Last year was seemingly the summer of Tiki bars, with at least 14,000 new places full of tropical decor and fruity cocktails -- but absolutely none of them had banh mi hot dogs, a pinball machine, and drinks for just $10. Super Power, located on Nostrand Ave in Crown Heights, is the brainchild of the team behind Gowanus Yacht Club and Bearded Lady. And yes, there is a full menu of drinks that are sadly, though accurately, considered “cheap” at just 10 bucks, not to mention over 100 types of rum, a neon palm tree and volcano on the wall, and lots of fun glassware. If you’re looking to spend a little more, order the rum punch-esque John the Beachcomber (three types of rum, allspice dram, grenadine, pineapple, and lime juice) in its “super size” format, which comes with multiple straws for $20.
If you know anything about Chicago, you know about the city’s deep, eternal love for Italian beef. Unfortunately for New Yorkers, the beautifully delicious mess that is thinly sliced, slow-roasted beef soaked in au jus and topped with peppers inside French bread has yet to be fully integrated into our dining vernacular, but one Chicago native is trying to change that. Hank’s Juicy Beef, previously a pop-up vendor at different markets and festivals, has set up a brick-and-mortar shop in TriBeCa, with real-deal Italian beef (or as real-deal as you can currently get in New York) based on the owner’s old-school Chicago family recipe. There are several variations here, but be sure to get the original sandwich hot or mild (with options to make it “sweet” or “cheesy”).
In what’s probably the most exciting non-Pokémon related news this month, you no longer need to trek to Staten Island for some of New York’s best pizza (though that ferry ride is still highly recommended). SI’s beloved pizzeria Denino’s has opened in the West Village, with the same thin-crust pies it’s done for nearly 80 years, and so far, it stands up to the original. Opt for the famous Garbage Pie topped heavily with sausage, meatballs, pepperoni, mushrooms, and onions. Then once you’ve convinced your friends that the best pizza comes from Staten Island, do a proper SI pizza crawl.
Ravi DeRossi and Daniel Kessler’s small-plates favorite Bergen Hill closed its Carroll Gardens doors this past April, but has now found a new home in the far less Bergen Hill-y Cooper Square. The menu is still seafood-heavy, but also builds upon what it was doing across the river. There will be crudos aplenty, but also lots of vegetarian and vegan dishes -- a nod to DeRossi’s very veg-forward outlook of late. There’s also a excellent wine list curated by the sommelier team from Charlie Bird and Pasquale Jones, as well as an impressive cocktail program by Sother Teague of Amor y Amargo.
In the last couple years, Threes has made a name for itself as one of the best breweries in New York state, but it’s also known for its beer garden, events, and restaurant pop-ups -- which have featured everyone from Roberta’s to DBGB. Now the brewery is ditching the pop-up model in favor of a full-time partnership with Williamsburg whole butcher shop The Meat Hook. Meat Hook is known for its local, grass-fed meat, as well as its beloved off-shoot sandwich shop, which closed just before the partnership at Threes began. At the brewery, you can expect burgers, sandwiches, sausages, charcuterie, and some veggie options -- all of which should absolutely be paired with an IPA.
It’s becoming almost difficult to keep up with how many new food halls and markets are opening in the city, but that doesn’t mean this new outdoor spot on Bowery should get overlooked. Located in the space of a former auto body shop, the 1000sqft Bowery Market is home to vendors like Italian sandwich favorite Alidoro, healthy eatery The Butcher’s Daughter, a new omakase stand called Sushi on Jones, and Greenpoint’s Champion Coffee, among others. Each stall has been designed specifically to represent the vendor (naturally, The Butcher’s Daughter is outfitted with a surfboard and lots of greenery), and you can expect the same menu options from the vendor’s other locations (though this time you’ll probably want to take everything to go -- seats are scarce).
Houston born-and-bred Pondicheri is known for its affordable Indian street food, like dosas, curries, and roti -- plus freshly baked goods from its Bake Lab. In its new NYC home in NoMad (its first outside Houston), it’s doing lots of old favorites (currently just breakfast, lunch, and snacks), plus some new items specifically for New York, like avial, a South Indian coconut & ginger stew with cauliflower, squash, turnips, carrots, and eggplant, and patra fish, a fish fillet marinated in coconut, with mint and cilantro masala, steamed in banana leaves. Nearly everything on the menu is priced at or under $15, with a more formal dinner service to come later this summer. The Bake Lab up front will be open all day long, offering fresh-made pastries and drinks.
Acclaimed chef Gray Kunz (of the now-closed Lespinasse) has made his way back to New York -- well, to Saratoga more specifically. But the trip there is well worth it for this modern steakhouse, which marks Kunz’s return to the states after more than seven years abroad. On the menu, you can expect several cuts of local meat, including rib-eye and pork chop, as well as wagyu and dry-aged tomahawk, and fresh seafood dishes.
Ravi DeRossi's veg obsession continues at Ladybird, a vegetable tapas bar located in his old Bourgeois Pig space on Macdougal. The new concept is a collaborative effort with chef Daphne Cheng, who's also behind the vegan-centric menu at Mother of Pearl. The space has gotten an upgraded look, complete with chandeliers, emerald curtains and chairs, and lots of white marble (specifically on the bar, tables, and floor). On the no-meat menu, you can expect light dishes like vegetable charcuterie; saganaki with flaming mozzarella, smoked carrot, and gremolata; and quinoa croqueta with Szechuan salsa, crème fraîche, and micro wasabi. Behind the beverage menu is Ariel Arce, from DeRossi's downstairs Champagne bar, Riddling Widow. The drinks will be low-ABV and centered around ingredients from the kitchen, like the Red Rail, with fresh beet juice, port, amaro, and lime. Not only is it a healthy option, but eating and drinking here is also a charitable effort -- some proceeds from the restaurant will benefit DeRossi’s BEAST foundation, dedicated to stopping animal cruelty.
