If you’ve been mourning the end of holiday party season, head to this new cheese-focused wine bar from a team of wine and cheese experts that previously worked together at The Modern. At the intimate, 1,200sqft space you can expect a seasonal selection of cheeses; lots of interesting biodynamic and natural wines; plus several cheese-centric small plates, like “French Onion” Toast with oxtail and Timberdoodle cheese and a Salumi Sammie with Tubby cheese and mustard sauce.
Chicago’s famed Au Cheval burger has landed in New York... sort of. Restaurateur Brendan Sodikoff (who's behind the upscale West Loop diner) has opened his first New York restaurant: a tiny, old-school steakhouse with things like seafood, salads, prime rib (of course), and most importantly, the diner burger. Just like at Au Cheval, a regular burger here comes with two patties (thus a “double” will net you three) on brioche. Also the same? You can add on thick-cut bacon and a fried egg. Still, it's not THE Au Cheval burger, but it’s pretty damn close.
In addition to all the very pricy Michelin-starred restaurants, New York is also now home to the least expensive one ever -- Hong Kong-based dim sum chain Tim Ho Wan, which indeed holds the title of “world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant.” You may have to wait a while to get in, but it’s worth it for the chain’s signature dim sum options like prawn dumplings, BBQ pork buns, and steamed egg cakes, as well as the two NYC-exclusive dishes: custard-filled French toast and deep-fried vegetable spring rolls.
A lot of things appear just as they once were at the new Union Square Cafe -- tiny details in the design, the famed ricotta gnocchi and Bibb salad -- but ultimately, Danny Meyer’s iconic restaurant (which has reopened on 19th St, just a few blocks from the original that shuttered last year) is different -- it’s better. Building upon the success of the old place, the new spot boasts an additional 3,700sqft, more seats, no tipping, and new dishes like spaghettini with calamari ragu nero and a burger with Beecher’s Cheddar and bacon.
After long delays, the first solo project from Dan Kluger (previously of ABC Kitchen) has finally arrived in the Village, full of seasonal American (but globally inspired) dishes that call back to Kluger’s past at places like ABC and Tabla -- things like wood-grilled broccoli salad; a date-, chili-, and bacon-topped pizza; suckling pig; and slow-roasted duck. Don’t overlook the desserts here, specifically the baked monkey bread with cranberries, toffee, and house-made yogurt.
The latest spot to boost the area around the Barclays Center and BAM adds on to this past year’s trend of casual Italian spots, with a focus on seasonally necessary house-made pastas, like chestnut campanelle with butternut squash and wild mushroom, and Neapolitan pizzas topped with things like lardo, rosemary, and lemon from Chef Aaron Harsha (formerly of Marea). There’s also shareable small plates like roasted meatballs and veal Parm with sweetbreads, plus a strong cocktail program from Weather Up’s Kathryn Weatherup.
From Chef Peter Lipson (previously of Northern Spy Food Co.), All Hands is a seafood-heavy restaurant sure to make you forget that snow exists with things like oysters, lobster rolls, and hake & pork belly skewers. It’s an endeavor six years (plus a Kickstarter) in the making, located inside an old bi-level former carriage house in South Williamsburg, and aims to give the diner lots of different experiences: Will you take your seat at the bar, lounge, or the open-kitchen dining area?
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Wine and cheese is an expected pairing, but Williamsburg wine-bar-slash-restaurant Denizen takes the symbiotic relationship to another level. The cheese-focused small plates menu is more than just an accompaniment to the European and American vintages poured, it’s cause for a meal in itself. While you can order hunks of cheese with bread the traditional way -- from a Wisconsin cheddar/blue hybrid to a gooey sheep's milk bossa -- you should order a few of the New American dishes built for sharing. Cheesy sauce is drizzled over roasted and pickled cauliflower, grilled between challah slices with black truffles and tomato soup, and melted onto a mushroom flatbread with garlic and soy.
Restaurateur Brendan Sodikoff proved his meat prowess at Chicago's Au Cheval, where the two-patty griddle burger has drawn legions of admirers and landed on national best-of lists (including Thrillist's own). Sodikoff's first New York venture, 4 Charles Prime Rib, is as close to New Yorkers will get to the Au Cheval diner signature; the burger here is similarly made with two-patties and though it's not an exact replica, it's pretty close to the original. The rest of the menu at the West Village spot is classic steakhouse with choice cuts and sides like mashed potatoes, all served in a dark-wooded space with crystal chandeliers and maroon leather banquettes.
When Hong Kong-based Tim Ho Wan won a Michelin star in 2009, it was the cheapest restaurant in the world to have done so. After expanding across Southeast Asia and into Australia, it finally arrived in New York in 2016. You can expect dim sum that's as flavorful as it is inexpensive at this East Village outpost, like translucent prawn dumplings and baked pork buns. Location-specific items are available too, including custard-filled French toast and deep-fried vegetable spring rolls -- because New Yorkers are special and we deserve to be treated as such.
After 30 years on 16th street, Danny Meyer's trailblazing Union Square Cafe found a new home a few blocks up in late 2016. The five-time James Beard Award winner still serves American-Italian dishes, but with updated elements. The larger space and expanded staff allows the restaurant to bake its bread in-house for the first time, and former specials like braised lamb shank with salsa verde have found a permanent place on the new menu (but old favorites like gnocchi and pan-roasted chicken are still there). The Park Ave South space looks and feels like the cafe you know and love: the David Rockwell-designed dining room captures a modern yet nostalgic country-kitchen aesthetic that makes diners feel as if they never left.
In an airy, hyper-contemporary West Village space, Chef Dan Kluger employs experience earned as the former head of ABC Kitchen in his own endeavor, named after the street his father was raised on. He presents modern small plates with global touches that hint at Asian and Mediterranean influences -- cauliflower brought alive with Indian spice and lamb chops served with tomato compote -- as well as wood-fired pizzas in a white dining room.
Lady's is an elegant addition to the swarms of hotspots for pre- or post-show dining right by both the Barclay's Center and BAM. Italian-style sharing plates are conceived by a former Marea chef: veal Parmesan flatbreads are perfect for sharing, pasta selections are housemate and decadent, and two large-scale entrees -- whole roasted branzino or roasted pork porterhouse -- can feed the whole table. A proprietary list of cocktails form the team behind Weather Up give reason to go just to drink.
Local seafood is served right underneath the Williamsburg Bridge at All Hands, housed in a converted warehouse space with views almost as impressive as the food. Chef Peter Lipson, formerly of Northern Spy Co and Empellon Cocina, cures bluefish in sake, spikes Littleneck clams with Calabrian chili, and dips skate wing into chowder. Distressed white-washed brick walls, baby blue banquettes and thick rope accents complete the nautical atmosphere.