Some great restaurants that I used to love have sadly disappeared. La Fondu was a great, unique place in mid-town Manhattan where my friends and I had many wonderful dinners cooking up bread and cheese, fresh meats and oil, and fruits and chocolate, but one day it was gone and I've missed its terrific atmosphere ever since. Mama Buddha's in the West Village was a great place where my wife and I used to go to get some awesome and affordable Chinese food (we especially loved their cold sesame spinach noodles) -- imagine our disappointment when we drove down there one day only to find it closed, never to reopen.
On Friday night, my cousins and I had dinner at the new Williamsbridge Bar & Grill. It replaces the short-lived but terrific Sonora's. The new menu of burgers and pasta might not be as inspired as the previous Southwest Grill options, but the food was still very good and the new decor and service were still excellent. I had previously eaten at Sonora's and loved it. It's a shame that it didn't build a strong enough following in the neighborhood to last, but hopefully the new Bar & Grill will catch on. The staff are very friendly and treat their customers well, and the new menu is very affordable.
As restaurants come and go, I feel lucky to live in a place with so many great choices, from City Island to Arthur Avenue to my own Morris Park and Pelham Parkway neighborbood to New York's other boroughs and the other nearby places in the Tri-State Area. When you find a restaurant you like, spread the word and support it. You'll miss them if they're gone.