Latin references are everywhere on the menu of the latest restaurant from Jean-Georges Vongerichten and his partners. But they have an inventive twist: mezcal-cured salmon, spring pea empanadas and fluke with green chiles. Ian Coogan is the chef de cuisine working with Dan Kluger, the executive chef. The look is more industrial gray concrete than tile-roof hacienda: 38 East 19th Street, (212) 677-2233.
For the chef Wylie Dufresne, this unassuming spot in the East Village is a complement to WD-50, his 10-year-old incubator of creativity on the Lower East Side. “I hope this will be the kind of place where people will pop in for a bite and a drink or maybe a meal,” Mr. Dufresne said. “It’s not meant to be a destination, like WD-50.” A wall is paved with white brick, the ceiling is slatted with used fence boards and tables are laminated with rubberized flooring. Jon Bignelli, at left, the former chef de cuisine at WD-50, is the executive chef. In collaboration with Mr. Dufresne and the sous-chef, Ryan Henderson, he will serve inventive twists on classics. The rye pasta includes pastrami, so with mustard sauce and pickles you have a homage to the pastrami on rye at the Second Avenue Deli, which used to be across the street. A Caesar nigiri puts romaine lettuce in the sushi, and for Martin’s potato chips, Mr. Bignelli runs Martin’s potato rolls through a pasta machine, then bakes them. Some dishes can be made vegetarian, and a few cocktails can be had without the spirits: 157 Second Avenue (East 10th Street), (212) 539-1900, aldernyc.com.
The name refers to a grandstand in the bullfighting ring. When Alvaro Reinoso joined the partnership that owned Gastroarte after the chef Jesús Núñez left, he kept the graffiti-style bullfight mural that covered one wall. He has brought in Manuel Berganza, who was the executive chef at Sergi Arola and at La Broche, both Michelin two-star restaurants in Madrid. The menu offers Spanish classics, often reinterpreted: fried calamari with black ink aioli; spicy patatas bravas, potatoes on a bed of olive powder; lobster tail served over pig’s trotters; and a shellfish paella featuring soccarat, the crispy rice that clings to the pan. There is also an oxtail hamburger: 141 West 69th Street, (646) 692-8762.
For a mere 17 diners — 12 at a counter and 5 at a table — Matthew Lightner, formerly the chef of Castagna in Portland, Ore., will prepare a 10-course, $150 tasting menu, a different one each evening. Though Portland is even farther from Scandinavia than New York is, some of the creations will echo the Nordic approach, especially in foraged ingredients like greens, wild mushrooms, lichens and wild onions. Reservations are accepted up to two months in advance for seats available from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. 77 Worth Street (Broadway); (212) 226-1444.
The grandiose space of Brasserie Pushkin has been toned down for this place by the chef Bryce Shuman and the manager Eamon Rockey. Brick, polished wood and glass define the setting. There’s a ground-floor bar with a private dining area beyond, and a dining room downstairs. The menu features seasonal American fare: 41 West 57th Street, (212) 465-2400, betony-nyc.com.
Greg Hunt, who owns this handsomely evocative restaurant, bar and lounge, said he hoped to channel Balthazar or Elaine’s on the Upper West Side. A 20-seat zinc bar with a raw bar station, velvet drapes, a tin ceiling, a glassed-in brasserie-style sidewalk dining area and photos of stars like Brigitte Bardot set the stage. The design, by Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman, includes a lower-level lounge. The fairly classic French menu — foie gras, frisée aux lardons, onion soup, beef Bourguignon, skate Grenobloise and roast chicken — is by Roxanne K. Spruance, whose credentials include WD-50 and Blue Hill. Dushan Zaric of Employees Only is in charge of cocktails: 240 Columbus Avenue (71st Street), (212) 209-1055.
An addition to the bistro scene has a bright white setting splashed with color and French food with American touches, like cheesecake. The partners are Stephan Jauslin of Tartinery and Maxime Paul-Mercier, formerly of Villa Pacri: 40 Kenmare Street (Elizabeth Street), (212) 966-2740, cantineparisienne.com.
Vanessa Repice, who owns Sel et Gras in the West Village, has hired Jodi Bernhard away from Casa Pomona on the Upper West Side, which is temporarily closed because of a water main break. Here, Ms. Bernhard cooks French fare with only a hint of Spain, as in baby leeks (calçots), with romesco sauce. (Opens Friday): 679 Greenwich Street (Christopher Street), (646) 558-5623, charlemagnenyc.com.
