Casa Dani, From a Celebrated Spanish Chef, Opens in Manhattan West


Casa Dani

New York first met the Spanish chef Dani Garcia at Manzanilla on Park Avenue South. That was eight years ago. Since then, Dani Garcia, his restaurant in Marbella, Spain, picked up a third Michelin star (it’s now closed), and the chef formed his own company, Grupo Dani Garcia. Now, he has returned to New York and is on the marquee of Casa Dani in the Manhattan West complex, west of the Moynihan Train Hall. “What I’m doing at Casa Dani is not fine dining,” he said. “I want to showcase the culture of Spain, making it easy, fresh and fun, more like home cooking.” He said a great deal had changed since he was first in New York, especially the increasing availability of ingredients. His thinking has also changed, he said. “Twenty-five years of fine dining, which is more conceptual and less from the heart, is enough,” he said. What hasn’t changed is having Alberto Carballo, the chef de cuisine, at his side. A soaring 180-seat dining room, a sea of beige designed by David Rockwell, sits on a level below the bar and open kitchen. There are tapas; fried items like cod fritters; bigger portions (raciones), many with seafood; and rice and noodle specialties. There are also a few main dishes, including daurade and hanger steak, and even larger-format platters for the table like whole Spanish turbot. A section on the menu is devoted to fresh tuna prepared several ways, which Mr. Garcia considers to be representative of the soul of Spanish cooking. Near the entrance to Mr. Garcia’s restaurant, which he runs with Sam Nazarian, is his Pollo Verde, a casual spot in the Citizens NY food hall at the complex.

Citizens New York at Manhattan West, 448 West 33rd Street (10th Avenue), 212-785-0352,


Cucina 8½

What was the sleek, art-filled Brasserie 8½, serving French fare, in the slope-sided Solow Building on West 57th Street is now an Italian restaurant with this new name. Considering the Fellini film “8½,” the name may have been more fitting for an Italian restaurant anyway. It also has a new team led by August Ceradini, a hospitality veteran, and a new chef, John Villa, formerly at the TAO Group and Merchants Hospitality. Among the starters are crudo, with local fish selected by the chef Dave Pasternack. There are also assorted pastas, and Italian-American favorites like baked clams oreganata, penne alla vodka, chicken Parm, Caesar salad and zabaglione. Some chicken, steak and fish dishes round out the menu. A swooping staircase leads to the spacious, 250-seat dining room and bar. (Opens Wednesday)

9 West 57th Street, 212-829-0812,

Evi’s Bäckerei

Greg Baxtrom, the chef and an owner of Olmsted and Maison Yaki, is adding this bakery and cafe to his lineup on Vanderbilt Avenue in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. He has teamed up with Alex Grunert, a native of Vienna, who worked at Bouley and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, to produce treats like Christmas stollen, doughnuts, Sacher torte, cookies, baguettes and loaves of bread seasoned with sauerkraut or caraway. The place, named for Mr. Grunert’s mother, Evelyn Grunert, also serves soups, sandwiches and coffee, as well as a small array of grocery items like sauces and preserves. (Wednesday)

635 Bergen Street (Vanderbilt Avenue), Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, no phone,


Sungchul Shim, the chef and owner of Kochi in Hell’s Kitchen, has added this restaurant nearby. At this new restaurant, the spotlight is on Korean hand rolls. A $125 tasting starts with assorted hansang, then continues with eight hand rolls made with seafood, and finally a pork belly and noodle broth. Dessert involves a Korean Choco Pie with chocolate sponge cake, black sesame marshmallow and strawberry jam. An open kitchen bordered by a 20-seat counter and a small dining room define the space.

679 Ninth Avenue (47th Street), 646-649-3545,

The Fox

Serena Bass and Susannah Koteen, who own Lido and Bixi in Harlem, have added this casual restaurant featuring bright sports club colors to their growing presence. Ms. Bass’s food looks across the pond with sausage rolls, pub-style grilled cheese sandwiches with traditional mango chutney, pasta and cauliflower gratin, and fish and chips. Coming soon are desserts like Eton mess, trifle and sticky toffee pudding.

2224 Frederick Douglass Boulevard (120th Street), 212-500-6175.

Dante Winter House

This seasonally decorated open-air pop-up in the Seaport District, from the esteemed Greenwich Village bar Dante, has several elements. An aperitivo bar specializes in spritzes. The Dante Bar mixes negronis, as well as hot and cold cocktails and eventually will have food like pasta. A food truck serves flatbreads with toppings, and another food truck has affogatos. (Wednesday through March 2022)

Pearl Alley, Pier 17, South Street and Fulton Street,

Bar Lula

Endless Hospitality, the company that owned Wild Son, the previous tenant in this space, has turned it into a restaurant that looks to Mexico. The executive chef, Luigi Petrocelli, and his second in command, Ricardo Arias, apply French techniques to dishes like beef tartare with salsa macha, charred prawns with poblano aioli, mussels escabeche with saffron, and braised lamb neck with masa crepes.

