The team behind Dhamaka heads to the East Village
It’s confirmed: Roni Mazumdar and Chintan Pandya, the hit-making duo behind Indian restaurants Adda and Dhamaka, is headed to the East Village for their next project. Earlier this week, neighborhood blog EV Grieve reported that the team could be opening a restaurant at 149 First Avenue, near East Ninth Street, and a spokesperson for the team has since confirmed those plans.
It’s not clear at this time whether the new business will be another location of Masalawala, the group’s somewhat under-the-radar first restaurant that opened on the Lower East Side in 2011 and later expanded to Long Island City. (The original location of Masalawala, located on nearby Essex Street, closed after a decade in April.) The restaurant’s name, menu, and opening date are still under wraps, but the project will focus on takeout and delivery only, according to the spokesperson.
The East Village expansion is the latest from Unapologetic Foods, the hospitality group behind influential Indian restaurants Masalawala, Rahi, and Adda. Mazumdar and Pandya recently unveiled Dhamaka — their long-awaited, instant-hit fifth restaurant — at the Essex Market, while a spokesperson confirms that earlier plans to bring a location of Masalawala in Brooklyn are still moving forward.
Çka Ka Qëllu heads to Connecticut with a third location
Albanian eatery Çka Ka Qëllu is launching in Stamford, Connecticut, in late August with the same menu — its critically-acclaimed Skanderbeg steak and the fluffy, fresh-out-the-oven somun bread — that put its first two locations, in Murray Hill and the original outpost on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, on the map. The 4,000-square-foot venue will house a restaurant, a wedding hall, and feature “two castles built inside the building,” says owner Ramiz Kukaj, who imported 13-foot doors and other museum-worthy artifacts from Gjakova, a town in Kosovo, and the Albanian capital of Tirana.
— Elisa Mala, Eater New York contributor
In other news
— La Casa Del Mofongo owner Felix Cabrera is planning to open a restaurant and nightclub at 29 West 36th Street, between Fifth and Sixth avenues, in Midtown South. The venue is set to open in six months, according to Commercial Observer.
— Swing by the newly opened Cafe Cannal this Saturday for an all-day party that includes live music, baked edibles, and weed dispensary Rebelle from Massachusetts. The June 26 event is BYOC (bring your own cannabis), according to a spokesperson for the restaurant.
— In related news, the team at Insider samples the four-course “infused” tasting menu at Stoned Pizza in the East Village.
— Upper West Side favorite Bánh Vietnamese Shop House is serving a five-course, banh xeo tasting menu on Monday, June 28. Tickets to the one-night dinner cost $116 for two people.
— Time Out Market in Dumbo welcomes a new vendor this week, a chicken biscuit maker from the team behind Jacob Pickles.
— And, in case you missed it, New Yorkers have less than 24 hours to order takeout cocktails.
Imma need menus to stop telling me what food is “meant for sharing.” You don’t know my life!!!!!— Naomi Ekperigin (@Blacktress) June 22, 2021