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ParkWest to Open Saturday With Plans to Edge Out Nightlife Competition

By Emily Frost | April 12, 2013 7:35am

UPPER WEST SIDE — After five months of redesign and remodeling, ParkWest, a new dining and late night spot, is getting ready to open this weekend — and the owner isn't worried about the competition.

Peter Coundouris said his joint, located at West 70th Street and Columbus Avenue, will cater to the same sophisticated late-nighters as neighboring ventures Cafe Tallulah and the Dakota Bar — but he believes his spot will stand out with its food.

"Our food is going to be our edge," he said.

Organic vodkas and picklebacks that were once found only in Williamsburg hip spots should also draw in the crowds.

Coundouris, who is behind the traditional Italian restaurant Pomodoro, said he brought on Chef Marc Anthony Bynum, who has a long history in New York City restaurants and recently won the Food Network challenge show Chopped, to consult on selections and provide oversight. 

"We're using nothing but the best [ingredients]," said Coundouris of the Colorado lamb chops, Berkshire pork chop, wild salmon and Crystal Valley Farms chicken on the dinner menu. 

Bartender Magda Wolcyzky, 29, who will preside over the 9-seat bar at the front of the narrow but deep restaurant, spoke animatedly of the concoctions she has in mind. 

"We have a few different organic vodkas — cucumber, tomato and lemon," she explained.

But she was most excited about the "picklebacks" she'll serve — a shot of whiskey or bourbon followed by juice from jalapeños and from house-made pickles. 

ParkWest, which will stay open until 1 or 2 a.m., has a back seating area that's enclosed in glass siding and a clear roof cover. 

"The backyard is very romantic," Coundouris said. 

The restaurant uses red, gray and black throughout its decor, with sleek and modern lighting fixture, black tables and splashes of red in the upholstery. The decor and menu give off an upscale vibe, he added.

ParkWest will open this Saturday at 5 p.m. After the restaurant gets rolling, brunch will also be offered, Coundouris said.