One of the year’s most hotly anticipated restaurants opened without much fanfare in the West Village today. Silver Apricot — the second act from chef Simone Tong, who opened the East Village’s now-shuttered Little Tong Noodle Shop — is now open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining at 20 Cornelia Street, between Bleecker and West Fourth street.
The new restaurant, which has been in the works for close to a year now, was originally envisioned as a way for Tong to flex the fine dining training she received at upscale New York City restaurants like Wd~50. Charcuterie, cheese boards, and a chef’s tasting menu were reportedly in the works, but the concept has since been relaxed slightly to account for the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to a spokesperson for the restaurant.
Silver Apricot has been scaled-back, but traces of the original plans are still present on the new restaurant’s menu. There’s a three-course tasting menu ($55), which consists of a main course — either skirt steak topped with herb-sesame relish or poached arctic char in a sesame-ginger sauce — a roasted vegetable course, cucumber melon salad, and black sesame panna cotta for dessert, though all of these dishes and a handful of others can also be ordered a la carte. All of the dishes pay homage to Tong’s background as a Chinese-American chef and restaurateur.
Partner and sommelier Emmeline Zhao is heading the restaurant’s drinks menu, which includes a small selection of sparkling wines, craft beer from local breweries, and picturesque sherry snow cones.
At Simone Tong’s first restaurant — the now-shuttered but incredibly popular Little Tong in the East Village — she managed to bring something new to a neighborhood already busy with successful noodle bars and restaurants. The East Village is where Tong made a name for herself, but the new venture has taken her work in a more personal direction.
“At Silver Apricot, our mission is to share the story of what it means to be Chinese-American today,” Tong says in a statement to Eater. “In the heart of New York’s West Village, we want to showcase both the past and future of this storied cuisine to New Yorkers and visitors alike.”
Silver Tong is now open for dinner service from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Order takeout and delivery through Toast Tab. The Midtown location of Little Tong Noodle Shop, at 235 East 53rd Street, near Second Avenue, is open for takeout and delivery, as well.