It’s hard to overstate the turmoil restaurants have experienced since the pandemic closed down dining rooms across the country in early 2020. No surprise, New York City chefs and restaurateurs have worked to persevere.
This year has already seen some terrific places open for business -- all hoping to become as storied as The Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Plaza.
These newbies include the dynamic Mexican tacos and drinks spot Aldama in Williamsburg and the powerhouse Italian chop house Carne Mare in the Financial District. This fall brings more compelling openings to New York. Most are in Manhattan, part of developments like the 7-million-square-foot Manhattan West project (which includes a new Danny Meyer-led Italian restaurant helmed by Hillary Sterling). In Brooklyn, the team behind Dhamaka is bringing its dynamic Indian food to Park Slope. Even Hudson Yards, which has seen an exodus of restaurants during the pandemic, is working to attract the yacht rock crowd with an outdoor seafood shack.
The second half of the year also sees several steak-centric spots that buck the plant-based trend, and the return of a high profile culinary figure, José Andrés, who is opening his first New York restaurant in over three years. Here are the places that you would hope to see in an upcoming episode of Billions, coming to New York City this fall.
NEW NYC RESTAURANTS MUST-VISIT LIST
The popular London steak house will switch from British to American dry-aged beef when they open near Gramercy Park. Chefs Matt Brown, who cooked at Restaurant Marco Pierre White, and Matt Bernero (a Minetta Tavern alum) will oversee the menu that will be anchored by rib-eyes, porterhouses, and T-bones, with accompanying sauces like bone marrow gravy and anchovy hollandaise. Along with a 146-seat dining room is a bar built for 50, which will showcase the franchise’s famous cocktails.109 E 22nd St.
Zou Zou's, West Side
The newest restaurant from the Quality Branded Group, whose spots include Don Angie and Smith & Wollensky, is focused on Middle Eastern cuisine. Chefs Madeline Sperling and Juliana Latif, both alums of the NoMad, showcase influences from countries like Lebanon, Israel, Egypt and Syria. Larger plates will come from the hearth, including lobster tagine with kumquats and duck borek in flaky pastry, made to share. AvroKO designed the light, blue-and-green tiled 75-seat space. 85 Manhattan West Plaza.
Skirt Steak, Midtown
There will be just one entree at the upcoming spot from noted chef Laurent Tourondel: American Wagyu skirt steak. The beef will be accompanied by a greenmarket salad, fries and peppercorn béarnaise. (It’s a concept popularized by the old school le Relais de Venise l’Entrecote, also in Midtown.) To round out the meal, there’s a dessert trolley, and to drink local beers and cocktails on tap. 835 Sixth Ave.
Jibs, West Side
This outdoor restaurant in Hudson Yards wants to take diners to the beach. Chef David Ladner, formerly of Rialto in Cambridge, Mass., has teamed up with Cobi Levy and Will Makris of Lola Taverna to create a waterside seafood shack. There will be lobster bakes, two kinds of lobster rolls, and fried seafood baskets, as well as soft serve and whoopie pies. Expect yacht rock in the background.350 11th Ave.
Ignacio Mattos, who made Estela a destination dining spot, is debuting an all day caffè and bakery, the first permanent opening in a series of notable dining spots coming to the rehabbed Rockefeller Center. Located directly across from the Today Show studios, Lodi will serve food all day, including vitello tonnata and porchetta panini with pepper marmalade. The drinks list is inspired by Italian aperitivo culture.1 Rockefeller Plaza. Opening in September.
Tortazo NoMad, Flatiron
The Chicago-based star chef Rick Bayless arrives in New York with an outpost of his fast-casual Mexican spot Tortazo, which boasts a $12.4 million investment from the Phillippines-based fast food company Jollibee. The menu will highlight the Oaxacan specialty tlayuda (large crisp tortillas topped with ingredients like beans, salsa, chorizo and avocado) as well as tortas, in versions like a smoked pork cubana. The bar will pour a wide selection of tequila and mezcal.1123 Broadway.
Cha Kee, Chinatown
In a bi-level space, two distinct restaurants will offer very different menus. Upstairs, chef Akiko Thurnauer (formerly of Mission Chinese, and EN Japanese Brasserie) will offer a menu that evokes a Chinese diner, such as soft shell crab fried rice with preserved olives; Dan Dan noodles with poached egg; and whole smoked duck with honey fennel orange glaze. Downstairs a Japanese spot with sushi and crudo bar from chef Takayuki Nakamura will open later in 2021. For drinks the speakeasy bar the Basement is opening next door.43 Mott St.
Sweetbriar, Kips Bay
The space, which includes a 56-seat dining room, lounge and bar, recalls the ‘70’s with green reeded glass paneling. Chef Bryce Shuman will focus on dishes cooked over live fire—including whole grilled Mediterranean sea bass with salsa verde and roasted tete de chochon with sweet and sour pork jus, as well as starters like tomato carpaccio and grilled artichokes with aioli. In October, the chef and his team will open a Japanese-inspired restaurant in the former O Ya space.127 E 27th St., Park South Hotel.
b'artusi, West Village
This new wine bar, from the experts at L'Artusi, boasts an Italian influence both on bottles and dishes. Joe Vigorito’s menu offers shareable plates from tuna crudo with fennel and citrus, to lamb meatballs with mint salsa verde and braised short rib lasagna. Next door the team is opening Via Porto will have sandwiches and pastries, plus the pandemic staple: meal kits. 520 Hudson St.
