Headliner BOND 45
The centerpiece of Shelly Fireman’s relocated theater district restaurant is the appetite-whetting cornucopia of antipasto platters arranged around the bar, just steps from the entrance. Beyond this are booths and tables. There’s a lower-level dining room as well, done in deep coppery tones and lit with Edison bulbs. “We’re more in the heart of the theater district in the new location,” Mr. Fireman said of the two-block move. It’s surrounded by theaters, including the Richard Rodgers. The menu, by the executive chef Brando De Oliveira, is as vast as the restaurant, which seats 268. All-day breakfast items, like gooey cheese omelets, beckon, as do salads big and small, more than a dozen antipasto choices, pastas, pizzas, burgers, chicken, fish and Italian specialties like veal Milanese. And there are overflowing family-style servings of Caesar salad, chicken wings Calabrese and manicotti, each enough for three to five people: 221 West 46th Street, 212-869-4545, bond45.com.
AREPPAS A new take on the quick-serve, cafeteria-style format offers Venezuelan arepas, a type of corn cake, with assorted fillings selected by the customer. The arepas come in different colors: yellow, red, white and green, according to the type of flour and seasonings. Some pre-made combinations are also served. Celestino Diaz, who is from Caracas, is the entrepreneur behind this spot. For every arepa sold, he is donating a meal to needy children in Venezuela: 954 Third Avenue (57th Street), 212-355-3901, areppas.com.
THE AVIARY NYC Part 2 of the beachhead in New York — by the Chicago team from Alinea, led by the chef Grant Achatz — is ready to open. The Office NYC, a cozy bar finished in leather and brass, began serving elaborate cocktails and small plates in midsummer on the 35th floor, off the lobby of the Mandarin Oriental hotel. The Aviary NYC, appropriately named for its adjoining sky-high location with a vista of Central Park, is done in plush royal blue and ivory, in an Adam Tihany design, with mostly lounge seating. In its stretch of open kitchen, the chefs concoct cocktails, not food. There’s a drink, the Wake and Bake, that’s a mix of rye whiskey, coffee and orange juice, which comes with a pillow exuding the aroma of an everything bagel, and a $38 Bloody Mary. “Why would I want a $38 Bloody Mary?” I asked Nick Kokonas, Mr. Achatz’s partner. “It’s not a drink, it’s a meal,” he replied. At the moment, the menu, by the executive chef Dan Perretta, is à la carte and influenced by Japan. Chawanmushi custard, octopus croquette and giant crispy pork skin are among the dishes. Soon, there will be tasting menus ranging from 3 to 10 courses, a lunch and, eventually, breakfast service. (Opens Wednesday): 35th floor, Mandarin Oriental hotel, 80 Columbus Circle (60th Street), reservations starting Wednesday, theaviarynyc.tocktix.com.
LIL’ GEM The chef Melissa O’Donnell grew up eating Lebanese food, and that’s the basis for her cooking at this restaurant, which she’s opening in partnership with the entrepreneur Lesly Bernard. It replaces Ms. O’Donnell’s Thelma on Clinton: 29A Clinton Street (Stanton Street), 646-368-1392, lilgemnyc.com.
THE LOYAL The chef and restaurateur John Fraser keeps expanding his portfolio. He describes the Loyal, his latest restaurant, as an American brasserie, but without the vintage kitsch. It’s furnished with polished wood, marble, velvet banquettes and big mirrors, marrying Art Deco with Modernism. At Dovetail, the Upper West Side restaurant that’s still his flagship, Mr. Fraser said he was a one-man band. “Now, with four restaurants, I’m playing a team sport,” he said of the managers and chefs who work for him. His cooking is American, and focused on vegetables, as it is at his other places, Nix, Narcissa and Dovetail. Steamed roots, caraway farfalle with carrots, scallop “caprese” in tomato broth, and veal dumplings with turnips give you some idea of the menu. (Wednesday): 289 Bleecker Street (Seventh Avenue South), 212-488-5800, loyalrestaurant.com.