City Grazing: 8.13.08


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Open since last week in the former Baxter Pub space in Chinatown, Whiskey Tavern at 79 Baxter St. (betw. Bayard & Walker Sts.) is an offshoot of Whiskey Town in the East Village and, true to its epicurean name, is serving a variety of beers and liquors, as well as basic bar fare like wings and burgers.


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A more upscale crowd will be flocking to The Eldridge at 247 Eldridge St. (betw. E. Houston & Stanton Sts.) this week. Delivering one final, gentrifying blow to the Lower East Side, The Eldridge promises to be unbelievably decadent (see: gold-flecked floor) and super-exclusive. Check out the Armand de Brignac champagne wall or visit on Mondays “Bottles and Popcorn,” a weekly event with old movies—if you can get in, that is. Friends of the owner will receive membership cards guaranteeing them entry, regular folks will have to go someplace slightly less obnoxious.


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Machetes aren’t the only sharp knives flying in Williamsburg these days. At La Superior (295 Berry St., betw. S. 2nd and S. 3rd Sts.), a new Mexican restaurant from Felipe Méndez (La Esquina, Papatzul), the kitchen will be serving snacks native to Mexican street carts and diners—including fresh fruit smoothies and pork confit served in sourdough bread.


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Heavy schnitzel got you feeling down? Opening Aug. 12, Pita Joe (2 W. 14th St. at Fifth Ave.) will be serving chicken schnitzel, organic hummus, falafel and more with a focus on light oils, green containers and fresh produce. Chef Erez Cohen will also offer freshly squeezed lemonade, dairy-free brownies and pistachio baklava.


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Vegan desserts can be surprisingly good—see the peanut-butter mousse cake at Red Bamboo in the West Village—or repulsive beyond all belief. We’re hoping for the former when Luxee, a Japanese sweet shop, opens at 6 Clinton St. (betw. Stanton & East Houston Sts.) on Aug. 8. Rumor has it chef Yoshie Shirakawa is serving a menu of real food to complement the healthy desserts as well.


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The Simple Kitchen is a deceptive name. At the new restaurant, opening early next month at 261 W. 17th St. (betw. 8th and 9th Aves.), chef Franny Krushinsky will be serving freshly prepared and packaged foods without preservatives. Local gym rats and millionaire moms will surely approve.


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Out in Park Slope, chef Stephen Browning of Flatbush Farm (76 St. Marks Ave.,  at Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn) has drawn up a new summer menu inspired by the fruits (and veggies and legumes) of the season and including corn succotash with a fish of the day, and a “Cast Iron Chicken.”


“We really work with comfort foods and providing good garnishes that go together with the season,” said Browning. “The house-cured bresaola is one of my favorite meat dishes, too.”


Look for more changes, as Browning will unveil his late summer menu in a few weeks.


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Starting this week, Midtown sushi spot Megu  (845 U.N Plaza at E. 47th St.) will be replacing happy hour—which, in Midtown, is the amount of time it will take to get to the bar at about 6 p.m.—with the new “Hour of Zen.” In a newly redecorated upstairs lounge, drinks like the “Ebizo” (raspberry vodka, Grand Marnier and chocolate liquor) will be served alongside the sushi bar’s fancy snacks. If you’ve got to down a double-digit cocktail, it might as well be more Zen than zoo, right?


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