Tag Archives: restaurant openings

Upper West Side Restaurants: Cafe des Artistes To Reopen; Smoke Jazz Club Features Corn Chowder

Cafe-des-Artistes. Photo by sjmcdonough via flickr.

Recent Upper West Side restaurant news:

The venerable Cafe des Artistes will reopen around February or March as an Italian restaurant; the interior will remain mostly untouched, says the new owner Gianfranco Sorentino (WSJ)

Smoke Jazz Club’s chef Patricia Williams has been preparing some fine corn chowder, reports The Times.

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Upper West Side: Restaurant Openings and Closings, Tavern on the Green, Mama Mexico, Gina La Fornarina, and Robert

The new year has marked the closing of the venerable Tavern on the Green. But the restaurant scene is constantly evolving, and there are some new places to talk about.  Here’s a roundup of recent Upper West Side restaurant activity:

Restaurant Gina La Fornarina.  Photo: Westside Independent.

Restaurant Gina La Fornarina. Photo: Westside Independent.

Mama Mexico declared bankruptcy. The recession as well as reported non-payment of taxes apparently led to the bankruptcy filing.  (Crain’s via Myupperwest)

Italian restaurant Gina La Fornarina has opened at the corner of 73rd Street and Amsterdam. Take a peek at the menu here. (via Westside Independent)

The Westside Independent reports that Museum of Art and Design in Columbus Circle has unveiled a new restaurant, dubbed Robert, with windows overlooking Central Park.  The eatery, which features Mediterranean-inspired dishes and is open for lunch and dinner, claims it’s “sexy and romantic.”  Valentine’s Day, anyone?

New York Magazine in its “Where to Eat” feature, gave short shrift to Upper West Side spots.  But the magazine did gush about West Branch’s cheddar-topped burger.

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Restaurant Opening: Big Daddy’s to Open Branch on the Upper West Side in Early 2010

Big Daddy’s, the chainlet of popular 80’s retro-style eateries, is opening a new Upper West Side outlet on Broadway and 91st Street in early 2010.

Big Daddy's, Upper West Side. Photo: Laura Weiss

Big Daddy's, Upper West Side. Photo: Laura Weiss

The opening of the 150-seat restaurant is slated for January or February, said Caki Zamoiski, marketing rep for the casual family-friendly eateries, with existing locales in Gramercy and on the Upper East Side. Offering a menu of diner-style favorites, ranging from pancakes and burgers to sundaes and shakes, the place is often crowded with families with children.

What prompted Big Daddy’s move to the Upper West Side?  The area’s improving shopping and dining environment for one, said Zamoiski. She pointed to the arrival of retail magnets like Whole Foods and the Apple Store as indicative of the area’s evolving retail climate.

“It’s definitely an up and coming neighborhood,” said Zamoiski. “There’s been a lot of development with Whole Foods and the new Apple Store.”

Another bonus: the abundance of families with young children on the Upper West Side.

But family restaurants and diners abound up and down Broadway. Big Daddy’s will be facing competition from long-established casual eateries—including City Diner, situated directly across Broadway from Big Daddy’s new locale. Numerous other family dining establishments—from diners to pizza joints—dot Broadway as well.

Still, Zamoiski said Big Daddy’s isn’t concerned about the competition.

The restaurant “is a good fit” for the neighborhood, she insisted.

As for City Diner, its manager, Mel Meletiou, expressed some concern about the arrival of the new eatery across the street.

City Diner: Photo: Laura Weiss

City Diner: Photo: Laura Weiss

“We’re always concerned,” he said. “Anything that opens up next to you, we’re concerned.”

As for future expansion plans, Big Daddy’s—parent company Branded Restaurants USA also operates City Crab and Duke’s—has its eye on Times Square for its next location. Going national may be in the works as well, said Zamoiski .

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Upper West Side Restaurant News: Academia del Vino Opens; Dovetail Expands; Recipe Gets Some Respect

Academia di Vino Opens up On Broadway. Upper East Side wine bar Academia di Vino has moved into the space at 2427 Broadway that was occupied by Docks, the neighborly seafood house that closed earlier this year. (212 787 3070)

Upper West Side outdoor-cafeDovetail closes for renovationsThe New York Times reports that Dovetail, the inventive American spot on 77th Street will reopen Nov. 6 with an expanded bar and dining room. (212 362 3800).

Recipe Gets Solid ReviewTme Out New York gave a solid thumbs up to Recipe, the downtownish farm-to-table restaurant on Columbus Avenue between 81st and 82nd streets.  Discerning Upper West Siders had already discovered the barnyardy 26-seat eatery with its recycled wood-paneled walls, where the menu features sophisticated locavore dishes like a luscious seared Hudson Valley Duck breast and savory Oven Roasted halibut. (212 501 7755)

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Upper West Side: Community Food and Juice Reopens Today

Upper West Side restaurant Community Food and Drink reopens. Photo: Community Food and Juice.

Upper West Side restaurant Community Food and Juice reopens. Photo: Community Food and Juice.

Calling all Upper West Side brunch-goers—upper Broadway restaurant Community Food and Juice reopened today.  The restaurant’s been closed for months due to a devastating fire. Today, it was packed, so it probably pays to get on line early for their popular Sunday brunch.

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