Spring Natural Kitchen, La Toulousaine, Classic Kids Photography Open

By Leslie Albrecht on January 30, 2012 9:26am 

La Toulousaine Bakery, a French patisserie, opened in January 2012 at 942 Amsterdam Ave.
La Toulousaine Bakery, a French patisserie, opened in January 2012 at 942 Amsterdam Ave.
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DNAinfo/Leslie Albrecht

OPENINGS

Spring Natural Kitchen, a spinoff of SoHo's Spring Natural Food that serves organic, vegetarian and vegan fare, opened recently at 474 Columbus Ave. near West 83rd Street. It's already received some "spirited" reviews, neighborhood blog West Side Rag reported.

Classic Kids photography opened recently at 395 Amsterdam Ave. at West 79th Street in the space formerly occupied by Ottomanelli Brothers Italian butcher. The photo studio specializes in "archival black and white and hand-tinted photographs of children and their families" on "warm-toned fine art paper," a store representative told DNAinfo.

Banh mi Vietnamese sandwiches, once scarce on the Upper West Side, can now be found at a Quick & Quality Sandwich, small sandwich store at 254 W. 108th St. just off Broadway, a poster on Chowhound reported.

La Toulousaine, a French bakery, has opened at 942 Amsterdam Ave. near West 107th Street, according to the Columbus-Amsterdam Business Improvement District.

ON THE HORIZON

Upper West Siders, brace yourself for little monsters. That's the affectionate term for Lady Gaga fans, and they're sure to line up on Feb. 1 when Joanne, the restaurant owned by Gaga's dad Joe Germanotta, is slated to open at 70 W. 68th Street. Gaga herself isn't an owner, and her parents say fans shouldn't expect to see her there. But the "Poker Face" singer has already visited, hosting a New Year's Eve after party for celeb pals.

With former Oprah Winfrey personal chef Art Smith at the helm, the cozy restaurant packs outsized star power. But what about the food? Smith says he'll be serving Italian dishes with a Southern comfort twist. A sneak preview review on The Daily Meal praised the "outstanding" buffalo chicken scarpariello, the seven-layer mushroom lasagna, pancetta roasted Brussels sprouts, and Southern-style bread pudding and Nutella sundaes for dessert.

Gastronomie 491, a high-end cafe and food shop at 491 Columbus Ave. is expected to open any day now, Eater reported.

Rubicon Property, a do-gooder real estate firm that sells properties throughout Manhattan and also helps build clean drinking water wells in Africa, is expected to open in February at 451 Columbus Ave., the space formerly occupied by fossil store Maxilla & Mandible, which closed in August 2011.

Sugar & Plumm Purveyors of Yumm, a combination restaurant and candy store on Amsterdam Avenue and 173 W. 78th Street, recently received approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission for its facade design and can now move forward with construction. It's expected to open this spring.

Blu Realty, a combination real estate office and Tavalon Tea shop, is expected to open in the next several weeks at 120 Riverside Blvd, near West 66th Street.

CLOSINGS

Longtime Mexican restaurant Mama Mexico at 2672 Broadway near West 102nd Street, closed without warning in early January, the neighborhood blog My Upper West reported.

Therapie, a gift boutique at 309 Columbus Ave. is closing. A liquidation sale is expected to be completed by the end of February.

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