5 New Places to Eat This Weekend

From Middle Eastern in the East Village to a major opening in Gramercy, here's your weekend checklist
March 7, 2014
by Billy Lyons

East Village: Au Za'atar opened earlier this week and offers grilled kebabs and mezzes along with traditional Lebanese dishes. Specializing in Arabian-French cuisine, the restaurant also features a selection of organic wines and sangrias to pair with dishes like couscous and Mediterranean cheeses. 188 Avenue A; 212-254-5660

Gramercy Park: General Assembly, an American grill with chef Craig Koketsu of Quality Meats overseeing the kitchen, is now open in the home of the former Hurricane Club. The 170-seat dining room offers guests starters like uni toast, oysters, and a caesar salad with chili breadcrumbs. Main courses include black sea bass, spinach linguini and a dry-aged sirloin for two. At the bar, a selection of cocktails and rare beers, including the restaurant's very own saison-style brew on tap courtesy of Kelso Brewery. 360 Park Ave. S; 212-951-7111

Greenwich Village: An underground lounge that dates back to Walt Whitman's days has been reopened by a pair of seasoned bartenders as Sweetwater Social. In addition to cocktails, guests can select from a menu of small plates and enjoy games like foosball and shuffleboard. 643 Broadway; 212-253-7467

Lower East Side: Mathieu Palombino's shuttered Bowery Dinery has transformed into Chez Jef, a pop up offering french bistro fare. Guests can enjoy a three-course prix fixe for $35, choosing from menu items like steak tartare or moules mariniere. For dessert, chocolate mousse, creme brulee, and a crepe souffle Suzette are a few highlights. The pop up restaurant does not have an announced end date. 241 Bowery; 212-388-0052

Park Slope: Mexican street food specialist Calexico, infamous for their "crack sauce" and rolled quesadillas, open the doors recently to their fourth full service location in Brooklyn. 278 Fifth Ave., Brooklyn; 347-254-7644

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