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.
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.