The underground space that was Romera, a short-lived laboratory of scientific gastronomy, is now a plush Japanese restaurant. “It’s gone from hospital to bordello,” said Jonathan Morr of this, his latest project. (He also owns Bond St., Republic and Stand.) Despite the photos of geishas on the walls, the silky, well-upholstered 135-seat room could transport you to Paris. The menu, by Andy Choi, who worked at Bouley, Le Cirque and Má Pêche, offers sushi and sashimi for purists, with fine sakes alongside. But he crosses borders with offerings like foie gras and short-rib gyoza dumplings: Dream Downtown, 355 West 16th Street, (212) 929-5800.
Giacomo Romano, a chef from Florence, Italy, and his girlfriend, Sam Leung, an architect, have opened this whitewashed brick-walled spot for Florentine specialties. Lunch includes a hearty ribollita soup and panini-style sandwiches; dinner offers homemade pastas, including pappardelle with boar ragù. Throughout the day there are delicate meatballs from Mr. Romano’s aunt’s recipe: 190 Avenue of the Americas (Prince Street), (646) 476-9498; ciccionyc.com.
Georges Forgeois, who has a string of bistros uptown and down, is departing from his French formula with this latest. It has Rebecca Weitzman, formerly of Thistle Hill Tavern, serving many of New York’s most popular dishes of the moment: bone marrow, braised short ribs, roasted beets, shaved brussels sprouts and seared scallops. All that’s missing is salmon: 225 Varick Street (Clarkson Street), (212) 675-2474, clarksonrestaurant.com.
When the Chicago chef Michael White unpacked his knives in New York, it was at Fiamma in SoHo. Now he has circled back to that location with this steak-centric Italian restaurant (the name means rib-eye in Italian). “When I was first here, I was 29, and it’s where I met Ahmass,” Mr. White said, referring to his partner in the Altamarea Group, Ahmass Fakahany. “Life is different now.” P. J. Calapa, the executive chef at Altamarea’s Ai Fiori, will transfer his duties here, as will some of that restaurant’s wine and beverage team. The menu focuses on beef that has been dry-aged at least 28 days. For starters there is seafood, including 11 crudos. A lobster cocktail is playfully seasoned “all’amatriciana” with guanciale; cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper) is dusted on a romaine salad instead of on pasta; and quail is prepared saltimbocca style. Pastas are made in house. Among the entrees are steaks basted with brushes made from rosemary branches. Dining rooms on the first two floors feature polished wood, marble, stone and artwork; there are private rooms on the third. All the tables are formally set because, as Mr. White put it, “I don’t want to let fine dining die.” (Opens Friday): 206 Spring Street (Sullivan Street), (212) 334-3320.
You can spend $96 on a 48-ounce porterhouse for two, or dine more modestly on Parmesan-crusted chicken in this wood-and-leather second-story space: 513 Seventh Avenue (38th Street), (212) 391-6900, desmondsnewyork.com.
Jo-Ann Makovitzky and her husband, the chef Marco Moreira,who own Tocqueville and 15 East, are opening this brasserie on two levels in the new Hyatt Union Square. The eye-catching centerpiece is a hanging sculpture of wooden bed frames called “Hypnagogia,” by Brinton Jaecks. There is a bar, cafe and an intimate elevated dining area, all with American food tweaked with ingredients like stinging nettles, sorrel yogurt and smoked salmon roe. One downstairs area has communal tables; another will become Botequim, a South American restaurant: 132 Fourth Avenue (East 13th Street), (212) 432-1324, thefourthny.com.
GRAPE & VINE
Frederick Lesort is best known for attracting boldface names to his clubby venues, but he’s changed his tune with this restaurant in Greenwich Village. It has seasonal American fare by Vincent Ricciardelli, a fireplace and a welcoming neighborhood feel. “When you’re hot and trendy the crowd moves on after six months,” Mr. Lesort said. “I want people to feel they can be comfortable here three or four times a week.” Jade Hotel, 52 West 13th Street (Avenue of the Americas), (212) 300-4525, thejadenyc.com.
The third restaurant for the Project Group is sleek and white, on two floors, with a menu for those with eclectic tastes and fairly deep pockets (entrees start at $31). Options include sweetbreads with snails, lobster grits and halibut en croûte with a mandarin orange broth: 47 West Eighth Street (Fifth Avenue), (212) 253-9333.
