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Restaurant and Bar Radar: Spot Dessert, Obao, Lucy's Cantina Royale, Emporio, Death & Co.

<p>After closing his dessert locations Batch and P'ong earlier this year, Pichet Ong is back with <strong>Spot Dessert Bar</strong>, once again exploring the possibilities of Asian desserts. The modern cafe setting was designed by Pratt student Aob Sridarnop, and is made with 80% recycled materials, including reclaimed raw white oak handmade tables. Most items seem to be Asian takes on western ideas, such as the white miso ice cream Semifreddo (pictured), chocolate pudding with Thai coffee or coconut panna cotta. However, if pastries off a menu aren't what you need, Spot invites patrons to create their own ice cream, choosing from a variety of toppings to add to an ice cream base with a Pacojet ice cream machine. A clever idea, but some<em> Iron Chef</em> style ice cream abuse has got to be in the future.<em>13 St. Marks Place, 212-677-5670</em></p>


<p>Michael Huynh's (Baogette, Bia Garden) <strong>Obao</strong>, a pan-Asian noodle Lunch spot, opens in Midtown this evening. Huynh is known for his modern but inoffensive takes on Vietnamese cuisine, and Obao follows that same path, only this time with a 50 seat dining room. Appetizers range from $7-$14, including taro spring rolls, lamb satay and shrimp carpaccio. Entrees favor a few varieties of noodles, with pad see iew with green mango kimchi and pho bo both going for around $10. And so Michael Huynh continues his mass takeover of Manhattan. You gonna take that, David Chang? Check out the full menu at below. <em>222 East 53rd St</em></p><p></p><strong>Salads</strong><p></p>SHRIMP $9Fennel | Jalapeno Dressing | Candy Tamarind<p></p>LAOS SPICY GRILLED BEEF SALAD $10Cucumber | Shallot | Pineapples | Mint | Crispy Roasted Rice<p></p>PAPAYA SALAD $8Herbs | Soy Dressing |Coconut | Crispy Shallot<p></p>VIETNAMESE CHICKEN SALAD $8Cabbage Slaw | Rau Ram Herbs | Lime Dressing | Peanut<p></p><strong>Appetizers</strong><p></p>CRISPY SPRING ROLLS $7Pork | Shrimp | Taro | Mushroom Dipping Sauce<p></p>GRILLED FRESH SUMMER ROLLS $7Shrimp | Vermicelli | Bean Spout Herbs<p></p>VEGETABLE SUMMER ROLLS $7Tofu |Jicama |Mushroom | Mint<p></p>SHRIMP CARPACCIO $10Mango Relish | Kaffir Olive Oil | Pine Nut<p></p>CURRY PUFF $8Duck Liver &amp; Confit |Taro | Cucumber Relish<p></p>EGGPLANT $9Dried Shrimp | Pork | Chiles | Shallot <p></p>SALT &amp; PEPPER SHRIMP $12Tamarind Sauce<p></p>BABY LAMB CHOPS SATAY $14Spicy Peanut Sauce<p></p>SPARE RIB ON SUGAR CANE SKEWER $9Spicy Honey Mustard Glazed<p></p>SHORT RIB LEMONGRASS $9 Spicy Honey Mustard Glaze<p></p><strong>Soup noodles</strong><p></p>PHO BO $9Rare Beef | Brisket | Rice Noodles | Ginger Anise Beef Broth<p></p>BUN BO HUE $9Pig Feet | Beef Shin | Rice noodles | Spicy Lemongrass Broth<p></p>CHIANG MAI CURRY NOODLES $9Spicy Red Curry Beef | Root Vegetable | Egg Noodles<p></p>MEKONG FISHERMAN $10Fish | Shrimp | Vermicelli | Tamarind Seafood Broth<p></p>SINGAPORE LAKSA $9Prawn | Pork | Green Tea Soba | Spicy Curry Broth<p></p>Wok noodles<p></p>PAD SEE IEW $10Flat Rice Noodles | Kalbi Short Rib | Farm Egg | Green Mango Kimchi<p></p>PAD THAI $10Rice noodles | Salted Red Snapper| Baby Shrimp | Deep Fried Egg<p></p>MALAY’S CHAR KWAY TEOW $10Rice Noodles | Shrimp | Oyster | Chives &amp; Chili<p></p>SINGAPORE NOODLES $10Chinese Sausage | Shrimp | Crispy Lard | Golden Chives <p></p>MANILA PANSIT $12Crispy Egg Noodles | Pork | Chicken | Shrimp | Snow pea<p></p>SAIGON VEGETABLE NOODLES $10Assorted Tofu | Chinese Celery | Bean Sprout | Garlic Chives<p></p>SPICY RADISH NOODLES | $12 Shrimp | Oyster | Egg | Chives | Bean Sprout<p></p><strong>Vermicelli noodles</strong><p></p>HANGER STEAK $14Pineapples | Bean Sprout | Herbs | Scallion Oil<p></p>GRILLED PORK &amp; SHRIMP $12Cucumber Salad | Herbs | Lime Dressing<p></p>TURMERIC &amp; DILL FISH $13Dill | Lettuce | Mint<p></p>VEGETABLE &amp; TOFU $13 Mushroom | Soy Dressing | Cilantro<p></p><strong>BBQ</strong><p></p>SPICY BANGKOK CHICKEN $14Spicy Salsa with Anchovies<p></p>VIETNAMESE PORK CHOP $14Hot and Sweet Dipping sauce<p></p>SPICY LEMONGRASS KALBI SHORT RIB $16Sweet Onion <p></p>HANGER STEAK $18Yuca Home Fries | Spicy Ketchup | Herb Slaw<p></p>BBQ WHOLE RED SNAPPER $MPSpicy Herbs Rub | Lime Fish Sauce<p></p><strong>Rice</strong><p></p>LAO YELLOW RICE $10Duck Confit | Golden Chives<p></p>VIET FRIED RICE $10Dry Shrimp | Lotus Seed | Chinese Sausage | Lemongrass | Scallion<p></p>THAI FRIED RICE $10BBQ Pork | Hot Chili | Fried Egg<p></p><strong>Sides</strong><p></p> STICKY RICE $4 Chinese Sausage<p></p>WATER SPINACH $6<p></p>BEAN SPROUT &amp; CHIVES $5<p></p>SPICY XO SAUCE EGGPLANT $6


