Galen Zamarra closed Mas (La Grillade) a few weeks ago in response to neighbors’ complaints about wood smoke from the grills. With some cosmetic changes, he is turning it into this hyper-seasonal restaurant inspired by the diaries he kept about produce while working at Bouley: 28 Seventh Avenue South (Morton Street), 212-255-1795, almanacnyc.com.
The uptown version of the Greenwich Village restaurant that closed is now in business, with the chef and partner Josh Eden in the kitchen: 791 Lexington Avenue (62nd Street), 212-935-1433, augustny.com.
CAFFÈ DEI FIORI
Daliso Gulmini, a native of Bologna, Italy, has opened this Upper East Side restaurant that is already attracting some boldface names, enough to give Sette Mezzo down the block some competition. The chef, Giovanni Tenace, has a menu that often looks to the sea, with salmon carpaccio, sautéed clams, octopus alla parmigiana, tagliardi with bay scallops and clams, and a $64 Dover sole meunière. For those who don’t prefer fish, there are steaks and chops, including veal Milanese (listed on the menu as orecchio di elefante di vitello — literally, an elephant ear). Andrea Nanni, formerly at Casa Lever, is a managing partner: 973 Lexington Avenue (71st Street), 212-327-3400, caffedeifiorinewyork.com.
This showcase for Shea Gallante’s food, on an à la carte menu, is all pale elegance, with a single backlit splash of vermilion on one wall. The ceilings soar more than 24 feet: Baccarat Hotel, 20 West 53rd Street, 212-790-8869, chevaliernyc.com.
The innovative Mexican chef Enrique Olvera is opening his New York restaurant with a contemporary look and a menu that veers away from tradition. “Too often Mexican food is perceived as casual and inexpensive,” he said. “I also love the tradition but like to do my own thing.” His shopping list will take him to Union Square as much as possible, he said. The menu is frequently changing and à la carte, with no prix fixe tasting as at Pujol, his Mexico City restaurant that is ranked among the world’s best. Two dishes that are likely to appear on the menu are mussels atop a Russian salad and duck carnitas. “We’ll adapt to the ingredients and to our customers,” he said. “But Mexican food has to go beyond the clichés, the way Italian has.” He is splitting his time between New York and Mexico and has put one of his sous-chefs, Daniela Soto-Innes, in charge of the kitchen, and has assigned the management side to the other one, Mariana Villegas. The deep gray setting is enlivened with warm, burnished white oak furnishings and provides a backdrop for a selection of drawings by the muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros. The front half of the space is a bar and lounge with a cluster of cafe tables, with a dining room beyond. Shelves along the walls hold service items like glassware and wine. In the basement kitchen, there’s a state-of-the-art mill for grinding the heirloom corn for use in tortillas and other preparations: 35 East 21st Street, 212-913-9659, cosmenyc.com.
700 Fifth Ave., Peninsula Hotel. 212-956-2888
The English chef Jason Atherton, who has a tidy empire in London with outposts in Dubai, Singapore, Shanghai and Hong Kong, and a few Michelin stars as well, has landed in New York. He is the executive chef for the restaurant at the New York Edition, a boutique hotel group created by Ian Schrager in partnership with Marriott International. “I’m not doing a London restaurant here; it’s a New York restaurant,” Mr. Atherton said. The hotel occupies the landmark clock tower, designed to look like the Campanile in Venice, that overlooks Madison Square Park and was originally part of the Metropolitan Life headquarters. A collection of mahogany-paneled executive offices has become three dining rooms, a gilded bar and a billiard room. Despite the elaborate décor, the rather unassuming Mr. Atherton said that he will serve “tavern food” at bare tables, like stewed lamb shoulder for two. (Less humble are a version of Peking duck with cherries; king crab with dashi jelly; and whole roasted Dover sole.) “It’s not precious food,” he said. “It has to be delicious.” The pastry chef is Sebastien Rouxel, formerly of the French Laundry and Bouchon Bakery, who is now, like Mr. Atherton, working with the restaurateur Stephen Starr: New York Edition, 5 Madison Avenue (24th Street), 212-413-4300.
