Three stars for a tiny Roman restaurant in Cobble Hill from New York
In this week’s Underground Gourmet of New York magazine, the Robs highlight Lillo Cucina Italiana, a 17-seat restaurant in Cobble Hill serving homey Roman fare. Highlights include the gnocchi (“chewy-soft potato pillows napped with tomato or cream sauce”), cacio e pepe (“as good as any rendition you’d find in fancier places”), and chicken Milanese (“textbook crisp”). There’s no liquor license and no bathroom, but it’s affordable and packed with regulars, the critics say. The main draw, though, is chef-owned Giampietro “Lillo” Remia himself, who greets people warmly and takes their orders as well.
Stratis Morfogen tries to make steak and dim sum work again
Former music executive Robert “Don Pooh” Cummins has brought on Philippe Chow founder Stratis Morfogen for a new steakhouse in FiDi called Brooklyn Chop House, a restaurant that will combine steakhouse fare with dim sum. (It sounds very similar to Morfogen’s Jade Sixty, which closed in June after just six months.) The 175-seat space at 150 Nassau St. will open in September, and the wide-ranging menu includes, pastrami and Philly cheesesteak dumplings, wonton soup, pork chops, fried rice, and bone-in dry-aged rib eye. As a strange addition, Biggie Smalls lyrics will be posted throughout the space, “a tribute” since Cummins was friends with the late rapper. Update: A spokesperson says that Morfogen misspoke, and it’s not yet clear if Biggie lyrics will play a role in the decor.
Alum of Webster Hall are opening a new bar and restaurant with music in East Village
The former head bartender and former marketing manager at music venue Webster Hall are partnering up to work on a big new project in the East Village, with plans to serve food, booze, and offer live music. Stephen and Adam Ballinger, whose family once owned Webster Hall, are asking for a liquor license at both 50 Avenue B and 238 East Fourth St. American food will be served in one space, and pizza will be additionally available in the basement. In line with their background, “live music performance” will be planned on the reg.
Boss Tweed to be replaced by grain bowl restaurant, plus some closings
Boss Tweed’s Saloon — the bar where an underage woman was locked in overnight last year — will not be reopening despite earlier reports. Instead, a “nutritious bowl” restaurant called Greens and Grains is taking over the space. In Park Slope, the personal pizzas of Elisa Rizzi at Mother Dough, one of Ryan Sutton’s best new pizzerias, will be temporarily closed until August 28th. Rizzi is heading back to Italy for a couple weeks for harvest time to check out new products. And in the West Village, Gardenia — once owned by the people behind Black Ant, though the company hasn’t been involved for two years — was supposed to be closed temporarily, but looks like it might not serve its Latin American and Mediterranean dishes ever again. A tipster sends a photo of the space, which shows the landlord has taken legal possession over the property.