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Fall Brings NYC A Few New Brunch, Lunch And Dinner Options

<p>Some people may still think of '<a href="http://wichcraftnyc.com"><strong>Wichcraft</strong></a> as just a lunch spot, albeit a kick-ass one helmed by Tom Colicchio. But the Flatiron restaurant started doing dinner service in April, and they just launched their fall menu this week. There's nary a 'wich in sight! The small-plates selection begins with "grilled bread" bites like the outstanding Gruyère, roasted onion &amp; olives with marinated anchovies; then there's the genre-blending Charred eggplant, goat cheese, and honey. Other inventive and tasty items include the Shaved brussels sprouts with pine nuts and currants, and the succulent Baked Arctic Char with celery root and pomegranate. At night, the upstairs dining space is surprisingly inviting, and there's a full wine and craft brew menu to accompany the eats. </p>


<strong><a href="http://gothamist.com/2009/03/20/harbour.php">Harbour</a></strong>, the sustainable seafood restaurant designed to look like the interior of a yacht, has gotten some swell reviews, but its location on the far west side of SoHo presents some logistical challenges. To lure landlubbers so many knots west, the owners have launched weekly lunch service, Monday and Tuesday night bar specials, and (starting next month) Sunday brunch. The happy hours are calling us like Sirens: On Monday from 5-7 p.m. there are free passed hors d’oeuvres and the first round free; on Mai Tai Tuesdays they're serving two for one mai tais and other rum drinks as well as $10 bottomless bowls of mussels.


<a href="http://restaurantcharles.com/"><strong>Charles</strong></a> is one of those super-trendy restaurants that's taken some heat from the dining critics, yet somehow remain impervious to backlash. The West Village haunt originally remained aloof behind a speakeasy attitude and newspaper blocking the windows, but it's since opened up a bit, and has even <em>pulled up the blinds</em> to let the sunshine in for weekend brunch. It's a completely different scene by day, with a relaxed, unpretentious ambiance. Prices range from $8 to $18, and include such options as Ricotta Pancakes (berries, buttered maple syrup,) a very popular Lobster BLT (citrus aioli on multi-grain brad with homemade yukon potato chips), and a variety of egg dishes that include "Eggs in the Hole" (asparagus drizzled with truffle oil and shaved parmesan), omelettes and "Oeufs den Cocottes" i.e., eggs in casserole.



<p>"Modern Spanish" restaurant <strong><a href="http://gothamist.com/2009/01/22/la_fonda_del_sol.php">La Fonda del Sol</a> </strong> opened in the Met Life building in January to favorable reviews. Not content to rest on his laurels, earlier this month Chef Josh DeChellis introduced Cocina Rapida, a Spanish three-course prix fixe menu designed for a time-sensitive meal, getting midtown lunchers in and out in under 40 minutes. The $35 menu includes a choice of 3 appetizers and 3 entrées, such as Hubbard Squash Soup with brown butter, porcini mushroom and Pedro Ximenez sherry; and Skate a la Plancha with orange, saffron, and Indian summer preserves. The meal concludes with "dessert for your desk": house-made desserts such as Torta Santiago wrapped and ready to go.</p>


<p>To weather the economic deathspin, West Village restaurant <a href="http://www.barblanc.com"><strong>Bar Blanc</strong></a> closed earlier this year and reopened as the somewhat more casual Bar Blanc Bistro. Chef Sebastiaan Zijp has recently been taking the edge of the work week with "Moules Frites Monday," which gets you a bowl of mussels, frites and a draft beer for $18. Zijp's moules preparations include the classic white wine, butter, garlic &amp; parsley; a smoked sausage with onion, beer &amp; chives; coconut curry with lemongrass, kafir lime, ginger &amp; cilantro; or roasted tomato and fennel broth with saffron &amp; basil.There's also a newish Sunday brunch menu, and on Sunday night the bistro serves a $35 prix fixe; <a href="http://www.barblanc.com/menu.html">peruse the menu here</a>.</p>