— Having closed in Alphabet City in 2014, three years later, Elsa will reopen in Cobble Hill at 136 Atlantic Ave. this week. Named after 20th-century fashion icon, Elsa Schiaparelli, the new location features steel and mirror backbar, brass and marble tables, and crystal pendant lights. Expect a menu of 20 cocktails and seasonal specials, wines by the glass, and beers, “funneled through an ancient sewing machine.” The owners also own and operate Ramona in Greenpoint, which, like Elsa, was designed by Oliver Haslegrave's Home Studios.
—When Cornelia Street Cafe opened in the 70s, the rent was $450 a month. It's now $33,000, says owner, Robin Hirsch, who has been getting press for his efforts at trying to keep the place running. The restaurant cafe hosts 700 shows a year and has been a cultural fixture in the neighborhood, cited as, “the birthplace of Off-Off-Broadway, where Eve Ensler launched The Vagina Monologues and artists like Suzanne Vega, who ‘sang their first songs in front of our cappuccino machine,’ Hirsch said.”
The landlord is Mark Scharfman, who bought the building 15 years ago and today, the lease includes property taxes and a built-in 3.5 percent annual increase. "You put all this together and you're up at $33,000 a month without batting an eyelash,” says Hirsch, “and it's hard to sustain that on a diet of Romanian poetry — although I think Romanian poetry is very important.”
— Neighbors cite unruly patrons and street fights — one that recently resulted in a stabbing — as good reason to block the renewal of a liquor license for La Nuit, the former Lava NYC nightclub at 1134 First Ave., DNAinfo reports. In the past year, there have been 154 complaints tied to the club, according to Abraham Salcedo, the chairman of CB8's Street Life committee. La Nuit has so far tried twice to renew the license, each time under a different name.
— Sicilian wine darling, Arianna Occhipinti is in town and was hanging out at Rouge Tomate last night, says Instagram.
The secrets to her memorable nero d’Avolas lie in her natural harvesting methods. “To avoid manipulation of the harvest with chemical products, the grapes must be their healthiest,” she told Edible Selby, “and this requires especially attentive work in the vineyards. The payoff is a fuller expression of the terroir, and of the various grapes.”
Back in 2010, Eater gave a shout-out to one of her wines on the list at Rouge Tomate, the IGT Sicilia ‘SP68,’ 2008:
Arianna Occhipinti is only in her mid-twenties, but she has already managed to achieve legendary status with wines that manage the warm southern sun with uncommon grace. This typical Vittoria blend of Nero d’Avola and Frappato is the product of extreme care in the vineyard and traditional/non-interventionist techniques in the cellar. A truly terroir-driven wine that is equal parts dirt and opulent fruit.
— The New Yorker writes an ode to Greenpoint bar, The Diamond, “which curates its calendar as carefully as its beer list.” Among delightful oddities, it has featured a gondola in the backyard, where a Lutheran pastor offered free solace: “Amid lit candles, behind a white curtain, the pastor bestowed words of forgiveness.”
— Tfor opened in the West Village over the weekend, Gothamist reports, a somewhat confusingly titled (and pronounced, possibly) restaurant . . . specializes in raw food.” Look for beef tartare and carpaccio, tuna, salmon and shrimp. “This is the fun kind of raw, not the intensely restrictive kind.”
— In other resurrection news, according to EV Grieve, “it appears that Mono + Mono (or just Mono Mono now) is making a return to its former home at 116 E. Fourth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue.” The Korean fried chicken place with over 30,000 classic jazz albums closed after a fire swept through the restaurant in April 2013. (The restaurant's extensive collection of jazz LPs were reportedly spared.)
— Last, perhaps you would like to spoil yourself with a poached lobster this Monday morning: