Mena, Victoria Blamey’s First Spot, Opens, and More Restaurant News


“It’s hard to believe,” said Victoria Blamey, the chef who, for years, has earned praise at places like Chumley’s and Gotham Bar & Grill, and is finally opening her own restaurant. Close observers of the New York scene will also know the Chilean-born chef, 42, from her pop-ups at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, the Mayflower Inn in Washington, Conn., and Fulgurances Laundromat in Brooklyn. She describes her new restaurant, named for her great-aunt, as “airy, bright and very feminine” with white walls, banquettes upholstered in cobalt blue and brass fixtures. It’s not easy to nail down her food, which will reflect her native Chile, known for its seafood, as well as her experiences cooking in New York, Spain and Australia. “People might have no idea what to expect from Chilean food, but there will be elements of it,” she said. Cholgas secas, a Chilean dried mussel dish that she prepared during her stay at Blue Hill, are on the menu. Seaweeds, which are popular in Chile, garnish several preparations, including oysters with seaweed gremolata. She is also producing dishes like Japanese sardines with mayonnaise potato and peppers, mussels with onion glaze, squab with buckwheat honey and fermented radicchio, monkfish with wakame and black quinoa, and a winter Pavlova dessert with angel hair squash, citron confit and citrus curd. Her executive sous chef, Daniel Garcia, was at Crown Shy and NoMad, and the junior sous chef, Maggie Paradis, worked with her at Gotham Bar & Grill. The wine list pays attention to organic and biodynamic producers, especially from Chile. (Opens Thursday)

28 Cortlandt Alley (Broadway), 212-466-6428.

Since 2005, the Israeli chef Rafael Hasid has been known for his Israeli-Mediterranean fare, including daily brunch dishes, served from his restaurant Miriam, in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Now he has copied Miriam on the Upper West Side, in a somewhat rustic setting with greenery, and indoor and outdoor seating. The menu replicates that of the Park Slope location with assorted mezze; main dishes like a falafel platter, lamb shawarma, braised short ribs and chicken schnitzel; and brunch favorites like shakshuka, challah French toast and eggs Florentine. Mr. Hasid, known as Rafi, is also an owner of 1803 NYC in TriBeCa, as well as two takeout spots, Homemade by Miriam. At his side, managing the new Miriam, is Jerry Joseph, who some might fondly remember from earlier days at Jerry’s in SoHo (1987 to 2007), an artist’s canteen when SoHo was about the galleries, not the Guccis.


300 Amsterdam Avenue (74th Street),

The chef and restaurateur Marc Forgione inherited Peasant, a cozy den known for wood-fired cooking, from its founder, Frank DeCarlo, who opened it in 1999 and owned it for 20 years. When Mr. DeCarlo retired, he offered to sell it to Mr. Forgione, whose arm did not need twisting. Now, Mr. Forgione has converted the restaurant’s underground wine cellar into a wine bar that taps into many of Italy’s regions, with both well-known and more obscure selections. The beverage director is Scott Woltz. To accompany the wines, Mr. Forgione is serving housemade charcuterie, and pastas, with a number of dishes featuring offal, Roman-style. (Wednesday)

194 Elizabeth Street (Prince Street), 212-965-9511,

This tapas spot by Ruben Rodriguez, a native of Galicia in northern Spain, is being installed on two floors in a more spacious location across the street. The menu of more than 20 traditional and inventive tapas (patatas bravas, carrots with Greek yogurt and tahini) and larger plates remains more-or-less the same. Wines are mostly Spanish. Another restaurant at 174 First Avenue (11th Street) will become Emilia by Nai next month, featuring vegetables and seafood.

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