By Carol Tannenhauser
Autumn will bring a cornucopia of new restaurants to the Upper West Side. Here are four that are expected to open by the beginning of October.
Sandwiched between Chase bank and Duane Reade on Columbus Avenue between 75th and 76th Streets, is Asset, the latest offering from the owners of Tessa, the Mediterranean spot that has been flourishing on Amsterdam Avenue (76th and 77th) since 2014.
Asset’s modest doorway belies an expansive, industrial-themed space, featuring two floors with a bar on each, allowing for private and semi-private parties. It seats 170. As for the food, said Patrick Duxbury, director of operations, “We’re making all our pastas in house. There’ll be a lot of seafood, poultry and beef entrees. We’ll also have a ‘simply grilled’ section for those who’d like a healthier option, and plenty of small and shared plates for people to enjoy as a group. On Thursdays, Friday and Saturdays, we intend to keep the kitchen open to 1 a.m., because there aren’t very many places to eat up here later in the evening. Asset is Tessa spelled backwards,” he concluded. “We thought it would be a cool name, because we hope to be an asset to the Upper West Side.” Asset is planning to open the third week of September.
Daily Provisions, under construction. Photo by Harriet Flehinger.
From Danny Meyer, who brought us Shake Shack, comes Daily Provisions, billed as “your neighborhood coffee shop, bakery, and sandwich shop” (on the high-end side), located on Amsterdam Avenue, between 77th and 78th Streets, in the old White Gold Butchers’ space. Critic Ryan Sutton, of Eater NY, said about the first location, which is next to Meyer’s Union Street Cafe on East 19th Street, “If I had to pick a Danny Meyer spot I’m excited about these days, it’s…Daily Provisions.”
Max Rockoff, manager of the east side store, said the UWS version will focus like its predecessor on “serving locals.” DP’s bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches are legendary and New York Magazine called their crullers “the world’s finest.” Rockoff said the gougères (cream puffs stuffed with scrambled eggs) are “a game changer.” They’re also known for their sandwiches and rotisserie chicken. In the Danny Meyer mode, the downtown Daily Provisions is cash and tip free. We haven’t gotten confirmation on the new one yet. It will open in “early fall.”
Update: These details just in from Daily Provisions Senior Brand Manager Natasha Martin: “Notably, the Amsterdam location will feature daily Blue Plate dinner specials each night of the week (inspired by old-school diners.) So far, we can confirm that those specials will include Fried Chicken and Braised Brisket (the rest are TBA). They’ll also serve a special cruller flavor at opening — Caramel Apple.”
Second Update: The Upper West Side location will be cash and tip free, Martin confirmed.
“Gyu-Kaku” means “Horn of the Bull” in Japanese. It is the name of a chain of Japanese restaurants with over 600 locations in Japan. Gyu-Kaku currently has three Manhattan places, with a fourth soon to open on Amsterdam between 90th and 91st, where Saigon Grill and Key Foods used to be.
Nita Atimana, general manager, told us what to expect: “Gyu-Kaku serves ‘yakiniku,’ meaning ‘grilled meats.’ At Gyu-Kaku, our guests are the chef! Friends and families can gather to have a fun interactive dining experience by grilling their own meats and veggies on a smokeless roaster while enjoying a mug of ice cold Japanese beer or sake. We have a wide range of premium meats and marinades to choose from, as well as a great selection of ready-to-eat dishes. All of our plates are sharable, so our guests can try a variety of dishes off of the menu! In many cities, Gyu-Kaku is a new and exciting concept! This means that we all have to be experts at explaining our concept to someone who has never heard of Japanese BBQ before.” Gyu-Kaku will open at the beginning of October.
Founded in Greenwich Village, Mighty Bowl is an Asian fast-casual restaurant chain, coming to the spot formerly occupied by Subway on Amsterdam Avenue between 75th and 76th Streets.
