Hachibei, Specializing in Eel, Opens in Midtown East


Freshwater eel is basically all that’s served in an intimate townhouse dining room, up a flight of stairs from the street. Here, grilled eel is seared on both sides as it is brushed with a sauce developed in Kyushu, the island in southwestern Japan where it is a specialty. It comes on a bed of rice with soup, salad, seasoned tofu and pickles, $55 for the regular size and $75 for the large ($25 and $45 without tofu or salad at lunch, with only 100 orders available). The name refers to several unagi places, both stands and restaurants, on Kyushu. Okuno Hachibei, related to the family, is the consultant for the New York restaurant, which is owned by a group of eel-loving investors who prefer to be in the background. As to the décor, the restaurant has black walls, red curtains and a light wood counter and tables; it seats only 40. (Opens Friday)

238 East 53rd Street, second floor, 212-888-8003, hachibei.nyc.

Here comes the chef Adam Leonti with his interpretation of artichoke lasagna: a whole, tender artichoke, pressed flat Roman-style, but, instead of being fried, it’s layered with pasta and bathed in béchamel. It’s just one of the inventive pastas that Mr. Leonti prepares at his new restaurant in the former Dovetail space. It has been several years since he left Vetri in Philadelphia, but he is settling in to the Upper West Side and adding a new culinary element. Meat broth of outrageous depth served as amuse-bouche, tartare of veal dressed like tonnato, salt-roasted branzino, and cookies for sampling set near the door are some other temptations. Grains for breads and pasta are milled in-house. The restaurant is smartly and graciously outfitted with stripes of stone flooring, stylish lighting, a carpet and tablecloths, and has an intimate bar. (Wednesday)

103 West 77th Street, leontinyc.com.

The Restoration Hardware chain, now called RH, has cafes and restaurants in a number of its stores. New York won’t be left behind. It has given its fifth-floor rooftop space to Brendan Sodikoff, who leads the company’s RH Hospitality division. Mr. Sodikoff also heads Hogsalt Hospitality, based in Chicago, which opened 4 Charles Prime Rib, a roast beef den, in New York in 2016. This is his fifth RH restaurant (subsequently another one, in Yountville, Calif., has been added). It tops off the new store, which opened in early September in the meatpacking district in the building that previously housed Pastis; the restaurant, twinkling with crystal chandeliers and framed with well-trimmed boxwood, is reached by a dramatic glass elevator. The menu is straightforward American, featuring shrimp cocktail, roast chicken, a kale Caesar salad and a burger, all served in a plush setting with skyline views.

9 Ninth Avenue (Little West 12th Street), 212-217-2210, rh.com.

Of course you need lobster rolls in the Seaport District. Imagine Culinary Concepts, a restaurant development and consulting company, has tasked the chef, Gavin Citron, who has worked at some top restaurants including Lutèce, to come up with not just those but also quick-serve items involving shrimp, crab, tuna and salmon. (Friday)

190 Front Street (Fulton Street), 212-809-4646, lobstergogo.com.



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