Baar Baar, Serving Modern Indian, Opens in the East Village

Baar Baar, Serving Modern Indian, Opens in the East Village


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Sujan Sarkar, the chef at the new Baar Baar.

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An Rong Xu for The New York Times

Headliner

BAAR BAAR The chef Sujan Sarkar’s career has taken him to London, India, the United Arab Emirates, San Francisco and now New York. Along the way his interpretation of Indian cuisine, which he calls modern, has also created the impression that he’s a master of far-out Indian molecular gastronomy, a title he emphatically denies. At Baar Baar, which means “again and again,” he dabbles in sous-vide, foams, gels and such, but they do not dominate the menu. His small plates, assorted mixed thali platters and bigger plates provide a range of flavors, including traditional (like tandoori mushrooms, Kashmiri-style lamb ribs and butter chicken) and innovative, like potato and bone-marrow kulcha, asparagus pepper fry with cauliflower mousse, and oysters with guava, chile granita with lemon foam. He makes liberal use of avocados and offers creative cocktails, some mixed with Indian spirits. “When it comes to contemporary Indian food, New York is years behind,” he said. The restaurant’s owner, Payal Sharma, is his partner, as are the owners of his San Francisco place, Rooh, which opened last February. The New York restaurant, in the former L’Apicio space, is splashed with bright colors. A fresco of an Indian woman bedecked in jewelry decorates one wall. (Opens Friday): 13 East First Street (Second Avenue), 212-228-1200, baarbaarnyc.com.

Opening

HENRY AT LIFE HOTEL Stephen Hanson — who founded BR Guest Hospitality, had a major portfolio and then left the restaurant business four years ago — is back. He is a partner in the new Life Hotel (so named because the premises was the original headquarters of Life Magazine) and its restaurant, Henry at Life Hotel, a tavern-like space. Michael Vignola, the chef, who worked at BR Guest, has created a menu that sounds typically American, yet still surprises. On the menu, there’s a giant potato chip alongside beef tartare, merguez meatballs on a pizza, and, for breakfast, an egg-white soufflé. “The idea is to vary the familiar,” Mr. Hanson said. The fish for two is a crispy whole scorpionfish (lionfish). (Friday): 19 West 31st Street, 212-615-9910, lifehotel.com.

JUKU Take your pick. There’s a ground-floor izakaya restaurant serving tonkatsu, chicken teriyaki, smoked hamachi and chawanmushi, all intended to be accompanied with Asian-accented cocktails. Upstairs, a 12-seat sushi bar presided over by Kazuo Yoshida, formerly of 1 or 8 in Brooklyn, is devoted to omakase. In a couple of months, a basement cocktail lounge will be added. Among the restaurant’s partners is Max Levai, who works with his family-owned Marlborough Galleries, so he is decking out the space with art: (Tuesday): 32 Mulberry Street (Mosco Street), 646-590-2111, jukunyc.com.

2ND FLOOR AT 2ND AVE DELI Vintage details define this spacious kosher bar and lounge upstairs from the Upper East Side branch of the venerable Jewish deli. The food is a riff on staples like herring, gefilte fish and pastrami: 1442 First Avenue (75th Street), 212-737-1700, 2ndavedeli.com.

SORBILLO NYC When it comes to pizza, it doesn’t get more Neapolitan than pies by Gino Sorbillo, whose family’s pizzeria in Naples opened in 1935. He’s known for his big, airy pizzas. Last summer, as a warm-up, he opened Zia Esterina Sorbillo (closed for now) in Little Italy serving fried calzones and pizza slices: 334 Bowery (Bond Street) 646-476-8049, sorbillonyc.com.

ZEN TACO Jeremy Wladis, who is behind a string of neighborhood restaurants on the Upper West Side, is replacing his Firehouse Tavern with this fusion of Asian and Mexican, where tortillas, bao buns, soba noodles, rice bowls and even poke coexist. Ingredients include pork belly, chipotle slaw, black beans and guacamole, with cilantro and onions working both sides: (Wednesday): 522 Columbus Avenue (85th Street), 212-787-3473, zentacousa.com.

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