The Mats (yes, as in, Matsuhisa) and JGV start throwing their weight around this week and fusion dials it up a notch at places like Maremma, where the cuisine is best described as Tex-Ital. Bonkers.
Behold, the Eater Dish for the week of Monday, July 18, 2005:
1) Nobu 57 enters its final week of previews today and unless you don a blindfold and ear plugs and spend the week under a rock, you're going to be hearing about it. Richie Notar is your man at Myriad if you want to try and score a Friends and Family table, which might prove easier than ringing the reservation line (just a recording until early next week; 212 757 3000).
2) 7-days-old on Tuesday, Perry St should find traction this week. (Birthday cards can be sent to: Jean Georges Vongerichten, 176 Perry St, NY NY 10014). When Eater visited over the weekend it looked like the dining room was operating at about 75% capacity, which is to be expected at this early stage. While you've likely missed your opportunity to secure a same-day, prime time table, your walk-in chances still look good. Try the dill soup, the crusted tuna and the strawberry cheesecake.
3) In what must be the first blend of its kind, the Italian/Tex-Mex Maremma opens today after an extremely quiet soft open last week. It's being covered quite widely -- Strong, Daily Candy, Juli B have already run pieces and it'll likely hit Off The Menu on Wednesday -- so you can expect a full house immediately. The long term is slightly less certain for Beppe chef Cesare Casella and his homage to the Wild West of Italy (Maremma), but our correspondent?s early report is, "If I lived farther west, I'd go often. It's so nice. Not romantic, not fancy, just great and local."
4) Farther east, Zakuro, which opened two weeks ago, has caught our attention, again with fusion. With its Lower Second Avenue address it is nothing if not a crap shoot, but Chef Toki Numasawa (Fujiyama Mama, Avenue A Sushi) may be onto something with his French- and Italian-inflected Japanese fare.
5) And finally, LoSide has just opened on East Houston and is being compared to the now-shuttered HoJo's. The space is a converted factory, the food skews comfort, and the name is just this side of too gimmicky. It may be what the, well, LoSide has been craving. Have a look and let us know what you think. UPDATE: A correspondent writes in to tell us that LoSide's opening has been pushed to July 29th. Stay tuned.