Veranda, From George Mendes of Aldea, Opens in SoHo – The New York Times


George Mendes, the chef who enlivened menus at Aldea and Lupulo with Portuguese flavors, is back at the stove. He closed Lupulo more than three years ago and Aldea a little over a year ago after a 10-year run, because he felt that he needed a break. Now, he will be the chef and a partner at this new SoHo restaurant. He will be running it with David Rabin, a hospitality veteran who is also a partner in the Lambs Club, the new Sona and others. “I always knew I’d be back,” Mr. Mendes said. “I’ve spent the past year cooking at home, baking sourdough and exploring new flavors, and I’m ready to translate them to a restaurant.” Veranda is in the new ModernHaus hotel, a property that was the James, and has been completely reconfigured. Veranda’s main dining room is up from the street, and designed in greenhouse fashion with a retractable ceiling. It’s surrounded by outdoor seating on an upper terrace and a multilevel garden. Mr. Mendes’s menu is global but lightly strewn with Portuguese touches. Think flor de sal (fleur de sel) and olive oil for the sourdough bread, salt cod croquettes, Goan curry for shrimp, and a piri piri marinade used on grilled chicken. Chicken rice is his take on paella. He also delivers seasonality with all the green stuff you hunger for right now. “I’ve been cooking farm-to-table since I worked at Bouley and in France,” he said. “The bounty is incredible now.” A number of products, including the sourdough bread, are sold to take home. (Opens Friday)

ModernHaus SoHo hotel, 23 Grand Street (Avenue of the Americas), 212-201-9117,

Le Pavillon

The countdown has started for one of the city’s most anticipated new restaurants, Daniel Boulud’s 11,000-square-foot vegetable and seafood palace named for the East 57th Street restaurant that symbolized fine dining in New York from the 1940s to ’60s. The reservation line opens Saturday, and the restaurant, on the second floor of the new One Vanderbilt office tower, is scheduled to open on May 25. Michael Balboni, the executive chef at DB Bistro Moderne, and Will Nacev, the executive sous chef of Daniel, will share the title of executive chef. Overseeing them will be Jean François Bruel, who has been with Mr. Boulud since 1996 and is now the corporate chef for Le Pavillon and Daniel. Mr. Bruel, a French native, started as chef de partie at Daniel, then went on to Cafe Boulud, DB Bistro Moderne, and was the executive chef of the flagship Daniel. Sébastien Rouxel, most recently the pastry chef for John Fraser’s JFR Restaurants, has become the corporate pastry chef for Mr. Boulud’s company. Isay Weinfeld has designed the greenery-filled restaurant.

One Vanderbilt Avenue (42nd Street), 212-662-1000,

Intersect by Lexus-NYC

More than a month ago, this restaurant owned by the luxury automobile company Lexus, and featuring guest chefs, reopened its second-floor dining room at 50 percent capacity. The Grey in Savannah, Ga., was featured, but ended its run. It is being replaced by Manresa, David Kinch’s Michelin three-star restaurant in Los Gatos, Calif., the sixth restaurant to take up residence, always with the help of Nickolas Martinez, the executive chef of Intersect. Among the dishes Mr. Kinch plans to serve are sea bream sashimi, roasted aged duck, and salted butter ice cream. Both à la carte and tasting menus will be offered. The ground-floor lounge area has also been redone and will serve small plates by Mr. Martinez, like Wagyu beef temaki. There is new outdoor seating designed by the Rockwell Group. (Friday)

412 West 14th Street, 212-230-5832,