The Day | Two (and Three!) Stars for Empellon Cocina

UntitledPhillip Kalantzis-Cope

Good morning, East Village.

Curbed reports that the Landmarks Commission has approved a more modest version of the controversial rooftop addition planned for the Hotel Chelsea. As The Local reported, the developer and architect behind the remodeling are also planning a hotel for the East Village.

Pete Wells of The Times awards two stars to Empellon Cocina, calling it “an exciting restaurant where even the dishes that don’t quite add up can be fun.” Ryan Sutton of Bloomberg is even more bullish on the Mexican newcomer: he gives it three stars, and recommends the yucatan tamal colado.

Prima also scores a rave from The Times, this one from Oliver Strand: “Order the arctic char ($18) at Prima, a small East Village restaurant that opened last November in the old Elephant space, and you’ll receive a generous serving of fish cooked so that the skin is as crispy as crackling, the flesh flaky and succulent. It’s flawless, a master class in fish.”


EV Grieve hears that the gallery-bar hybrid that has long been going after a liquor license in the former Superdive space at 200 Avenue A has finally gotten approval from the State Liquor Authority.

The New York Public Library announces that the 1915 silent movie “Regeneration” will be the next installment of its Lower East Side Heritage Film Series: “We follow the life of an orphaned Bowery boy turned gangster (Rockcliffe Fellowes) who makes an attempt to reform his ways after catching the eye of a beautiful society girl (Anna Q. Nilsson) turned settlement worker.”

Jeremiah’s Vanishing puts in a plug for Abacus, an indie pharmacy that recently opened on Second Avenue and 11th Street: “If you live in the East Village and fill your prescriptions at a chain, why not transfer them to Abacus?”

Hannah Rad, a DJ and a content director and host at East Village Radio, tells Racked that Random Accessories is her go-to vintage shop: “This small space on 4th Street between Second and Third Avenues sells clever and cute items, like baby’s first rocker t-shirts (yes, I have my eye on the classic Ramones one for Baby Rad who has yet to exist), to the ‘other out there’ purchases like zombie and paparazzi action figures, or ice trays shaped to make your frozen cubes look like dentures.”

Handsome Dick Manitoba unloads on a former manager who he says tinkered with his bar’s Yelp! page. Long and short of it: “Hey Kevin, Julie, EAT YOUR KISHKAS OUT…I FIRED YOU!..You were TOO LAME to be associated with the GREAT HANDSOME DICK MANITOBA!!!!!!

Fork in the Road finds the menu at Toucan and the Lion “impressive,” and singles out the duck confit mofongo. And the Voice’s food blog also shows love for the Dumpling Man: “The plump pockets of pork and chive pictured above come pan fried to near perfection  – crispy on the bottom, chewy on the top, and juicy through and through.”

Bowery Boogie points to renderings of the Paulaner Brauhaus, expected to open on the Bowery in time for Oktoberfest.

Eater interviews Terroir’s eccentric sommelier Paul Grieco, who shares his rather unique philosophy of customer service: “Success to me is someone coming into my restaurant and opening the wine list and not recognizing a single goddamn thing on here. That makes me feel good. That makes you feel uncomfortable. I realize I am in the hospitality industry so I know making you uncomfortable shouldn’t be a goal, but if I am going to do that then it is my charge to take you by the hand and educate you.”