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Ugly Baby Goes Reservation-Free

Plus, an alum of Barbuto will lead the kitchen at a new UWS restaurant — and more intel

A spread of dishes Ugly Baby in Carroll Gardens
A spread of dishes at Ugly Baby.
Jessie Jacobson/Eater

Throughout the pandemic, the Carroll Gardens Thai restaurant experimented with various forms of pre-ordering and reservations, which, at one point, was a convoluted system taken through Instagram DMs. Now the restaurant has announced that when they return from break on July 6, they’ll be doing away with reservations entirely — the way they first began. “We can serve more people because we won’t have to hold tables empty for an upcoming reservation. As a small restaurant, this has a massive impact on our ability to accommodate more people,” the Instagram post stated. And “spontaneity!”

A Barbuto alum will lead kitchen at new UWS spot

Robert Guarino — of French Theater District restaurant Marseille, Hell’s Kitchen trattoria Nizza, and 5 Napkin Burger; along with Simon Oren of eastern Mediterranean Dagon and Art Deco Midtown steakhouse Monterey — have taken over the space that was formerly Cesca at 164 W. 75th Street, near Amsterdam Avenue. With Guarino taking the lead, they plan to open an Italian restaurant in mid-October called Sempre Oggi. Guarino hired Phillip Basone, who was the executive chef at Barbuto, and prior to that chef de cuisine at Le Crocodile. ”We are going to be seasonal and extremely market-driven, changing dishes daily, and we will make our own bread and pasta on premises,’’ says Basone. The restaurant will source almost everything locally, including the grains for bread, and is planning such dishes as sweet and sour rabbit; sliced porchetta with salsa verde and mostarda; and chestnut tortellini with pickled chanterelles. In addition to this project, Oren is also taking over the former Wayfarer space in the Quin, a Hilton Club hotel at Sixth Avenue and West 57th Street, the Post reported. — Beth Landman, contributor

Place des Fêtes adds an apero hour

After New York Magazine named Place des Fêtes its 2022 “restaurant of the year,” reservations have been hard to nab. The restaurant says it wants to make sure it remains a neighborhood hangout, and as of July 15, they’re launching “apero hour.” On Saturdays and Sundays from 3 to 5:30 p.m. the restaurant will be for walk-ins only with a snack menu that will include items like a muffuletta, and cocktails like a carrot martini, according to the team.

East Village Indian restaurant Khiladi is closing

After four years Khiladi is calling it quits on Avenue B. The restaurant is hosting its last day of service this weekend on Sunday, July 2. The Instagram post announcing the closure cited COVID as a contributing factor to the decision. The restaurant first opened in 2019 and focused on South Indian staples. In 2021, Eater reported that they wanted to make dabba, steel lunch boxes in India, more mainstream in New York through the restaurant.