After six years in a shoe box with fewer than 20 seats, Amanda Cohenhas moved her vegetarian restaurant from the East Village to the Lower East Side, more than tripling the space and adding a bar. “Actually having a bar means people do not have to wait outside,” she said. An expanded menu includes new larger-format presentations to be shared, like a cabbage hot pot. Some dishes are Asian-inflected, like mapo eggplant with baby bok choy. The space, in a broad storefront with signs you can’t miss, is done crisply in black and white, with a lipstick-red banquette. Some seats, at the counter, face the open kitchen:86 Allen Street (Broome Street), 212-228-7732, dirtcandynyc.com.
Rich Torrisi, Mario Carbone and Jeff Zalaznick have dished out Italian-American food “their way,” as Sinatra would have it, at Torrisi Italian Specialties, Parm and Carbone. Now they’re tackling French in the same spirit. Mr. Torrisi, who said he “did that old-school thing in Lyon” when he worked for Daniel Boulud, admires the great dishes like duck à l’orange but contends that “they need a breath of fresh air.” So he’s restyling them with bolder flavors, putting skewered chicken giblets on the frisée salad; adding cuttlefish with ink to the “bouillabaisse noir”; and making a classic tarte au citron with North African preserved lemons. “The dishes will be true to their spirit, not fusion,” he said. The room, decorated with bold vintage pieces, evokes the flea markets on the gritty edge of Paris, not the Place Vendôme. An open kitchen is on view from the bar and lounge: Ludlow Hotel, 180 Ludlow Street (East Houston Street), 212-254-3000, dirtyfrench.com.
ELI’S TABLE (Eater)
Eli Zabar’s Taste gave itself a makeover and reopened in early December as Eli’s Table, right next door to Eli’s. There are several large party round tables and a some seats along the bar and at ice cream tables for smaller parties. The menu, which touts dishes like papparadelle with lamb bolognese and black bass with artichokes, chili and olives, is seasonal and much of the ingredients come from the grocery store. Don’t overlook the wine menu, which is sprawling and offers some excellent bargains. 1413 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10028 (77th Street), elistable.com.
EMPELLÓN AL PASTOR
Focused? Perhaps obsessed would be a better description for this addition to Alex Stupak’s Empellón empire. Insisting that the simplest projects are the springboards to greatness, Mr. Stupak is making tortillas and filling them with pork roasted on a vertical spit. He will bend his rules enough to serve other types of tacos, but the main event is al pastor with cilantro, onions and pineapple: 132 St. Marks Place (Avenue A).
Named for an herb essential to Mexican cooking, this place from the French restaurateur Jacques Ouari infuses Mexican fare with French touches. It’s a redo of his brasserie, the Pitch & Fork: 1606 First Avenue (83rd Street), 212-988-1704, epazotenyc.com.
In ending his partnership with Paul Grieco, the chef Marco Canora kept the Terroir down the block (just 50 paces) from his restaurant Hearth. The other two Terroirs went to Mr. Grieco. The short stroll now leads to a moody-looking spot, with plates of hearty food like sloppy joes with pork ragù, spicy mussels and bowls of brodo thick with meats, vegetables and grains: 413 East 12th Street (First Avenue).
THE FILLMORE ROOM
Liran Mezan’s makeover of Moran’s restaurant, in Chelsea, has Art Deco touches and a vintage bar: 146 10th Avenue (19th Street), 212-921-7772, fillmoreroom.com.
At this gastro pub where comfort food dominates, there are a few surprises, like Thai-style fish cakes. The menu also includes onion soup, crab cakes, mac and cheese, and fried chicken: 1479 York Avenue (78th Street), 212-988-5153, flightnewyorkcity.com.
THE GILROY (VV, TONY)
The Upper East Side gets a spot for indulging in a late-night plate of oysters and a sophisticated drink. Highlights include a Negroni bar, high-wire molecular drinks and down-to-earth food like chicken potpie: 1561 Second Avenue (East 81st Street), 212-734-8800, thegilroynyc.com.
