By Bao Ong | April 4, 2017 | Food & Drink
What can Nobu fans expect from the beloved franchise's new Downtown location, and what dishes from famous chefs can you sample at Chefs Club Counter? That and more in this week's #GothamFoodNews....
New Greenwich Village restaurant Villanelle is a study in fresh, market-driven food. The dining room’s cozy vibes—think chairs made with handwoven cords and gray-washed pine walls—are complemented by vegetable-centric creations by executive chef Nick Licata. From cured scallops to portobello served with mushroom tea, the innovative menu draws heavily from the nearby Union Square Greenmarket. 15 E. 12th St., 212-289-2474
The Chefs Club Counter offers a slew of reasons to beeline to this “fine fast” restaurant concept ASAP. First of all, the famed Eggslut sandwiches from L.A. are being served here for breakfast… but you’ll also find a burger by Jean-Georges Vongerichten and a duck rice dish from George Mendes. The 56-seat space plays on a cafeteria feel that’s still serious about serving dishes from some of the world’s most beloved chefs. 62 Spring St.
Nobu in Tribeca has closed, but fans won’t have to mourn for long—Nobu Downtown is debuting this week in an expansive new space. Diners will find the familiar sleek and sexy design that has made this restaurant group popular around the world, a bar/lounge boasting new menu items, and some old favorites like the black cod with miso. 195 Broadway, 212-219-0500
Maxwell Chophouse proves that eating at a steakhouse doesn’t have to be an hours-long affair. An express power lunch is now available during the week from 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. and can take as little as 45 minutes from beginning to end. A two- or three-course meal ($28) includes selections like the MCH Chophouse burger, steak frites, prime rib sandwich, and more. 1184 Broadway, 212-481-1184
Sugar East is one of those rare remaining New York venues that can serve cocktails and allow its patrons to light cigarettes indoors via a grandfathered-in tobacco license. This new mid-century lounge on the Upper East Side oozes a classic, speakeasy vibe where you can order creative cocktails and food from a Latin-inspired menu. 1125 First Ave., 212-832-4610
The poké craze shows no signs of slowing down, with Pokéworks opening its third location in the city in Union Square. Fans of the Hawaiian specialty will delight in a new collaboration with Hawaii-based chef Sheldon Simeon, who has created the Coco Bora bowl as part of the Sustainable Series menu. The mild white fish in this bowl is mixed ginger, red onions, Thai chilies, a coconut vinegar sauce, and more. 21 E. 15th St., 646-395-9884
Philadelphia’s hugely popular honeygrow restaurants have made their way to Downtown Brooklyn. The fast-casual concept offers truly healthful stir-fry dishes and salads with all sauces and dressings made in-house. New York’s first location includes the NY Pastrami stir-fry that combines fresh egg white noodles in a mustard-rye broth with pastrami, sauerkraut, green beans, and other local ingredients. The restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. 194 Joralemon St., Brooklyn
Brunch is now available at Virginia’s in the East Village and one of the most sought-after items, the decadent Virginia’s burger, is on offer from noon-3 p.m. Chef Matt Conroy’s seasonal menu also features hits like the house-made strata and a hearty duck confit hash. The restaurant, which serves parties of four or fewer, is walk-in only (groups of five or more should contact email@example.com for possible reservations). 647 E. 11th St., 212-658-0182
Nitehawk Cinema is launching a host of new menu items and drinks just in time for spring. Movie-goers can choose something simple (think: seasonal popcorn with Sriracha sauce) or heartier (like an eggplant sandwich with crispy eggplant, Mike's Hot Honey, orange-herb ricotta, arugula, pickled red onions, and organic ciabatta, served alongside a salad). A number of new cocktails, like the New Orleans Coffee Float with Bayou-spiced rum, house-made Café du Monde chicory coffee soft serve, and cream soda, will be worth sipping, too. 136 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn, 718-782-8370
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JASON VARNEY (HONEYBAR); IRENE YOO (NITEHAWK); HENRY HARGREAVES (NOBU); SIGNE BRICK (VILLANELLE)