Mena, From Victoria Blamey, Opens in TriBeCa



“It’s hard to believe,” said Victoria Blamey, the chef who, for years, has earned praise at places like Chumley’s and Gotham Bar & Grill, and is finally opening her own restaurant. Close observers of the New York scene will also know the Chilean-born chef, 42, from her pop-ups at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, the Mayflower Inn in Washington, Conn., and Fulgurances Laundromat in Brooklyn. She describes her new restaurant, named for her great-aunt, as “airy, bright and very feminine” with white walls, banquettes upholstered in cobalt blue and brass fixtures. It’s not easy to nail down her food, which will reflect her native Chile, known for its seafood, as well as her experiences cooking in New York, Spain and Australia. “People might have no idea what to expect from Chilean food, but there will be elements of it,” she said. Cholgas secas, a Chilean dried mussel dish that she prepared during her stay at Blue Hill, are on the menu. Seaweeds, which are popular in Chile, garnish several preparations, including oysters with seaweed gremolata. She is also producing dishes like Japanese sardines with mayonnaise potato and peppers, mussels with onion glaze, squab with buckwheat honey and fermented radicchio, monkfish with wakame and black quinoa, and a winter Pavlova dessert with angel hair squash, citron confit and citrus curd. Her executive sous chef, Daniel Garcia, was at Crown Shy and NoMad, and the junior sous chef, Maggie Paradis, worked with her at Gotham Bar & Grill. The wine list pays attention to organic and biodynamic producers, especially from Chile. (Opens Thursday)

28 Cortlandt Alley (Broadway), 212-466-6428.



Since 2005, the Israeli chef Rafael Hasid has been known for his Israeli-Mediterranean fare, including daily brunch dishes, served from his restaurant Miriam, in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Now he has copied Miriam on the Upper West Side, in a somewhat rustic setting with greenery, and indoor and outdoor seating. The menu replicates that of the Park Slope location with assorted mezze; main dishes like a falafel platter, lamb shawarma, braised short ribs and chicken schnitzel; and brunch favorites like shakshuka, challah French toast and eggs Florentine. Mr. Hasid, known as Rafi, is also an owner of 1803 NYC in TriBeCa, as well as two takeout spots, Homemade by Miriam. At his side, managing the new Miriam, is Jerry Joseph, who some might fondly remember from earlier days at Jerry’s in SoHo (1987 to 2007), an artist’s canteen when SoHo was about the galleries, not the Guccis.

300 Amsterdam Avenue (74th Street),

Peasant Wine Bar

The chef and restaurateur Marc Forgione inherited Peasant, a cozy den known for wood-fired cooking, from its founder, Frank DeCarlo, who opened it in 1999 and owned it for 20 years. When Mr. DeCarlo retired, he offered to sell it to Mr. Forgione, whose arm did not need twisting. Now, Mr. Forgione has converted the restaurant’s underground wine cellar into a wine bar that taps into may of Italy’s regions, with both well-known and more obscure selections. The beverage director is Scott Woltz. To accompany the wines, Mr. Forgione is serving housemade charcuterie, and pastas, with a number of dishes featuring offal, Roman-style. (Wednesday)

194 Elizabeth Street (Prince Street), 212-965-9511,


This tapas spot by Ruben Rodriguez, a native of Galicia in northern Spain, is being installed on two floors in a more spacious location across the street. The menu of more than 20 traditional and inventive tapas (patatas bravas, carrots with Greek yogurt and tahini) and larger plates remains more-or-less the same. Wines are mostly Spanish. Another restaurant at 174 First Avenue (11th Street) will become Emilia by Nai next month, featuring vegetables and seafood.

84 Second Avenue (Fifth Street), 212-677-1030,

La Pecora Bianca

Another of Mark Barak’s dining rooms with a menu of reliable Italian fare, wines (in pours of several sizes) and cocktails has opened in the meatpacking district, in the former Bubby’s space. (Thursday)

817 Washington Street (Gansevoort Street), 212-509-3030,

PLNT Burger

This is the first New York outlet for this chain of vegan burger spots from Evangelos SpirosMendelsohn, known as Spike. Following a path tread by his family, restaurateurs for generations, he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, worked in some top-drawer kitchens, like Les Crayères in France and Le Cirque in New York, and then opened restaurants in the Washington, D.C., area. Starting in 2019, he has been opening PLNT Burgers, with the entrepreneur Seth Goldman, mostly inside Whole Foods Markets around Washington and outside Philadelphia. The restaurants serve Beyond Meat burgers, Gardein vegan “chicken” sandwiches and oat milk soft-serve, all kosher; the New York branch, the 10th, is not inside a Whole Foods store, but close.

139 Fourth Avenue (14th Street),

Uncle Lou

Many chefs aspire to open their own restaurants. But this resident of Manhattan’s Chinatown, who had a communication company, has realized the same dream. Louis Wong, who came to New York from Hong Kong 47 years ago, opened this 70-seat spot, where diners will find classic old-country Cantonese fare . “I know this is a tough business, but I’m happy,” he said. “I sleep well at night.”

73 Mulberry Street (Bayard Street), 212-966-5538,

Metropolitan Lounge at Moynihan Train Hall

Select ticket holders for programs like Amtrak Guest Rewards Select Plus can now access this lounge stocked with a rotating selection of New York State craft beers, wine, cocktails and hot food for purchase. Complimentary coffees and light food, like pastries and yogurt parfaits, are also served.

421 Eighth Avenue (33rd Street),

Cafeteria at Stone Barns

The former gift shop at the Stone Barns Center in Pocantico Hills, N.Y., has been turned into this casual dining room. Lunch (Lunch on a Tray), $38, is served Thursdays through Sundays and family-style dinner, $125, is available Friday evenings (including whole-wheat pizza), Saturdays and Sundays.

630 Bedford Road, Pocantico Hills, N.Y.,

Am Thai Bistro at Barclays

The chef Boonnum Thongngoen, formerly of iCook Thai Cook in Elmhurst, Queens, and an owner of Am Thai Bistro in Prospect Park South, Brooklyn, has added this Thai spot to the Brooklyn Market food court in Barclays Center. She is giving a Thai spin to stadium fare with a Panang meatball sub and Admiral Boon’s chicken seasoned with larb powder.

Barclays Center, 620 Atlantic Avenue (Flatbush Avenue), Prospect Heights, Brooklyn,

Looking Ahead

T-Bar Steak and Lounge

Tony Fortuna’s popular Upper East Side restaurant, which closed in September because of rent issues, has found a home in the former Jade Sixty Asian Steakhouse space. A spring opening is anticipated. In the meantime, the former T-Bar location at 1278 Third Avenue (73rd Street) has become another outlet of Seamore’s group of seafood restaurants.

116 East 60th Street.

Follow NYT Food on Twitter and NYT Cooking on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest. Get regular updates from NYT Cooking, with recipe suggestions, cooking tips and shopping advice.

Related Articles

Back to top button