New NYC restaurant openings:
Tacuba Cantina Mexicana
The second outpost of Tacuba, from the Toloache Restaurant Group, has just opened in Manhattan. Located in Hell’s Kitchen, the restaurant is modeled after a traditional Mexican cantina and has a spirited vibe, enlivened by colorful tilework, murals, and vintage tequila advertisements.
The menu by chef Julian Medina features favorites such as Carne Asada and Chile Relleno from the Astoria outpost of Tacuba, as well as new creations. Among the latter are the Omelette de Chapulin (a Oaxacan grasshopper omelette with Oaxaca cheese and chorizo); Quesadilla de Flor with burrata, Manchego, zucchini flower, kale pesto, and chile de árbol; and Langosta Puerto Nuevo (spicy lobster, chipotle butter, frisée, hearts of palm, haricots verts, and sesame-ginger dressing).
The Piña Para la Niña, which is a margarita for two served in a pineapple, is available along with new cocktails such as La Refescante margarita with Maestro Dobel Blanco, muddled cucumber and ginger, grapefruit Jarrito, agave nectar, and fresh lime.
Open daily for dinner. Lunch and brunch service to follow.
802 Ninth Ave. (between 53rd & 54th streets)
Momosan Ramen & Sake
The latest to join the ramen fray is chef Masaharu Morimoto. The “Iron Chef” has carved out a space on Murray Hill to offer rich Tonkotsu (with soy tare, pork chashu, aji-tama, kikurage, takana, garlic oil, and nori), Tantan (spicy coconut curry, pork chashu, red miso ground pork, ahi-tama, cilantro, and scallion), and Tokyo Chicken (soy tare, steamed chicken, aji-tama, menma, seared garlic chive, kikurage, and toasted nori) ramen dishes, to be washed down with more than a dozen sake options by the glass.
There are also rice dishes such as Chashu Bap (with pork chashu, menma, daikon, spinach, takana, egg yolk, red yuzu, kosho, and sweet chashu sauce).
342 Lexington Ave. (between 39th & 40th streets)
Harlem’s newest pizzeria offers pizza in the traditional Neapolitan style, and is run by Matteo Prospiti and Elena Della Volpe, who were last managing a restaurant on the island of Elba, off the coast of Tuscany, but were so smitten by Harlem’s vibe and energy that they decided to not only move there but also bring a slice of Italy with them.
For their pizzas, they source 00 flour and organic tomatoes from Italy, fior di latte from Wisconsin, and extra virgin olive oil from Sicily.
The pizzaiolo, Gimmy Piperku, was a second place winner of this year’s USA Caputo Cup in the Neapolitan style division. Sottocasa also offers gluten-free pizza, which Piperku said he finds even better than the regular version.
Sottocasa also has locations in Williamsburg and Boerum Hill.
Open Tuesday to Friday, from 5 p.m., and Saturday & Sunday, from noon.
227 Lenox Ave. (between 121st & 122nd streets)
The Pavilion Market Cafe in Union Square returns for its third season on April 15. Chef Mario Urgiles has created a seasonal American menu, with dishes complemented by cocktails, craft beers, and an international wine list.
Open daily from 9 a.m. until midnight.
20 Union Square West