<p>When considering the culinary options around Madison Square Garden, a certain episode of <em>The Office</em> comes to mind. In the city for a meeting, Michael declares that he's going to reveal the best place in the city to get a "real New York slice." He heads into Sbarro's. <strong>Lucy's Cantina Royale</strong>, at least from all the reviews so far, seems like the Sbarro's of Tex-Mex, doomed to dupe B&amp;T folks into thinking this is what the real stuff tastes like, and inducing a self-congratulatory warmth in all who are comforted in not having to walk far from the LIRR. </p><p></p>Started by Sam Hazen, former Executive Chef of Tao, Lucy's aims to serve unpretentiousTex-Mex fare, from "Paper Bag Tortilla Chips" with pico de gallo, or a "Lucy Burrito" with chipotle skirt steak or pulled lime cilantro chicken. We haven't had a chance to try it for ourselves, but <a href="http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2009/11/well-save-you-the-money-lucys-cantina-royale-midtown-west-penn-station-plaza-new-opening-review-tex-mex-mexican.html">Serious Eats</a> sure did: "My dad, a block of yellow cheddar, and our old microwave make a superior quesadilla. And for the $12 charged here, he could probably make 40." It might not be all bad news though! One <a href="http://www.yelp.com/biz/lucys-cantina-royale-new-york">Yelp</a> commenter scored a "<strong>free</strong> Pomegranate Margarita because they just opened this week. The drink was STRONG baby!!!." However, he also says "This place looks like it should be in Orlando!"—which we're pretty sure is meant as a compliment, though we're unclear how it could be.<em>1 Penn Plaza, (212) 643-1270</em>



<p>Back in April, the team behind Aurora in Soho and Williamsburg <a href="http://gothamist.com/2009/04/09/emporio.php">branched out further with Emporio</a>, the rustic Roman restaurant hewing toward a slightly lower price point than Aurora. Though it may be a little less expensive, it's no less charming, particularly the spacious back room with its vaulted skylights. But in the evening the front dining room and bar also draws an attractive crowd taking advantage of the complementary aperitivo menu (thin-crust wood-fired Roman-style pizza, cold cuts and fine cheeses), from 5-7 p.m., with the purchase of a cocktail. If you go, give the seasonal pumpkin martini a whirl; Emporio only has a beer and wine license, so their twist uses a house-made <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soju">Soju</a>, and the delicious cocktail tastes like a liquid pumpkin pie. </p><p></p>Emporio also has a raw bar, home made pasta, and other traditional Roman entrees. On Monday nights they offer a Pizza Pie &amp; 2 Beer special for $22.50, and late nights they serve a spuntino menu, featuring assorted pizzas, formaggi, salumi and crudo. The menu is offered seven days a week, from 11-2 a.m. on Monday through Thursday, from 12 a.m.-2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. on Sunday. <p></p>On Thanksgiving Emporio will serve a prix fixe Thanksgiving Day Menu for $45. Options include a Butternut Kabocha squash soup with caramelized pear and pecorino cheese, Setaro mezzi rigatoni with oxtail ragu and fiore Sardo, and a roasted free-range turkey with pork and apple stuffing and cranberry sauce. For dessert, there will be a pumpkin and ricotta tart served with pumpkin ice cream and maple syrup will satisfy your sweet tooth. <em>231 Mott St (between Prince and Spring), (212) 966-1234 </em>


<p>After a <a href="http://gothamist.com/2008/05/19/death_co_owner.php">seemingly intractable battle</a> with the SLA and a crusading neighbor, East Village restaurant and cocktail club <a href="http://www.deathandcompany.com/"><strong>Death &amp; Co</strong></a>. has at last won the right to stay open until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. (They also got an extra hour on weeknights and will serve until 1 a.m.) Last night, triumphant owner David Kaplan gave us a preview of the new fall cocktail and food menu from chef Luis Gonzalez, who was formerly chef de cuisine of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Mercer Kitchen. Standouts from his small plates menu include the Tuna Tartare with crushed avacado and homemade kettle chips, the Crispy Pork Belly with Cranberry Beans and Pomegranate, and the killer Apple Crumble dessert with caramel and vanilla ice cream.</p><p></p>Click on the next image to view the new food menu, which thankfully keeps the addictive Death &amp; Co. Truffle Macaroni. The last image here is a sample of the drink menu, featuring our favorite of the new cocktails of the season: The Daisy Buchanan. Made with chamomile tea infused Old Overholt Rye, Dolin Dry Vermouth, Aperol, and Yellow Chartreuse, it's drawing us inexorably back to Death &amp; Co. like a green light at the end of an East Egg dock. <em>413 East 6th St, (212) 388-0882</em>


<p>Death &amp; Co.'s small plates menu.</p>



<p>A page from Death &amp; Co.'s cocktail menu.</p>