IL MULINO PRIME (Eater)
The original Il Mulino on West Third Street in Greenwich Village spawned an international chain. Its next offshoot, in a space that once housed T-Bar Soho, will be a steakhouse. But don’t expect the usual dark wood and leather setting for rib-eyes and cabernet. Instead, you’ll find a nod to Hemingway, with white papier-mâché taxidermy (rhino heads and such) and stenciled quotes on whitewashed brick and plaster walls. A section of the mostly Italian menu is devoted to slabs of marbled beef and bison: 331 West Broadway (Broome Street), 212-226-0020, ilmulino.com.
Greenmarket produce and rotisserie meats issue from a big open kitchen in this redo, by the Gerber Group, of the space that housed Todd English’s Olives. Metal, leather, wood and glass are used throughout; a painting pays homage to Washington Irving. David Nichols’s menu features lamb tartare with harissa and radishes, duck confit potpie and bucatini with chopped porchetta: 201 Park Avenue South (17th Street), 212-677-0425, irvingtonnyc.com.
In 2012, Mathieu Palombino opened Bowery Diner in the space adjacent to the New Museum. But he discovered that running a diner “wasn’t for me,” he said. “I didn’t like diner food.” So last summer, Mr. Palombino, the Belgian-born, French-trained chef behind Motorino Pizza, turned the space into Chez Jef, a summer pop-up that he has now transformed into this more permanent retro-brasserie. The menu lists names you know and can pronounce, like escargots, pâté en croûte, pot au feu and cod hollandaise. Most of the 110 French and American wines are a welcoming $40 to $60. Alex Gherab, a master of Parisian nostalgia in a host of New York restaurants, engineered the décor, including a vintage imported zinc bar: 241 Bowery (Prince Street), 212-388-0052, lagamellenyc.com.
LE FRENCH DINER (VV)
Le French diner is the type of restaurant everyone wishes they had just down the street: it’s comforting, delicious, and unique. The menu offers a mix of classic French staples and inventive takes on Escoffier classics, all served in an unpretentious manner.
LINCOLN SQUARE STEAK
To avoid the typical steakhouse look of polished wood and leather, the owner, Bruno Selimaj, and Don Evans, the consultant, have evoked the gaslight era, with crystal chandeliers, deep rose walls and four fireplaces. There are lamb dishes, plenty of seafood and enough beef to satisfy the carnivores, all prepared by Giovanni Calle. The wine list includes 30 bottles under $30: 208 West 70th Street, 212-208-875-8600, lincolnsquaresteak.com.
THE LITTLE BEET TABLE
This is a dressed-up version of Franklin Becker’s casual Midtown spot, Little Beet. It has waiter service, rustic décor and gluten-free food and drink: 333 Park Avenue South (24th Street), 212-466-3330, thelittlebeettable.com.
Andrew Carmellini and his partners emphasize vegetables and grains in this addition to the Smyth hotel. They also run Evening Bar on the opposite side of the lobby: The Smyth TriBeCa, 85 West Broadway (Chambers Street), 212-220-4110, littlepark.com.
Maria Loi, the Greek celebrity chef who last summer closed her Upper West Side restaurant, Loi, has bounced back with this new project, her exuberance undiminished. “Here the food is more original, my food,” she said. “New Yorkers are much more sophisticated than I was told,” she added, referring to her advisers at Loi. Her chef de cuisine is Arno Mueller, a holdover from the Austrian restaurant Seäsonal, which occupied her new location. He’ll serve scallops with lamb bacon, red mullet with chicory, and mussels in white wine with Greek saffron. The narrow space, half the size of her last restaurant, is decorated simply, with panoramic photographs of the Gulf of Corinth brightening the walls: 132 West 58th Street, 212-713-0015, loiestiatorio.com.
Blue-and-white Portuguese tiles pave one wall in George Mendes’s latest, a homage to the Portuguese food of his heritage. “There will be sardines, bacalhau gomes de sa, caldo verde and natas,” he said, hitting some of the classics of the cuisine. He also plans to serve a cataplana, the round copper casserole often filled with clams and sausage that is typical in Portugal. There are beers galore, some Portuguese (Lupulo is Portuguese for “hops”), and the wines are all Portuguese, including ports and Madeiras. An enormous bar for drinking and dining fills the center of the high-ceilinged room, and an open kitchen anchors the rear: 835 Avenue of the Americas (29th Street), 212-290-7600,lupulonyc.com.
