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EaterWire: An Early Report From Soto & More!

WEST VILLAGE—The much-buzzed-about West Village sushi parlor Soto, opened by Sotohiro Kosugi, a Food & Wine Best New Chef, has been open a short two days and reviews are already coming in. From a reader, "Soto, here's the story. Ate there on Monday at the sushi bar. He's not doing the omakase for now, said he wasn't 100% comfortable with sourcing his ingredients yet. Restaurant has no liquor license, so it's BYO (apparently they applied for one over 6 months ago). Two guys behind the sushi bar, Soto and another chef. Soto seemed to do most of the specialty dishes while the other gentleman handled sushi. Specialty dishes are impressive, meticulous presentation and the combos really work. Tried his uni wrapped in sliced squid and shiso, the broiled langoustine, and the shima-aji carpaccio. All very good, as if he never missed a beat in the move up from Atlanta. Sushi is very high quality and expensive. Seemed like mostly walk-in traffic when I was there, though I was told most of the other diners had made reservations in advance. That could be true, as a number of tables seemed to know that the restaurant was BYO and came prepared with beverages. I snagged a copy of the menu on the way out, lots of things to try on future visits. Looks like he will reprint every day. By the time we left, the place was packed. Prices on the higher end, so no NYU kids ordering smoked salmon rolls with cream cheese. Prepare to go head-to-head with real sushiphiles for those coveted sushi bar seats." [EaterWire Inbox]

EAST VILLAGE—Is it curtains for laid-back drink spot Mama's Bar and adjoining American eatery Mama's Food Shop? From a tipster who lives nearby, "the building housing Mama's and Mama's Bar, on 3rd & B is being torn down & an 8-story condo going up. which if it goes up at the pace that the condo on 2nd & B is going, will probably have a move-in date some time in 2105." [EaterWire Inbox]

LOWER EAST SIDE—The DOH has paid a visit to Shalom Chai Pizza, the longstanding kosher pie parlor on Grand and Essex Streets, and the outcome was not good. The place is closed; 10 code violations are cited, including evidence of mice and roaches. [Loho10002]

MIDTOWN EAST—Famed restaurant Cipriani may be reopening inside the ornate Sherry-Netherland hotel as soon as this Friday. According to PX This, "scheduled re-opening is this friday. but it may be delayed and pushed back again. it seems it "probably won't be more than two weeks tops." yah so apparently they've really been working furiously lately, although the renovation was previously "taking FOREVER" supposedly it will be "beyooootiful" with chandeliers and mahogany wood and new floors and whatnot. and that patrons will "maybe not even recognize it" (in comparison to the original, i guess). oh but the tables will still be very characteristically Cipriani-- meaning: they will all be "on top of each other." Given that this rumor is pulled from the PX This forum, you must, of course, take it with a grain of salt. [PX This]