Vintage is the operative adjective here, with a swath of recycled black walnut from Bucks County, Pa., for the bar. There’s an American flag more than a century old, antique fixtures and even Civil War bullets embedded in the walls. The menu by Ariel Fox includes a Thanksgiving plate served on occasion, year-round: 32 East 21st Street, (212) 600-2105.
Hooni Kim, who does some snazzy interpretations of Korean food at Danji, now brings hearty Korean roadside tavern fare to New York, and will feature makgeolli, a rice beer that is trendy in Seoul. The food will be modern (salmon sashimi salad) and traditional (blood sausage stir-fry), with an emphasis on skewered foods. About 20 of the 50 seats will be available for reservations: 36 West 26th Street, (212) 206-7226.
The location, Irving Place, got its name from the writer Washington Irving, and the restaurant pays homage to Irving’s frightened schoolteacher, Ichabod Crane. The décor is rustic and the menu is straightforwardly American, with dishes like broiled oysters, carrot salad, trout with brown butter and roast chicken: 15 Irving Place (15th Street), (212) 777-5102, ichabodsnyc.com.
The inspiration here, for the restaurateur Jacques Doassans, is the Claude Berri film of the same name about Vietnam. The bistro, with Thibault de Lepinay in the kitchen, will mix French and Asian food, cocktails and décor. 235 West 12th Street, (646) 476-8731.
Cozy French bistros are popping up right and left, but this latest collaboration by Andrew Carmellini, Josh Pickard and Luke Ostrom is more on the order of a grand cafe, like Café de la Paix in Paris. And the message you get from the moment you walk into the brightly mirrored and tiled restaurant is “save room for dessert.” Up front, where one would expect a bar, is a retail bakery and pastry shop, stacked high with well-burnished breads and croissants by James Belisle and bright tartlets and macarons by Jen Yee. Turn a corner, past the open ovens and rotisserie, to reach the bar. The rest of the sprawling room is divided, by Roman and Williams’s clever use of pillars and toffee-colored leather banquettes, into a collection of seating areas. Mr. Carmellini, who first attracted attention doing French cooking at Café Boulud, has put Damon Wise in charge of a menu that takes its Gallic roots seriously but without pretension, in a spring salad of butter lettuce, Roquefort and ham; black fettuccine with seafood and chorizo; duck au poivre; and a bouillabaisse and rotisserie chicken for two. Drinks include a long list of French aperitifs like pastis and Dubonnet: 380 Lafayette Street (Great Jones Street), (212) 533-3000, andrewcarmellini.com.
Joe Campanale and Gabe Thompson, the team behind the West Village restaurants Dell’Anima, Anfora and L’Artusi, have added this more spacious place on a block of new buildings in the East Village that is becoming quite a restaurant hub. High ceilings, black accents and natural materials like pale brick, stone and wood adorn a generous bar area with high tables and a dining room with a wide-open kitchen. The menu has a substantial list of pastas, as well as a section of polentas served with different toppings on wooden boards. Some entrees, like roast pig, will be available family-style, for sharing: 13 East First Street (Bowery), (212) 533-7400.
LITTLE PRINCE (Eater)
The name of this 38-seat bistro has to do with the location, not the Saint-Exupéry tale. There’s tradition to spare on the menu by Paul Denamiel, who owns Le Rivage in the theater district. Along with onion soup and steak au poivre are chocolate chip cookies by Jacques Torres: 199 Prince Street (Sullivan Street), (212) 335-0566.
This triplex, seating about 180, is opulently decorated with mirrors, glittering chandeliers, plush seating and elaborate carved woodwork. It shares only its operatic name with Manon in Moscow. Both are owned by Maison Dellos, which briefly touched down on West 57th Street last year with Brasserie Pushkin. The menu is seasonal American; the chef, Tae Strain, said his roasted beets with goat cheese summed up his approach: “I’m looking for balance, and not trying to reinvent the wheel.” But expect invention in the cocktails by Aaron Polsky of Amor y Amargo. (May 1): 407 West 14th Street, (212) 596-7255, manon-nyc.com.