Massimo Sola, the chef at this branch of Mamo Le Michelangelo, a restaurant in Antibes, France, tosses in an occasional nod to Provence. A classic salade niçoise and stuffed vegetables are on his basically Italian menu. Vintage movie posters, a nod to Cannes, dominate the room: 323 West Broadway (Grand Street), 646-964-4641,mamonyc.com.
Nick Anderer, the chef at Maialino, and Terry Coughlin, the manager, went to Danny Meyer, whose Union Square Hospitality Group owns the restaurant, with a proposal for a new pizza restaurant. “We wanted to expand on what we do at Maialino, and he was very excited about the idea,” Mr. Anderer said. It’s something of a first for Mr. Meyer, who said his company had never had a chef in charge of more than one place. “It’s a way of encouraging entrepreneurial aspirations that young chefs have,” he said. “And at the same time, they can also draw on Union Square resources for this project. But it also represents an evolution in my thinking about how I run this company.” He said he no longer felt he had to control every aspect. Marta will open in August, with a wood-fired grill and a couple of wood-burning ovens for thin-crust pizzas, Roman style, which Mr. Anderer said would be “the heart of the restaurant.” Antipasti and family style dishes will fill out the menu. The restaurant, at the King & Grove Hotel, will also provide room service: 29 East 29th Street.
Leslie Nilsson, who owns Sage General Store and the caterer Bartleby & Sage in Long Island City, Queens, decided that the neighborhood needed some higher-end dining and that a dose of Nordic cuisine might be the ticket. “It’s in my roots anyway,” Ms. Nilsson said. So she has turned an area inside the store into a small restaurant serving four- and seven-course tasting menus Tuesdays to Saturdays. She has two chefs on board: Greg Proechel, who was at Blanca, and Michael Kollarik, who worked at Cannibal and the Dinner Lab. Black barley porridge, Scandinavian spiced duck and vegetables mixed with yogurt are possible dishes. Drinks made with aquavit are a given. Ms. Nilsson picked the name because people often assume her first name is masculine and call her “Mr. Nilsson,” so why not play along? 24-20 Jackson Avenue (45th Road), Long Island City, Queens, 718-361-0707, mrnilssonnyc.com.
Poke and Spam, staples of the Hawaiian table, are rare in New York, but three partners who worked at Per Se are filling the gap. Led by Chung Chow, a chef who grew up in Honolulu, they offer a refined take, with Spam tortellini and mochi-crusted fluke: 128 First Avenue (St. Marks Place), 646-892-3050, noreetuh.com.
PARDON MY FRENCH
Cocktails, many made with spirits infused in-house, share the spotlight with eclectic bistro fare like roasted bone marrow, a tagine and Creole cod fritters: 103 Avenue B (Seventh Street), 212-358-9683, pmf.nyc.
This was an Upper East Side staple for 28 years, with a light, airy setting and a comfortable Italian menu. It closed last year. Now it has been reborn with a new owner, the Line Group, which also runs Sons of Essex and other downtown spots. The interior is darker, woodier and more rustic. The new chef, C. J. Bivona, who was the chef at Yardbird Southern Table & Grill in Miami Beach, has installed an ambitious Italian menu with dishes like eggplant beneath a mascarpone “cloud”; duck meatballs with duck cracklings; porchetta from the rotisserie; and udon carbonara. For more conservative tastes there are pizzas and classics like beef braciole with Sunday gravy; chicken scarpariello, and various parms: 1356 First Avenue (73rd Street), 212-772-8800, petalumarestaurant.com.
