Empellon Taqueria and other restaurant openings in New York
Chef and restaurateur Alex Stupak will open a chic edition of his West Village taqueria at Waterline Square, a cluster of multiple square blocks with lots of architectural features Distinctive apartment towers in the far southwest corner of the Upper West Side. Airy, bright and glass-walled, it offers a stark contrast to the original with a low ceiling and brick walls, which opened 10 years ago. Inside there is an open kitchen and seating for 60, with another 60 on the sidewalk. As different as the space seems, the menu is a close copy of what Mr. Stupak serves downtown, with queso fundido, guacamole, quesadillas and tacos with toppings like fish tempura with cabbage and tartar sauce, cabbage from Brussels with spicy almonds and prawns with avocado and pumpkin seeds. Tequilas and mezcals fuel a large part of Noah Small’s drinks, who has been part of Mr. Stupak’s organization for years. (Open on Friday)
3 Waterline Square, empellon.com.
Chef Christian Rowan, former student of Bouley, Le Bernardin and Eleven Madison Park, created this American bistro, which takes creative liberties with comfort classics. He named the restaurant for his grandmother. On the menu, a clam chowder pie, a caramelized onion focaccia with assorted garnishes, grilled calamari with a spicy almond dip, brined chicken with honey and miso, a shed steak with Brussels sprouts and a mashed potatoes with cheese and hot homemade “pop pies”. Beyond a 12-seat bar with a few high tables nearby is the dining room, made with velvet banquettes and floral details. (Wednesday)
24 Greenwich Avenue (10th Street West), 917-261-5814, mariansnyc.com.
This 10-year-old Chinese restaurant, which received a Michelin star, has reopened after a pandemic hiatus one block east of Murray Hill. Yiming Wang and her husband, Xian Zhang, moved her into a nearly 100-year-old brick building. The restaurant occupies three floors with a dining room and a spacious bar on the ground floor; a second-floor mezzanine with wraparound counter seating and a few tables in a library-style setting; rooms for private events; and a top floor with a skylight with communal tables for parties or meals. The decor reflects Ms. Wang’s sense of Shanghai style with western touches. Café China’s popular tea-smoked duck is back, and new on the menu are boneless pork trotters and short ribs in a clay pot. Although their TriBeCa restaurant, China Blue, has closed permanently during the pandemic, their Birds of a Feather in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, remains open. (Wednesday)
59 West 37th Street, 212-213-2810, cafechinanyc.com.
The clock tower
Stephen Starr is reopening this upscale restaurant in the New York Edition hotel in Madison Square Park. The restaurant returned from its pandemic closure in September but with a temporary menu. Now the original chef, Jason Atherton from England, is back. He’s replacing his old menu, a mix of English, French and American influences, with what he calls “100% British, like home food”. Scottish Egg with Walnut Ketchup, London Gin Salmon with English Muffin, Braised Lamb Shepherd’s Pie, Beef Wellington and Beer Breaded Cod with Pea Mash and Seaweed Tartar Sauce are on the salty side, with a custard tart and a banoffee baked in Alaska among the candies.
The New York Edition, 5 Madison Avenue, 212-413-4300, theclocktowernyc.com.