Opening: Eli’s goes casual with Carnegie Hill wine bar
Eli Zabar just made a splash with the reopening of fine dining spot Eli’s Table late last year. Now, the same team is providing the small plates to share with a bottle from the restaurateur’s vault of 16,000 European wines at Eli's Essentials Wine Bar (1270 Madison Ave.) Adjacent to the daytime bakery next door, after 5 p.m. it becomes a season-driven tapas spot. On the menu now: radishes in Normandy butter, soft-shell crab on brioche and English pea crostino at a wallet-friendly $10-$15 per plate.
Opening: The fiesta is on the roof
Everything is better on a rooftop, and now you can have tacos in the sky at the newly opened Cantina Rooftop (605 W. 48th St.) in Hell’s Kitchen. Pedro Zamora (La Boom in Queens, known for its food as much as its scene) is behind the new Stage 48 space by the Hudson River. The menu is modern Mexican, and there’s a tequila expert behind the bar. We’re liking the happy hour prices: $7 for three tacos, $5 beer and tequila shots and $6 margaritas.
Now serving: In Vino launches Italian brunch (and don't miss dinner)
This Sunday, the East Village’s Tuscan wine cellar-inspired In Vino (215 E. Fourth St.) is launching weekend brunch service. The menu by Chef James Kelly, formerly of Mario Batali’s Babbo, includes poached eggs over polenta with prosciutto and lemon-chili zabaglione ($15), housemade Italian duck sausage with duck egg ($16) and crepes stuffed with a trio of mushrooms and ricotta ($14). If you’re on a budget, don’t miss the restaurant's weekly Sunday Gravy dinner, a three-course, $25 prix-fixe menu with $15 bottles of wine.
Now serving: Even the cocktails get a Japanese twist at Cherry Izakaya's brunch
Williamsburg’s Japanese gastropub, Cherry Izakaya (138 N. Eighth St.), begins brunch service this Saturday. Newly appointed chef John Keller just changed up the dinner menu there, and will be serving buttermilk chicken karaage and waffles with honey tabasco, lox crispy rice with wasabi crème fraiche and breakfast ramen with braised pork belly and poached eggs. The classic brunch cocktails all get a Japanese twist, too, and for $20 can be made bottomless for an hour and a half. And all this weekend, brunching moms will receive a complimentary glass of sparkling sake.
Harlem gets an app
If you’ve had trouble ferreting out the happenings in Harlem, don’t worry: There’s an app for that. Harlem’s Alive launched this week for iOS and Android, with a calendar of shows, music, galleries, shopping and more offered at 100 venues in the neighborhood. There are also discounts and promotions to be had, so get swiping.
Help for Nepal
The damage from the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal will take years to clean up, but the human relief effort is in its most intense phase now. You can contribute directly to Nepalese relief efforts through the Red Cross, UNICEF and Habitat for Humanity, there are smaller ways you can get involved right here in the city.
SushiSamba is selling a special Nepal Relief Roll ($18) through May 11 to benefit its longtime charity partner CITTA. The spicy tuna tartare roll is made with traditional Nepalese ingredients including gogi berries, mango and Himalayan pink salt. And through May 20, Bavarian restaurant and beer hall Paulaner (265 Bowery) is donating $1 for every beer sold to the Red Cross.
If you’re grappling with the significance of what was lost, get to know Nepalese culture at the Rubin Museum of Art, which has organized a series of events, tours and an art installation. The museum, whose collections are rooted in the art and ideas of the Himalayan region, is presenting “Honoring Nepal” to highlight the country’s contributions to the world, including a small selection of its nearly 600 Nepalese works focused on sacred Buddhist and Hindu art displayed for free to all in its lobby.