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By Bao Ong | September 20, 2016 | Food & Drink
How is Megu New York putting modern spins on classic Japanese cuisine and what does an Oktoberfest Cruise out of NYC entail? That and more in this week’s food news….
An array of eclectic Japanese food at Megu New York.
Megu New York, a sprawling 5,000-square-foot Japanese restaurant tucked below the boisterous Dream Downtown hotel, brings an exciting dining option to the MePa/Chelsea set. The alluring dining room features an infinity-mirrored staircase, antique kimonos, and 3D visuals that shift between Japanese graphic patterns and skyline views. Guests are greeted with menus that feature creative spins on sushi and other dishes you would find in Tokyo: think king crab pineapple roll with avocado truffle, tobiko, and shiso; sweet potato ravioli topped with kombu foam; and branzino kabocha risotto with kombu, tamarind wakame broth, and basil oil. Cocktails also get a modern Japanese riff to pair with the food. 355 W. 16th St., 212-885-9400
An Upper East Side mainstay didn’t simply undergo a renovation with its grand opening. Sistina is now housed in a posh townhouse on the edge of Central Park near the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Chef and owner Giuseppe Bruno has a new team to lead the restaurant, which now serves a separate lunch and late-night bar menu. You’ll find squid ink tagliolini filled with lobster and cauliflower florets, veal tortelloni, and lighter dishes, too, such as a porcini salad and penne arrabiata with a spicy plum tomato sauce during lunch. For the winter months, there is an enclosed garden space that’s candle-lit. 24 E. 81st St., 212-861-7660
Popular vegan and plant-based restaurant by CHLOE. has now opened Sweets by CHLOE. next door to its flagship location in Greenwich Village. A vegan baked goods menu includes everything from matcha babka and lemons bars to mini pies and orange-and-chocolate-chip muffins. A line of “ice creams” from Alchemy Creamery will also be available in Push Pop form. 185 Bleecker St.
Circle Line’s Bear Mountain Cruises will throw Oktoberfest-themed cruises up the Hudson River to Bear Mountain on the weekends from September 24 through November 6 (including a special Columbus Day sail), just in time for leaf-peeping season. Along with the views of the changing foliage, passengers on the boat can enjoy schnitzel, bratwursts, and pretzels alongside mugs of beer. Tickets start at $65 for adults ($62 for seniors) and $52 for children and can be booked on circleline42.com.
The newly-opened Bessou is hosting a weekend pop-up with chefs serving special items to complement the restaurant’s Japanese menu. First up is chef Deuki Hong on September 23, who will cook up Korean fried chicken to serve two. Chef Andrew Black brings a Thai menu the following night and Bessou’s owner Maiko Kyogoku has tapped her father Richard Kyogoku (who opened one of the first sushi restaurants on the Upper West Side) to wrap the series up. 5 Bleecker St., 212-228-8502
Italian pastas paired with Italian wines is a no brainer. But if you’re looking to step up your pairings, book a seat at one of Giovanni Rana Pastificio & Cucina’s Italian wine series with master sommelier Kathy Morgan. On September 22 at 7 p.m., Morgan leads a dinner focused on Sicily and will pour bottles such as a 2007 Planeta, Santa Cecilia Nero d’Avola to complement a multi-course menu. 75 Ninth Ave., 212-370-0975
Reserve Cut, the city’s largest kosher steakhouse, welcomes Kamran Naseem as its new executive chef. The Michelin-starred toque has worked at restaurants such as Daniel, Aureole, and Aquavit and was most recently at Junon. 400 Broad St., 212-747-0300
A whole roasted hog, baked beans, sausages, cornbread, and copious amounts of beer. This meat lovers’ dream is part of the Oktoberfest-themed menu ($75 per person) from Saxon + Parole’s chef Brad Farmerie, which is available on September 27 beginning at 7 p.m. A variety of German beers will be served to wash it all down. 316 Bowery, 212-254-0350
If you’re a fan of Black Tap’s over-the-top milkshakes, there’s a promotional Cookie Shake flavor for the remainder of the month that will benefit more than just your sweet tooth. The restaurant is donating 10 percent of proceeds from the special flavor to benefit the non-profit Cookies for Kids’ Cancer during National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. 529 Broome St., 917-639-3089
On Sundays, Sessanta in SoHo is all about Red Sauce Sundays. Chef Paul DiBari puts his Italian-American touch on favorites like eggplant meatballs, pork braciole, and steak pizzaiola with his popular marinara. Wine is a must for this feast, which includes specials on bottles of reds and whites. 60 Thompson St., 212-219-8119
Many of Gramercy’s popular restaurants will come together on Saturday, September 24 for the Taste of Gramercy event taking place from 11 a.m-3 p.m. This tasting will benefit the Gramercy Neighborhood Associates. Tickets are available online at gnaonline.com.