their West 72nd street location has been open throughout the pandemic). There are two ways to order, either from the regular menu, or from the Miznon Shop which carries large format dishes, kits, pantry staples and an impressive selection of wine, mostly French Burgundies. Ordering from the shop must be done by 3 PM on Wednesday for 3-5 PM pick-up or delivery on Friday (this arrangement reminds me of a trip to Tel Aviv, where we saw that on Fridays, many vendors offered prepared food that people could pick up in advance of the Sabbath).
Roey’s (1 Perry Street at Greenwich Avenue), the all-day dining replacement for Rosemary’s Pizza and part of the Casa Nela group which includes Rosemary’s, Bobo and Claudette has re-opened. The founder, Carlos Suarez, explains: “Casa Nela restaurants suspended delivery service in March, we did so for the health and safety of our teams. With the restaurants closed, my team and I invested our time in developing Casa Nela Commits—our plan to ensure that your next order from our restaurants will be easy, safe, and delicious. With our safety plan in place, I am pleased to announce that we are beginning the process of reopening for delivery and take away, starting with Roey’s, which has reopened for delivery as of Wednesday, May 20th. Bobo, Rosemary’s, and Claudette will also reopen for delivery and take away within a few weeks.” If you order directly through the restaurant website you can get a 10% discount with code “ROEYS10”.
Jeju Noodle Bar (679 Greenwich Street at Christopher Street) has recently re-opened. They are offering two multi-course tasting meals, but no ramyun (Korean ramen noodles), their signature offering (the owner felt they would not travel well). We have heard from people who’ve tried the food that the portions are large and can be eaten over two meals. A drink menu with wine, beer, barley beer, soju, and other Asian beverages is also available. In mid-April, anti-Asian graffiti appeared on the restaurant, something that other Asian establishments had had to contend with.
Nami Nori (33 Carmine Street, between Bedford and Bleecker Streets) has reopened and is offering its signature hand rolls for take-out or delivery. The hand rolls are not the usual cone shape, but rather resemble a taco, with nori (seaweed) instead of a tortilla. Since nori quickly gets soggy, it is wrapped separately, and instructions are provided on how to remove the wrapping before eating.
There are suddenly many more options for delicious Mexican food: Los Tacos No. 1 (Chelsea Market, 75 9th Avenue) is back, and in addition to their usual offerings, they are featuring a “Make-Your-Own-Taco Bar” which can be ordered for 2 to 10 people. Each serving comes with a protein or vegetarian option, sides, chips, salsa and guacamole and four warm tortillas. Dos Caminos Meatpacking (675 Hudson Street at 14th Street) has also re-opened, and Taqueria Empellon (230 West 4th Street at West 10th Street) opened for one day only, on Cinco de Mayo and offered a taco bar option as well. While the West Village location remains closed, sister restaurant Empellon al Pastor in the East Village has re-opened with delivery available through Caviar. Most Starbucks were open at the beginning of the pandemic, but about a month ago the company decided to close all its non drive-thru stores as it felt they were too crowded. Now, a number of them have re-opened, but customers must order in advance with the Starbucks phone app. The store at 122 Greenwich Avenue (at Bank Street) remains closed, but the newish Starbucks Reserve at 1 7th Avenue (at 11th Street) will open again after Memorial Day. Café Kitsuné (550 Hudson Street at Perry Street), the café/wine bar affiliated with French fashion brand Maison Kitsuné reopened towards the end of May. Its Paris location re-opened on May 11th. Pastis (52 Gansevoort Street between Greenwich and Washington Streets), which had re-opened in its new location last summer, closed again in mid-March, but is now offering its menu of French comfort bistro food for take-out and delivery, with wine and cocktails available too. Mémé Mediterranean West Village (581 Hudson Street at Bank Street), a West Village favorite is now open as well. Three Owls Market (800 Washington Street at Horatio Street) has re-opened, offering their prepared foods and salads, as well as a new HUNGRY OWL BOX which is a rotating selection of dishes meant to last for a few days. The store is open for pick-up, delivery can be arranged through Mercato, and the HUNGRY OWL must be ordered at least 48 hours in advance. Some Three Owls recipes, including their delicious shallot jam, can be found on the Meatpacking District website. Finally, for those of you following the chronicles of Myers of Keswick (634 Hudson Street, between Horatio and Jane Streets) by WestView photographer Maggie Bervist, you’ll be happy to know that after a closing in mid-April, they are back, offering savory pies, sausage rolls, and a selection of British favorites.
Via Carota (51 Grove Street, between 7th Avenue South and Bleecker Street) will, according to Grub Street, begin offering take-out and delivery, hopefully by the end of May. The owners, Rita Sodi and Jody Williams are Village denizens and in addition to critically acclaimed Via Carota, they operate, also in the Village, I Sodi, Buvette, and Bar Pisellino. While they have not decided yet what they will offer, they may feature groceries and meal kits and some of their signature dishes from all their restaurants.
Sadly, it is likely that many restaurants will never re-open, and we have already heard that Takashi (456 Hudson Street near Barrow Street) is one of these. The restaurant was known for tableside grilling at communal tables, something that does not translate well to take-out or delivery. In addition, since it is a small crowded restaurant, the new capacity restrictions that will be imposed with restaurant re-openings would make it such that the restaurant would not be able to do enough business to survive. We have not heard anything official about Blenheim (283 West 12th Street near West 4th Street), the farm-to-table restaurant that featured products from the owners’ farm in the Catskills, but they have been closed since the beginning of the pandemic, their phone is disconnected, and one of our contributors spotted people in the restaurant carrying chairs out to a waiting U-Haul truck.
Rahi (60 Greenwich Avenue near Perry Street) and sister restaurant Adda in Long Island City are both highly regarded Indian restaurants, but while Adda featured relatively inexpensive traditional Indian food, the offerings at Rahi were more upscale and fusion-y. Now, the take-out menu at Rahi has mostly familiar Indian dishes, and recently, they have added an earthen pot biryani option. I have had this dish at Adda and it was definitely the best biryani I’ve ever tasted. The biryani must be ordered at a separate website, biryanibol.com. According to the website: “The 16 layers of ingredients are carefully laid in the traditional and ageless earthen pot, sealed with a bread so not even the slightest flavor can escape, then cooked in the original “dum” techenique (sic).” The biryanis are available for pick-up at Rahi and Adda, and starting in mid-June, they will be available for delivery. And the pot is yours to keep! Magnolia Bakery (401 Bleecker Street at 11th Street) has remained open, and is popular as ever, with long (socially-distanced) lines outside. In an effort to make their store safer, the owners are installing a new type of UV lighting that is safe for people, but supposedly effective at killing coronaviruses. Mah-ze-Dahr (28 Greenwich Avenue between Charles and West 10th Streets) has been closed since mid-March, but has re-opened for a few days at a time for pick-up and delivery of their delicious baked goods. You can sign up on their pop-up website https://www.mahzedahrpopup.com/ to get notifications about future dates.
Please let us know what you have seen around the neighborhood! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, your help is invaluable.