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Plywood Report: Zen Burger, La Scarpetta, ex-Gabriella's, Brick Oven Pizza for Greenpoint!

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The Plywood Report investigates restaurants and bars that are in that phase somewhere between concept and opening. Your sightings to, svp.

[Courtesy of The Angel Group for Branding & Design]

1) Midtown East: We begin on Lexington Avenue between 45th and 46th, where Zen Burger—a vegetarian offering from the recently beleaguered Zen Palate folks—is prepping to open by month's end. Above, via Midtown Lunch, a glimpse at the interior. ML: "It’s a lot more McDonalds’ish than I expected (down to the photos on the overhead menu, which don’t look like veggie burgers to me)." [PLYWOOD]

2007_11_exuovo.jpg2) East Village: At right, more or less across the street from Back Forty on Avenue B, we see the interior of the restaurant that used to be Uovo and is set to become La Scarpetta. A tipster filed this update with us a month ago: "I heard a new Italian restaurant is opening up in Uovo's old location on 11th Street & Avenue B in the East Village. I asked chef Pasquale Martinelli, formerly of Bellavitae in the West Village, what the name means. Apparently, La Scarpetta is when you clean your plate with a piece of bread. I passed by two weeks ago and it looked like they were having some kind of friends/family party. The beautiful glassware struck my attention. I'm pretty excited for its opening. Do you have any info?" Bottomless Dish kicked the tires recently; liquor license issues are holding up the open. Given that Uovo owner Matthew Hamilton famously blamed the SLA for his shutter, that's something you do hate to see. [POST-PLYWOOD]

3) Upper West Side: A Plywood Report reader query! "On the corner of 93rd, the old Gabriella's location, there seems to be the building of a restaurant. There are no signs, just the whirr of the carpentry in the background." Anyone know more? [PLYWOOD]

4) Greenpoint: Brooklyn Paper reports, "At the corner of Driggs Avenue and Diamond Street in Greenpoint, a new brick oven pizza parlor is about to open up. If they can manage to stay open later than 11, when almost everything else in the ’hood shuts down, we think this could be the start of a beautiful friendship." [PLYWOOD]

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