NYC's 12 best April openings
Il Principe (click here for address and info)
Hoping to be a rustic and breezy Italian destination (with a curvy ceiling?), this new spot -- from a restauranteur involved with Crown, The Lion, Bill's Food & Drink, and The Windsor -- is located in Hotel Hugo and features eats from breakfast through dinner, including poached eggs with prosciutto cotto & mozzarella, mezzi rigatoni with lobster and truffle, and duck breast with foie gras and duck jus.
Chalk Point Kitchen (click here for address and info)
In the space that was recently Lani Kai and then The Dalloway, Matt Levine and Chef Joe Isidori are coming correct with this ultra-fresh, seasonally driven bistro where you can score bites like handmade burrata and grilled Long Island squid, plus substantial mains like grass-fed lamb loin chops or a 36oz Cote de Boeuf, which is French for "awesome steak".
Racine's (click here for address and info)
This NYC branch of the Paris favorite has the owner of Chambers Street Wines on as the sommelier (which means wines that're hard to find otherwise), and a French Michelin-starred chef (which means casual French bistro eats like Mangalitsa pork with pigs feet croquette, veal tartare, and, of course, a cheese plate).
The Gander (click here for address and info)
Get over to Jesse Schenker's new American spot not only for his great steak, but for a ton of other slightly offbeat and interesting stuff, like his "Buffalo" sweetbreads, brisket "tots", lamb pastrami, and Tasmanian trout with coco beans, chorizo, leeks, and beurre rouge.
Baker & Co (click here for address and info)
Head directly to the atrium in the back of this new Italian spot -- from the owner of Aurora in Williamsburg and Emporio in Nolita -- because, atrium. There? Okay, now order simple Italian eats like rabbit meatballs with ricotta and mac 'n cheese "cacio e pepe", then Italian imports like Birrificio Bruton Momus.
Tavern on the Green (click here for address and info)
After a hiatus and a change in management, this storied, big-deal spot on the park is back in business and ready for a whole new set of glory days with dishes ranging from "The Hearth" (Serrano ham with cave-aged Gruyere and sage toast), "The Grill" (grass-fed burgers with patatas bravas), or "The Plancha", where they're doing marinated Vermont quail with creamy white grits, homemade chorizo, and wood-roasted grapes.
Huertas (click here for address and info)
Serving tapas dishes like pulpo gallego and boquerones "dim sum-style" (sorry, no Spanish dumplings), this Basque-inspired Spanish spot from a chef who's worked at Maialino, Savoy, and Gramercy Tavern also brings a four-course, beverage-paired "menu del dia" to the game with goods like pork shoulder w/ turnip and Hudson Canyon tilefish with smoked garlic. It's all in the game, yo.
Heartwood (click here for address and info)
Restaurateur Nick Mautone from Gramercy Tavern and James Beard-winning Chef Bradford Thompson have taken over the old Donatella space in Chelsea and turned it into a barn wood-adorned eatery with a focus on the wood-burning oven, which kicks out plates like mustard-crusted rabbit leg and off-beat pizzas like the the Everything Bagel Pizza with lox (?!?!?!?!?!?), and the "When Peter Luger Goes Out For Pizza" pizza topped with braised short rib and creamed spinach.
Tessa (click here for address and info)
Upper West Side
Split into two levels with a bar on the ground floor, Tessa (like your spray tan) is Mediterranean-inspired. Eats count roasted monkfish loin (we bet you didn't know fish had loins), Berkshire pork cheeks with Pecorino polenta and Parmesan emulsion, and scallops with lemon risotto and chorizo crust. Chorizo. Crust.
Barchetta (click here for address and info)
Dave Pasternack of Esca -- who was once called "the fish whisperer" -- has opened up this new Italian seafood spot in the former La Promenade des Anglais, and is bringing his considerable skills to dishes like a whole, grilled local porgy for two, fettuccine with lobster, peas, and Spring onions, and tastings of crudo.