Hector Sanz began building his domain in Greenwich Village last fall with Barraca, a fairly straightforward tapas and paella place. Now he is adding a follow-up next door, with a creative take on Mediterranean food. He has given his chef, Jesús Nuñez, a freer hand than at Barraca. You thought you understood hummus, moussaka, lamb tagine and bouillabaisse? Mr. Nuñez does to them what Picasso did to Velázquez, making them very much his own. His spirit of invention, which was on display at Gastroarte, on the Upper West Side, shows in dishes like hummus made with beets. “Gastroarte was too difficult for New Yorkers, so what I am doing here is with things like burrata and hummus that they recognize,” he said. The room, seating 80, is done in warm, earthy tones. A lower level opens soon: 2 Bank Street (Greenwich Avenue), (212) 463-0090.
Tapas and a few more substantial offerings accompany cocktails with a Latino accent at this bright, sleek Washington Heights newcomer: 4055 Broadway (171st Street), (212) 928-8272.
MIRA SUSHI AND IZAKAYA
Andy Lee, who owned Silk Road Tavern, has turned it into this spot for sushi and for Japanese and Asian street food with a twist, like bulgogi tacos in crisp won-ton skins: 46 West 22nd Street, (212) 989-7889, mirasushi.com.
With a new partner, Tien Ho, in the kitchen, Gabriel Stulman has ventured into Chelsea. A French-American bistro is the idea, with classics that respect tradition or strike out on their own, like blanquette de veau made with veal breast instead of stew meat: 158 Eighth Avenue (17th Street), (646) 596-8838, montmartrenyc.com.
Parea Bistro has become a Greek steakhouse, with a new chef, Ioannis Benetos: 36 East 20th Street, (212) 777-8448, pareaprime.com.
Pearl & Ash
The chef Richard Kuo has had a world of influences. Born in Taiwan, he lived in Australia before landing in New York, where his first job was at the wildly pioneering WD-50. Most recently, he took on New Nordic cuisine at the short-lived Brooklyn pop-up Frej, with Fredrik Berselius. Now he’s been hired by Alessandro Zampedri to revamp Bowery Kitchen. The 60-seat room is done in light wood; there’s a 1,000-bottle wine cellar and low-alcohol cocktails by Eben Klemm: 220 Bowery (Prince Street), (212) 837-2370, pearlandash.com.
Jason Avery, formerly at Pera Mediterranean Brasserie, has opened his own place, serving a contemporary American menu that touches down across the globe. Results include Austrian goulash crostini, black-eyed pea hummus, lamb tacos and grilled wild salmon with seaweed noodles and Thai basil: 522 Hudson Street (10th Street), (212) 691-3252.
This branch of an established favorite in Sag Harbor on Long Island, owned by Tora Matsuoka and Jeffrey Resnick, has Bryan Emperor at the stove and Hiro Sawatari at the sushi bar. The emphasis is on inventive sushi, like yuzu trout and chile-spiced tuna, and large plates, including wagyu skirt steak, Japanese sea bass with puffed rice, lobster with garlic and miso butter, and even bulgogi. The room is done Japanese-style in natural materials: 12 West 21st Street, (212) 388-5736.
Fairly straightforward sushi, sashimi, rolls and a few entrees are fashioned by Henry Yang, who worked at Bond St., and Kenji Zensho, formerly of Sushi Samba. (Monday): 169 Eighth Avenue (19th Street), (212) 627-8887.
William Knapp, who was chef de cuisine at Craft, has taken over this venerable and intimate Carnegie Hill place and offers an American menu with European touches: 44 East 92nd Street (Madison Avenue), (212) 348-8125.
Michael Franey, the chef at this new tavern restaurant in a Manhattan brownstone, channels Spain in his refined pub fare, including deviled eggs with smoked paprika, and hanger steak with romesco sauce. The restaurant, decorated partly in a late-19th-century style, is owned by Croine O’Halloran, an owner of Stone Street Tavern in the financial district. She has curated a list of craft beers and Scotches. 47 East 29th Street; (212) 685-4422.
UNCLE BOONS (Eater)
Last week, Per Se veterans Matt Danzer and Ann Redding opened their new traditional Thai restaurant, Uncle Boons, on Spring Street in Nolita. Redding is originally from the Ubon province of Thailand, and many of the dishes here are inspired by the food she ate growing up. The menu includes a number of charcoal-grilled meat entrees, plus salads, curries, and fish dishes. Most of the large plates are in the low 20s. To drink, Uncle Boons offers beer and wine, plus Singha beer slushies. 7 Spring Street between Bowery & Elizabeth Street.
