Sneak Peek: Tessa on the Upper West Side

The restaurant scene in NYC is constantly in flux, what with multiple restaurants announcing closures and exciting new venues making their culinary debuts each week. Today, we got some sneak peak images of chef Cedric Tovar, who is working hard for the forthcoming Tessa restaurant on the Upper West Side.

This venue, located at 349 Amsterdam Avenue, promises to be a modern tavern with French- and Italian-inspired food and Mediterranean roots. A few highlighted dishes include Braised Pork Cheeks with Orecchiette with guanciale and a parmigiano emulsion; Whole Squid a la Plancha with piquillo pepper coulis; Porcini Crusted Scallops with mushroom polenta and a black truffle sauce; and Grilled Wild Boar with braised cabbage and roasted root vegetables, served with a rosemary jus. The restaurant will also serve cheese and salumi offerings, for which Chef Tovar is seen picking out French Walnut wood boards.

A visit to El Carajo

Dirty words can be good sometimes...that is, when they have another meaning. To most who grew up speaking Spanish (myself included), one hears the word “carajo” (meaning crap or hell) used as a cursing exclamation, as in the phrase popular among my Cuban breed “Vete pa’l carajo!” (Go to hell). It's a risk when a business, moreover a restaurant where the last thing you want to taste is crap, appropriates the word as its own. But in this instance El Carajo, a Miami Spanish tapas and wine spot, the word grabs our off-put attention and then wafts it under our noses so we can wake up and smell the roses - the roses of meaning. The restaurant’s “carajo” refers to the lookout basket at the top of a Spanish ship's mast.

d.b.a./cafe Offers NYC Vibe in Fort Lauderdale

There is no questioning the strong bond that exists between New York City and South Florida. While Miami definitely has a certain Latin flair to it, long before we were all eating pastelitos and recharging with a thimble of cafecito, South Floridians were enjoying bagels and reuben sandwiches at delis strewn throughout our tropical paradise that catered to homesick New Yorkers seeking respite from the frigid temperatures and of The Big Apple. New Yorkers continue to flee to South Florida for what appears to them as being nonexistent winters (South Florida natives would disagree), and much of NYC’s culinary culture has become part of South Florida’s local flavor as we welcome more and more chefs from New York. We love the fact that Jean Georges Vongerichten and Daniel Boulud have made their way down to the 305, and the MiMo district has become infatuated with Daniel Serfer’s Blue Collar restaurant, but the newest New Yorker to look out for is Chef Steve Zobel at his new restaurant d.b.a./cafe in Fort Lauderdale opening later in October.

Terroir Opens in Park Slope

Popular Manhattan wine bar, Terroir is expanding its territory to Brooklyn. Opening tonight, Park Slope residents will now be able to enjoy Marco Canora and Paul Grieco's sips and eats. The new location will have 74 seats, retractable garage doors that will stay open for warm weather, and a similar menu to its sibs in Manhattan.

However, the Brooklyn venue will have some exclusive menu items of its own, including ballpark hot dogs, cracker jacks and Korean cut short sibs.

This will be Terroir's fifth location, having just opened a seasonal location early this summer. So oenophiles, get ready to pounce on this new joint!

NYC: 6 New Spots to Get Your Grub On

The Goodwin 430 Hudson Street, West Village

Named for the company that owned the 300-acre tobacco farm that once occupied the area, The Goodwin is reminiscent of its land’s history while maintaining a modern edge. The brick wall bar fashions the wine selection at the wine bar and café, carrying a pretty descent wine list that complements the food selections. The menu is moderately priced and features options like a sandwich composed of tempura mussels, oysters, clams & chorizo in spicy pork gravy served on pretzel hero with pickled onions and herb fries or line caught cod with market vegetables and yellow pepper gastrique. Larger plates are available after 5 pm.

Chateau Cherbuliez to Replace CrossBar

Todd English is moving on from the failure of CrossBar --the gothic themed bar in Flat Iron that just didn't resonate well with New Yorkers. We now know that his next project will be a far cry from a creepy church-like scene; and from what we hear so far, the vibe will be much more appealing.

Taking over the space of the now defunct Crossbar will be French restaurant, Chateau Cherbuliez. According to its official website, it will not only be a restaurant and wine bar, but it will also house a vineyard. Interesting! Talk about taking "in house" to a whole other level.

Rosemary's Debuts in the West Village

Carlos Suarez of BOBO opened up Rosemary's in the West Village last Friday with executive chef Wade Moses (Eataly, Babbo). The restaurant, named for Suarez's mama, is inspired by her home in Lucca, Italy. The menu will feature produce from the rooftop farm, which was designed by Dekar to evoke an elegant Tuscan home. Seasonal Italian dishes from the menu include fresh pastas and a selection of focacce. Rosemary's will also offer take-out in the form of focacce, salads, panini, charcuterie, cheese, and roasted meats and the venue will be open for dinner, with breakfast, lunch, and take-out coming soon. The new joint features an impressive Italian wine list with 40 bottles, all priced at $40, as well as a reserve wine list and a broad selection of wines by the glass, including Prosecco on tap (awesome!).

Terroir Opens Up on The Highline

New Yorkers all know and love the city's superb wine bar, Terroir. Paul Grieco and Marco Canora have now opened a seasonal location of the popular spot at The Porch, an open air cafe on the High Line. As a recap, Terroir's wine and beer list highlights artisanal wineries and breweries, with a focus on New York State. Canora's menu features ingredients from local farmers and producers, with an enticing selection of salads, paninis, and of course, his signature veal and ricotta meatball sub. For the perfect view of the river and delicious eats and drinks, this is the perfect spot which has it all.

Vine Tracker: NYC's Finest Wine Bars

From stemmed glasses to fine wine selections, in New York City everyone likes to swirl and sip on the most elegant and affordable wines out there. With light snacks and cheese plates that bring out the expressions of many varietals, some places do it right while others.. do it better. Check out our picks for some of the top wine bars in the city.

35 Downing Street New York, NY 212-691-0404

Brought to us by bro-team, Eric and Bruce Bromberg, Blue Ribbon Wine Bar is the perfect place to come late night for a glass of wine. With an extensive wine list serving wines from Italy, France and other popular regions, they also produce mouth-watering small dishes bursting with flavor that help bring out the subtleties of the wine. Tucked away in the West Village, this wine bar is quite the find with its cozy decor and friendly service.

Ristorante Quartino: Pizzeria & Wine Bar

Ristorante Quartino is big on toppings and delicious crust. Our pizza was covered, literally, with arugula, squash, fresh mushrooms, eggplant, asparagus, and onion. I have had better sauce, (not enough flavor for me), but with so many nutrients and a nice chewy crust, I choose not to complain.

Moving on to the prize-winning salad. My eyes followed an enormous array of leafy greens chock full of crisp, exotic, and vibrantly colored vegetables in a delightfully enormous portion as the dish was placed in front of me. Music to my mouth!