Carmen Ramírez Degollado’s husband helped open El Bajío in Mexico City in 1972, and when he died a few years later, Mrs. Ramírez Degollado, known as Titita, took over the restaurant. Since 2006, El Bajío has opened 18 other family restaurants, known for cuisine from Veracruz, Oaxaca, Puebla and Yucatán. She is now 83 years old and two of her grandsons, Santiago Ramírez Degollado and Sebastián Ramírez Degollado, who live in New York, open this tribute to her. It is the first restaurant outside of Mexico for the family behind the El Bajío company, in a simple and sober space, done with rustic elegance. Clay pots line a wall. The menu lists assorted tacos and will include duck tostadas, plantain empanadas, Xico mole enchiladas, Veracruz-style fish and shrimp in charred chipotle sauce. Desserts include hot corn cake with ice cream. The group’s executive chef, Josep Rivera, will spend a few weeks grease the wheels before returning to Mexico, and the wine list will feature several Mexican wines. (Opens Thursday)
114 Franklin Street (West Broadway), 917-540-5500, casacarmennyc.com.
O Ya, Covina and the Roof Bar, the restaurants at the Park South Hotel run by Boston’s Tim and Nancy Cushman, closed in 2020. Sweetbriar, which opened last fall, replaced Covina. Now, the Sweetbriar team, along with the TH/RST group and its executive chef Bryce Shuman, are opening this place in the former O Ya space named after a Tokyo district full of bars and restaurants. GG Tokyo offers an a la carte menu that is Japanese in its approach, but informed by Mr. Shuman’s French training. Dishes include spicy salmon rolls with potatoes and Serrano peppers, Japanese-style fried chicken with tartar sauce, Wagyu sushi with crispy chili and chives. Drinks feature prominently, and Japanese ingredients flavor some of bar manager Ivan Papic’s cocktails. (Wednesday)
120 East 28th Street, 212-204-0200, ggtokyo.nyc.
Mae Mae Cafe
Liz Neumark’s Great Performances, a catering and restaurant management company, opened this plant-based, Latin-inspired cafe on the ground floor of its Bronx headquarters. Tacos, burritos and quesadillas, filled mostly with ingredients grown at Ms. Neumark Farm Katchkie in the Hudson Valley are served. Open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday, it also sells indoor plants. (Wednesday)
2417 Third Avenue (East 134th Street), Mott Haven, Bronx, 212-337-6098.
Ellington in the Park
This outdoor restaurant surrounded by greenery in Riverside Park has reopened for the season, with dishes like a bowl of quinoa, a fried chicken sandwich with Asian coleslaw and Sriracha aioli, and lots of ice cream. It is run by Glenda Sansone, owner of Ellington on nearby Broadway. (Monday)
Riverside Park, West Side Freeway at 105th Street, 917-280-4533, ellingtoninthepark.com.