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Eater Dish: Barca 18, Ginger, HQ, Jovia

The latest in restaurant openings, it's the Eater Dish for the week of October 17, 2005...

2005_10_barca18.jpg1) Say this for restaurateur Stephen Hanson: the man can turn a project on a dime. At 5pm tonight, the doors swing open at Barca 18 at 225 Park Avenue South. (Unitl about a month ago, that address hosted Hanson's now-departed Park Avalon.) The new place, a joint venture with Le Bernandin's Eric Ripert, serves Catalan tapas and Spanish wines. New York wonders, "Stephen Hanson and Eric Ripert: a match made in restaurant heaven, or one of those hellish, oddball pairings destined to become the mother of all ego clashes?" Be there and find out for yourself. (N.B. Per the official website, lunch service to begin October 31. Spooky.)

2) The opening of Ginger is going to be a big deal for the Harlem neighborhood around 116th Street and Fifth Avenue. The food—healthy Chinese—should be good. But check the scene that Butter's Michelle Jean may bring uptown. We're hearing Sunday is opening night, pushed back (natch) from the previously expected September opening. Crains (yes, Crains) has more, as does Internet intelligence that seems to suggest a next-door take-out branch, Ginger Express.

3) In Soho, HQ, a new "eclectic bistro" threw open its doors yesterday on Thompson between Prince and Spring. (Reports the press release, "The name HQ stands for headquarters.") The chef/owner is Terrence Cave (ex-Cub Room, Metrazur, &c.), on his first solo cruise. Sample dishes, again from that press release: "lemon pepper risotto with parmesan cheese"; "savory Sonoma foie gras with pineapple chutney sauce."

4) Also just outta beta is Jovia, a new Upper East Side restaurant from ex-Sumile chef Josh DeChellis, backed by Zoë owners Stephen and Thalia Loffredo. After a week and a half in soft-opening mode, the "soft" prefix was retired for good last night. Set across multiple floors in a townhouse, the place garnered its fair share of prebuzz; let's see how New American (by way of Italy) fares.