Even before they opened Pearl & Ash next door, Branden McRill and Patrick Cappiello wanted to create a French restaurant; the cuisine was in both their professional backgrounds. As the chef and a partner, they recruited Daniel Eddy, who had worked at Spring, in Paris, for more than three years, and who had returned to New York. Their rough-edged brick and concrete restaurant has an open kitchen and a skylight. Its French fare has been modernized and cleverly tweaked in dishes like fluke crudo, dressed with brown butter and capers; deconstructed leeks vinaigrette; beet bourguignon in which roasted beets stand in for beef; and silken purées of almond and of celery root that double for potatoes, Robuchon-style. Mr. Cappiello’s hefty wine list is French and American, accessibly priced, and includes selections from Virginia and Idaho: 218 Bowery (Prince Street), 917-639-3880, rebellenyc.com.
In the course of designing the Whitney Museum of American Art near the High Line downtown, the architect Renzo Piano created a glass box to house a restaurant. Major Food Group, the organization behind Parm and Carbone, opened Santina there on Monday. Focused on coastal Italian cuisine, the restaurant is named for a grandmother of Mario Carbone, the chef in charge. He is turning out seafood and vegetables inspired by areas as diverse as Liguria, Amalfi, Tuscany and Venice. “We’re on the coast of Manhattan here, so it’s appropriate,” said Jeff Zalaznick, a partner. Among the specialties are chickpea flour crepes called cecina, house-cured anchovies, mozzarella grilled in a lemon leaf wrap, and whole porgy. The room, outfitted with a rectangular bar, has 100 seats at white marble tables beneath five lavish Murano chandeliers. A blue-and-white Julian Schnabel installation of broken pottery, representing the sea and rocks, dominates one wall: 820 Washington Street (Gansevoort Street), 212-254-3000.
After a night of boozing, there are stranger things to wake up to than a leather bag with half a mutton burger tucked inside, but that’s just one of the many possibilities Seamstress brings to the table. One-half lounge, one-half bar, topped with a dash of vintage general store, the new Upper East Side watering hole marks another neighborhood retreat from The Gilroy’s Steve Laycock and Josh Mazza, who together are helping rebrand the Upper East Side’s nightlife options. Behind the bar, Pam Wiznitzer oversees a list of nearly 50 classic cocktails — plus, one from cocktail historian David Wondrich, thrown in for good measure — while Will Horowitz of Ducks Eatery is taking care of the kitchen: 339 East 75th Street; 212-288-8033
The food of Spain and the Mediterranean arrives on small plates at this bright Greenwich Village place. The chef is Willy Ono, whose résumé includes Noma and Mugaritz: 127 1/2 Macdougal Street (Third Street), 212-598-1809, cocinadelsol.nyc.
Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau, who were at Neta, are opening their own omakase restaurant after a successful run with a pop-up in the Hamptons this summer. Both chefs will be at the 20-seat sushi counter. The 12- to 15-course set menus may include Dungeness crab salad, grilled scallops, sushi and sashimi: 47 East 12th Street, 212-228-6088,shukonyc.com.
James Mallios has turned the floor above his restaurant, Amali, into this separate dining room with an open kitchen and communal tables. Family-style dinners are served Wednesday to Saturday, with five courses. Wines, for those who want them, are poured generously. Dinners are $95, $150 with wines. There is one seating at 8 p.m., with a chance to meet the chef and have an aperitif at 7:30: 115 East 60th Street, 212-339-8363, amalinyc.com.
STATE GRILL AND BAR
This brand-new restaurant looks as if it opened the same day as the Empire State Building, which houses it, with its Art Deco dining room fashioned with honeyed buffed sycamore wood, stainless steel and curved patterns on the floor. The chef Octavio Becerra presides over an expansive open kitchen and produces a modern American grill menu that includes cauliflower steak: 350 Fifth Avenue (33rd Street), 212-216-9693, stategrillny.com.
A prominent corner on a newly flourishing boulevard in Harlem is home to Marcus Samuelsson’s latest venture, a diner-style chicken kitchen. Plump rotisserie birds are served with multicultural trappings like Jamaican sauce, sweet soy, green papaya salad, noodles, fried rice and fries doused with cheese. Chicken sandwiches are filled with Ethiopian doro wat, fried chicken or piri-piri spiced fish. In charge of the kitchen is Adrienne Cheatham, an eight-year veteran of Le Bernardin who knows what it takes to produce a dark and deeply flavored roasted chicken bone broth. The 52-seat space has splashes of graffiti. “I wanted a throwback,” Mr. Samuelsson said, “but with contemporary flair, not the usual”: 2149 Frederick Douglass Boulevard (116th Street), 212-206-2557, streetbirdnyc.com.