“It offers bowls of Asian cuisine with fresh ingredients, including custom menu items and a build-your-own-bowl option,” says Dwayne Gotua, cofounder. Among the choices offered are ‘Classic’ bowls, such as the Tokyo (grilled chicken, fresh scallions, furikake, sautéed mushrooms, poached egg, cucumbers and teriyaki sauce); the ‘California’ (crispy organic tofu, poached egg, avocado, bean sprouts, picked red onions, furikake, kale, Japanese mayo and miso barbecue sauce); the ‘Manila’ (crispy pork belly or grilled chicken, Chinese broccoli, bean sprouts, scallions, crispy garlic, crispy shallots, poached egg and adobo sauce); and ‘Poke’ (sashimi grade tuna or salmon, seaweed salad, nori, pickled carrots, scallions, daikon radish, furikake, cucumbers and soy ginger sauce.)” Mighty Bowl will open the last week in September.
This is the first addition of openings / closings where I’m looking forward to trying all of these places
These all sound promising. Let’s hope for reasonable prices and quality food. Most of the time the Upper West Side is where good restaurants go to die.
Are you sure Mighty Bowl is opening? I walked by there recently and it looked like they had abandoned construction.
What’s with all these Mediterranean restaurants on the Upper West Side they don’t say open too long. Living here for the last 52 years personally I don’t like Mediterranean food, I’m speaking for most of the Upper West Side.
What a losing gamble to have a restaurant.
As Tronald Dump, I’ve lived here for 70 years, much bigger and better than your 52. So I think I speak for you more than you speak for yourself, believe me.
I’ve been living here 92 years and I agree with Billy! I think that outweighs your 72-year-olds 😉
Why on earth would you assume you’re speaking for most of the Upper West Side?
I wondered that too. Personally I LOVE Mediterranean. But I can only speak for myself :))
he’s lived here 52 years! that makes him president of the upper west side! Our mayor gave him that title, leave him alone!
They all look promising.
Re: “Asset is Tessa spelled backwards,” …. we hope to be an asset to the Upper West Side.”
Hopefully, but be careful of that backward stuff, like doing things…ummmm… ‘bass-ackwards’
As a senior citizen with combat related hearing loss, I have enjoyed the food at Tessa but the noise level is painful. It has prevented me from returning to Tessa after two meals. I hope that Asset uses much more sound absorbing material so that I can both converse with my wife in a speaking voice and can also not be in pain from other peoples’ conversations that seem to be at a shouting level of sound.
Re: “in pain from other peoples’ conversations that seem to be at a shouting level of sound.”
DITTO, and it applies to most restaurants nowadays !
Yup, us ‘old-folks-at-home’ DO have hearing problems….made WORSE by the whipper-snappers shouting at one another at near-by tables.
1. they’re used to shouting at each other in bars;
2. the ear-buds to which they seem permanently attached* are probably destroying their hearing;
3. just plain-old rudeness, which never goes out-of-style.
*B/T/W: Is there anything more goofy than people walking around with those white wireless phone thingies sticking out of both ears? Those things resemble the ear-tags on cows.
There seem to be a lot of new restaurants designed to be loud. The floors are tiled and there’s no buffering whatsoever. My assumption was this was intentional. Noise is how they communicate to younger clientele that they are having fun. “It’s A Party!!”
I avoid those places.
Restaurants play loud music so you will eat fast and get out. They make their money turning over tables. Dining out is a concept that belongs to a different era.
So true – whatever happened to restaurants where you can just sit down and have a nice chat with your guest(s).
That’s why I like Sarabeth’s West.
No drama…fine foods and great staff.
The menu can expand though…
I’m really intrigued by ASSET — they’ve taken a really innovative approach to the space, and the late hours, decor, food presentation, and inclusion of a DJ booth suggest the type of downtown vibe we don’t see enough of up here. It’s a particularly quiet stretch of Columbus right now too, so here’s hoping it does well and revives the nighttime scene there a bit. The big thing for me will be the price point. TESSA’s entree options for pastas are all $25+ and proteins are all $30+ (with the exception of their burger, which is still steep at $21). I don’t see enough of an audience for a space like ASSET with a similar approach. But prices on par with something like The Smith, if not even slightly lower, I think would be a hit.
