Fitted snugly to one side of the former Del Posto, the narrow restaurant space that was once John Dory is now a pizzeria: Mel’s, the first restaurant of a new food complex here. The name refers to the former Del Posto and Daniel chef Melissa J. Rodriguez, who is partnering with Jeff Katz and James Kent of Crown Shy and Saga to develop this sprawling space. (Al Coro, a lavish Italian restaurant, and Discolo, a lower-level lounge, will open in the Del Posto space in early summer.) Mel’s is done warmly in orange tones and polished light wood, a bar and a dining counter open into a rear dining room, and a huge wood-fired pizza oven is central to the space. “Everything is cooked with wood,” Ms. Rodriguez said. “There’s no gas here.” The pizzas start with Margherita but quickly veer into creative territory: mushrooms, smoked mozzarella and shaved shallots; And kale, basil pesto, ricotta and preserved lemon. Many appetizers, like roasted parsnips with robiola cheese, roasted maitake mushrooms with soppressata piccante, and charred shrimp, are wood fired, as are mains like whole fish, whole roasted cauliflower and strip steak. Unlike at most pizzerias, dessert is neither an afterthought nor skippable. Consider milk chocolate gelato with dark chocolate sable swirl; salted caramel and fior di latte gelato with caramel sauce and shortbread crumble; or an Italian rainbow cookie hot fudge sundae, a tribute to Little Italy. The timing of the opening is calculated so that Ms. Rodriguez, a Culinary Institute of America graduate, has several months to get Mel’s in order before Al Coro is unveiled. (Opens Wednesday)
85 10th Avenue (16th Street), 212-970-2202, mels-nyc.com.
The Citizens New York food hall in the Manhattan West complex is bookended by Casa Dani, the chef Dani Garcia’s Spanish restaurant, and now this restaurant, which bills its food as Japanese cuisine for the American palate. The chef Katsuya Uechi is at the helm. In 2006, Sam Nazarian’s Disruptive Restaurant Group opened the first Katsuya in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. Since then, the group has replicated it around the world, with other locations in the works and Mr. Uechi developing the menus for all of them. Sushi variations, hand rolls, hot and cold Japanese appetizers, and main courses are highlights of the menu. And there’s an eye on luxury in dishes like king crab tempura, Wagyu gyoza, whole grilled lobster and Wagyu sukiyaki. The dining areas are richly decorated and lit. (Thursday)
398 10th Avenue (33rd Street), 212-920-6816, katsuyarestaurant.com.
Bright, floral décor announcing spring defines the look of this new addition to the Serafina Restaurant Group, where you can order at the counter or a kiosk. The place is casual, and also offers online ordering. The place is casual. In addition to Serafina’s usual pastas, pizzas, salads and mains, there are breakfast items, panini and sandwiches.
922 Seventh Avenue (58th Street), 646-362-6100, cafeserafinany.com.
Brooklyn Chop House
The multistory building that housed Buffalo Wild Wings until the pandemic lockdown is now a branch of Brooklyn Chop House, a restaurant co-founded by Stratis Morfogen. The main dining room and its mezzanine, seating 300, and the rooftop bar and restaurant, with another 150 seats, specialize in unusual dumplings and what Mr. Morfogen calls LSD: lobster, steak and Peking duck. There’s also a lower-level dining club, the NFT Private Cellar, where members buy digital tokens at different levels for admission, food and drink. (Thursday)
253 West 47th Street, brooklynchophouse.com.