Mark Strausman, Chef of Fred’s at Barneys, Opens His Own Spot


Mark’s Off Madison

The chef Mark Strausman was on the verge of opening his own restaurant in the former A Voce space at Madison Square Park when the pandemic struck. Plans were not just delayed: They were adjusted to accommodate required safety protocols and to adapt to what Mr. Strausman saw as long-term changes restaurants would have to make. Greater emphasis was placed on the spacious outdoor terrace, with partial enclosures and heaters to permit dining in colder weather. Inside, the bar will not be available for seating but will display retail baked goods, including Mr. Strausman’s bagels, baked in-house and made popular during his many years as the executive chef for Fred’s at Barneys. Touch-free systems for ordering and paying are in place. An airy room, done in pale wood tones, is divided into two areas with seating for a total of 26 at the moment. Part of the kitchen is set aside for takeout and delivery. “It’s probably going to make up almost half of our business from what I can see,” he said. “This winter, it will be the norm.” The menu lists what Mr. Strausman calls his “greatest hits,” including Estelle’s chicken soup, lasagna della nonna, sautéed chicken livers, smoked fish platters and coffee cake for brunch. At dinner, he’s also serving slow-roasted chicken in the style of Nanni Il Valetto in honor of Luigi Nanni’s Upper East Side restaurant. (Opens Monday)

41 Madison Avenue (26th Street), 646-838-8300,



The specialty here, in the space that was Jewel Bako, is Wagyu beef from different regions of Japan. The owner, Tomoe Food Services, is a New York-based distributor of imported Japanese beef. Its business was suffering, with many of its clients closed because of the pandemic, so the distributor decided to open its own restaurant. The versatility of Wagyu is apparent, in hand rolls, sliders, teppan-grilled cuts (sold by weight), rice and noodle dishes, and sukiyaki dishes. There is seating outside, and socially distanced tables inside. (Wednesday)

239 East Fifth Street (Second Avenue), 212-287-0107,


The multilevel space that was Kefi is now this Latin-Caribbean-Spanish restaurant with the chef Rufino Peralta in the kitchen. Expect sancochito, a Caribbean seafood and vegetable soup; cassava-crusted scallops with sherry vinaigrette; and paella for two. The restaurant, accented with tropical foliage, includes a main dining room, a bar area in the front and a wine room with a fireplace, seating a total of 65 at 25 percent capacity. There are 30 seats outdoors. (Thursday)

505 Columbus Avenue (84th Street), 212-362-2211,


Cressida Greening, from England, worked at the Breslin before opening her own catering company. Now, with her husband, Emir Dupeyron, running the restaurant, she’s ready to serve breakfast, with dishes like smoked salmon tartine, and lunch, with lamb meatballs, among other dishes. After 5 p.m., the restaurant becomes a wine bar, featuring natural wines selected by Ms. Greening, a master sommelier, and small plates like chicken liver pâté. Starting in December, a more formal dining room, the Back Room at Winona’s, will offer prix-fixe dinners Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. (Thursday)

676 Flushing Avenue (Tompkins Avenue), South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 718-388-4900,

Side Door

This gastropub with an extensive array of creative burgers, flatbreads with assorted toppings, and an international roster of sandwiches including banh mi and an Israeli sabich, combines sports bar features (a bank of TV screens) with wine bar elements (vintage mirrors). The executive chef, Dan Nistorescu, was at Parker & Quinn. (Wednesday)

151 East 57th Street, 646-422-7660,

King Wang’s

American classics like a fried chicken sandwich, pulled pork on a bun, and cheesesteak take advantage of the Asian larder in the hands of Tom Wang, who worked at Danji and for Daniel Boulud. The fried chicken is garnished with Sichuan slaw and the pork is braised and seasoned with Korean pepper aioli. In partnership with Kevin Shin, the restaurant offers the sandwiches to stay (limited seating) or to go (or for delivery).

191 Knickerbocker Avenue (Jefferson Street), Bushwick, Brooklyn, 929-295-6644,

Mottley Kitchenette Espresso Bar and Cafe

An offshoot of the caterer Kat Creech’s handsome cafe and restaurant, Mottley Kitchen, this spot nearby will serve breakfast and lunch, like the original. (Friday)

2430 Third Avenue (East 134th Street), Mott Haven, Bronx, 505-803-4815

Sant Ambroeus Coffee Bar at Brookfield Place

This group of Milanese-style cafes and restaurants has opened a financial district outpost, selling an array of coffee-based drinks and more. The menu includes alcoholic beverages, pastries, sandwiches and gelato. An adjoining restaurant is in the works.

Brookfield Place, 200 Vesey Street (West Street), 212-732-0907,

Chef on the Move

Melissa Weller

Known for her impressive baking at Sadelle’s, Roberta’s and Per Se, Ms. Weller is now the resident baker at Gertie in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a Jewish-style delicatessen that welcomes her challah, schnecken, cookies and apple Bundt cake, beginning Nov. 20, and, starting Dec. 4, bagels. To celebrate the publication of her cookbook, “A Good Bake,” she is offering a signed copy of the book with a box of baked goods, $60 from

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