Is Asset in the same location (or close to it) where the Cherry Diner held court for many years, finally closing in, I think, the 1980s? Long-time Westsiders will recall the strange combination of standard diner food and quasi-Japanese offerings like sukiyaki. (This was before sushi was invented😃)The food was cheap and tasty, if inauthentic, the owners and clientele friendly. It was a real asset to the neighborhood during the years when Columbus Avenue was a fairly dicey place to live. I hope Asset with a capital “A” will be the same in these gentrified times.
Sushi was invented hundreds of years ago my neighbor;
in Japan. Sushi appeared in Manhattan for homesick Columbia University Japanese students at 119th Street between Amsterdam and Morningside Drive. AKI Diningroom was a family owned Japanese restaurant serving traditional cuisine and sushi and sashimi as well. I too frequented “The Cherry Restaurant” when I the field making home visits for The Roosevelt Hospital
comprehensive pediatric primary care program. I recall an addicting teriyaki Berger that I ordered at every lunchtime visit.
I also recall a Japanese restaurant on West 56th Street
Near Eighth Avenue in the 1960’s. My gal pal told me about this restaurant, perhaps called Miyako. She reported eating dried seaweed and other exotic dining experiences. I went and enjoyed what I thought were authentically dressed waitresses with obi and old Japanese style dresses. I recall ordering sukiyaki and
Enjoying the style of cooking at the table. Tasted sensational. I’ve been hooked on Japanese food since 1964
wow, someone remembers the Aki! I lived at 420 W. 119th Street as a student at Columbia from 1973– approx 1975. It was right above the Aki. the place was delicious, but i think that there were other Sushi restaurants by then.
I also seem to recall it being closed, either by the health department or for financial reasons. they emptied it out and we got a big laugh out of the junk that came out of the place, including several large mattresses. i can’t recall if it reopened.
Digressing even more into favorite eating / drinking spots from the era, down 119th near Amsterdam was the amazing bar “The College Inn” (I think that was the name), with cheap and outstanding burgers. On Bway there was Mama Joy’s, which made the best hero sandwiches, way ahead of its time on gourmet sandwiches. Also on Broadway was Amir’s Falafel, then just a tiny hole in the wall but outstanding. I brought a friend from Stanford there and he remembers it fondly to this day. Tom’s restaurant already was a fixture, with better food then than it has now imho. Maybe i was more accepting. Ta-Kome on Bway had mediocre heroes but stayed open all night. And of course the old West End bar, still in its prime.
Yes, I’m aware that sushi was “invented,”if that’s the word, ages, if not millenia ago, in Japan. That’s why the smiley at the end of the sentence. (It’s sometimes hard to convey tone of voice online.) I do remember the teriyaki burger at Cherry — the perfect fusion of East and West.
Just wanted to remind these new restaurants- and I really do wish them all well- that the government puts “legal tender” on money for a reason, as in, refusing to accept cash has already proven actionable, so why alienate potentially interested customers?
Section 31 U.S.C. 5103, entitled “Legal tender,” states: “United States coins and currency [including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks] are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues.”
This statute means that all United States money as identified above is a valid and legal offer of payment for debts when tendered to a creditor. There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person, or an organization must accept currency or coins as payment for goods or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether to accept cash unless there is a state law which says otherwise.
Removing cash from the equation brings a host of benefits to any business. From not worrying about employees with sticky fingers (and or poor math skills), to ease of accounting/keeping the books. Not accepting cash makes a business a less likely target for criminal activity as well.
This being said demographics below a certain age group largely do not use cash. Between credit/charge cards, and peer to peer payment systems (PayPal,Square) and digital wallets (Apple Pay, Venmo), use of cash has really decreased.
That being said Americans are really far behind Europeans, Asians and even Chinese in adopting mobile payments. This despite everyone and their mother owning a smart phone nowadays.
“Removing cash from the equation brings a host of benefits to any business.”
