It’s damn hard opening a restaurant on the Upper West Side. Damn hard.
Cafe Tallulah: The new spot on Columbus Avenue and 71st has already switched chefs. Reports the Post’s Steve Cuozzo: “Chef Roxanne Spruance and owner Greg Hunt parted ways over what Tallulah’s rep described as ‘creative’ and the talented chef called ‘philosophical’ differences. Spruance said she left ‘on good terms.’ Tallulah’s rep said Hunt wanted a ‘French bistro with a modern twist,’ but not a ‘five-star type’ operation she supposedly wanted — puzzling because, Spruance told us, the menu had been planned since last August.” Cuozzo, who has ben pretty harsh on local restaurants of late, was not a fan of the food, and said many dishes were not available.
Ollie’s: The branch of the Chinese restaurant on 116th street and Broadway earned a C grade from the health department. But how would anyone know? The sticker is hidden behind a well-placed shrub. Thanks to our anonymous tipster for the photo.
Red Farm: Hotly anticipated Chinese spot Red Farm should open in about 8 weeks on 77th street and Broadway in the former home of Fatty Crab, the Post reports. We broke the story that it was coming last year. The Post says the owners are doing a major renovation: “Schoenfeld is building a whole new restaurant, including a new kitchen. Like compact Red Farm in the Village, the UWS one has specialized electrical and plumbing needs. Also, construction by the building’s new owners on its hotel portion impacts the restaurant space.”
Island Burgers & Shakes: Owner Mark Calvino tells us that the restaurant at 422 Amsterdam Avenue is giving a portion of profits this month to a charity designed to help children born with cleft palates: “On March 1st, Island Burgers & Shakes teamed up with Operation Smile for a cause marketing campaign. Operation Smile is the organization that surgically repairs cleft lips and palates for children around the world who are living in poverty by utilizing the donated time and skills of medical teams. This is a cause that has always been near and dear to my heart for several reasons and recently the idea dawned on me, that utilizing my two restaurants I may be able to raise more money for this cause than I am able to pay for on my own. Together with the charity, I worked out the details, and thus the partnership began a few days ago. Our plan is to take $1.00 from every guest check we have for the month of March, and send that amount directly to the charity. $240.00 pays for one child’s surgery. Our hope is between the two restaurants, we will be able to pay for at least ten surgeries…but hopefully many more!”
THE OLLIES STORY REMINDS ME OF ARTIES DELI ON 83 AND BWAY….WHENEVER ARTIES GETS AN A RATING ITS SPLATTERED ALL OVER THE WINDOWS…WHEN THEY GET A GRADE PENDING RATING ITS DOWN IN THE CORNER ON THE SIDE WHERE YOU HAVE TO HIRE A P.I. TO FIND IT.
Thanks for the heads up on Island Burgers and Shakes’ plans. I have been meaning to try that spot, I will make sure and get there this month!
They’re demonstrating in front of Saigon Grill now. Big crowd!
I think they are celebrating…it’s 12:30 on a snowy friday
Oh. More new restaurants on the Upper West Side. The whole scene is getting a little boring. Watch for the shake out.
Cafe Tallulah was a not all that great. We got there early so sat at the bar – 20 minutes later still no drink. Then dinner for four took almost two hours. As for the food, good at best. Nothing special. The decor was nice around the bar and then very blah everywhere else. Not sure this place will make it for very long. Unfortunate as the UWS needs better upscale dining places. Other than Telepan, Dovetail, Cafe Luxembourg, Lincoln, Shun Lee, Sushi Gari and a couple of others, the UWS is really lacking in good dining options. Cesca, Ouest, Purple Fig, Koi…all pretty bad. The Smith and is pretty decent as is Tenzan.
And, of course, the best little boite in the neighborhood – B Cafe…
Cafe Tallulah has terrific cocktails, and the downstairs lounge is a lot of fun.