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Eleven Madison Park Joins in on the Forced Fun of Putting Customers’ Phones in a Box

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Plus, Petite Abeille is closing its final NYC location — and more intel

A high-ceilinged, elegant dining room with a blue painting hanging in the back.
Eleven Madison Park
Gary He

Eleven Madison Park says to put your phone away

“World’s fourth best restaurant” Eleven Madison Park has adopted the annoying or endearing — depending on a diner’s point of view — practice of prompting customers to lock their phones in a box during the duration of the meal to “appreciate the present moment.” The splashy restaurant’s chef Daniel Humm writes on Instagram that the idea came from a Madison Square Park art exhibit that he can see from the restaurant’s windows titled “Full Steam Ahead,” encouraging people to “look up” and be present. Hearth in the East Village has been employing a similar tactic for over a year at this point. Diners have “embraced” the move, Humm writes, which is unsurprising considering they’re paying $315 per person to be there.

A Greenpoint restaurant reopens post-fire, while a longtime Belgian venue closes

Anella reopened in Greenpoint this week after a fire forced it shutter in July. The restaurant at 222 Franklin St. has been around since 2009, and its menu now includes starters like fried calamari and burrata; three different pastas; and branzino and skirt steak as entrees. Most of the original staff is returning with the reboot, owner Blair Papagni says. But longtime Belgian restaurant Petite Abeille will close its doors Monday, October 29, after 22 years in Gramercy. The restaurant located at 401 East 20th St. names rising operating costs as the reason for the closure in a statement sent to Eater, and says a new location outside of NYC is possible. The venue once had multiple locations in NYC and played a big role in popularizing the European-style bistro in NYC.

Brooklyn restaurant Risbo has a “beautiful” mix-and-match menu

New Yorker critic Hanna Goldfield dug the menu at Brooklyn counter-service restaurant Risbo — even though it seemingly has no “coherent flavor profile” with a section labeled “whatever.” It’s a build-your-own-bowl affair anchored by rotisserie meats, poultry, and fish, and the critic finds the crisp-skinned chickens “juicy.” Round slices of “tender” prime rib, roasted pork, and lamb come “glistening with fat,” and they’re paired with “perfectly oily” rice pilaf, she writes. Despite being a bowl place, Goldfield writes that Risbo gives off a festive vibe, “like a neighborhood house party.”

Opening delayed for Starbucks-backed Princi bakery

Princi, an all-day Milanese bakery and cafe from Rocco Princi backed by Starbucks, is delaying its NYC opening date by a “few weeks,” a spokesperson says. The cafe was set to open Thursday, October 25, on the bottom of the Paramount Plaza skyscraper in Midtown — Princi’s first standalone location in NYC. The bakery needs extra time to perfect its “experience,” the spokesperson says, which will include commessas, Italian for “shop assistants,” that will guide diners through the menu.

A new late-night menu at 886

Taiwanese restaurant 886 now has a late-night menu featuring dishes like black pepper poutine, mala wings, a three-cup chicken sando, and fried rice, as well as sake bombs. The East Village spot at 26 St. Marks Pl., between Second and Third Avenues, will kick off the new menu after 10:30 p.m. The hip venue opened in July, adding to the neighborhood’s growing collection of Taiwanese restaurants.

Eleven Madison Park

11 Madison Avenue, Manhattan, NY 10010 (212) 889-0905 Visit Website

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