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How Brooklyn’s River Cafe Helped Shape America’s Dining Scene

Plus, Brooklyn’s three-star Kings County Imperial eyes a Manhattan location

The River Cafe
The River Cafe
8th Rule Photography/Facebook

The lasting legacy of Brooklyn’s River Cafe

The New York Times takes a look at Brooklyn’s River Cafe and its contributions to the city’s —and nation’s — dining scene over the last 40 years. Among other accomplishments, River Cafe helped create the now-huge farm-to-table movement, boosted the profile of California wine, and churned out top chefs like David Burke, Larry Forgione, and Charlie Palmer, all while maintaining a Michelin star.

Kung Po Chicken
Kings County Imperial’s kung pao chicken
Daniel Krieger

Divisive Brooklyn Chinese restaurant eyes Manhattan expansion

The team behind Brooklyn Chinese restaurant Kings County Imperial is seeking to take over Lower East Side space 168 Delancey Street, reports Bowery Boogie. After receiving three stars from Eater critic Robert Sietsema in 2015, white chef-owner Josh Grinker went on to call traditional Chinese food “gross,” something he purports his version is not. From the menu Grinker submitted to Community Board 3, it looks like he plans to bring the same vision to Manhattan.

Don’t worry — Lucy is just on vacation

Alphabet City dive bar Lucy’s has been closed for a few weeks, but it’s likely nothing to be concerned about. A sign posted in the window says it will reopen soon, and EV Grieve notes that owner Lucy Mickevicius usually visits family in Poland for a few weeks this time of year.

New hotel in Nomad will have two restaurant spaces

Here comes a new hotel in the Nomad neighborhood, which will include a 125-seat restaurant and bar attached to the lobby. When it opens in September, Mondrian Park Avenue at 444 Park Avenue, will also have a rooftop lounge that fits 200 people both inside and out.

A rash of Upper West Side openings and closures

The UWS is full of restaurant activity, with several restaurants exiting and entering the neighborhood this past week. Of note, shuttered Italian restaurant Gina La Fornarina will return at 2020 Broadway as a dual concept of Italian and Mexican. West Side Rag has the full rundown here.

A closer look at NYC’s refugee benefit dinner series

Edible Manhattan’s latest “1 Minute Meal” series focuses on Displaced Dinners, the pop-up dinner series cooked by refugees, where proceeds go directly to the person who’s making dinner. Head here to watch.

Nick and Toni’s team takes on Mexican food

The team behind Nick and Toni’s will be opening a new regional Mexican restaurant in Amagansett. Toni Ross, Mark Smith, and Christy Cober, along with Nick and Toni’s chef Joe Realmuto have taken over the former Art of Eating space and plan to open in the spring as Coche Comedor. “We felt there was a void in the market for good Mexican food, but we are still working on the building plans,” says Smith. The group knows a thing or two about Mexican fare, having owned nearby La Fondita for sixteen years. The new spot will have 85 seats, a wood-burning rotisserie, and a long bar with a cocktail program. — Beth Landman

Johnny Utah’s pays up in latest mechanical bull lawsuit

Midtown party bar Johnny Utah’s has chosen to pay a Brooklyn man $81,000 to avoid going to court over injuries sustained after a ride on the bar’s mechanical bull. This might not be the last settlement the bar will have to face: Another woman — who is at least the fifth person to sue — is going after the same bar for the same thing.

Meet the Tribeca ice man

Danny Castro has been selling ice every summer for nearly 25 years at the same corner — Chambers and Greenwich Streets — in Tribeca. The Tribeca Trib interviewed him to see how he’s lasted so long, what he does in the winter, and the role he plays in the neighborhood.

Delivery during the dog days of summer

A New York Post writer took on the challenge of being a food delivery courier in summer’s hottest heat. He only did it for an hour — but here’s how full-time delivery people make it work:

Kings County Imperial

20 Skillman Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211 (718) 610-2000 Visit Website