Sam Horine, 9/23/08
Note we are not, we repeat not, going to Deathwatch Archipelago right off the bat. But we will say this: the far West Soho location was one of the major factors leading to the demise of its predecessor Dani. And the layout here is not much different, though they did undertake a slight renovation (with the addition of a mural by "manga superstar Hiroki Otsuka"). The saving grace here is really the pedigree of the chef, Hisanobu Osaka, who comes from the famous Tsuji Culinary School in Japan and was the sous chef at Morimoto.
His French-Japanese fusion isn't exactly groundbreaking, but in the right hands, it could attract the crowds west. And the moderate prices—with starters around $12, entrees in the low $20's—won't hurt. The media preview is tonight, and Archipelago is soft open to the public tomorrow. Expect the reports to stream in from that point on. Further reading here and here.