Flex Mussels, an Upper East Side Fixture, Relocates Nearby
After 15 years in the East 80s, Flex Mussels has moved. A Feb. 14 fire and the availability of a nearby space, which the owners of Flex Mussels, Bobby Shapiro; his wife, Laura; and daughter Alexandra, had been eyeing for some time generated the change. “We’re a neighborhood restaurant, and we wanted to stay in the neighborhood, to support it, especially after Covid,” Alexandra Shapiro said. With 160 seats on two floors, its new headquarters is larger than the original (and its West Village branch). The Shapiros have also taken the menu in a few different directions. “We’re emphasizing more crudos and ceviches made with local fish,” Ms. Shapiro said. They are expanding the oyster varieties they’re serving and, to oversee the raw bar offerings, including razor clams and shrimp, they have hired Patrick McMurray, a Canadian expert who is said to hold a world record for his shucking speed. Now running the kitchen, which prepares mussels 10 ways, is a New York City veteran chef, Wolfgang Ban. The restaurant conveys its nautical approach without overdoing it.
1431 Third Avenue (81st Street), 212-717-7772, flexmussels.com.
Gus’s Chop House
A dark wood fireplace dominates this handsome room, which is fitted with tufted leather banquettes, lightened with pale walls and a swath of windows, avoiding the typically heavy chop house aesthetic. Owned by James O’Brien and the chef Chris McDade, both of whom own Popina in the Columbia Street Waterfront District, the new restaurant features steaks and chops sauced with brown butter jus. Oysters, shrimp cocktail, roast chicken and grilled mackerel are also on the menu. Sunday’s menu will eventually be given over to roasts. Mr. O’Brien’s wine list is rooted in France and the United States. (Opens Wednesday)
215 Union Street (Henry Street), Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn,guschophouse.com.
A mash-up of Japanese izakaya and Thai sum yadongs, popular roadside stands that sell Thai liquors, has set up shop in what was Pouring Ribbons in the East Village. It’s the work of the drinks expert Phattraphorn Wongsak, the restaurateur Boy Niphitkunthong and the chefs Siwapong Sudusa and Pui Natthapol Olarickphan, who have devised a menu of Thai drunken noodles made with Japanese udon and tonkatsu ramen seasoned with galangal, lemongrass, chile and makrut. The drinks, including the Tiger Killer made with pandan-infused Mekong rum, convey uncommon allure.
225 Avenue B (14th Street), second floor, 929-235-6826, 11tigersnyc.com.
The Dining Room and Champagne & Caviar Bar at RH Guesthouse
Restoration Hardware, a chain of furniture and interior design stores now simply known as RH, have added restaurants to a number of locations, notably the one in the meatpacking district. Now the company is also getting into the lodging business with luxuriously appointed and serviced “guesthouses.” It is about to open the first one, in a New York loft building built in 1887 around the corner from the meatpacking district store. In addition to nine guest rooms and suites, it will have the glittering amber-touched Champagne and Caviar Bar on a lower level, and, on the ground floor, there’s Dining Room, a wood-paneled and travertine restaurant with a hearth for preparingrib-eye, branzino, maitake mushrooms, all wood-grilled, with an expansive, glass-enclosed outdoor dining area. (Sept. 7)
55 Gansevoort Street (Ninth Avenue), 212-931-1874, RH.com.
Chefs on the Move
Mr. Benno, a former chef for Thomas Keller who went on to be the executive chef at Lincoln Ristorante, then open and close Benno in NoMad, is now the chief culinary officer for Apicii, a hospitality management company. In late September, it will open several places for food and drink in the Grayson Hotel, 30 West 39th Street. They are Harta, a Mediterranean restaurant; Bar Harta on the second floor for tapas; and Bar Cima on the 28th floor, a mezcal and tequila lounge.
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