Catching you up on restaurant openings hither and yon—okay, mostly hither—it's the Eater Dish for the week of March 27, 2006...
1) After a weekend of previews, the doors opened at Dona on Monday. The restaurant, the brainchild of longtime friends Michael Psilakis (Onera) and Donatella Arpaia (davidburke&donatella, Ama) serves "upscale southern-European" cuisine in the former Bellini space on East 52nd (near Third Avenue). [New York, Strong]
2) Let's hand this one to an Eater reader: "A new cafe/meal delivery place called My Befana opened up on West Houston in Soho/West Village (not sure what they are calling the hood these days). They had a free tasting last Wednesday and it was awesome. All the neighborhood Italian restauranteurs were there as well. The chef said that they want to make their money delivering a full day's meals to your house. He also says that if you live close you can get single meals or you can eat in the cafe. It is really nice looking inside with a enormous new kitchen. Seems like a good idea for those too busy to shop and cook. I might give that a try, but I'm definitely stopping by to eat in a couple times a week." Eater checked it out, too. Verdict: totally legit, though their price point/portion size calculations may need a tweaking to snag those all important return customers. [Official Site, New York]
3) An Eater correspondent emails from the East Village, "Just noticed on my way to the fabulous Caracas Arepa Bar that the new bar in the Miracle Grill space was open. Imagine Bar & Grill." Strong reports that the new owners kept on chef Adriano Flor, and that the new menu is southwestern, much like the old. (N.B. West Village branch of Miracle Grill remains alive and well.) [StrongBuzz]
4) Two openings farther uptown. FloFab props Tokyo Pop, a new Japanese fusion eatery at Broadway and 104th. Raisfeld & Patronite toplist Per Lei, a new Italian at Second and 71st that opened last Tuesday. [NYTimes, NYMag]
5) On the nightlife front in Hell's Kitchen, TowleRoad reports on today's opening of new gay club Vlada: "The owners hope to evoke 'the European artistic aura of Odeon in the 70s, where artists, actors, fashionistas, models and freaks alike could all gather and be comfortable just being themselves.' Vlada von Shats, the man behind the new venue, also runs Russian Samovar." [TowleRoad]