White Olive, With a Focus on Greek and Turkish Food, Opens in Midtown


White Olive

The brothers Michael Karim Sopariwalla and Amin Himani, busy restaurateurs in Staten Island and beyond, have joined forces for the first time to open this Mediterranean restaurant, offering tastes of Greece and Turkey in Midtown Manhattan. The two came up with the idea while traveling in the region. The result is a fairly compact dining room, mostly with high-top tables and creamy leather upholstered chairs that share the space with the bar. (More tables are set in an L-shaped extension for a total of 80 seats.) Walls are sheathed in pale wood and light, deeply textured Turkish volcanic stone; woven Turkish runners are placed over the tablecloths. The chef, Hasan Karci from Turkey, worked at Ritz-Carltons in Istanbul and Palm Beach. The Greek repertoire is represented by tzatziki, keftedes (meatballs), baked shrimp saganaki, lemon potatoes and lavraki (branzino). The pacanga pastry with pastrami, ezme dips and shredded phyllo knafeh are Turkish. Lamb chops and a baklava ice cream sandwich celebrate both countries. A liquor license is expected this month, its absence filled by a long list of timely mocktails, mostly made with tropical fruit juices; when alcohol becomes available, there will be French, Italian, Californian and Australian wines, including high-end labels like Solaia and Château Lafite Rothschild, with some Greek and Turkish wines as well. The list was assembled by the general manager, Baba Yosef.

39 West 55th Street, 917-300-3105,


Essex Pearl x Midnight Cafe

How many spots for eating or drinking can you fit into a single performance venue? So far, the answer for Midnight Theater in the Manhattan West complex is three, with the addition of this branch of Essex Pearl from the Lower East Side. It’s serving lunch and happy hour fare. Hidden Leaf, a pan-Asian restaurant, has been open for several months. At Essex Pearl, run in partnership with the Chinatown seafood wholesaler Aquabest, the focus is on seafood rolls with Asian flavors, including lobster, crab, shrimp and tofu. A happy hour offering $1 oysters starts at 4 p.m. and goes until 7. (Opens Thursday)

75 Manhattan West Plaza (33rd Street), 917-905-2782,,

Pure Grit BBQ

This purveyor of gluten-free and vegan barbecue in the Flatiron district is now an option during games and concerts at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Gluten-free barbecue is simple enough, though a vegan mandate calls for fancy footwork. (Jackfruit comes to the rescue, along with branded poultry and meat substitutes, nut-based cheese and tofu.) For now, the spot is in an area called Brooklyn Market dedicated to emerging local brands; it aspires to a more permanent location at the arena.

Barclays Center, 620 Atlantic Avenue (Flatbush Avenue), Prospect Heights, Brooklyn,

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