Our weekly food and drink news serves up intel on restaurant openings, chef buzz, culinary events, must-try dishes, and more.
Niku jyaga, a sort of Japanese poutine, at new restaurant Azasu.
New Japanese izakaya Azasu beckons with small plates, sakes, and beers. The vibe is more casual than owners Gaku and Christy Shibata’s nearby restaurant, Yopparai, but the food doesn’t take short cuts. Fried chicken is perfectly juicy; niku jyaga (a sort of Japanese poutine) positions tender beef on top of crinkle-cut French fries; and soft serve ice cream is house-made. Wash it all down with frozen shochu cocktails or one of the adorable sakes sold in small cans. 49 Clinton St., 212-777-7069
An evening full of wine and artful performances will take place as Voice Afire Pocket Opera & Cabaret premieres Kafka Shorts, an original live music performance piece at 7:30 p.m. on May 30 ($25 tickets per guest.). A wine reception showcasing reds, whites, and port wines of Portugal starts the night before actors and a string quartet take the stage. 43A W. 13th St.
TAO Uptown is acting more "uptown" with a decidedly civilized and completely revamped Sunday dim sum brunch. The roving carts of dumplings and small plates feature favorites like barbecue pork bao buns, as well as the less traditional bacon, egg, and cheese bao. Guests can also order a seared Kobe beef cooked on an open flame, tableside. Speciality cocktails, of course, are also on offer. 42 E. 58th St., 212-888-2288
A white-themed Champagne brunch at chef Kurt Gutenbrunner’s Wallse is sure to prime diners for a festive summer ahead. From noon to 3 p.m. on May 31, magnum bottles of Billecart-Salmon Champagne will be flowing as the kitchen spotlights a menu of lobster, caviar, white asparagus, morels, and ramps. Dress in white and make a reservation early. 344 W. 11th St., 212-352-2300