A gleaming, glassed-in kitchen anchors the dining room at Leonelli Taberna, the first of three culinary ventures run by the chef, Jonathan Benno, in the newly renovated Evelyn hotel. A sweep of bar and nicely set tables in a bright room with brown accents are ready for the chef’s take on Italian food. He’s offering flatbreads with spreads, croquettes, antipasti, bruschettas and assorted salumi to start. Pastas, which Mr. Benno said would be modestly sized, include his lasagna, which was on the menu when he was at Lincoln Ristorante, his previous job. The same goes for his eggplant parmigiana, presented as a side dish. Among the main courses are rotisserie chicken, pork chops and a burger, and also a whole black sea bass for two and a Florentine T-bone, also for two. In a couple of weeks, the bakery he’s running, Leonelli Focacceria e Pasticceria, will open in the front of the hotel, with a street entrance. And in the fall, Benno, a fine-dining Mediterranean restaurant behind the Taberna, will make its debut. (Monday)
Evelyn Hotel, 7 East 27th Street (Fifth Avenue), 212-451-9495, leonellirestaurants.com.
Areppas Food Carts
The Venezuelan cafe near Sutton Place specializing in that country’s corn cakes, called arepas, has sprouted three food carts. They’re named for the restaurant at 954 Third Avenue (57th Street), which spells the specialty with a double “p.” The carts offer four kinds of arepas, with meat or vegetable fillings. Celestino Diaz, one of the owners, donates a portion of each sale to help feed hungry children in Venezuela and elsewhere in Latin America.
54th Street and Broadway, 26th Street and Fifth Avenue, 79th Street and Central Park West, areppas.com.
The rooftop terrace on the 21st floor of the new AC Hotel is opening as this bar and lounge with a Spanish accent. The hotel’s ground floor restaurant, Boqueria, also evokes Spain. At Castell, the featured cocktails are martinis. Other drinks are grouped according to style, like shaken or stirred. On the culinary side are toasts, snacks like crispy sea-salt potatoes, salads and larger dishes, including chicken skewers and a flatiron steak. (Wednesday)
260 West 40th Street (Eighth Avenue), 929-284-3741, castellnyc.com.
Are chefs and restaurateurs running out of ways to torture pizza? This pizzeria offers several topping options, including the standard tomato-and-mozzarella Margherita, and a choice of shapes — square (whole or by the quarter) or round. It also serves a black pizza, its crust colored with cuttlefish ink. The partners behind this spot, which is decorated in black-and-white, are Johnny Wooh and Chris Reda, who developed Gansevoort Market, and Peter Litschi, who was at Roberta’s. There is outdoor seating and a full bar. The menu also includes salads and a toss of crispy artichokes and sunchokes.
44 Ninth Avenue (14th Street), no phone, blacksquarepizza.com.