By Florence Fabricant


LA MAISON DE MAKOTO This dessert shop and lounge, LMDM for short, was announced with some fanfare last fall as Philippe Conticini, the Parisian chef and baker, was to be involved. No more. The owners, Andrea Rodrik, a 21-year-old Swiss-Turkish entrepreneur who has strong opinions about fine baked goods, and the consultant Omar Salahi, who has some experience in New York’s hotel world, have hired a veteran chef, Richard Farnabe, and a former Petrossian pastry chef, Chris Dunbar, to execute their vision. Mr. Rodrik’s idea is to offer mochi, the Asian-style ice cream cloaked in elastic, pounded Japanese rice, along with just two classic French pastries, a Paris-Brest cream-puff ring filled with pastry cream, and a tarte Tropézienne layered with cake and cream. There may be variations down the road. These will be served to eat-in, on velvety gray lounge chairs and at a handsome bar, or to take away during the day. In the evening, the whole place, including the lounge upstairs, will serve cocktails and small plates of cold items like hamachi crudo and tuna tartare, along with the mochi and pastries. Why such a limited menu? “We want a niche, so people will know what to expect,” Mr. Rodrik said, adding, “and they’re very Instagrammable.” You eat with your eyes. (Opens Monday): 74-76 Seventh Avenue South (Barrow Street).


OMAR AT VAUCLUSE Ahmass Fakahany and Michael White are giving new personality to the bar and upstairs dining room of their lavish Upper East Side French restaurant. It will be run by Omar Hernandez, a native of Venezuela who owns Omar’s La Ranita, a supper club in Greenwich Village, and who is now their collaborator, adding some downtown energy. “I was looking to open uptown, and this came along,” Mr. Hernandez said. “I want to bring more fun to the Upper East Side; it’s having a revival, and I want to be part of that.” He has added a glittering disco ball to the décor. The menu, by Mr. White, will be international, with dishes like a crab salad, chicken tagine, cacio e pepe and a burger. (Wednesday): 100 East 63rd Street, 917-410-2991.

GRAIN HOUSE This restaurant based in Little Neck, Queens, with a vast menu that includes eight categories of Sichuan dishes, has ventured into Manhattan. It’s near Columbia University because, it seems, students from China have taken a shine to the restaurant. There’s also a branch in Hempstead, on Long Island, with a wide-ranging Chinese menu: 929 Amsterdam Avenue (105th Street), 212-531-1130.

GEORGE’S After closing for renovations, the former Astor Room, in the space that was the commissary for Paramount Pictures at the Kaufman Astoria Studios, has been renamed in honor of George S. Kaufman, who founded the studios in 1980 and who died last month. The menu was revised to offer tie-ins with movie greats, like six-foot strands of spaghetti with tomato sauce that were a favorite of Rudolph Valentino. (Thursday): 35-11 35th Avenue (35th Street), Astoria, Queens, 718-255-1947,