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The Grill’s Secret-Weapon Chef Steps Into the Spotlight

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Plus, a popular bar pizza pop-up is back — and more intel

A man in a white tuxedo stands behind the bar at the Grill, in front of a giant arrangement of pink and red flowers
The bar at The Grill
Photo by Gary He

This is the chef running the kitchen at The Grill

Though owners Mario Carbone, Jeff Zalaznick, and Rich Torrisi have been the focus of all conversation around The Grill, their marquee chophouse in Midtown East, it turns out a woman has been running the kitchen. Chef de cuisine Ashley Rath (Atera, Gramercy Tavern) is the focus of a profile in Bon Appetit, and her quiet resolve shines through the entire piece. “I like running other people’s shows,” she says. “Some might call it self-deprecating, but I feel happy and satisfied here. And who wants to take on the financial burden of opening a restaurant in New York?”

Jean-Georges’ renovated Jojo gets its first review

Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s first restaurant Jojo has undergone a makeover, and New York mag critic Adam Platt stopped by to see how version 2.0 is faring. Pretty okay, as it turns out, though Platt seems disheartened by the “postmillennial” menu that updates classics for a younger set. No matter, plenty of Upper East Siders were there wearing furs, and the updates to the food — things like crab dumplings in a ginger-and-lemon broth, vanilla-scened salmon, and passion-fruit Pavlova — “succeed.” He grants the restaurant two out of five stars.

Openings, closings, and coming attractions

In today’s openings: pizzeria Neapolitan Express is now open at 29 Second Ave. between First and Second streets; a Kosher Asian comfort food spot called Boru Boru debuted at 774 Amsterdam Ave. at 98th Street, serving up dishes like Korean fried wings and shaved vegetable salad; and nearby, at 154 West 72nd St. between Columbus and Amsterdam avenues, a Japanese sake bar called Dark Bullet Sake & Oyster Bar has opened.

Meanwhile, coming attractions include a clay pot spot — conveniently called Clay Pot — at 58 St. Mark’s Pl., set to open on February 20 with a mix-and-match menu of clay pots with jasmine rice, ginger, scallion, soy sauce, and choice of protein; takeout and delivery restaurant Lena’s Italian Kitchen is adding a second location at 1167 Second Ave. on the Upper East Side this fall; and Ruth’s Chris Steak House will bring an 11,750-square-foot space to Jersey City this summer at 499 Washington Blvd.

Finally, two more restaurants have closed: American restaurant Friend of a Farmer in Brooklyn Heights is now closed, though the Gramercy location remains open; and gourmet popcorn shop Pop Karma has closed in the East Village due to low sales.

A look back at Indochine’s influence on NYC dining

Noho fashion fave Indochine is still going strong at 34 years old, and Zagat takes a look back at the Vietnamese restaurant’s legacy, which largely is in the design sphere with palm fronds now visible at many other restaurants. The still-hot spot has deep ties to the fashion world, thanks to former owner Brian McNally’s (The Odeon) wife, a French socialite who was in with that crowd. After a brief closure due to unpaid taxes in 1992, three employees took the restaurant over and have been running it since.

Food cart couple gets royal treatment

After a sweet story in the Post last week about Evangelos and Edith Spanoudakis, the couple that has run a popular food cart on 48th Street and Broadway for the last 25 years, Old Homestead Steakhouse treated them to an early Valentine’s Day lunch. “It was the fanciest date we’ve ever been on,” Edith gushed to the Post about the meal that included porterhouse and rib eye steaks, oysters, a bottle of Champagne, a box of chocolates, and more.

There’s a pizza pop-up at pizza restaurant Emily

Starting today, pizza restaurant Emily in Clinton Hill will host a pizza pop-up from Slice blog founder Adam Kuban. Called Margot’s, the pop-up will offer bar pizzas and a fried chicken sandwich every first Monday of the month. Back in 2014, Kuban explored opening a location of the popular Margot’s, but for now, it’s still a pop-up. Tickets are $20, available here, and come with a pie. For a look at a different pizza style — one more familiar to New Yorkers — watch below:

THE GRILL

99 Market Square Southwest, , DC 20024 (202) 916-5996 Visit Website

Jojo

, , OR 97202 (503) 309-4768 Visit Website

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