After a half-decade away from the New York restaurant scene, Camille Becerra is back. The alum of Top Chef, who previously ran the kitchen at De Maria on the Lower East Side, is now cooking at the Ace Hotel in Downtown Brooklyn. She’s revamped the menu at the hotel’s restaurant, As You Are, and is overseeing the food served at its lobby bar and will work in conjunction with executive chef Michael King and pastry chef Danny Alvarez. Look for items like a Waldorf salad with rhubarb and endive, tomato tonnato with potato salad and pickled chiles, and jerk pork with a coconut onion relish. Becerra was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and has had an eclectic cooking history beyond running several restaurants in New York; early in her career, she worked in vegetarian and vegan restaurants and studied macrobiotic cuisine, in addition to cooking meals for monks at Zen monasteries in New Mexico and California. The Brooklyn location of Ace Hotel opened in 2021.
Central Park’s new boathouse cafe is ‘very bad’
Central Park’s casual boathouse cafe reopened earlier this month, and the New York Post would like you to know: It’s “very bad.” A writer for the paper was reportedly served a cheeseburger without a patty, and the fried cod sandwich tasted like “McDonald’s notoriously flavorless filets,” they say. Legends Hospitality, which runs the concessions at Yankee Stadium, took over the boathouse earlier this year after it shuttered last fall due to rising labor and food costs. Its full-service restaurant and bar opens later this summer.
A new Italian restaurant is coming to Carroll Gardens
Mozzlab, a cheese manufacturer known for its bagels made from mozzarella, is opening an Italian restaurant in Carroll Gardens. The new spot, called Farina, will be helmed by Antonio Pisaniello, who oversaw Locanda di Bu in Nusco, in Italy, when it was awarded a Michelin star. He’s now making wood-fired pizzas from a small kitchen at 338 Hamilton Avenue, under the Gowanus Expressway. The address was most recently home to Pizza Moto, a popular pizzeria that closed after a decade in February.
A popular Caribbean restaurant goes fast-casual
A Caribbean restaurant known for its celebratory brunches and dinners is going fast-casual. OxKale, a new venture from the owners of Kokomo, in Williamsburg, is opening soon one block away at 52 North 11th Street, near Kent Avenue. The modern Caribbean spot dishes up oxtail, jerk chicken, and curry shrimp in bowls and wraps. A spokesperson for the restaurant likens it to a “Caribbean Chipotle.” The business comes from owners Ria and Kevol Graham, who opened Kokomo in the summer of 2020, when restaurants could only operate outdoors.
Update: June 26, 2023, 3:11 p.m.: An earlier version of this article stated that OxKale opens on June 26, using information supplied by a publicist. The opening has been postponed.