A playful take on Greek food, this restaurant, from James Paloumbis and the chef Dionisis Liakopoulos, also conveys an air of mystery. The windows are blacked out and you enter through the kitchen, which is actually a traditional Greek way of doing things, and you might even be treated to a taste of the food. Look for dishes with names like mousse-AKA, and wildly eclectic décor: 1633 Second Avenue (85th Street), 212-837-8285, 1633nyc.com.
This Grand Central Terminal restaurant with Nordic roots (the name means acorn in Danish) has the highest profile of the culinary entrepreneur Claus Meyer’s many projects in New York. Best known as a founder of the much-lauded Noma in Copenhagen, he already has bakery and cooking-school outposts in Brooklyn. Here, in what was a men’s room and barbershop, he has installed undulating wood panels and chevron-patterned tile designed by his wife, Christina Meyer Bengtsson. The chef, Gunnar Gislason, who owns Dill in Reykjavik, Iceland, seeks out local and seasonal ingredients like nettles, wild mushrooms, celeriac and rutabagas: 89 East 42nd Street, 646-568-4018, agernrestaurant.com.
For Jose Garces, opening a restaurant in Manhattan is something of a homecoming. The chef, whose parents came from Ecuador, spent his early years working in Spain and New York before relocating to Philadelphia with his mentor, Douglas Rodriguez. Mr. Garces’ spacious wood-toned restaurant, hung with blue weavings, has a patio in front and a separate cafe and wine bar called Amadita. “I want to take people on a tour of Andalusia,” he said, referring to the sunny, southern, citrus-scented province where he worked, “but also of Spain in general.” The open kitchen, led by Justin Bogle, chef de cuisine, turns out tapas, traditional and inventive; cheeses and charcuterie to be picked up with slender forks; various ingredients seared on the plancha; a couple of paellas; and suckling pigs to order ahead and for carving tableside. Michael Laiskonis consults on the sweets. The all-Spanish wine list is rich with sherries and that Spanish predilection, gin and tonics. 250 Vesey Street (West Street), 212-542-8947, amadarestaurant.com.
About 15 vegan items are served at Ravi DeRossi’s little spot, including assorted toasts with toppings and spreads, and roasted cauliflower with capers, raisins and pine nuts. The chef, Andrew D’Ambrosi, gets really creative with a potato cannelloni with pine nut ricotta and merguez eggplant. The counter at the open kitchen is a 23-foot stretch of petrified wood: 130 East Seventh Street (First Avenue), 646-922-7948, avantgardennyc.com.
With a light-filled, spacious design by David Rockwell, the Upper East Side edition of the Midtown Greek estiatorio seats more than 200. The room is anchored, toward the rear, by a lavish seafood and vegetable display with many of the ingredients for a Greek meal, and panels made of salt and cement cover one wall. There’s a raw bar up front and more dining areas on the lower level: 14 East 60th Street, 212-937-0100, avrany.com.
Whitewashed barn board walls, steel paneling and an elaborate overhead maze of raw crisscrossed beams give new personality to the space that was the restaurant SD26. “Can you believe it?” asked the chef and owner John Doherty, pointing out the dramatic ceiling. The design, by Mark Zeff, who is also a partner, includes tables for larger parties in roomy alcoves and a chef’s table stationed to one side of the bright open kitchen. The resolutely farm-to-table menu executed by the chef, Matteo Bergamini, who was at SD26, only hints at Italy with an array of charcuterie, a black fig pizza, and porchetta with broccoli rabe. Mushroom toast, lobster salad and grilled corn salad are on the savory side of the menu. Sweets include an apple pudding with buckwheat croutons. There’s a long list of sparkling wines and Champagnes, some served at the compact oyster bar near the entrance: 19 East 26th Street, 212-265-5959, blackbarnrestaurant.com.
Blu on Park
This destination for steaks and seafood occupies three floors of an Upper East Side brownstone. Warmly burnished tones accented with blue distinguish the décor in the ground-floor bar and lounge, the mezzanine and third-floor dining rooms. Russell Rosenberg, who specializes in American fare, and Shawn Lucic, whose expertise is in seafood, head the kitchen together: 116 East 60th Street, 212-256-1929, bluonpark.com.
Broken Spoke Rotisserie
The chef Ed Carew keeps his rotisserie loaded with chickens, heritage pork and other meat, which he calls the “beast of the week.” He also serves forcefully seasoned starters and sides, like crispy prawns with spicy peanut sauce and pickled coleslaw: 439 Third Avenue (30th Street), 212-889-6298.
The notion of interpreting Italian food using American ingredients as much as possible, first broadcast by Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone, has been picked up by others, including Hillary Sterling at Vic’s and at the new Pecora Bianca. Now the chefs Justin Slojkowski and Dave Gulino, formerly of Box Kite, are following suit at Bruno, baking Neapolitan-style pizzas in a wood oven and serving pastas and vegetable dishes. The owner, the restaurant designer Demian Repucci, has set up the narrow room with 56 seats at a long dining counter and tables opposite it. Tasting menus are on the horizon: 204 East 13th Street (Second Avenue), 212-598-3080, brunopizzanyc.com.
Fast-casual vegan is a far cry from the usual portfolio of ESquared Hospitality, with its signature BLT Steak restaurants. But this is a showcase for the chef Chloe Coscarelli, a determined vegan chef on television and in cookbooks. Her vegetable burgers share the menu with salads, noodles, grain dishes and even sweet cookies-and-cream nut milk ice cream made with kale: 185 Bleecker Street (Macdougal Street), 212-290-8000, bychefchloe.com.
Café Altro Paradiso
The airy, generously windowed, high-ceilinged space for the new restaurant from Ignacio Mattos and Thomas Carter is a far cry from Estela, their railroad flat overlooking East Houston Street. Though thoroughly Italian, with 1930s modern light fixtures copied from the main post office in Palermo, Sicily, it also suggests a welcoming Parisian brasserie, all in keeping with its Art Deco-era building. Like the setting, Mr. Mattos’s cooking respects tradition (“It’s the foundation for the classics,” he said) but allows him to go lighter at many junctures. One example he cited is his amatriciana, which uses lardo in place of guanciale and spaghetti alla chitarra instead of bucatini. Also on the menu are a fennel salad with olives and provolone, mushroom and onion fritto misto with lemon; and grilled swordfish with artichokes, raisins and almonds. Mr. Mattos covers Italy from north to south, including the liver-and-onion classic fegato alla Veneziana: 234 Spring Street (Avenue of the Americas), 646-952-0828, altroparadiso.com.
The dramatic new skylit hotel restaurant, done in bright splashes of blue, evokes the Mediterranean. The chef, Vincent Chirico, who owns Vai on the Upper West Side, offers cucumber tartare, fluke ceviche, octopus and grilled fish, with fruit- and herb-based cocktails by Allen Katz: Hotel on Rivington, 107 Rivington Street (Ludlow Street), 212-796-8040, cafemedinyc.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.
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.
Copper Kettle Kitchen
This farm-to-table haven for comfort food comes from the owners at Spigolo, a quintessential Upper East Side neighborhood restaurant, and the newer Gilroy, more bar than restaurant: 1471 Second Avenue (77th Street), 212-744-1100, copperkettlekitchen.com.
The new owners, including Linden Pride, formerly of AvroKO, have spruced up the 100-year-old cafe with green leather banquettes, but the space retains a vintage Italian Greenwich Village look with its pressed tin ceiling. The menu is now mostly small plates: beef tartare, burrata, flatbread and cold pasta salad. Italian aperitifs dominate the cocktail list: 79-81 Macdougal Street (Bleecker Street), 212-982-5275, dante-nyc.com.
David Malbequi, who worked at Daniel, has settled in the East Village with this homey, whitewashed spot graced with vintage details. The menu combines country French and American, both rustic fare (smoked chicken wings) and refinements (smooth mushroom “cappuccino,” slow-baked salmon): 110 St. Marks Place (First Avenue), 646-678-3206, davidscafenyc.com.
The chef Dominick Pepe brings French country cooking to the West Village, serving steak tartare, seared scallops, duck confit, fillet of beef and crème brûlée: 14 Christopher Street (Gay Street), 646-756-4145, dominiquebistro.nyc.
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.
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.
This is the first restaurant for Alex Kingman, a 27-year-old business school graduate whose family owns the building. The slightly triangular room, which used to house Commerce, is plainer now, with dark tables, slanted mirrors and many fewer Art Deco touches. Original tiles remain. The chef, Luis Jaramillo, is a native of Ecuador; his menu is American but occasionally shows a South American inflection: 50 Commerce Street (Barrow Street), 212-524-4104.
Expect modern Austrian fare, which the chef, Eduard Frauneder, has made his specialty. His new bistro serves a fully loaded onion tart with mountain cheese and gravy, Wiener schnitzel, dark rye spaetzle with Cheddar and cauliflower, grilled skirt steak with celeriac mille-feuille, and rutabaga with Jonah crab, lentils and mushrooms. Like his East Village places, the Third Man and Edi & the Wolf, the restaurant evokes Freud’s Vienna with Thonet chairs, marble-topped tables, vintage wallpaper and Art Deco sconces. (Wednesday): 506 La Guardia Place (Bleecker Street), 212-777-0327, freudnyc.com.
New Orleans is the inspiration for Andre Neyrey, the chief executive of Blackwood Hospitality and a native of that city’s Gentilly neighborhood. The restaurant will feature classics like grilled oysters, crawfish and corn beignets and trout amandine along with contemporary blackened foie gras. The drinks list includes five Sazerac cocktails: 64 Carmine Street (Bedford Street), 646-912-9655, gentillynyc.com.
NY Several New York restaurants are trying to evoke the feeling of dining in someone’s home. That’s the idea behind the look of Aldo Sohm Wine Bar, the service at L’Appart in Le District, the new Graffiti Earth (see below) and now the chef Günter Seeger’s first restaurant in the city. “This is supposed to represent an elegant home,” Mr. Seeger said. “When you walk in, there’s a bar cart but no real bar, and you get a drink as you walk in.” The rest of the space, once a shop, is completely open, with an enormous kitchen to serve a mere 42 seats in a subdued setting. The chef, who built his reputation in Atlanta and closed his restaurant there in 2007, will serve a tasting menu that changes daily and emphasizes vegetables. He said he would also draw on his German heritage for inspiration: 641 Hudson Street (Gansevoort Street), gunterseegerny.com.
If you happened to be around in the 1980s, you may remember Peter Grünauer, the Austrian restaurateur who won acclaim at his Vienna 79 and later at his Fledermaus cafes. Now he is back, in the luxuriously wood-paneled room that Upper East Siders knew as Primavera. Hailing from a family that has operated restaurants in Vienna for 70 years, he knows his way around Wiener schnitzels and Sacher tortes. His chef, Thomas Slivovsky, was at the Paulaner restaurant on the Bowery and at Kurt Gutenbrunner’s Blaue Gans in TriBeCa, and before that at Drei Husaren in Vienna. “We opened Vienna 79 when nouvelle cuisine was in fashion, so we went with a modernized, lighter version of Viennese cooking,” Mr. Grünauer said. It’s pretty much what you will find here. But unlike 30 years ago, there will ample Austrian wines to sample. (Opens Thursday): 1578 First Avenue (East 82nd Street), 212-988-1077, grunauernyc.com.
High Street on Hudson
The chef Eli Kulp and his partner, Ellen Yin, have created a version of one of their popular Philadelphia restaurants, High Street on Market, for New York. The outlines are the same: breakfast, lunch and dinner in a low-key, no-frills West Village setting with a retail nook for breads, pastries, sandwiches and other takeout. There are rye breads from an in-house bakery run by Alex Bois, as well as a malted sausage sandwich. Mr. Kulp, who was paralyzed in the Amtrak derailment last spring, has strong ideas about how his restaurant will function. “In the evening, breakfast, lunch and the retail area will go away completely, and there will be a different menu,” he said. And even though the restaurant has a liquor license, there is no bar. “There’s an area where the staff mixes drinks,” he said. “It works for us not having a full bar setup.” The room has big windows and is fitted mostly with bare tables and some counter seating at the open kitchen: 637 Hudson Street (Horatio Street), 917-388-3944,highstreetonhudson.com.
Jue Lan Club
Upstairs and down, indoors and out, this elaborate collection of dining areas is the showcase for the high-end modern Chinese food from Oscar Toro, who was at Buddakan. “Some of my food, like the crystal shrimp dumplings and hot and numbing crispy beef, are traditional, but I’ve interpreted other dishes,” he said. So his bao buns are filled with “sloppy” oxtail, and he’s come up with a bone marrow and prawn dumpling, and filet mignon with green Sichuan peppers, black bean aioli and taro fries. There is a raw bar, which will be expanded in the garden in the spring. Stratis Morfogen, the managing partner, has created one dining area as a homage to Limelight, the church building and former nightclub that houses the restaurant: 49 West 20th Street, 646-524-7409, juelanclub.com.
The roots of this restaurant were planted in London, where the chefs, Jess Shadbolt and Clare de Boer, first met, and connected with Annie Shi, who will manage the restaurant. The inspiration is the Mediterranean, notably Italian and French food, with dishes like soupe au pistou, a fish stew with saffron aioli, and malfatti dumplings with sage butter. Family-style Sunday lunches will start in the fall: 18 King Street (Avenue of the Americas), 917-825-1618, kingrestaurant.nyc.
Three spaces — a dining room with a long bar, a loungelike area and a back room, all softly done in neutral tones — serve the same menu that the chef Roxanne Spruance delivers from her semi-open kitchen. She worked at Blue Hill, WD-50 and Alison Eighteen. Gallic touches show through in roasted bone marrow with shallots and tarragon, monkfish with melted leeks and a chicken thigh napoleon. Her take on the seductive Japanese custard, chawanmushi, involves escargots: 190 Avenue B (12th Street), 212-674-4500, kingsleynyc.com.
Ravi DeRossi opens this vegetable tapas bar serving quinoa croquetas, a gazpacho trio and inventive “charcuterie” like beet chorizo, mushroom pâté and smoked carrots. The chef is Daphne Cheng, who oversees the menu at his Mother of Pearl. The restaurant will donate 10 percent of the proceeds to Mr. DeRossi’s Beast Foundation to prevent cruelty to animals: 127 Macdougal Street (West Third Street), 212-475-2246, ladybirdny.com.
This serene replacement for Oscar’s Brasserie in the Waldorf Astoria delivers Chinese haute cuisine with occasional French touches and formal service. Uncommon specialties represent several regions of China: mackerel with smoked soy dressing, sea whelk consommé, barbecued Berkshire pork neck with a glaze of the Waldorf’s rooftop honey, and litchi-smoked crispy chicken. Of course, there will be Peking duck. The restaurant, in the hands of the Waldorf’s culinary director, David Garcelon, and the executive chef Kong Khai Meng, also offers raw bar selections including lobster, Tasmanian sea trout and oysters, with assorted dressings and condiments. The main dining room, done in black and ivory with plenty of gilding on cherry-blossom wallpaper and a mural of horses, is centered on a dramatic chandelier. There is also a lounge, a private dining room and serious wine, sake and cocktail service: 540 Lexington Avenue (50th Street), 212-872-4913, lachinenyc.com
This well-upholstered 28-seat enclave within Le District, the sprawl of markets and restaurants in Battery Park City, is designed to suggest an informal dinner party — hence the name, a shortening of the French for apartment. When guests enter, the headwaiter, George Thomas, whom you may recognize from his many years at Bouley, offers an aperitif or a glass of Champagne. “It’s like what happens when you go to someone’s home,” he said. The room is fitted with an open kitchen where the chef, Nicolas Abello — who worked with Gérard Vié in France, Pierre Gagnaire in London and Daniel Boulud in New York — prepares a six-course French-accented tasting menu. (He has access to the more than 2,500 ingredients that Le District carries.) Jordi Vallès, Le District’s culinary director, oversees the restaurant. There are options for expanding the number of courses and matching them with wines: Brookfield Place, 225 Liberty Street (West Street), 212-981-8577, lappartnyc.com.
La Pecora Bianca
The locavore movement drives more American restaurants than Italian ones. But at his new place, Mark Barak wants to affirm a connection with local growers and minimize imports. He has even insisted that the chef Simone Bonelli, who worked with Massimo Bottura in Modena, Italy, use New York and Pennsylvania grains to make his whole wheat chitarra, red fife tagliatelle and emmer maccheroni. Turning his back on Illy and Lavazza coffee, he is having Toby’s Estate do an Italian roast in Brooklyn for the menu. The restaurant goes from morning to late night. A long Italian-style coffee bar that starts with breakfast and becomes a wine bar by late afternoon commands one side of the airy room, with tables and an open kitchen opposite it. Aperol spritzes are dispensed on tap, as is a private-label rosé from Italy, not New York. Mr. Barak said that having Eataly close by and sharing the building with the new Rizzoli bookstore has reinforced his sense that the neighborhood is acquiring an Italian accent. The restaurant’s name means “white sheep”: 1133 Broadway (26th Street), 212-498-9696, lapecorabianca.com.
White brick, glass, impressive chandeliers and a sleek, wide-open state-of-the-art kitchen provide the stage for the American debut of Daniel Rose. The Chicago native built his reputation in Paris at his restaurants, Spring and La Bourse et La Vie. In partnership with the prolific restaurateur Stephen Starr, he is taking on New York, where French cooking is enjoying a renaissance. French dishes include pigs’ feet with caviar, pike quenelles, fish stew bourride and poached chicken for two to four. But the other day, Mr. Rose was sampling cheeses from Vermont and California. “I’m trying to find American-made products that remind me of France,” he said. His pastry chef, Daniel Skurnick, is working on an updated version of riz au lait impératrice, the classic glazed rice dessert rarely seen these days: 138 Lafayette Street (Howard Street), 212-271-4252, lecoucou.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.
Seasonal fare, including chicken-fried quail, string bean tempura and lamb meatballs, top the bill at this comfortable far West Midtown newcomer: 508 West 42nd Street, 212-868-2999, thelindeman.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.
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.
An intimate vegetarian restaurant from the chef John Fraser, in partnership with the former Condé Nast editorial director James Truman, will depend on the nearby Union Square Greenmarket as much as possible. The name comes from an 1893 Supreme Court decision, Nix v. Hedden, which had to do with customs duties but resulted in the court’s declaring that the tomato was a vegetable, though botanically it’s a fruit: 72 University Place (11th Street), 212-498-9393, nixny.com.
Brian Kim and Tae Kyung Ku, natives of Seoul, South Korea, who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and worked at Bouley and Gramercy Tavern, take a creative approach to Korean cooking in their intimate spot. They serve delicate rice flour crepes with the components of bibimbap for guests to assemble at their table; use sous-vide egg yolks and soy sauce to season beef tartare; and toss preserved ramps with buckwheat noodles: 119 First Avenue (Seventh Street), 646-767-9050, oijinyc.com.
When Tim and Nancy Cushman opened O Ya in Boston in 2007, it was a different take on Japanese food for that city, with big-ticket omakase tastings based on Mr. Cushman’s personal approach. Now, they have brought an edition of their restaurant to New York. The gracious room, with a long counter and tables, combines rough brick, satiny wood and well-calibrated lighting. Mr. Cushman, who worked in Japan, offers two tasting menus, at $185 and $245. Both menus start with sushi, segue to some inventive sashimi, a mushroom dish, then wagyu and lastly foie gras. There are also East-meets-West desserts like custard with yuzu sherbet, matcha and fruit: 120 East 28th Street, 212-204-0200, oyarestaurantnyc.com.
In the five years since he closed Tabla, the chef Floyd Cardoz has cooked at North End Grill and opened Bombay Canteen in Mumbai, India. Now he is back in New York with a restaurant he describes as “more Indian than Tabla.” Its focus is the food of Goa on India’s west coast, where he grew up, which is notable for its Portuguese influence. Take the name: Pao are Portuguese buns, usually made with cheese. Here they look like elongated Parker House rolls and can be ordered with fillings, in the street-food style called wada pao. Much of the menu adapts local seasonal ingredients to Indian dishes, like fried squash blossom pakoras. Pork dishes include ribs vindaloo and a sausage and bacon biryani that suggests fried rice. There’s a bread bar in the middle of the simply decorated room, which Mr. Cardoz said is meant to suggest his grandmother’s house. “It had a yellow front, just like we have here,” he said: 195 Spring Street (Sullivan Street), 212-235-1098, paowalla.com.
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.
For Upper West Siders bemoaning the recent closing of Ouest and the area’s general scarcity of ambitious restaurants, this opening is well timed. It’s the latest entry from the Bromberg brothers, who own eight Blue Ribbon establishments around the city, and has the earmarks of the quintessential neighborhood restaurant. But its fried chicken, served only on Sunday and Monday evenings, may make it a destination. The large menu includes cheese plates, pâtés (and chopped liver), raw-bar items, latkes, rotisserie meats and a burger, but none of the sushi served at some other Blue Ribbons. “We’re going back to our roots: French, but also what we grew up with, like prime ribs at Grandma’s house,” said Eric Bromberg, who owns the restaurant with his brother, Bruce. You enter a spacious dark-wood bar area, with tables; a couple of steps lead down to the big windowed dining room. There’s an open kitchen where the chef, Martin Brock, works behind glass: 20 West 72nd Street, 212-787-5656,theribbonnyc.com.
April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman, who started the Salvation brand with tacos, now welcome burgers and hot dogs into the tent. “I love burgers and I take pride in cooking them, but I always wanted to grind my own meat and make all the other stuff,” Ms. Bloomfield said as she layered two flattened patties with house-made “processed” cheese that is based mostly on English Cheddar. There’s also a steak burger seared over wood, a vegetable burger that oozes beet juice and a homemade hot dog. The beef, raised upstate, is butchered in house. The restaurant is spacious and handsome, with an open kitchen, curtained booths, waiter service and a collection of bovine tchotchkes. Milkshakes, spiked or not, and creamy pies ramp up the calorie count: 230 East 51st Street, 646-277-2900, salvationburger.com.
Eduard Frauneder has been busy this year, first opening his Greenwich Village brasserie, Freud, and now this downtown restaurant named for the pre-euro currency of his native Austria. More bistro than brasserie, Schilling, in a tenement building dating from 1871, uses reclaimed lumber and touches of white, gold and sage; it has a communal table and seating in a garden. Mr. Frauneder’s menu is mostly Mediterranean, with a few Austrian inevitables like Wiener schnitzel and strudel: 109 Washington Street (Rector Street), 212-406-1200, schillingnyc.com.
Michael Chernow, a founder of the many-tentacled Meatball Shop, now has a place to call his own, and the focus is on fish. “There’s a lot of good seafood swimming locally, and I wanted to take advantage of it in a basic way,” he said. The subtext? No salmon or red snapper. A blackboard in the airy white storefront lists local fish like hake, porgy, flounder and sea robin. A wooden spoon hanging alongside the name indicates that it’s on the menu that day, ready to be seared and served in a bowl over greens and quinoa with a sauce. Fish tacos, a few sandwiches (including one beef burger) and dishes like curried mussels are also produced in the open kitchen. The wine list is sourced from coastal areas:390 Broome Street (Mulberry Street), 212-730-6005, seamores.com.
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
John McDonald has added this hotel restaurant with coastal Italian fare to his SoHo holdings, which include Lure Fishbar and B&B Winepub. The chef, Jordan Frosolone, formerly at Hearth and Momofuku, will serve dishes like sausage meatballs dressed with honey; grilled swordfish with artichokes; and fennel tortelli with pine nuts and fried sardines. Mr. McDonald has also opened the Gordon Bar on the second floor: Sixty SoHo Hotel, 60 Thompson Street (Spring Street), 212-219-8119, sessantanyc.com.
After 33 years on Second Avenue, Giuseppe Bruno has taken his popular Italian restaurant from a storefront to an elegant townhouse. A long bar area done with Venetian silk fabrics and lights leads to a dining room with original architectural details intact. Beyond is an airy greenhouse dining room with plush denim-blue velvet banquettes. Throughout, the walls are done in glowing Venetian plaster. For the first time, instead of offering the same menu for lunch and dinner, Mr. Bruno has created a new lunch menu that’s long on salads: 24 East 81st Street, 212-861-7660, sistinany.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.
After the Indian chef Suvir Saran left the elegant Union Square restaurant Devi in 2012, he moved to San Francisco to open American Masala, inspired by the cross-cultural recipes in his book of the same name. But the sprawling 400-seat restaurant never opened. “It was a lucky thing,” Mr. Saran said. “It was difficult to fill all those seats. San Francisco is dead after 9 p.m.” So he is back in New York, in partnership with Roni Mazumdar, an entrepreneur in art and entertainment who owns MasalaWala restaurants with his father. Joel Corona, a former private chef in California, and Aarti Mehta are chefs de cuisine. The white brick restaurant, with a swath of white quartz bar and polished woodwork, is hung with pieces by Indian artists. Mr. Saran’s food is a mix of Mexican, North African, French and Italian, all liberally exploiting the Indian spice cabinet. “When you think about it, Mexico and India both have a lot of cumin in common,” Mr. Saran said. Some ingredients, including pork and eggs, come from his upstate farm: 60 Greenwich Avenue (Perry Street), 212-373-8900, tapestryrestaurant.com.