Troy Liquor Bar (click here for address and info)
This underground joint is quietly sliding in to the spot where 675 Bar once was, and while the graffiti'd walls and black & white rock photos are new, the foosball and pool table remain. The menu of retro cocktails made with house-made bitters and barrel-aged cocktails is awesome, but you're gonna want to turn your attention directly to their shot menu. Because, shot menu.
Sopra (click here for address and info)
Legitimately trying communal-style dining, Sopra (located on the second floor above Amali) encourages diners to share a meal and socialize family-style, with a weekly, rotating, four-course menu that's completely subject to what's available at the market... which could include something like fettucini with braised lamb & chili, or octopus with gigante beans, herbs, and celery. Ether way, bring your cocktail party-game.
1. The Gander15 W 18th St, New York
2. il Principe525 Greenwich Ave, New York
3. Chalk Point Kitchen527 Broome St, New York
4. Racines94 Chambers St, New York
5. Tavern on the Green2 W 67th St, New York
6. Sopra115 E 60th St, New York
7. Barchetta461 W 23rd St, New York
8. Baker & Co.259 Bleecker St., New York
9. Huertas107 1st Ave, New York
10. Heartwood184 8th Ave, New York
11. Tessa349 Amsterdam Ave, New York
12. Troy Liquor Bar675 Hudson St, New York
From Jesse Schenker (of recette in the West Village), The Gander is a refined restaurant in the Flatiron District that highlights seasonal comfort food and -- unsurprising given it's named after a male goose -- meats. The lofty space is split between a dining room that serves nightly prix fixe and chef's tasting menus, and a bar room with all-day à la carte service. The Gander has a standout wine program with over 650 selections and seasonably-minded cocktails.
This Hudson Square resto offers authentic Italian cuisine (by Executive Chef Carlo Bigi), an interior of Italian woodwork, floor-to-ceiling windows, and hand-crafted 'tails w/ an Italian/Mediterranean twist.
Seasonally-driven, market-to-table fare like handmade burrata and grilled Long Island squid powers the menu here, with especially colorful platings and a bar serving post-Soul Cycle-appropriate kale martinis. The rest of the space projects the same clean, curated vibe, with mason jars and flower pots dotting the interior.
Hailing from Tribeca, Racines is a French haven offering Parisian neo-bistro cuisine (like like Mangalitsa pork with pigs feet croquette, veal tartare, etc.) and a number of phenomenal wines.
This iconic Central Park institution has been the focal point in many rom-com films for its picturesque setting on the western edge of the park. Truth be told, you go to Tavern of the Green for the ambience more than the food, but the menu of upscale country club-like dishes -- think Cobb salad, a house burger, and grilled salmon -- is well-executed.
This communal Mediterranean dining experience in Midtown West is superbly reminiscent of being on a sun-soaked vacation, eating geniusly-curated culinary treats, in the comfort of your own friends' home (not some stuffy restaurant). Interact with the chef, sommelier, and owner as you dine on some seriously impressive eats.
Barchetta means "little boat", appropriate for this Italian spot bringing super-fresh, local seafood to Chelsea -- they're known for their crudo plates, of which there are 11 on the menu.
From the folks who brought you Emporio, this West Village eatery serves up simple Italian eats like rabbit meatballs with ricotta and mac 'n cheese "cacio e pepe".
Executive Chef Jonah Miller is behind this Basque-inspired Spanish spot, which brings a four-course, beverage-paired "menu del dia" to the East Village with eats like pork shoulder w/ turnip and Hudson Canyon tilefish with smoked garlic.
Serious pizza and serious cocktails (we're talking James Beard-winning Chef Bradford Thompson-serious) are what you can expect from this wood-burning oven-heavy spot in Chelsea.
With a handsome, rustic interior, Tessa is home to quality Mediterranean fare prepared by Executive Chef Cedric Tovar. Their menu contains temptations like duck lasagna, venison carpaccio, and cavatelli with rabbit and ramps.
Hidden below Bill’s Bar and Burger and Dos Caminos, Troy resembles a retro basement from the ‘80s with graffitied walls and worn-in leather couches. With games like billiards and foosball, it's less swanky than other Meatpacking spots, but still upscale (there's bottle service and $16 cocktails).