It’s all about grains at this new Park Slope restaurant from chef Jake Novick-Finder (previously of Union Square Café, Gramercy Tavern, and Ribelle in Brookline, MA), which sources nearly every ingredient on the menu from local New York farms. You can expect carb-heavy (but fresh) dishes like curds & whey, with house-made garganelle and fresh whey in porcini broth; garlic knots made with two types of flour; and several types of pizza, including pepperoni with honey. There’s also a substantial “sweet” selection, including homemade pies and ice cream.
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1. Super Power722 Nostrand Ave, New York
2. Hank's Juicy Beef84 Chambers St, New York
3. Denino's93 Macdougal St, New York
4. Bergen Hill64 Cooper Sq, New York
5. The Meat Hook at Threes Brewing333 Douglass St, Brooklyn
6. The Bowery Market348 Bowery, New York
7. Pondicheri15 W 27th St, New York
8. Salt & Char353 Broadway, Saratoga Springs
9. Ladybird127 Macdougal St, New York
10. Gristmill289 5th Ave, Brooklyn
This laid-back Crown Heights tiki bar is stocked with more than 100 kinds of rum and serves up unpretentious craft cocktails at approachable prices, like John the Beachcomber (made with three kinds of rum and pineapple and lime juices) and the vodka-based Beach Vibes. Most drinks are served in tiki cups adorned with mini umbrellas, and the space features requisite tropical touches like palm trees on the wall.
Illinois-bred Henry "Hank" Tibensky is serving Chicago-style Italian beef at his Tribeca sandwich shop. Formerly a pop-up, Hank's is known for its slow-roasted, paper-thin speciality that's based off Tibensky's own family recipe. All sandwiches are served on a plump roll, and though there a few ways to elevate your order (for example, you can make it cheesy with a slice of Provolone), the move is to get the original sandwich layered with hot giardiniera.
Welp, it's time to face the facts: some of the best New York pizza is in...Staten Island. Luckily, if you're a Manhattanite, you don't have to take the ferry over to that oft-forgotten borough because Denino's, the legendary SI pizzeria, has an outpost in the West Village. You go to Denino's for its thin-crust pizza, specifically the Garbage Pie, a meat-lovers masterpiece topped with sausage, meatballs, pepperoni, mushrooms, and onions. The Macdougal Street location has all the workings of a bustling family pizzeria, including a bar in the back and a few sidewalk tables.
If Bergen Hill reminds you of Brooklyn, that's because it's from Brooklyn. Ravi DeRossi and Daniel Kessler shut down their Carroll Gardens restaurant in April 2016 and moved it to the East Village, where DeRossi (Death & Company, Mother of Pearl, Avant Garden) had already established himself as a food and drink aficionado. Bergen Hill 2.0 retains much of the same character as the original -- the menu is still heavy on seafood and small plates, and it also has plenty of vegan and vegetarian options. The space is cozy and modern with banquette seating, tiled tabletops, and a wooden bar.
Williamsburg-based butcher shop The Meat Hook is heading up the kitchen at Threes Brewing in Gowanus. The butcher, which sources its meat from small family farms in New York state, is cooking up juicy grass-fed burgers, sausages, charcuterie, sandwiches, and more -- all of which should be paired with one of the brewery's IPAs. The space is open and airy and boasts an excellent outdoor seating situation.
On the border of the East Village and Noho, The Bowery Market is a mini food hall/outdoor market occupying the lot of a former auto body shop. The 1,000sqft space is home to five vendors: Italian sandwich specialist Alidoro, veggie-focused cafe The Butcher's Daughter, Sushi on Jones, Greenpoint-based Champion Coffee, and Pulqueria taqueria. Each vendor has its own kiosk, and seating is limited.
After establishing itself in Houston, Indian street food cafe Pondicheri set up shop in NYC's Nomad -- its first location outside of Texas. The all-day restaurant serves a range of savory Indian food plus pastries from its Bake Lab. The menu includes original hits like a breakfast roti wrap with masala eggs and cilantro chutney, lamb curry with turmeric rice, and snacks like samosas and garam masala wings. The space is casual with day-time counter service and industrial decor hints like warehouse ceilings, tiled floors, and wooden tables.
After helming five-star hotel restaurants in Hong Kong, former Lespinasse chef Gray Kunz came back to the States and opened Salt & Char, a modern steakhouse in Saratoga Springs. Next to the historic Adelphi Hotel, the restaurant is a celebration of all things local, and most ingredients are sourced from organic farms across New York. The menu is a wonderful display of meat, featuring rib-eye, porkchop, chateaubriand, and more cuts for one or two.
Ravi DeRossi truly is a force that can't be reckoned with. After entering the world of plant-based cuisine with Avant Garden, he opened Ladybird, a vegan-ish tapas bar in the West Village. Located in the restaurateur's old Bourgeois Pig space, Ladybird serves a creative menu of meat-free plates. Expect dishes like vegetable charcuterie (no, it's not crudité), saffron risotto, and chocolate (or chardonnay) fondue. The beverage program also has a vegetable-infused slant. The interior is posh and ornate with gilded ceiling beams, gold mirrors, and white marble accents.
Grains like you've never tasted them before are the focus at Gristmill, a casual but upscale neighborhood restaurant in Park Slope. Most ingredients on the seasonal menu are sourced from regional farms across the Northeast, and grains, both whole and milled, are used as the basis of excellent pizza (made in a wood-fired oven) and house-made pasta dishes. The woodsy space includes an enclosed backyard patio, a chef's table, and a bar.