What’s old is new again in NYC, as the city’s favorite restaurateurs (Keith McNally, Bobby Flay, Daniel Humm) are behind the best new openings. New kids, watch your back.
NEW YORK CITY – New York is a restless town. Always hungry for the new, always eager for fresh talent. The food scene is no exception, and in recent years, the city’s insatiable appetite has been fed by novelties like food trucks, pop-ups, and out-of-towners. But lately, the source of the culinary bounty has not been the new kids on the blocks but rather the established chefs and restaurateurs opening the next installment of their rich culinary careers. In other words, great new New York restaurants from old New York talents.
24 Fifth Ave.; +1-212-868-2424
The Team: Carlos Suarez
As Seen At: Bobo and Rosemary’s
What’s to Love: Suarez just gets better and better, this time taking inspiration from the flavors and decor of Provence. Chef Wade Moises and chef de cuisine Koren Grieveson put together a terrific menu, but the thing to get are an assortment of vegetables “du Jardin” and the chicken tagine, which easily feeds two. This may be the restaurant of the summer. It’s so fresh, so perfect, so now.
324 Lafayette St.; +1-212-334-6400
The Team: Bobby Flay and Laurence Kertchmer
As Seen At: Around the United States: Bar Americain, Mesa Grill, and Bobby’s Burger Palace
What’s to Love: Yes, Bobby is married to Fathom contributing editor Stephanie March. But that would have sent me to Gato once. The food (especially scrambled eggs with almond romesco and boucheron, crab risotto, and halibut with saffron-tomato broth), the enticing wine list, the friendly staff, and the lively bar have lured me back a dozen times.
21 Cooper Square; +1-212-228-3344
The Team: John Fraser
As Seen At: Dovetail
What’s To Love: When hotelier Andre Balazs turned the Cooper Square Hotel into the Standard East, he inherited a long-troubled and awkwardly shaped restaurant. The room got a makeover, and the star in the kitchen is the talented, brainy John Fraser. He had been taking vegetables to a new level at Dovetail for some time and continues to innovate here, most notably in carrots Wellington and rotisserie-charred beets. Many ingredients, including whole baby chickens, are sourced from Balazs’s farm upstate.
239 West Broadway; +1-212-219-2777
The Team: Drew Nieporent, John Winterman, Markus Glocker
As Seen At: Drew: Nobu, Tribeca Grill; Winterman: Daniel; Glocker: Gordon Ramsey
What’s to Love: Talk about a dream team. The culinary godfather (Nieportent), the charming host (Winterman, a Fathom contributor), and the rising chef (Glocker) renovated and brightened the former Corton space (originally Neiporent’s Montrachet). The plates are beautiful and refined; the service is elegant and relaxed.
75 Ninth Ave.; +1-646-237-4847
The Team: Laura Maniec and Missy Robbins
As Seen At: Maniec: Corkbuzz; Robbins: A Voce
What’s to Love: Impossibly young and even more impossibly accomplished sommelier Maniec designed her original Corbuzz as a wine lover’s bar, restaurant, and event space. The new Chelsea Market location will stay open late at night and give shoppers and nearby cubicle drones a reason to drink at lunch. Consulting chef Robbins has been traveling the world since leaving A Voce and created an inspiring menu of bar snacks, most notably a cotechino sandwich that should be illegal.
210 Tenth Ave.; +1-212-596-7523
The Team: Amanda Frietag
As Seen At: The Harrison, Chopped and Iron Chef on Food Network
What’s to Love: Frietag has been missing from the NYC kitchen for too long, but it’s been worth the wait. She and her team did a stunning renovation of the iconic 1940s Chelsea diner. Her menu follows suit with updated American classics like buffalo-style skate wings, matzoh ball marrow soup, and patty melts. Coming soon: all of this, 24 hours a day.
282 Bowery; +1-212-226-3055
The Team: Keith McNally and chef Shane McBride
As Seen At: Balthazar, Pastis, Schiller’s Liquor Bar, Morandi
What’s to Love: Team McNally gave their old Pulino’s pizzeria a makeover, brightening and Frenchifying the space. (Imagine if your brunette friend suddenly went blonde.) The room is already buzzing and the scene is as hot as can be. McBride is turning out food that’s both artful (crudite salad) and addictive (steak tartare).
The NoMad Bar
10 West 28th St.; +1-347-472-5660
The Team: Daniel Humm and Will Guidara
As Seen At: Nomad, Eleven Madison Park
What’s to Love: These guys have the Midas touch. The Library Bar at Nomad became so popular that they turned the space next door into a dark and dramatic bi-level tavern. The cocktails are inventive, many made with unusual spirits. The menu is pub fare seen through a four-star filter. That means chicken pot pie and hot dogs prepared with black truffles.
295 Flatbush Ave.; +1-718-230-0427
The Team Francine Stephens and Andrew Feinberg
As Seen At: Franny’s, BKLYN Larder
What’s to Love: Pizza was only the beginning for the married couple, but what an auspicious start it was. When Franny’s outgrew its Flatbush Avenue location and moved up the block, they transformed the space into a cozy Italian trattoria with a lovely back garden. What to order: all the great pastas and anything wood-grilled.
325 Bowery; +1-212-220-9100
The Team: Chef Andrew Carmellini
As Seen At: Locanda Verde, The Dutch, Lafayette.
What’s to Love: Peels, the beloved and always packed Bowery restaurant from Taavo Somer, has been replaced by the prolific chef’s small plates and pasta joint. What AC can’t do with pasta isn’t worth doing. How did he open this a year after Lafayette, his other stunning newcomer, yet look calm every time I see him? I don’t know, but I think he may have clones.
181 Thompson St.; +1-212-933-0707
The Team: Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi, Jeff Zalaznick
As Seen At: Torrisi, Parm, ZZ’s Clam Bar.
What’s to Love: Those Italian mama’s boys take the iconic old-school, red-sauce joint to the level of performance art. Huge flecks of Parmesan rain down on your plate like dollar bills at a strip club. Botles of Sambuca are left on the table. Waiters wear burgundy tuxedos. Tony Bennett is at a corner table! (Okay, that was just one time.) The food is delicous and pricey. But you’re here. Go big or go home.