Masa Takayama's Kappo Masa opens tonight in the swanky Upper East Side outpost of the Gagosian Gallery. The 82-seat restaurant with an open kitchen is still upscale, but more relaxed than Masa and more gently priced (if not by much). There isn't a ton of intel floating around about the newcomer. Very few have gotten an early peek, since the restaurant opted for a high society version of friends and family, hosting a party for guests like with Woody Allen and Soon-Yi earlier this week. One guest quipped to the Post: This is the only Upper East Side party I've seen where all the women are actually eating."
Kappo, in Japanese, refers to a restaurant that focuses on the techniques of grilling, braising, stewing, steaming, and frying. Here that translates into a la carte dishes like matsutake grilled pine tree mushroom and steamed goby bass with scallion sauce. Meanwhile, expect the sashimi to arrive on blocks of frozen glass. There's also a 20 course tasting menu for a steep $350, which is indeed cheaper than Masa, but still more expensive than every other tasting menu in New York. Lunch will come later, and when it does there will be bento boxes. Stay tuned for a full menu and photos. In the meantime, reservations are up on OpenTable, and it looks like there are even a few open tables tonight and lots tomorrow evening. 976 Madison Ave, Upper East Side