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opened
POSTED October 30, 2014

Upland

Welcome to Upland, the tiny Southern California city where citrus and grapes abound–and the inspiration behind Justin Smillie's newest restaurant. The former Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria chef (and Upland native) draws upon his California roots for his Flatiron venture with restaurateur Stephen Starr, weaving in the rustic cooking he's well known for. He pairs a pork chop with charred onions and persimmon ($34), grinds pecans into a pesto for stracciatella, pear and arugula pizza ($18) and marries sesame and scallions with uni in farro spaghetti ($23). How's that for a comeback?

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opened
POSTED October 23, 2014

Cosme

Enrique Olvera promised his highly anticipated, tortilla-pressing shrine to Mexican cuisine would be up and running by the end of the month, but the Mexico City chef surprised us by opening a week early. Not that we're complaining. Named after Olvera's hometown market, this ultramodern Flatiron palace serves central Mexican cuisine with Manhattan flair, like tataki al pastor ($20) and even a Manhattan clam chowder ($15). The bar's stocked with 70-plus wines, including Mexican labels, as well as tequila, mezcal and housemade agua fresca.

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opened
POSTED October 16, 2014

Empellón Al Pastor

It's al pastor all the time at Alex Stupak's newest member of the Empellón family. His graffiti-adorned St. Marks taco shop is set to open this Monday, and we couldn't be more excited. Stupak's been deep in research, learning how to make tortillas and perfecting his rotating spit machine of juicy pork meat. Obviously, al pastor tacos ($4) are the draw—chile-rubbed, spit-roasted pork shoulder is thinly sliced and brushed with two salsas, onion and that all-important pineapple, but there's also a strong Michelada menu, too.

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opened
POSTED October 9, 2014

Maman

Armand Arnal, the Michelin-starred chef behind La Chassagnette in southern France, didn't make his U.S. debut with a big splashy restaurant; instead he opened this charming little cafe in Chinatown. And we're glad for it. Along with restaurateur Benjamin Sormonte and baker Elisa Marshall, Arnal's transformed an old movie-poster gallery into a bright, cozy café with exposed brick walls. The shelves are stocked with beautifully packaged Portuguese sardines, big serving bowls with red rice and roasted cauliflower salads ($6 each) and cake stands filled with buttery pastries, like the flaky, decadent dulce de leche bar ($5) and enormous chocolate chip cookies ($3).

 

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opened
POSTED September 25, 2014

MatchaBar

It should surprise no one that Williamsburg is the home of the city's first matcha cafe. Owned by brothers Max Fortgang and Graham Fortgang, the spots serves the Japanese powdered green tea in all sorts of iterations, from simpler shots and lattes to a watermelon-infused iced variety. Hooked? Pick up a tin of caffeinated stuff for the road. Expect snacks from Watty & Meg. Naturally, there are plans to turn the space into a speakeasy after-hours.

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New York City

Openings

  • Upland
  • Cosme
  • Empellón Al Pastor
  • Maman
  • MatchaBar

Closings

    No closings on this page of Dispatches. See the large map for more.

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