This restaurant from the Roberta’s team got its start as a pop-up at the 2018 Frieze Art Festivals in New York. It built, in simpler fashion, on the chef Carlo Mirarchi’s much-praised and expensive tasting menu at Blanca. Located behind the original Roberta’s in Bushwick, Brooklyn, Blanca has been closed since the beginning of the pandemic, but there are plans for its reopening. In the meantime, the team, including Mr. Mirachi’s business partner, Brandon Hoy, has been focusing on this endeavor, which, with only 50 seats, delivers more of Blanca’s sleek elegance than Roberta’s rough-hewn vibes. Marble, stone, Murano glass elements and a colorful palette are hallmarks of Mr. Hoy’s design for a setting worthy of some of Mr. Mirarchi’s high-end ingredients. The menu is brief, featuring no more than five each of starters, pastas and main courses. Currently there’s no pizza, but a wood-fired oven is used. Sam Pollheimer, who was at Roberta’s in Los Angeles, is the chef de cuisine in charge, working with Mr. Mirarchi. Jamie Schlicht, the wine director, emphasizes natural small producers in her selection, in addition to some rarities plundered from Blanca’s cellar.
15 Avenue A (Second Street), 718-766-2744, foulwitchnyc.com.
The Office of Mr. Moto
This new spot offers a deep dive into Japanese history, inviting customers to play along. The fictitious Mr. Moto, a connoisseur of food and art who supposedly accompanied Commodore Perry on his voyage to Japan in 1853, sends would-be diners a letter with a code to permit entry. A simple storefront leads to the “office,” decorated with Victorian artifacts and other historic items, and you can enjoy a drink in the downstairs library before or after dinner. The 21-course omakase menu, including many pieces of sushi fashioned in Edomae (Tokyo) style, is served at the six-seat counter; at tables in a gallery with eight seats, there are 23 courses. Each menu is $185 and available at 6 and 8:30 p.m. The executive chef is Toshio Matsuoka.
120 St. Marks Place (Avenue A), dearmrmoto.com.
This market for Japanese-style seafood and other items closed for renovations more than a year ago and is reopening with a sleek new design by Japanese architects. It now includes a hand-roll bar in the market and, beyond a bamboo-lined corridor, a 10-seat omakase counter ($145 for 12 sushi courses). (Opens Wednesday)
1374 Third Avenue (78th Street), 646-669-7435, nozmarket.com.
You are probably more familiar with Balkan street food than you think. Among its offerings are kebabs (cevapi), savory phyllo dough pastries (burek) and filled pitas. Well-seasoned Balkan-style burgers, or pljesckavica (pronounced ples-kah-VEE-tsah), a Serbian specialty, are also on the menu. The chef, William Djuric, whose family is from the region, has adapted their recipes with the head baker Milan Milijancevic. His partner, Jason Correa, was on the management side of the Tao Group.
353 Avenue of the Americas (West Fourth Street), balkanstreat.com.