Lower East Side
Schiller's Liquor Bar, 131 Rivington [Norfolk] 212.260.4555. While the name nods to the neighborhood's past, this is a quintessential Keith McNally bistro for those who think Pastis is too uptown.
Following our review of the Biltmore Room and our wish that chef Gary Robins would settle down, John Cassanos, the general manager of the restaurant, wrote to us, "We are planning on making this a happy home for Gary for many years to come."…Meanwhile, at the newly opened Maritime Hotel, Tadashi Ono, who made his mark at La Caravelle and Sono, is readying Matsuri, 363 W. 16th [9th] 212.243.6400, opening in the next couple of weeks.
The design and pedigree of Lever House, 390 Park [53rd] 212.888.2700, have generated plenty of buzz, a glittery crowd, and probably the toughest lunch reservation in town. The draw for us, though, is chef Dan Silverman (ex-Alison on Dominick and elsewhere), who cooks both beautifully and modestly.
Mix, 68 W. 58th [5th/6th] 212.583.0300, is Alain Ducasse's idea of American bistro/comfort food, located due east from his new world flagship.
Upper West Side
Ouest's Tom Valenti has seen to it that 'Cesca, 164 W. 75th [Amst] 212.787.6300, takes it place with Gennaro and Celeste as the best Italian restaurants on the UWS. In this perennially peckish part of town, you'd expect this to be a tough reservation already — and it is.
Upper East Side
Pearson's Texas Barbecue, 170 E. 81st [Lex/3rd] 212.288.2700, is in the old Butterfield 81 space, where Tom Valenti (see above) used to cook. Barbecue is the new buzz on the UES? If Robert Pearson (who used to own Stick to Your Ribs) is manning the pits, it is.
Andrea Immer's 2004 Wine Buying Guide for Everyone ($12.95, Broadway Books) is out now and has loads of useful info, including a section called "The Top 50 Wines You're Not Drinking." which highlights good value wines that are widely available. More on Ms. Immer at her website www.greatwinemadesimple.com.
Myra Alperson, who gives culinary tours of New York's neighborhoods, has a book out. It's called Nosh New York: The Food Lover's Guide to New York City's Most Delicious Neighborhoods ($16.95 from St. Martin's). Find out more about it and Ms. Alperson's tours at www.noshnews.com.
From a reader:
"Just wanted to mention a wonderful and under-reviewed restaurant on 122nd and Amsterdam. It's called Sezz Medi', does great pizza and assorted other dishes, has friendly service, and is a great addition to an otherwise under-served neighborhood." 1260 Amsterdam [122nd] 212.932.2901
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