Thomas Keller’s TAK Room gets its first review
New York magazine critic Adam Platt finds himself both “curiously” satisfied and bored at idolized chef Thomas Keller’s new “polished, generically posh” throwback American restaurant TAK Room in Hudson Yards. He instantly compares it to the Grill, with its “lavishly tender” prime rib, “almost as good” crab cakes, and pricey pasta. He thinks the best deal is $16 clam chowder, followed by “beautifully roasted” chicken for two, and that diners should skip oysters Rockefeller that “lacked any real oyster taste.” The meal ends with sticker shock: $547 for four people.
Openings, closings, and coming attractions
The Upper West Side now has a location of About Coffee at 445 Columbus Ave., as well as a new Mexican restaurant called West End Taqueria at 301 West 96th St. Coming to 324 Bowery is By Name, an art-inspired cafe with fruit milk teas and bento boxes. New owners of an UES sports bar are looking to take over the old Stanton Social space for a new “bar/restaurant,” according to liquor license filings.
Two downtown bakeries have closed: Baked in Tribeca — though its Brooklyn bakery remains open — and Sugar Sketch in the East Village. Another East Village shutter is sports bar the Blind Pig, closed after 13 years in the neighborhood. Vegan restaurateur Ravi DeRossi is looking for a new space for his vegan diner concept Dollface, after 118 Second Ave. not working out. Finally, Thai restaurant Thaimee Table has closed and cleared out after the Marshal took legal possession of the space earlier this month.
West Village neighborhood favorite Joseph Leonard turns 10
To celebrate 10 years in the West Village, American restaurant Joseph Leonard has switched things up a bit. A renovation has brought a larger kitchen and some new banquettes, while the menu is a little lighter, with additions like steak tartare, marinated lobster salad, and roasted eggplant. There are a few events this summer to mark the occasion, like a whole pig “takedown” tonight and tomorrow night, featured in many specials. Then, on July 15th and 16th is a 2009 vintage cocktail party, and an officially 10-year birthday party on August 4. Finally, the original Joseph Leonard team will come together on August 13 for a throwback evening with owner Gabe Stulman working the door and bartender Brian Bartels making drinks.
Some standout wine events at Aska
Two-Michelin-starred Scandinavian tasting menu restaurant Aska is holding two natural wine events this Wednesday, May 29. The first is from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and features “a specialized high-end tasting of exceptional and meaningful cuvées” from American producers Scholium Project, Antica Terra, and Hiyu Wine Farm. The $350 ticket includes access to the second event, a party from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., with more wines from those three makers, as well as snacks from Aska. People who want to just attend the party can do so for $150. Scholium Project’s Abe Schoener and Aska wine director Rachael Pack are hosting.