The restaurant space at The Nolitan hotel in Nolita seems to be a death-knell. The prior two occupants–the Usual from Eggslut chef Alvin Cailan and before that, a forgettable Italian restaurant–did not survive. But with the arrival of Kimika, the new Japanese-Italian restaurant from the Wayla team, the veil of bad feng shui seems to have been lifted. Kimika is undeniably a hit. The comfort food fusion dishes combining the best of carbs and creamy, meaty sauces from two cultures are quite impressive. It’s also fantastic that Kimika is a female-led restaurant with great cocktails and an interesting, nerdy wine list. Outdoor dining at Kimika is a fantastic experience, and I’m looking forward to the days when it’s safe enough to eat these meals in the beautiful space inside.Read More
As a restaurant, Misi, Missy Robbins’ other, newer Italian restaurant in Brooklyn, has a lot to live up to. That’s what happens when The New York Times gives you three out of four stars, and when the only reservations available for any weekend in the foreseeable future are none at all. People will walk in here and be extra hard on you because it was extra hard on them to even make it here. I tried hard not to view my dining experience through that lens, even though it took me nearly a year and a half to finally settle on a 5pm seating at the kitchen counter, because I knew that was as good as it would get. And that annoying 15 minute walk from the Marcy St subway didn’t make that any easier.Read More
Osteria Morini is one of Michael White’s lesser known restaurants. It’s been around for awhile, and no one mentions it as a place they really want to check out, but it’s surprisingly doing very brisk business, especially during the late hours. We went to dinner on a Sunday night at 9 pm, and the place was packed. Maybe it’s like an industry place? Or young Millennials like to eat late on Sunday? But that’s what the crowd was like–young Millennials drinking late on a Sunday because they didn’t want to deal with the Monday just around the corner. I’m sure the staff was freaking out seeing a couple with two of their children at their doorstep.Read More
Describing something as “grandmother’s cooking” brings to mind food that is humble and homey, perhaps not the most refined but made with a lot of heart. Rezdora, which is the word for grandmother in Modena, Italy, is the name of the new restaurant in Flatiron that is run by Stefano Secchi, who trained in the kitchen of Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana, the world’s best restaurant in 2018. The grandmother in this kitchen, however, is no creaky old lady rolling meatballs by hand. She’s quite savvy and knows her way not only around the kitchen but also around the woods. As a result, the pasta at Rezdora is one of the best in New York City.
The #MeToo movement has hit the culinary industry pretty hard, bringing down many celebrity chefs in its path, with Mario Batali probably being the most famous face among them. I was curious to see if any of his restaurants had been noticeably impacted since those sexual harassment allegations came to light, but it seems to have been minimal, as a recent visit to Babbo showed that it is just as popular as ever. While Babbo is still in demand, its clientele has changed noticeably. 10 years ago you were guaranteed a celebrity sighting, like when I saw Val Kilmer sitting at the table next to me or when I noticed the lead actor from My Name is Earl at another. Now you’re just rubbing elbows with out-of-towners or an old finance guy trying to impress a young, bored girl in the most stereotypical way (hint: involves talking about his money).Read More