La Taverna:

This unpretentious new Italian-Mediterranean restaurant, located in a former Polish bookstore, opened on Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint over the weekend. Owner Robert Tripak, who doubles as the hotel manager at the Da Vinci Hotel in midtown, tells us he came to New York from Poland as a teenager, and his place is the fulfillment of a dream to own a restaurant "that can be affordable and still provide great service." No liquor license yet, but there is an espresso machine behind the bar, and the menu is definitely "affordable"; the only entree over $10 is the grilled steak served with roasted potatoes ($12.95). There is also a mussels marinara, sautéed in a marinara sauce over linguini pasta ($8.45); pork chops stuffed with mozzarella and prosciutto, served with mushroom sauce ($8.95); and among the pizzas there's a Mediterranean Pie with spinach, plum tomato, kalamata olives, pesto, feta and parmesan cheese and basil ($6.95/$9.95). 946 Manhattan Avenue; (718) 383-0732

Hotel Griffou:
On the other end of the spectrum is this fashionable new venture from Larry Poston (Waverly Inn) and Johnny Swet (Balthazar), named after an 1870s artist flophouse where a multi-course meal, with wine, cost half a dollar. This new iteration isn't quite such a steal; Duck A L’Orange with Baby Beets costs $27, the Griffou Burger with melted gruyere is $17, and a Calabash Fried Seafood Basket with radish remoulade runs $19. But the subterranean, multi-room restaurant looks charming, with two working fireplaces, a fifteen-seat terrace, a fourteen-seat wine vault, and a full bar. They're not yet taking reservations, but walk-ins are now welcome. Grub Street has photos and the menus. 21 West 9th Street; (646) 448-4632

Green Room Café:
This all natural/organic café, located in the heart of midtown, is now "officially" open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner after a "soft-opening" test run. Owned by two Russian immigrants who also have a hand in the wildly popular Cherry Hill Market in Bath Beach, the cafe dining room features plush red stools along an eat-in bar, where you can complement your meal with organic coffee, organic loose leaf teas, and smoothies. A market fresh tuna-laden salad features actual strips of seared ahi tuna, the "French Breakfast" sub pairs Camembert cheese with organic dried apricots on cranberry walnut bread, and the Green Room wrap is stuffed with organic greens, chicken breast, portabella mushrooms, manchego cheese and avocado. We're told the owners are on a mission to prove that "healthy eating doesn’t have to cost more, and in fact, could likely save people money they’d otherwise be spending on doctor’s bills later on." 459 Lexington Avenue at 45th Street; (212) 661-1040; open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. - 8 p.m., and on weekends from 7 a.m.- 6 p.m.

And be sure to check out our lavish photo spread on the new Jane Hotel Bar.