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The Return of Hwa Yuan, Federal Donuts Pops Up in NYC, and More Intel

Eleven Madison Park jumps on the Tock train, plus more news and gossip from around NYC

Plant-filled dining room
[The dining room at The Little Beet in Midtown]
[Daniel Krieger]

Fabled, long-gone Chinatown restaurant Hwa Yuan is coming back to life. Chen Lieh Tang, one of original proprietor Shorty Tang’s six children, is reopening the restaurant in its old home on East Broadway (most recently, this space housed Bank of China). Tang will run the restaurant with his son, James. The menu will include the famous cold sesame noodles, as well as revivals of throw-back dishes like carp with black bean sauce and Marvelous Orange Beef. The space will have a raw bar, private dining rooms, and many marble surfaces. If everything goes according to plan, the Tangs will open the new Hwa Yuan by the end of the year. As noted last week, the family is also opening a casual Chelsea restaurant serving the cold sesame noodles.

Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook’s wildly popular Philly-based chain Federal Donuts is popping up at Chef’s Club in Nolita on Friday. The team will serve three "fancy" doughnuts and four varieties of "hot fresh" treats from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., and fried chicken sandwiches will be available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Solomonov and Cook — the duo behind Dizengoff in Chelsea Market and a slew of hot Philly restaurants — have been scoping out spaces for a possible NYC location of Federal Donuts, but they have not announced any concrete plans yet.

The Bhakti Center on First Avenue in the East Village is getting a new restaurant called Divya’s Kitchen. The space will offer sit-down meals as well as dishes for carryout. According to a sign in the window, it’s opening this month.

A French restaurant is moving into 37 Canal Street, which is the space that housed Le Enfants Terribles for many years (as well as shortly-lived Nordic restaurant Skal). A construction worker tells Bowery Boogie that it’s opening this fall.

— Starting next Monday, September 12, Eleven Madison Park will book its reservations using Nick Kokonas’s Tock system. Previously, the three-Michelin star restaurant used OpenTable as well as an old-fashioned reservation desk, but soon guests will be able to scan for tables on Tock via the EMP homepage. Reservations for October will go live on Monday, and on October 1, the tables for November will be available. In a newsletter to guests, the EMP team explains: "We want to have more transparency about available tables, and make it easier and quicker for you to find the reservation that works best — for you."

Critic Adam Platt lost a bunch of weight recently. Now he's posing in his underwear in the pages of New York.

The new iPic movie theater in the South Street Seaport will have a craft cocktail bar called The Tuck Room. The drink list will change seasonally — when it opens this fall, Tuck Room’s menu will have a Boss Tweed theme.

Tables for Two’s Nicholas Niarchos shines the spotlight on Pisillo Italian Panini in the Financial District: "Pisillo’s proximity to City Hall quickly insured that Bill de Blasio became a loyal customer. Pictures of him visiting for a quick bite adorn the walls. The Mayor’s order? The No. 32, the Sant’Agata, a sandwich designed by de Blasio himself: mortadella, fresh mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, arugula, and extra-virgin olive oil. Thinking about it, it’s probably the best."

Lower East Side cocktail parlor The Leadbelly recently changed its name to Bar Belly.

Zachary Feldman is a fan of the weirdo burgers at Flattopps in Astoria: "Queens native D'Alessio and his executive chef, Hernan Heras, source their beef from the nearby International Meat Market and griddle-smash their patties to form a nicely browned crust. The duo use Americana as a starting point from which to interpret the hamburger, through a garish prism of hip-hop and five-borough-inspired flavors." One of these dishes, the Flying Guillotine Burger, includes two smashed egg rolls and duck sauce.

— And finally, here’s a look at Mile End’s smoked meat poutine: