While the weather in NYC this April was cold, and then warm, and then cold again, the restaurant openings were hot pretty much the entire way through. These 15 are the hottest of the hot, from a place doing pierogies stuffed with mac & cheese, to a new spot that boasts the city's first "hot sauce sommelier."

Courtesy of Tasca Chino

Tasca Chino

Gramercy
Created by a team from Barbounia and Rayuela, this Chinese/Spanish mashup is pushing out dishes like duck & curry dumplings, lava salt-cured tuna, ginger-glazed lobster, and teriyaki-marinated octopus.
 

Willow

Bed-Stuy
The team from The Pines opened up this small spot with expectedly inventive options like a chicken liver cannoli, boar belly with snap peas and sunchokes, and a butter-poached porgy with zucchini, black garlic, and wild rice.

Courtesy of Baba’s Pierogies/Bethany Bandera/Food Styling by Maeve Sheridan

Baba's Pierogies

Gowanus
The single-dish restaurant trend has made it to these Eastern European dumplings, and Baba's is beefing them up by filling 'em with all kinds of non-traditional stuff, like bacon mac & cheese, spinach & feta, or chocolate.

Courtesy of Miles Dixon/Heatonist

Heatonist

Williamsburg
You never knew you would need a “hot sauce sommelier,” but there is one at this hot sauce store, along with a ton of interesting and hard-to-find sauces.
 

Le District

Financial District
This massive French food hall is now getting after it down near the Hudson River, armed with all kinds of markets, a bar, and a restaurant -- all filling just about every French culinary desire you could muster.

Courtesy of Lord Hamm’s

Lord Hamm's

East Village
Massive meaty sandwiches from Chef Corey Cova are on the docket at this takeout sando operation and include beasts like a hot beef with pickles, and a meatball number packed with fried onions, mozz, cheddar, and miso-Sriracha mayo.

Courtesy of Streetbird Rotisserie

Streetbird Rotisserie

Harlem
Celeb Chef and owner of nearby Red Rooster Marcus Samuelsson is focusing on the poultry at this “Harlem Americana”-inspired spot with boom boxes covering the walls. Get involved with an eclectic array of eats, including the namesake Rotisserie with your choice of sauce (Smokey Q, Sweet Soy, Jamerican, Green Cowboy, or Hot Sauce), General Ye’s crispy chicken with mango and peanuts, or the Crispy Bird sandwich with cheddar on a potato roll.

Courtesy of Genuine Superette

Genuine Superette

Little Italy
This offshoot from excellent burger stand Genuine Roadside in Gotham West Market has enlisted heavy hitters like Sam Mason, Paul Liebrandt, and Eben Freeman to help design its menu. There's the much-loved Super Duper Stack burger on hand, as well as new offerings like fish 'n chips, and an ice cream sandwich that’s actually a sandwich made with Oddfellow’s Ice Cream stuffed in a brioche bun with crunchy bits and syrups, all toasted super briefly on a panini press.
 

Lupulo

Flatiron
Around a gorgeous oval bar, the chef from Aldea, George Mendes, will dish out all manner of Portuguese wine, beer, and eats -- like crispy shrimp turnovers, grilled asparagus with dried sea urchin, oven-baked octopus, and a lamb leg cooked over charcoal with Sea Island red peas and tomato.

Courtesy of El Original

El Original

Hell’s Kitchen
Continuing the much-buzzed-about groundswell of actually good Tex-Mex spots in the city, this joint, started by a James Beard award-winning blogger, is using fresh ingredients and attention to detail to try and change your mind about things like chile con queso, frito pies, nachos, and chicken fried steak.
 

Rosie's

East Village
Bringing Mexican to the bright window-walled corner of 2nd and 2nd, this spot centers around a central grill and works up regional Mexican dishes like tlacoyo (fava-filled masa cakes... duh), brisket tostadas, Veracruz-style octopus salad, and pork ribs stew with plantain, pineapple, olives, raisins, and almonds.

Courtesy of Evan Sung/Rebelle

Rebelle

Lower East Side
This cousin to nearby Pearl & Ash features a 1,500-deep wine list, a classically inspired cocktail list, and a modern set of bites to choose from, including scallops with sea urchin, oysters, and beet bourguignon with carrots, pearl onions, and mushrooms.
 

Chevalier

Midtown
Shea Gallante and Charles Masson, both big deals in the dining world, have opened up this fine dining resto in the Baccarat Hotel and are serving modern luxury fare like caviar, Japanese yellowtail “cru”, bouillabaisse with saffron crostini, and veal loin & sweetbread with toasted pine nut puree.

Courtesy of La Gamelle

La Gamelle

East Village
In the space that once housed his Bowery Diner, and then the pop-up/prelude to this restaurant Chez Jef, Mathieu Palombino has now unleashed this French brasserie with all the goods you’d want in something like that, including pot au feu, steak frites, and duck confit with sweet garlic mashed potatoes, mushroom jus, and frisee. Okay, almost all the goods you'd want (sorry, frisee).
 

Industry Kitchen

Downtown
Along with views of the boats and the water right near the Seaport, this new spot from Merchants Hospitality also offers up wood-fired pizza, burrata, steak with grilled summer squash ribbons and smoked pepper salsa, and chocolate pizza.

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Andrew Zimmer is Thrillist’s NYC Editor and he bets you can’t go to all of these before the next roundup of hottest restaurants comes out. We’ll give you a month. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Tasca Chino 245 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10003 (Gramercy)

Created by a team from Barbounia and Rayuela, this Chinese/Spanish mashup is pushing out dishes like duck & curry dumplings, lava salt-cured tuna, ginger-glazed lobster, and teriyaki-marinated octopus.

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2. Willow 506 Franklin Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238 (Bed Stuy)

The team from The Pines opened up this small spot with expectedly inventive options like a chicken liver cannoli, boar belly with snap peas and sunchokes, and a butter-poached porgy with zucchini, black garlic, and wild rice. It's upscale American fare that you'll be hard-pressed to find done better in Bed-Stuy.

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3. Baba's Pierogies 295 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215 (Gowanus)

Pierogi come pretty close to the perfect food: Eastern Europe's gift to the world in the form of potatoes, sauerkraut or ground meat wrapped in dough. Baba's in Gowanus serves nothing but the dumplings in a cozy storefront that doubles as a tribute to the family matriarch who grew up in Communist Czechoslovakia. You can trust in the traditional versions, from sauerkraut to classic potato, but the reason this casual stop attracts attention is its willingness to reinvent, challenging the definition of pierogi with Nutella and mac & cheese stuffed takes.

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4. Heatonist 121 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11222 (Williamsburg)

This hot sauce store and tasting room in Williamsburg is a temple to all things spicy. The shelves are stocked with more than 150 rare and unique hot sauces from a variety of brands, so yeah, you won't find your basic supermarket Sriracha. At the front of the store, a gloved hot sauce sommelier is on standby to let you sample any bottle.

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5. Le District 225 Liberty St, New York, NY 10281 (Financial District)

This massive French food hall is now getting after it down near the Hudson River, armed with all kinds of markets, a bar, and a restaurant -- all filling just about every French culinary desire you could muster.

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6. Lord Hamm's 226 E 3rd St, New York, NY 10009 (East Village)

Massive meaty sandwiches from Chef Corey Cova are on the docket at this takeout sando operation and include beasts like a hot beef with pickles, and a meatball number packed with fried onions, mozz, cheddar, and miso-Sriracha mayo.

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7. Streetbird Rotisserie 2149 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10026 (Harlem)

Marcus Samuelsson's poultry-focused restaurant in Harlem revolves around chicken, both rotisserie and fried. The "Bird & Three" speciality is a full dinner that includes a whole roasted chicken with a side of mashed potatoes, collard greens, and cornbread. The menu includes flavors from all over the world, so expect dishes like chicken, rice noodles, and vegetables in coconut curry broth or wings tossed in a honey-citrus sauce. The space is decorated with a sensibility to Harlem street culture: a boom box art installation covers the walls and there are chairs made out of skateboards. When the weather is warm, the garage door windows open out onto the street.

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8. Genuine Superette 191 Grand St, New York, NY 10013 (Little Italy)

This Little Italy spots serves some great burgers, such as the much-loved Super Duper Stack burger, as well as things like fish 'n chips.

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9. Lupulo 835 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10001 (Flatiron)

The first thing you notice about Lupulo is how gorgeous it is -- there are blue tile-lined walls, hardwood floors, and a huge U-shaped bar serving craft beer, Portuguese wine, and speciality cocktails until close. The rustic Portuguese restaurant from Chef George Mendes' (the chef behind Michelin-starred Aldea) is inspired by Lisbon's cervejarias (breweries), and though the beer list -- featuring domestic and international varieties -- is obviously excellent, the food is something else. The menu is seafood-heavy with understated but impressive dishes like spicy chicken Piri Piri, squid ink rice with clams and blood sausage, and wood-grilled sardines.

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10. El Original 735 10th Ave, New York, NY 10019 (Hells Kitchen)

Continuing the much-buzzed-about groundswell of actually good Tex-Mex spots in the city, this joint, started by a James Beard award-winning blogger, is using fresh ingredients and attention to detail to try and change your mind about things like chile con queso, frito pies, nachos, and chicken fried steak.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
11. Rosie's 29 E 2nd St, New York, NY 10003 (East Village)

Housed in the bright window-walled corner of 2nd and 2nd, Rosie's centers around a central grill and serves up authentic, regional Mexican dishes like tlacoyo (fava-filled masa cakes), brisket tostadas, Veracruz-style octopus salad, and pork ribs stew with plantain, pineapple, olives, raisins, and almonds. The margaritas are equally worth your attention, particularly the namesake version, which is made with mezcal and serrano-infused tequila.

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12. Rebelle 218 Bowery, New York, NY 10012 (Lower East Side)

This cousin to nearby Pearl & Ash features a 1,500-deep wine list, a classically inspired cocktail list, and a modern set of bites to choose from, including scallops with sea urchin, oysters, and beet bourguignon with carrots, pearl onions, and mushrooms.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
13. Chevalier 20 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019 (Midtown)

Shea Gallante and Charles Masson, both big deals in the dining world, have opened up this fine dining resto in the Baccarat Hotel and are serving modern luxury fare like caviar, Japanese yellowtail “cru”, bouillabaisse with saffron crostini, and veal loin & sweetbread with toasted pine nut puree.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
14. La Gamelle 241 Bowery, New York, NY 10002 (East Village)

In the space that once housed his Bowery Diner, and then the pop-up/prelude to this restaurant Chez Jef, Mathieu Palombino has now unleashed this French brasserie with all the goods you’d want in something like that, including pot au feu, steak frites, and duck confit with sweet garlic mashed potatoes, mushroom jus, and frisee. Okay, almost all the goods you'd want (sorry, frisee).

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
15. Industry Kitchen 70 South St, New York, NY 10038 (Downtown)

Along with views of the boats and the water right near the Seaport, this new spot from Merchants Hospitality also offers up wood-fired pizza, burrata, steak with grilled summer squash ribbons and smoked pepper salsa, and chocolate pizza.

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