Chef Adam Leonti brings his style of Italian cuisine to the edge of the High Line. His new restaurant opens in Lantern House, a floor-to-ceiling apartment building by Thomas Heatherwick, best known for the Vessel, the sculptural centerpiece of Hudson Yards. Partnering with restaurateurs Cobi Levy and Will Makris’ Prince Street Hospitality, Mr Leonti will travel to various parts of Italy, from Sicily to the north, with what he says is a familiar dish. He calls it “Italian vacation,” the dishes Americans enjoy when they visit Italy, like focaccia baked in a Roman oven. The name of the restaurant means dawn in Italian, but it is also that of one of the first white truffle towns in northern Italy. Mr Leonti plans to limit pasta to four, seasonal and rotating with choices like smoked lemon cacio e pepe and pici alla nerano. As usual, the focus will be on bread. “I installed the most amazing bread ovens to bake our breads and pastries,” he says. He buys Pennsylvania wheat and molds it in-house. Dinner will start with bread and assorted butters, including one with black truffle. The wine list will focus on Italy. The high-ceilinged dining room, done in soft shades of coral and yellow, is bright and airy with an open kitchen, terrazzo floors and seating for 90 inside with a spacious terrace outside . (Opens August 26)
515 West 18th Street, 212-390-9595, cucinaalba.com.
The newly opened Radio Hotel in Washington Heights, a boutique property near the George Washington Bridge access, features this Dominican restaurant created in collaboration with chef and restaurateur Richard Sandoval. It is 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 and raisin ice cream, as a finale after a meal that draws on many Latin influences. American 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 began his career cooking elaborate imperial Chinese dishes alongside top chefs at the age of 14. Today, at 55, he is still there, with a touch of originality. His specialty combines an elaborate Imperial style with Western influences in dishes that often require hours or even days of preparation. Standouts on the 19-course tasting menu ($518), with 15 savory dishes, three tea courses and a dessert, are the chicken and beef soup with black truffles; tofu with caviar; noodles with black bean sauce, based on a Qing Dynasty recipe; braised morels with double mushrooms; mustard greens with black rice and lobster tails; pan-fried foie gras in juice; and one hundred happinesses and eight treasures in a tofu pouch served in a Thai rosewood jewelry box. Seven-wine pairings are $198, but there’s also an a la carte wine list. As befits such food, table appointments are luxurious – consider serving bells traced in 24-karat gold – and the dining room, which seats 10 with reservations at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., offers traditional accents.
135 East 50th Street, 212-866-9888, chefguo.com.