Hear poetry and rock music at this subterranean drinkery, which opened on May 3. The onetime home of legendary bohemian hangout Gaslight Café now features stone walls, wood beams and tufted brown-leather seating. Bottled beers run the gamut from PBR to Chimay. The cocktail list, created by Balthazar bartender Alex Clark, offers both classics, such as Manhattans and sidecars, and twists, like the Gaslight, made with chipotle-infused tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice and honey syrup. 116 MacDougal St between Bleecker and W 3rd Sts (212-254-9996)
The team behind the Contemporary Cocktails consulting group (which designed drinks for the Breslin, Forty Four at the Royalton and others) debuts its first independent project in this subterranean space beneath Jacques bistro. 20 Prince St between Elizabeth and Mott Sts (212-966-5073)
Bathtub Gin (Eater)
A “new basement speakeasy whose entrance is hidden inside a 9th Avenue coffee shop with a bathtub in the window.” 132 Ninth Avenue between 18th & 19th Streets.
Booker and Dax
The far-out experiments of the wizardly Dave Arnold, French Culinary Institute’s director of culinary technology, have long informed the work of boundary-pushing bartenders and chefs like Don Lee and Wylie Dufresne. Now, Arnold and David Chang give his boozy tinkerings a room of their own with this tech-forward cocktail joint. The spot, named after Arnold’s two sons, was born out of a partnership with Chang to launch a culinary equipment company under the same name, and will feature Momo-style snacks, like the signature pork buns, Cheeto-like ham puffs and (coming soon) french fries. 207 Second Ave at 13th St (entrance on 13th St) (212-254-3500)
The Chelsea Room
Candle-lit cocktail place beneath the Chelsea Hotel. 222 W 23rd St between Seventh and Eighth Aves (212-675-3600)
Reflecting current tastes, AvroKO Hospitality Group is turning a wine bar, the Monday Room, adjacent to Public, into a cocktail bar with snacks. (Wednesday): 210 Elizabeth Street (Spring Street), (212) 343-7011.
Libations by category (Collinses, juleps, spiked phosphates, cocktails and punches on tap) are the specialty at this new East Village lounge. Evelyn is the fantasy woman dreamed up by three of the partners. Bar food comes from restaurants in the neighborhood: 171 Avenue C (10th Street), (212) 254-7772.
Experimental Cocktail Club (NYT)
191 Chrystie Street (Rivington Street).
A sophisticated cocktail lounge, this has hundreds of Scotches, bourbons and other spirits, and some classic pub food served on little boards for sharing. There is a stage for entertainment, mostly jazz and other music; weekly whiskey tasting classes are planned for an upstairs room: 37 West 26th Street, (212) 725-3860.
Middle Branch (Grub Street)
Sasha Petraske’s new cocktail spot in Murray Hill. 154 East 33rd St., nr. Lexington Ave.
Cocktail bar from the Turks & Frogs team. 325 W 11th St between Greenwich and Washington Sts (212-691-8845)
Sweet Grapes Wine & Beer Bar
The owner of Flowers café opens a cozy neighborhood bar around the corner. Tin ceilings, French windows and an exposed-brick wall frame the room, and live jazz takes place on a small stage in the back. Guests can order beer, wine and simple snacks—cheese, hummus or charcuterie platters—at the oak bar; those seeking a more filling repast can get sandwiches and salads delivered from the sister café. 39 Essex St between Grand and Hester Sts (908-601-8110)
THE THIRD MAN
Just up Avenue C from Edi and the Wolf, their rustic wine bar, Eduard Frauneder and Wolfgang Ban, who also own Seäsonal, evoke the intrigue of Vienna with this more elegant lounge named for the classic film noir. Sink into green banquettes to drink cocktails, punches and warm libations with small plates of pork cracklings, chicken liver terrine and a signature pumpkin seed spread: 116 Avenue C (Eighth Street).
The Tippler (Grub Street; NYT)
Under the Chelsea Market, 3,000 square feet of brick-walled space with sturdy columns have been turned into a bar with a 40-foot marble counter. Paul Tanguay and Tad Carducci, bar consultants called the Tippling Brothers, are two of four partners: 425 West 15th Street (Ninth Avenue); (212) 206-0000.
Restaurants to Visit (not new)
I want to visit these restaurants
2nd Avenue Deli
These restaurants might be better than they seemed when I last reviewed them
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I felt like only scratched the surface
Are They That Good?
Do these restaurants deserve the high ratings I gave them?
My reviews of these restaurants are outdated due to changes (chef, makeover, etc.)
5 & Diamond