Nearly 200 years ago, the financial district was New York City’s hub for fine dining. With Crown Shy, Harry’s, Nobu Downtown, Temple Court, the new Le Gratin and this gracious restaurant and bar by John Fraser in the Wall Street Hotel, it’s heading in that direction again. The hotel, owned by Paspaley, a major pearl company in Australia, is in a repurposed office building with a mercantile past. (The restaurant’s name — “the merchant” in French — reflects that.) An elegant bar leads to a white-tablecloth dining room with an elaborate raw bar and a couple of semiprivate tables framed in heavy drapes. Despite the formality of the setting, Mr. Fraser hopes to attract what he sees as a younger crowd who live and work in the area, by modernizing the French fare that shaped his career in Paris. “I’m looking at the 21st century, using global ingredients, sometimes out of left field,” he said. He’s supported by his executive chef, Rick Horiike, who worked at Buddakan and Wild Ink. Among the raw-bar items and appetizers on the lengthy menu are beef tartare, asparagus or blue crab enclosed in rice paper rolls; littleneck clams with cilantro mignonette; and lightly seared duck breast, sliced carpaccio-thin, with a drizzle of fish sauce caramel. Main courses include sweet rice with mushrooms cooked in a banana leaf, a version of homard à l’Américaine made with coconut milk, coffee-crusted pork chop with lentils, trout baked with a basting of miso, and roasted or steamed Dover sole for two with vermouth-lime butter. Desserts include a floating island with Japanese-style cheesecake. Amy Racine, the beverage director for Mr. Fraser’s JF Restaurants, will oversee the 120-label wine list that, while mostly French, lists some Australian selections to honor the hotel’s owners. (Opens June 7)
The Wall Street Hotel, 88 Wall Street (Water Street), 212-837-1918.
An accommodating head captain at Scalinatella, especially for regulars, Luis Diego Argudo has opened his first restaurant nearby, in the former Fig & Olive space. Carlos Inga, formerly of San Pietro and Il Mulino, will be the executive chef, executing a traditional upscale Italian menu. In his new restaurant, Mr. Argudo offers several items “a piacere,” cooked however you like. That applies to calamari, risotto, veal, chicken and lobster.
808 Lexington Avenue (62nd Street), 646-649-3289, ilgradino.com.
Calle San Marcos
PDT, the bar behind Crif Dogs, has opened this street-side summer pop-up inspired by Mexico. Cocktails feature agave-based spirits. For food, there are hot dogs created in collaboration with the chefs Rick Bayless (a chicken Milanesa dog) and Enrique Olvera (esquites dog with corn and queso fresco).
113 St. Marks Place (Avenue A), pdtnyc.com.
Named for the colloquial language spoken in Singapore, this latest from Salil Mehta, a restaurateur and chef who specializes in Southeast Asian cuisines, is a second-floor bar serving drinks that look both East and West, adding splashes of fish sauce, touches of galangal and dustings of Sichuan pepper to drinks made with tequila, bourbon and gin. Alongside are street-food snacks like fries with salted egg aioli, papaya salad and marinated duck tongues.
17 East 13th Street, 646-609-2633, singlishnyc.com.