How nice for them. What you are leaving out of the equation is the element that keeps businesses in business: the customer. I truly do not give a rat’s rear about what any demographic, including my own, considers trendy; I reserve the right to pay for my purchases at my discretion, according to the way I choose to manage my money, whether by cash, credit, debit, PayPal or digital wallet. No, scratch the last: the operators already have too much information about me and I don’t trust them with more. I predict that within two months of opening, Daily Provisions will be tired of the protests and will welcome anyone who orders one of their “legendary” egg sandwiches. No matter how the customer chooses to pay.
Anecdotal only but actually there seems to be a growing number of millennials using cash, at least for smaller purchases. Reasons including hacking, dislike of corporate control…
You forgot to mention privacy.
Not everyone wants a permanent record of every little transaction they make. And then this data is compiled and sold to the highest bidder so they can bombard you with specialized marketing and advertising.
Think about it….every product you buy, what brands you prefer, the frequency with which you purchase certain food, medicines, any consumer products. All being put together to create a profile of you and your family. And this is just scratching the surface. Every aspect of our lives is being tracked and recorded these days.
Not just “sad but true”…but also very scary. Personally I try not to think about it, I’m old. Nobody cares what I’m up to anyway.:)
Agree. I’ll be happy to try Daily Provisions (perfect location after a workout or swim at the nearby JCC)when they change the ridiculous and, as you say,actionable, no-cash policy). The Sweetgreen salad chain, with a branch just just a couple of blocks south on Amsterdam, was forced to accept cash after customers protested. I look forward to spending some perfectly good U.S. legal tender at Daily Provisions when they do the same. At the moment, if they don’t like my money they don’t get my business.
Hooray!! Gyu-Kaku is coming. A new restaurant is coming to the West 90’s. Could use some new eateries with good ambience and reasonable prices. Last new one was Popeyes…an emporium of fast food fat and sodium.
Whatever happened to opening a few new restaurants in the 90s on Broadway?? I wish we had a good Italian restaurant. I’m afraid Regional has been awful the two times I’ve been there.
Bella Luna on 88th and Columbus is excellent. And reasonably priced.
The best Italian on the UWS is at Osteria 106, 106 St and Manhattan Avenue.
Sorry, but we think Bella Luna is mediocre at best. And they don’t have a full bar. UWS really does need a good Italian spot. Coppola’s and Pomodoro Rosso ok but food is unrefined and not cooked to order. Risotto at former in 5 minutes?? Not a good sign.
I agree about Bella Luna. I gave it a few chances because it’s always so busy, and each time it was $15 for bad boxed pasta with bland sauces. I thought that ordering some meatballs to add over top might help, but they were dry and dense.
I think something like Cotta a few blocks down is miles better. I don’t think Cotta’s pasta dishes are fantastic, but they’re at least still relatively affordable — and their small plates, pizzas, and sides are almost always executed well at good prices.
I’ve been eyeing the future opening of Pasta Franco at Columbus and 84th/85th for a while. Since they’re affiliated with Motorino I expect that the pasta will be homemade. But curious if that also means plates will start at $20+.
Gyu Kaku is amazing. I’ve had it in Japan and the ones in NYC. It’s great for the whole family and their kids meals pack alot for a great price. I’m hoping the UWS welcomes it with open arms. We really need a place like this that isn’t above 100 street and not down in the east village.
These sound interesting, I’d love a Pret-A-Manger or Panera.
what an exciting roundup! Finally things that aren’t banks or phone stores coming to the 70’s!!
Wishing Asset the best! Back in the mid-80’s there was a great and successful restaurant at this same location called Memphis. I remember going at the birth of the Yuppie period – when the UWS was transforming on a daily basis. That spot was full of energy and beautiful people.
Sean is correct. Dining is a lost concept. The noise level in so many places is in the stratosphere and the owners think this is normal, something wonderful to be experienced. Why bother?
I heard Barebuger on Columbus was coming back, is that true?
Yes, they recently applied for a liquor license to open/re-open in that same area on Columbus Ave.
Looking forward to Gyu-Kaku.