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The Grill, Major Food Group’s $30 Million Ode to the Mad Men Era, Finally Reopens

Plus, King David Tacos lands in four Manhattan Whole Foods — and more intel

A man in a white tuxedo stands behind the bar at the Grill, in front of a giant arrangement of pink and red flowers
The Grill
Gary He/Eater NY

The Grill is back in business

Midtown power dining spot the Grill — the crown jewel of Major Food Group’s dining empire, which it poured $30 million into building out — is shaking off the dust and reopening tonight for the first time in 18 months. The critically acclaimed restaurant, housed in Midtown’s storied Seagram Building, has remained closed for the duration of the pandemic as the office-heavy neighborhood emptied out and workers vanished. Predictably, the return has generated some excitement: Reservations are nearly sold out for the rest of September.

“We’re thrilled that we are able to welcome people back tonight,” Major Food Group managing partner Jeff Zalaznick tells Eater. The team has been eyeing a post-Labor Day reopening for the past six months, Zalaznick says. While Midtown hasn’t quite recovered yet in the way that they predicted — many offices have delayed return dates due to the delta variant — Zalaznick praised the city’s move to put a vaccine mandate in place, and said that many customers are feeling more comfortable with dining out again. “We decided, based on what we were hearing from our customers and the great business in our downtown restaurants, it was time to bring the Grill back,” Zalaznick says. Another Major Food Group restaurant in the building, the Lobster Club, is also reopening tonight.

The restaurants join a mixed bag of upscale Manhattan dining spots that are just now beginning to turn the lights back on. Union Square Hospitality Group’s two-Michelin-starred the Modern reopened in July, while Grand Central Oyster Bar is set to reopen on September 20. Other spots, including Stephen Starr’s French fine dining spot Le Coucou, and Le Jardiniere from Joël Robuchon’s restaurant group, remain closed.

In other news

— Prospect Park mainstay King David Tacos is now selling its popular breakfast tacos in four Manhattan Whole Foods locations.

— D.C. restaurateur and Top Chef competitor Spike Mendelsohn is opening a location of his vegan burger shop PLNT Burger in Union Square this fall, according to the New York Post.

— Need plans tonight? Go check out the second rendition of Harlem’s new Uptown Night Market, with over a dozen food vendors including Butterfunk Biscuit Co., the Egg Roll Queen, and Treat Yourself Jerk.

— Williamsburg Venezuelan-American restaurant Casa Ora is back open with expanded seating and a refreshed menu following summer renovations.

— A rundown of St. John Frizell’s revamp of Fort Defiance in Red Hook, which has reopened in a larger space as both a restaurant and a grocery store.

— Yes:

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