132 First Avenue (St. Marks Place), 212-727-7900,

Café d’Alsace

This corner of France, with an emphasis on Alsace, has moved half a block uptown, into the former Writing Room space that also once housed Elaine’s. The original Café d’Alsace location is being demolished for a high-rise. The décor has been updated but the chef and partner, Philippe Roussel, is the same, as is his menu. (Wednesday)

1703 Second Avenue (88th Street), 212-722-5133,

Myron Mixon Pitmaster Barbecue

Already established in Alexandria, Va., this barbecue restaurant bearing the name of an award-winning pitmaster, author and television personality, is now open in Hoboken, N.J. Barbecue’s greatest hits, like brisket, pulled pork, ribs, chicken and wings with sides like beans and mac and cheese, are sold to eat in or take home. Meats are available by the portion or the pound. There is seating indoors and at picnic tables outside, and with no alcohol served guests can bring beer and wine.

618 Washington Street (Seventh Street), Hoboken, N.J., 201-526-4023,

Taïm Mediterranean Kitchen

This group of cafes notable for falafel and vegetables, is adding Brooklyn to its portfolio of eight locations in New York and Washington. Next spring, it plans new spots in Downtown Brooklyn and Princeton, N.J., with more in the works.

341 Seventh Avenue (Ninth Street), Park Slope, Brooklyn,

Max Brenner

The chocolate company, which has maintained a full-service cafe and shop near Union Square for years, is opening a store near Times Square. The emphasis is on retail, with chocolates and other confections on display for purchase. Truffles, bars, spreads and hot chocolate in tins are sold along with a new line of confections featuring pistachios.

720 Seventh Avenue (48th Street), 929-446-0220,

By the Way Bakery

Helene Godin, who opened her first gluten-free bakery in 2011 in Westchester, before expanding to the Upper East Side, Greenwich, Conn., and more, is moving her Upper West Side location into a larger adjacent storefront. She’s adding new items, including a hazelnut cream torte for the holiday season, and said the new space would allow her to increase her wedding cake business.

2440 Broadway (90th Street), 212-877-0806,

Bourke Street Bakery

The Upper West Side branch of this Australian bakery group has opened. It’s compact but has a coffee window to the street.

313 Amsterdam Avenue (75th Street), 646-995-8931,

Hampton Chutney

This company, known for its dosas, got its start in the Hamptons and opened a cafe in 1997. Now after 24 years in Amagansett Square, it has moved to East Hampton, the result ofa rent hike. It also had cafes in SoHo and on the Upper West Side, all closed now. (Friday)

107 Newtown Lane (Lumber Lane), East Hampton, N.Y.,

Lobster Roll aka Lunch

A seasonal magnet on the highway leading to Montauk for decades, it has opened a year-round branch in a former diner some 20 miles to the west, in Southampton. It is open for lunch, cocktails and dinner with a classic seafood-based menu centered on the namesake stuffed sandwich.

32 Montauk Highway (Route 27), Southampton, N.Y., 631-267-3740,

On the Move

Daniel Rose

Mr. Rose, the executive chef and a partner at Le Coucou in SoHo, is adding his native Chicago to a commute that also includes Paris, where he has two restaurants. He will be the executive chef and a partner for Boka Restaurant Group’s new French restaurant, Le Select, set to open next September. “I’ve always wanted to open a restaurant in Chicago,” he said. “The question was what kind of restaurant to create.” He said French was the only answer, and decided on a brasserie, a style he thought would not only suit the large space but would also be appropriate for Chicago and its mercantile history. He will spend time in Chicago, especially around the opening but will not be moving there. He remains committed to running the kitchen at Le Coucou, where he said he has “a tremendous crew,” as well as his Paris restaurants.

Takuma Watanabe

Mr. Watanabe, a drinks expert who started his career in Tokyo and became head bartender,then manager of Angel’s Share in the East Village, is now the consultant creating cocktails at Em Vietnamese Bistro in Dumbo, which just received its liquor license.

Michelin Guide Washington D.C.

The inspectors for this guide have added four restaurants this year. They are Bammy’s, Dauphine’s, Moon Rabbit and Oyster Oyster. They are now included in the Michelin Guide app. The next guide, with star rankings, is set to be published in the first half of 2022.

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