It's that time of the year again. The restaurateur's cash cow and the Eater's paradise: the Fall restaurant opening season. Owners love to be open this time of year, because historically profits are highest between now and the end of the year; we Eaters, fresh off the lull of summer, love it for all the new options, of course. And for everyone in between, there is the promise of at least one or two new places from which to get delivery. Indeed, friends, it is a glorious time for all.
So what, then, is in store this fall? Flo Fab has the most comprehensive preview, with dozens of the venues in the works. Some you'll recognize from their days younger days, galavanting about the pages of Plywood. Some will open before the calendar year is out; others have yet to come to terms with the fact that they'll be on next year's fall preview list. You'll want to click all the way through for the Fab list, or just ahead for early birds--not any of the marquee debuts, but the ones we're watching in the next six weeks.
(For restaurants besides these, we'll be back to you with more info in a few weeks time. No reason to start getting your panties in a bunch for Chodorow's Kobe Club or McNally's Morandi just yet.)
1) Bar Martignetti: Anthony and Tom Martignetti have 100 seats in an airy setting with exposed brick, a tin ceiling, a tile floor and a menu prepared by Ryan Arnold that hews to the simple classics. Soho; 9/21/06 (projected).
2) Hawaiian Tropic Zone: Pehraps you have heard of a place called Ninja? This year's Ninja is a Jeffrey Beers-designed tropical fantasy of 16,000 square feet. Nicole Miller designed the sever outfits (bikinis); menu is by chef-whore David Burke. Midtown West; 9/24/06.
3) Lonesome Dove: An import from Fort Worth (soundtrack warning), the chef/owner/designer of this one is Tim Love. Though it's "western bistro" motif comes dangerously close to making it a theme restaurant, there is apparently a seriuos wine angle: the wines are made to spec by Trefethen Vineyards in Napa. Flatiron; 9/19/06.
4) Porter House: Michael Lomonaco (Windows on the World) is nearing completion on his gut renovation of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s V Steakhouse in the Time Warner Center. Per Flo, it is his first venture as a partner after 23 years cooking. Jeffrey Beers, clearly a busy man this season, also designed this one , a 100-seater. The Mall; October.
· Sooner Rather Than Later: Opening This Month [NYT; Flo Fab]
· Later Rather Than Sooner: Opening Later This Year [NYT; Flo Fab]
The best fall opening are invariably the stealthiest, which brings us to your role. If you see something, say something, yes?