The Upper West Side is getting some new restaurants in the coming weeks, including two spots with impressive international pedigrees. Yes, your waiter may even speak with an accent.
La Toulousaine Bakery is planning to open at 942 Amsterdam Avenue between 106th and 107th Streets in the next week and a half. La Touloiusaine is a French bakery run by real French people! Jean Francois Gatorze and his wife Nora owned two bakeries when they lived in Southwest France near Toulouse, but they moved to the states about six years ago with dreams of opening a bakery here. Jean previously worked at Les Ambassadeurs as the pastry chef. He says La Toulousaine (which supposedly means “woman from Toulouse” and also “house built by Greeks”) will serve pastries, croissants, bread, cakes, and sandwiches on baguettes. “Everything homemade,” Jean tells me.
For many months, we have been awaiting the arrival of Fratelli La Bufala, an Italian restaurant chain that plans to open its first New York restaurant on 76th and Broadway in the spot vacated by Niko’s Mediterranean Grill. Fratelli, which has dozens of locations in Italy, uses fresh bufala mozzarella from Southern Italy on its pizzas, its salads, and just about everything else. The Neapolitan pizzas tend to be chewier and doughier than New York style slices. The restaurant should open by the end of February, an employee at the Miami branch told me. (Update: a company manager says construction should be complete by mid-to-late February )
Spring Street Natural, a vegetarian-friendly restaurant that has thrived for 37 years in SoHo, is opening up an Upper West Side branch called Spring Natural Kitchen on Columbus and 83rd Street. Originally scheduled to open this fall, an employee at the SoHo location said they now expect to open in the next week and a half. While the restaurant is known for some tasty vegetarian dishes, meat-eaters shouldn’t worry. They serve dead animals too.
In addition, Canteen 82, a Chinese dim sum and soup dumpling restaurant that lasted about a year on 82nd and Columbus, has reopened.
For more recent neighborhood openings and closings, click here.
Photo of La Toulousaine courtesy of David Chkheidze.