The Mary Lane, West Village
Chefs Joey Campanaro and Mike Price, who run the kitchens at prominent Greenwich Village spots Little Owl, the Clam and Market Table, are opening a new all-day restaurant in the neighborhood. The American menu will highlight market fresh vegetables including dishes like King Trumpet mushroom tartare, as well as seasonally minded dish like sautéed Nova Scotia halibut with burst market grapes, and pork loin with caraflex sauerkraut. 99 Bank St.
Ci Siamo, West Side
Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group latest spot will be located in the vast Manhattan West development. The place, whose name translates as ‘we made it’ is comprised of a 125-seat dining room and 40-seat outdoor space. Chef Hillary Sterling, formerly of Vic’s, will feature dishes with a heavy Italian accent like cast-iron focaccia with tomato conserva, rigatoni alla gricia and pork Milanese with pecorino.100 Manhattan West Plaza.
Nami Nori, Brooklyn
The restaurant that helped familiarize New Yorkers with open-style temaki, or taco-styled sushi hand rolls, is bringing the fun concept to Williamsburg. Masa alums Taka Sakaeda, Jihan Lee and Lisa Limb will offer several new items for the Brooklyn location like crispy rice concoctions and sashimi options like kanpachi with mustard miso and sundried shishito chili oil. There will also be a sake bar and expanded drinks options. 236 North 12th St.
Dowling's at The Carlyle, Upper East Side
Executive Chef Sylvain Delpique (ex 21 Club) will head up this restaurant named for Robert Whittle Dowling, former owner of The Carlyle. He offers a menu of fine dining staples, some updated, some not, including tuna tartare with whipped crème fraîche, roasted truffle chicken and steak Diane, flambeed tableside. The dining room’s black and white design evokes the ‘30’s and 40’s and perhaps tuxedos, too.981 Madison Ave.
Great Jones Restaurant, NoHo
Set inside the just-opened whiskey distillery, the first to open in about 100 years is this 78-seat restaurant. Chef Adam Raksin’s menu updates classic American dishes; many will feature Great Jones’s signature product, including chilled prawns with Bourbon cocktail sauce and bavette steak frites with four grain whiskey and green peppercorn sauce. The bourbon will also feature in an apple compote served with cheese plates. 686 Broadway.
Noz 17, Chelsea
The Upper East Side sushi specialists are bringing their aged fish downtown, to a 7-seat counter spot. The menu from chef Junichi Matsuzaki will highlight 30 courses with a spotlight on nigiri. Reservations can only be made by phone and the elite experience doesn’t come cheap; dinner will go for $395 person, not including drinks.458 West 17 St.
El Fish Shack, Upper West Side
Chef Julian Medina and business partner Louis Skibar, whose Mexican food empire includes Toloache, are bringing their popular Queens pop up to the UWS in a space that seats 60 indoors and 40 outside. His menu highlights various lobster preparations, from tacos to whole ones steamed or sautéed with homemade hot sauce. Guests also choose when they want their market fish grilled or fried. The bar will be gin-focused but with plenty of beer, too. 155 Amsterdam Ave.
Gotham, Greenwich Village
It was New York’s power dining room in the ‘80’s; the doors shut, supposedly forever, right right before the pandemic. Now the legendary space, which has cut ‘Bar & Grill’ from its name, has been revived by longtime managing partner Bret Csencsitz with chef Ron Paprocki. He’s paying homage to signature dishes: tagliatelle with littleneck clams and lobster that riffs on the legendary seafood salad. There’s also a 40-day aged strip steak. The vast postmodern room will also function as a gallery of sorts; limited edition prints will be sold to benefit local charities like GROWNY.12 E. 12th St.
The Hugh, Midtown
New York’s newest food hall will include 17 dining spots in the Citigroup Center space that was developed by Boston Properties. Among the places working to entice returning office workers are outposts of Brooklyn’s beloved Greenpoint Fish & Lobster, which will also serve wine and craft beer; KazuNori, the Original Hand Roll Bar; and the nenowned Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery from chef Umber Ahmad.601 Lexington Ave.
Cafe Spaghetti, Brooklyn
In a former butcher shop in Carroll Gardens, Sal Lamboglia will debut his first solo restaurant, after years manning the kitchens at venerable spots like Locanda Verde and the Dutch. At his upcoming trattoria, Lamboglia will serve a handful of primi and pastas as well as entrees like Mom’s chicken parm. In addition to the brick-walled space with open kitchen, there's a 50-seat backyard garden. Another Lamboglia will be in action in the kitchen, too: Sal’s father Tony, who has become famous for making the tiramisu at Bar Primi, will bring his dessert specialty to his son’s restaurant.Union St.
The team behind this year’s surprise hit restaurant, Dhamaka, are bringing yet another take on unapologetic Indian cooking to the city, this time to Park Slope. Roni Mazumdar and chef Chintan Pandya will feature dishes from Kolkata (Mazumdar’s hometown) at Masalawala, and a market selling spice blends, and specialty Indian products. In the meantime, the duo are also opening two fast casual spots in Manhattan: Rowdy Rooster will specialize in spicy fried chicken, while Kebabwala will highlight kebabs inspired by variations from around India. 365 Fifth Ave.
A seminal D.C. restaurant from the Nobel Prize-nominated chef José Andrés is coming to New York later this fall, setting up shop at the Ritz-Carlton New York NoMad. The menu, a collaboration between Andrés and Michael Costa, will offer many of the Turkish, Greek and Lebanese mezze dishes on the menu at Zaytina DC such as spicy soujouk sausage with kasar cheese with a 65° egg, as well as new items created specifically for New York. 1185 Broadway.
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