Sushi Samba’s fusion of Latin and Japanese is gone. In its place, Simon Oren is arranging a different hybrid: Spanish and Chinese. The chef is Alex Ureña, who was at Rayuela. He deftly gives equal time to both cuisines in dishes like patatas bravas with Sichuan peppercorn aioli, chicken and chorizo dumplings, a tapa of tofu with morcilla (blood sausage), and braised pork belly with rice and beans and a ponzu glaze. There are lists of dim sum and tapas, and fried rice shares the section of the menu with paella. Sangria can be had Spanish-style with red wine, or Chinese-style with white wine and Asian fruit. The 120-seat restaurant is vibrantly and playfully decorated with paintings of bullfights and Chairman Mao: 245 Park Avenue South (20th Street), 212-335-2220, tascachino.com.
Well-designed, chef-driven restaurants are multiplying on the West Side north of Lincoln Center, making places like Dovetail and Ouest less of an exception. Tessa offers a menu by the executive chef Cedric Tovar that may make it a destination. Consider grilled rouget, razor clam escabeche, venison carpaccio, cavatelli with rabbit and ramps, duck breast sharing the plate with duck lasagna, and a côte de boeuf for two. “My approach is mostly Mediterranean,” Mr. Tovar said. And there are enough herbs, olives and sauces like romesco to prove it. The brick-walled space is defined by the clever use of iron security gate material throughout, including on the ceiling. There is a ground-level bar area and a 75-seat dining room up a few steps: 349 Amsterdam Avenue (77th Street), 212-390-1974, tessanyc.com.
Danny Meyer’s restaurant in the new downtown home of theWhitney Museum of American Art puts the visitor on display, through floor-to-ceiling glass walls anchored with industrial cables, all designed by Renzo Piano. Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern’s executive chef, and his chef de cuisine, Suzanne Cupps, deliver a seasonal menu — spring onion and bacon tart; smoked clams with cucumbers and yogurt — that strives for lightness. The restaurant and its sheltered outdoor seating are open to the public, without museum admission. For those who have paid, the museum’s top floor features a jewel: Studio Cafe, an informal restaurant serving soups, salads and open-faced toasts. An outdoor terrace has rooftop and High Line views: Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort Street (Washington Street), untitledatthewhitney.com.
This gastro pub features trendy, reasonably-priced American fare like asparagus with a five-minute egg, slow-roasted carrots with yogurt, and tuna poached in olive oil: 1004 Second Avenue (53rd Street), 646-726-4760, theupsidernyc.com.
This is a salute to Northern California from the chef Justin Smillie and the restaurateur Stephen Starr. It’s a generous space with leather banquettes, checked table runners, an open kitchen and a menu that features rustic food. There’s an Italian accent, a holdover from Mr. Smillie’s tour at Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria: 345 Park Avenue South (26th Street), 212-686-1006, uplandnyc.com.
VIA CAROTA (Zagat)
Jody Williams of Buvette and Rita Sodi of I Sodi have joined forces to open a rustic Italian restaurant nearby that’s bigger than their other ventures and has a generous bar. It’s named for a street in a Tuscan village: 51 Grove Street (Bleecker Street), 212-255-1962, viacarota.com.
Steakhouses are scarcer than white tablecloths in the West Village, which should make this textbook example a welcome addition. The interior is the usual wood and leather, but more rustic than polished. The menu covers seafood and meats in depth and includes requirements like spinach Caesar salad, crab cakes, creamed spinach and hash browns. A 30-seat garden will beckon in the spring: 302 Bleecker Street (Seventh Avenue South), 212-727-7463, villageprimenyc.com.
With pedigrees that include Per Se, Charlie Trotter and Locanda Verde, Christian Ramos, the chef, and Reed Adelson have opened this American spot. Check out the framed menus from world-famous restaurants: 647 East 11th Street (Avenue C), 212-658-0152,virginiasnyc.com.