Nelson Blue -- billing itself as New York's first New Zealand pub, their menu features everything from New Zealand lamb and in skewer, chop, and curry formats, to Tasman Bay Paddle Crabcakes, to something known as Gado Gado Salad. Opens today. 233-235 Front Street, at Peck Slip. 212-346-9090.

Soto - from sushi chef Sotohiro Kosugi, whose work earned him the title of Best New Chef from Food & Wine in 1997, when he started out in Atlanta. This intimate and sleek West Village spot will offer omakase featuring seafood flown in daily from Japan and elswhere, and Urban Daddy claims that the chef actually talks to his fish to determine "how they want to be prepared." 357 Sixth Ave at Washington Place, 212-414-3088.

2007_04_food_kobedog.JPGGrom -- people are crazy about this artisanal gelato joint, imported from Turin, Italy, opening this weekend. A friend who worked in Italy for a while told us that she went there "WAY too often" during her 3 months there and the Times profile certainly made our mouth water. 2165 Broadway between 76th and 77th.

Prime Burger Café -- from the gang at the Old Homestead Steakhouse comes an outdoor cafe, featuring high-end burgers and dogs, opening on May 7th. Most burgers are $15, including a classic burger, a bourbon-glazed pork burger, and a big eye tuna burger, althought the surf & turf burger, topped with medallions of lobster, will set you back an extra $23. Feast your eyes on the foot-long Kobe beef hot dog, pictured at right, which is served with a trio of organic sauerkrauts and mustard. 56 Ninth Avenue between 14th and 15 Streets. 212-242-9040.