Daphne’s Caribbean Express–a neighborly spot for jerk chicken, rice and peas, and other homey Jamaican food–has traded its lived-in, cafeteria-like room for fancy new digs a few doors east. Reportedly hit with a backbreaking rent increase, it moved in with upscale sister restaurant Blue Mahoe and rechristened itself Daphne at the Blue Mahoe. Gone, for now, are Blue Mahoe’s “Caribbean Fusion” dishes (e.g., “Bouillabaisse Caraibe” for $28), replaced by the more down-home chow from Daphne’s. The menu is still being reworked, and some of the pricier entrees may return.
In other news, two hound hangouts have downsized: Korean dumpling specialist Mandoo Bar has closed its Village outlet; a sister location in Koreatown survives. And fish-and-chippery A Salt and Battery has closed its East Village shop; its mate in the West Village remains open.
From the Lower East Side, some positive news: hound-endorsed seafood house Tides has just begun serving Sunday brunch. jonnyk reports perfectly cooked seafood omelettes and lobster Benedict with light, tasty hollandaise. It’s a prix fixe deal–$15 to $18 (prices are still in flux), including two bellinis or mimosas. Besides the egg dishes, the menu includes the popular lobster roll (current seasonal dressing: lemon zest, oregano, mayonnaise) and should expand as the brunch crew gets its sea legs.
Daphne’s Caribbean Express [East Village]
233 E. 14th St., between 2nd and 3rd Aves.,
Manhattan, NY 10003
Daphne at the Blue Mahoe [East Village]
243 E. 14th St., between 2nd and 3rd Aves., Manhattan, NY 10003
Mandoo Bar [Greenwich Village]
71 University Pl., between 10th and 11th Sts., Manhattan
Mandoo Bar [Herald Square]
2 W. 32nd St., between 5th Ave. and Broadway, Manhattan
A Salt and Battery [East Village]
80 2nd Ave., between E 4th and 5th Sts., Manhattan