City Grazing: 9.17.08

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While rumors circulated that reality TV stars Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt have a hand in the opening of a new up scale sports lounge in Murray Hill, owner Matthew Shendell will neither confirm nor deny the fact.Taking over the 7-year-old fondue joint Dip, The Hill (416 Third Ave. at E. 29th St.) opens up Thursday and will keep the fondue that residents grew to love.The two floors of the restaurant will also fea ture an “upscale twist on bar food,” says Shendell, and food will be prepared by former Pop Burger chef, Carl Ruiz. With out door seating, 28 televisions, and individual nacho orders (knowing Pratt and Montag, everything will have to be cheesy), it might be fun to go over The Hill.

Do you want your food paired with wine or your wine paired with food? At Tierra (130 Seventh Ave. at W. 18th St.) you can choose either one. Opening Sept. 12 in what would have been the private dining room at new boite Sheridan Square, this small wine and tapas bar will feature small plates and drink from all over the Mediterranean regions. Sommelier Ster ling Roig, whose ancestors are Catalon ian, says they’re serving “anything within spitting distance of the Mediterranean sea.” Dishing up these plates is Franklin Becker, the chef at Sheridan Square.
Don’t worry about missing that Venice vacation this summer, you can get a taste of Italy at Zorzi (1 East 35th St. at Fifth Ave.), a rustic Venetian restaurant that just opened. Chef Marco Berto cooks the seasonally rotating menu of classics like lasagna, risotto and black squid-ink pasta with cuttlefish. Owned by the Zorzi family of Treviso, Italy, a restaurant mouthpiece says they are hoping to expand to a few key locations like Dubai and Las Vegas. But as of now, this is the only one.
As things heated up this summer, you may have noticed the absence of Tai lor’s (525 Broome St. betw.Thompson St. and Sixth Ave.) solid drink menu. No need to worry, though, as mix mas ter Eben Freeman assures us that it will be back sometime after Labor Day.The reason for the disappearance? Freeman says, “The humidity has been affecting them a little bit and the quality wasn’t what it should be.” Nice of them to no tice! While it will be good to have the old staples like the gin fizz and Cuba Libre back, according to Freeman there are no new flavors for fall in the cards.
The Thai death grip is loosening in Greenpoint. Manhattan Avenue, the Brooklyn nabe’s main drag, is overrun with Thai restaurants, some delicious (like the phenomenal E.R.B.) and some not so much.The Thai’d is turning, though, as Japanese restaurants—like Kyoto Sushi on Nassau Avenue—have started to pop up all over the ‘hood.The neighborhood recently welcomed yet an other newbie: Sakura 6 at 837 Manhat tan Ave. (at Noble Street).The restaurant boats a huge sushi menu, tra ditional entrees and a Benihana-style hi bachi table for grilled meals—no word on whether or not the famed onion vol cano is being recreated.The most inter esting item on the menu, however, combines Japanese technique with New York flavors: cheesecake tempura, at $4.95 a slice, is sure to be a hit.

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