Several new restaurants and food stores have just opened or are close to opening on the Upper West Side.
As we reported a few weeks ago, Key Food is getting set to open at 90th and Amsterdam in the former home of Saigon Grill. A sign on the window says it will be a “Fresh & Natural” market. “While Key Fresh & Naturals may be smaller than some of our other stores, they still maintain a concentrated effort on perishables- produce, meat, and deli departments,” according to Key Foods’ website. Thanks to Kenneth for the photo.
The owners of a SoHo restaurant called Mezzogiorno plan to open a new Italian restaurant in the coming months in the former home of Indian Cafe at 108th street and Broadway. No details yet on the restaurant but it will apparently be “mid-priced,” according to the Observer. “They were motivated by the surprising lack of Italian restaurants on Broadway near Columbia University and the dense mix of families and students in an area with somewhat limited retail,” broker Rafe Evans said. Check out Mezzogiorno’s menu here. Thanks to Guy Dickinson for the tip.
Hunan Balcony on 98th and Broadway closed suddenly a few weeks ago and just reopened as Szechuan Gourmet 98. One of our readers tells us the opening ceremony last week involved cymbals and was shockingly loud. Apparently they’re owned by people that also own a Flushing restaurant.
Someone on Chowhound has already tasted the food and gives it two thumbs up: “Szechuan Gourmet 98 just opened yesterday, and on a minimal one-person sampling it was quite decent. the dan dan noodles had a good burn, and lovely after-tingle, with no peanut butter contamination. I followed this with their “spiciest” (3 pepper rating) dish, fish filet with fresh pepper. The filets were tender, perfectly cooked, and well spiced with several colors of fresh peppers, served on a generous bed of baby bok choy. On opening night, the place was mostly full of Chinese families, perhaps friends of the owners, and the service was quite attentive, with the manager coming over to ask me how I liked the dish and whether it was spiced to my liking. No booze yet, but coming.” Thanks to all our tipsters, and to David for the photo.
A new Kosher dairy restaurant is set to open on 93rd street and Amsterdam in the former home of 7-Eleven, Koshertopia reported. “Koshertopia spoke with the new proprietor and learned that the place aims to be ready in 3 months. While a kosher certifying agency has not officially been selected, we are told it likely to be one of the main national brands. The new store will offer a huge fresh salad bar, bagels, pizza & pasta an many other brunch and lunch varieties.”
The Meatball Shop is edging closer to opening, posting a big sign over the restaurant at 82nd and Amsterdam. They haven’t responded to a question about the opening date yet. We first reported on the Meatball Shop here. Thanks to 5borobeer for the photo.