Cucina Alba Opens, Serving Italian at the Edge of the High Line
The chef Adam Leonti is bringing his style of Italian cuisine to the edge of the High Line. His new restaurant opens in Lantern House, a residential building with bay windows by Thomas Heatherwick, best known for the Vessel, the sculptural centerpiece of Hudson Yards. In partnership with the restaurateurs Cobi Levy and Will Makris’s Prince Street Hospitality, Mr. Leonti will touch down in various parts of Italy, from Sicily to the north, with what he says will be familiar fare. He calls it “vacation Italian,” the dishes Americans enjoy when visiting Italy, like focaccia baked in a Roman oven. The restaurant’s name means dawn in Italian, but is also that of a premier white truffle town in northern Italy. Mr. Leonti plans to keep the pastas limited to four, seasonal and rotating with choices like smoked lemon cacio e pepe and pici alla nerano. As is his wont, the emphasis will be on bread. “I’ve installed the most incredible bread ovens to bake our breads and pastries,” he said. He’s buying wheat from Pennsylvania and milling it in-house. Dinner will start with bread and assorted butters, including one with black truffles. The wine list will emphasize Italy. The high-ceilinged dining room, done in soft tones of coral and yellow, is light and airy with an open kitchen, terrazzo floors and seating for 90 inside with a spacious terrace outdoors. (Opens Aug. 26)
515 West 18th Street, 212-390-9595, cucinaalba.com.
The newly opened Radio Hotel in Washington Heights, a boutique property near the access to the George Washington Bridge, includes this Dominican restaurant created in collaboration with the chef and restaurateur Richard Sandoval. It’s a branch of a restaurant in Ciudad Colonial in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. The name is that of a Dominican coconut and honey candy, which, of course, will be served, with rum raisin ice cream, as a finale after a meal that taps into many Latin American influences but emphasizes Dominican cuisine with tostones, sancocho and La Bandera Dominicana with rice, beans and meat. Carnival masks adorn the space furnished with pieces made in the Dominican Republic. The restaurant also has a courtyard where music and dancing are part of the scene. (Thursday)
Radio Hotel, 2420 Amsterdam Avenue (West 181st Street), jalaonyc.com.
Guo (pronounced “goo”) Wenjun started his career cooking elaborate imperial Chinese fare at the side of master chefs when he was 14. Now 55, he’s still at it, with a twist. His specialty combines elaborate imperial style with Western influences in dishes that often require hours or even days to prepare. Notable on the 19-course tasting menu ($518), with 15 savory dishes, three tea courses and dessert, are chicken and beef soup with black truffles; tofu with caviar; noodles with black bean sauce, from a Qing dynasty recipe; braised morels with double mushrooms; mustard greens with black rice and lobster tails; fried foie gras au jus; and hundred happiness and eight treasures in a bean curd pouch served in a Thai rosewood jewelry box. Pairings of seven wines are $198, but there is also an à la carte wine list. As befits food like this, the table appointments are luxurious — think serving cloches traced with 24-karat gold — and the dining room, seating 10 with reservations at 5:30 and 8:30 p.m., offers traditional accents.
135 East 50th Street, 212-866-9888, chefguo.com.