NYC restaurants are allowed to resume indoor dining today
Starting today, restaurants in NYC are allowed to reopen for indoor dining at 25 percent capacity, following a two-month ban instated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last December. It’s the second time that the city’s restaurants have been allowed to open dining rooms at limited capacity during the pandemic. Not surprisingly, differing opinions abound on how to handle the latest return to indoor dining. Some owners are grateful for any loosening of operating restrictions and look forward to offering a handful of seats for customers, others are opting to take a wait-and-see approach before reopening their own establishments, and still others are planning not to reopen until COVID-19 vaccinations have been more widely distributed.
For the spots that are reopening, the same COVID-19 precautions will be in place during this round as they were last fall. Customers must have their temperatures checked at the door, and comply with contact tracing measures. New York’s 10 p.m. dining curfew is still in place, despite some restaurant owners’s protests. Cuomo has indicated that if the rate of positive COVID-19 cases continues to trend downward in the city, capacity restrictions may be loosened further. Outside of NYC, restaurants are currently allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity indoors.
Update, 1:00 p.m.: Cuomo has announced that the dining curfew for NY restaurants and bars is extended to 11 p.m. nightly starting on February 14.
In other news
— Lotus + Cleaver at the Jacx & Co food hall in Long Island City is offering a special Chinese New Year Prosperity Salad ($28) that will be available for takeout from February 12 to 19. The salad, meant to be tossed together with others to bring good luck, includes salmon sashimi, house-marinated ikura, oishii shrimp, shredded vegetables, and house-made pickles, among other ingredients. The salad must be pre-ordered at least 24 hours in advance.
— Bedford + Bowery goes inside the College Student Pantry on the Lower East Side, where anyone with a college ID can pick up bags of groceries every other Wednesday, from 3 to 5 p.m.
— Upscale supermarket Brooklyn Fare is plotting a gigantic, 21,600-square-foot shop on the Upper West Side to open this summer, Commercial Observer reports.
— Essex Market stalwart Davidovich Bakery appears to be opening a new location in the East Village, according to EV Grieve.
— Pearl River Mart Foods and Very Fresh Noodles at Chelsea Market have teamed up to offer a blow-out Lunar New Year celebration on Saturday, February 13. Each $150 ticket includes a four-person meal of La Mei Taiwanese beef noodle soup from Very Fresh Noodles, spicy pork and yubu kimbap rolls from Kimbap Lab, a variety of steamed bao from Mao’s Bao, and more. The meal — served in Chelsea Market’s private heated outdoor booths — is accompanied by a performance from Wan Chi Ming Hung Gar Institute Dragon and Lion Dance Team. Customers will also receive “a special New Year’s gift” from Pearl River Mart, according to a spokesperson. There are two seatings for the meal and show, at 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., on Saturday.
— Family-owned bakery Ceremonia Bakeshop in Williamsburg is reopening on February 13 with a new passionfruit raspberry cake on the menu.
— Hot Bread Kitchen is hosting a Valentine’s Day Zoom cooking class on February 14 at 12 p.m. where participants will make cornbread and collards eggs Benedict with Cornbread26, a local catering company. Tickets are priced on a sliding scale from free to $30 apiece, with all proceeds going toward Cornbread26.
— Happy Lunar New Year!