It seemed as though we had a glimpse of the end of the COVID-19 tunnel over the summer. But that was evidently an illusion. Daily numbers of infections in New York City are back up, now pushing 1,000.
But New York’s restaurateurs are a hardy lot, unwilling to give up without a fight. Hence two new openings.
Winona’s, a modern European café and natural wine bar opened in Williamsburg this past Thursday (Nov. 12). The menu draws inspiration from the British roots of Executive Chef Cressida Greening, who opened the restaurant with her husband, Emir Dupeyron. Currently, Winona’s (which is named for the couple’s Pitbull mix) is offering breakfast and lunch by day but metamorphoses into a wine bar at night. You can start the day off with a breakfast sandwich (scrambled eggs, aged cheddar, and tomato chilli jam on a brioche bun), and stick around for a hearty lunch of lamb meatballs in harissa tomato sauce, with feta cheese, labne, and cilantro, served with grilled bread. In December, Winona’s will expand further to include dinner. Winona’s, 676 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-388-4900.
Also making its debut this past week is Side Door, a gastropub with a global culinary perspective that ranges from sabich (an Israeli sandwich of pita or laffa stuffed with fried eggplant, hard-cooked eggs, and tahini) to banh mi with an intriguing Eastern European accent. The owner is Romanian, which explains the presence on the menu of mici — a blend of meats (here beef and lamb) ground and formed into sausages and grilled. Some of the food spans multiple borders. Witness Brussels sprouts in a sour cherry sauce with chili and pepitos. The beverage program is as cross-cultural as the food, with “moonshine” from Romania, vodka from Siberia, and beer from Belgium to sri Lanka. Side Door, 151 East 57th Street, 646-422-7660.