Yakitori, or chicken grilled on skewers, has yet to attract the kind of following that other types of Japanese cooking, like ramen and sushi, have acquired in New York. But at this handsome new restaurant, it is given top billing and an elegance rarely associated with what in Japan is usually a quick meal of grilled chicken bits. “Yakitori is changing in Japan,” said Yuko Hagiwara, the manager of the restaurant, which is owned by a Japanese company. “It’s becoming more high-end because chicken is very expensive.” Here, several yakitori dishes, made with chicken from Bo Bo Poultry in Brooklyn, include chicken breast with beets and chicken tenders with mushrooms. They are part of a $150 10-course kaiseki menu served at a U-shaped stone counter facing the open kitchen and at tables around the room. The chef is Nobutaka Watanabe, working alongside Yuichiro Yoshimura, a yakitori expert. The room is designed to suggest the ryokan, a type of traditional country inn, that the parent company owns in northern Japan. Layers of wavy maple meant to resemble the sea cover one wall: 246 Fifth Avenue (entrance on 28th Street), 917-388-3596,teisui.nyc.
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.
First came a cafe that becomes a wine bar in the evening. Stage 2 of this sprawling complex in part of the original Barnes & Noble bookstore is a restaurant. A very long bar opposite high-top tables leads to a dining room that is a study in recycling, decorated in reclaimed wood, with chairs strapped in rubber from discarded tires. There’s a raw bar and a charcuterie station. The chef, Yvan Lemoine, focuses on seasonal American fare. At his side, and supplying the cafe with baked goods, is Thiago Silva. His bakery will be in a food market, opening later, with pizza, burgers, salads, poké and Peruvian rotisserie chicken: 6 East 18th Street, 212-633-6003, unionfare.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.
Proof that the Upper East Side is not prepared to abandon elegance in favor of salvaged barn siding comes with this palatial new restaurant from Michael White and Ahmass Fakahany, partners in the Altamarea Group. With well-mannered neutral-toned surroundings and white tablecloths, they have turned to France for inspiration instead of their usual Italy. Mr. Fakahany pointed out that several French restaurants, including Voisin and Le Périgord Park, have anchored the space, and Mr. White has cooked in France with Roger Vergé and Jacques Chibois. “I can now use lavender, thyme and bay, ingredients that I don’t get to use often,” Mr. White said. Though the name refers to a region of Provence, the food is not Provençal. The menu is broad brasserie-style, offering sections devoted to chilled seafood, vegetables, starters, fresh pastas, main courses and a list of daily specials like blanquette de veau (Tuesdays). The executive chef is Jared Gadbaw. The bar area on the mezzanine has been widened, and a stunning vaulted ceiling has been uncovered; the light fixtures suggest Art Deco. The dining room on the upper level is somewhat less formal-looking than the main room and is accented with cushy dark-sea-green leather chairs: 100 East 63rd Street, vauclusenyc.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.
This new restaurant and bar strikes several of the right notes. It’s on the Greenwich Village block that’s fast becoming the newest restaurant row, and joins a growing list of places whose food looks to the South. It has a spirits, craft beer and cocktail focus. The owner, George Garrity, knew Old World whiskeys well, but then became acquainted with the bourbons and Tennessee styles in America. This is his first restaurant, created with Blackwood Hospitality, a restaurant consultant and developer: 35 West Eighth Street, 646-726-4476, whiskeysocialnyc.com.
The Contra team (Jeremiah Stone, Fabian von Hauske and Thomas Martin) has collaborated on this spot, a few doors from the mother ship, for à la carte dining and drinking, not just tasting menus. The brief food lineup goes from small plates like radishes with seaweed butter and beef tartare, to more substantial fare, including a $75 steak for two. Biodynamic wines are poured: 142 Orchard Street (Rivington), 646-964-5624.