The turnaround was barely a month: By the time Jenny Kwak knew she wouldn’t renew the lease on Do Hwa, her 20-year-old Korean restaurant in the West Village, she and her husband, Terrence Segura, already had a new place in Park Slope, Brooklyn, in the works. The restaurant, named for the intrepid women who dive for seafood near Jeju Island in South Korea, opened in late November. Fish and assorted seafood are significant components on the menu, which Ms. Kwak oversees as chef. Do Hwa and Ms. Kwak’s original restaurant, Dok Suni’s in the East Village, helped expose Western palates to Korean food beyond the Seoul-centric enclave of restaurants on West 32nd Street. Here, in an understated, graciously lit dining room, she gives her food refreshing touches, like topping grilled oysters with seaweed butter and parking brioche toast alongside, and adding chorizo to a rice cake. Pillowy, sugar-dusted beignets are a signature sweet. Ms. Kwak’s mother, Myung Ja Kwak, who owned the other restaurants, has retired, though she is still making the kimchi.
239 Fifth Avenue (Carroll Street), Park Slope, Brooklyn, 347-294-4159, haenyeobk.com.
This Smorgasburg fixture is opening a more permanent stand in Chelsea Market. The fried mozzarella sticks it produces in Brooklyn and sells at music and sports events will be front and center, made on the premises. Also on the menu are chicken parm bites; burrata stuffed with pesto; garlic fries; and caprese pesto sandwiches. Fresh mozzarella made all day long will be sold to take away. (Opens Thursday)
75 Ninth Avenue (15th Street), 973-981-7770, bigmozz.com.
Merrion Row Hotel and Public House
Named for a street in central Dublin, this theater-district pub in a new boutique hotel takes a fairly traditional route when it comes to pub fare, like fish and chips, burgers, smoked salmon and a seafood chowder. But instead of making a classic shepherd’s pie, it uses the ingredients, lamb and potatoes, to fill an empanada zapped with salsa verde. The room suggests a pub in modern, not vintage, terms.
119 West 45th Street, 212-461-4920, merrionrowhotel.com.
The Half King
This West Chelsea bar with literary and artistic roots will close at the end of January. On the bar’s website, the partners — Scott Anderson, a writer; his wife, Nanette Burstein, a filmmaker; and Sebastian Junger, also a writer — posted that the nightly readings and events for which the bar has been known since 2000 will be permanently interrupted by “financial reality.”
505 West 23rd Street, 212-462-4300, thehalfking.com.
Michael Jordan’s The Steak House N.Y.C.
After 21 years overlooking the Main Concourse of Grand Central Terminal, this meat lover’s bar and restaurant closed on Dec. 24. The lease was up, and the managing partner, Penny Port LLC, decided not to renew. The restaurant has been closed since a kitchen fire last February, but the bar has remained open. There are Michael Jordan Steakhouses in Chicago and the Mohegan Sun resort in Uncasville, Conn., which are not affiliated with the Manhattan restaurant.
This steakhouse on East 22nd Street owned by ESquared Hospitality has closed. It was originally a partnership between ESquared and the chef Laurent Tourondel, who coined the name, which stands for Bistro Laurent Tourondel. The partners became tangled in a dispute leading to the chef’s departure.
Chef on the Move
For most of this year at Racines NY, the chef Paul Liebrandt filled in for Frédéric Duca, who went back to France. Now Mr. Liebrandt has left. Mr. Moya is the new executive chef.; he has worked at Casa Mono, and Kin Shop and L’Arpège in Paris, and most recently at Hemlock on the Lower East Side.
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Florence Fabricant is a food and wine writer. She writes the weekly Front Burner and Off the Menu columns, as well as the Pairings column, which appears alongside the monthly wine reviews. She has also written 12 cookbooks.
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