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There’s something comforting about a straightforward (but still serious) Mediterranean menu, and Hart’s -- a tiny, intimate restaurant from Nick Perkins of Marlow & Sons and Nialls Fallon of Maiden Lane -- has one of the city’s best examples of that right now. The menu is ever-changing, but you can expect sharable dishes like clam toast with pancetta and hearty mains like pork Milanese, braised chicken thighs, and a grass-fed lamb burger. It’s a perfect date spot, with just 30 seats, plenty of dim lighting, and a wide selection of natural wines.
LA-born Sugarfish has finally landed in New York, and if you’re feeling especially eager to hang out in Flatiron for upwards of four hours, you may actually get to try it. The culty restaurant is known for its non-traditional (and affordable) “Trust Me” omakase -- the rice is served warm and the fish is prepared in the kitchen rather than at a regular sushi bar -- of which there are three different options, ranging from $27-$50. That’s far less than your typical $100+ omakase, but then again, you’re also basically guaranteed a wait. Try going at off times during the week and hope for the best.
Housed in the three-story Williamsburg building once home to Isa, Sunday in Brooklyn is an all-day restaurant, marketplace, and bar with a low-waste ethos. What that basically amounts to is using whole ingredients (so, not wasting any part of the whole fish by using fish collars as a bar snack), using “ugly” or overripe fruits for jams and sauces, and going tech-forward to eliminate all paper waste. The menu is heavy on smoked fish, fermented vegetables, and freshly baked bread, and most of these items will also be sold in the marketplace for you to take home with you.
Just in time for the cold weather comes Marco Canora’s first brick-and-mortar location of Brodo. The bone broth concept, which started as a window at Canora’s East Village restaurant Hearth, is all about drinkable chicken and beef broths. The new shop offers an expansion of the old menu, including add-ins like seaweed, spices, herbs, and fats like bone marrow, butter, and coconut oil. Should you want to stock up for when it’s actually too cold to leave the house, you can also get 30oz frozen containers of broth to heat up at home.
In case you forgot that it’s the year of the noodle chain in New York (hello, Ichiran, TsuruTonTan), the city is now also home to the US flagship of Wagamama. The beloved Japanese-inspired chain, which originally opened in London in the ‘90s, gained popularity for its communal dining style and its light but filling ramens with a variety of protein options. The must-try bowl is the $14 shirodashi pork ramen, which comes with six huge pieces of pork belly in chicken broth, but the Thai-inspired curries are also worth seeking out.
Chef Andrew Carmellini’s third project at the new William Vale hotel in Williamsburg is finally open (following the temporary winter closure of Mister Dips), and is the most formal one yet. Leuca is an elegant restaurant with two rooms -- one with tiled floors and marble tables, the other with leather booths and wood paneling. The focus here is comforting, wood-fired Southern Italian food, with dishes like sheep's milk ricotta dip with hot honey & garlic, hand-cut chitarra with cuttlefish puttanesca, and chicken “Rosalina” for two.
Keith McNally’s latest venture has landed right alongside another recent, notable opening -- Tom Colicchio’s Fowler & Wells -- inside the new Beekman Hotel in FiDi. Augustine is very much a McNally restaurant, following a similar formula as Cherche Midi and Balthazar by focusing on upscale but modern French dishes, like chicken consommé, steak frites, and duck à l’orange to be paired with a nice selection of regional wines. Though it’s probably not a place you’ll be dining weekly, many of the entrees do fall in the somewhat-comfortable $26-$34 range, including a $26 burger with scotch-braised onions and Comté.
Looking at its name alone, Italienne seems like an obvious concept -- and while yes, the restaurant does focus on both Italian and French cuisines, the end result isn’t as predictable as it may seem. The two cuisines are blended together but approached two ways inside the restaurant. In the front, you’ll find a taverna with shared plates like rabbit stew and a seafood platter, and in the back dining room, there’s a four-course tasting menu featuring homemade pastas (like the Triangoli Verdi with guinea hen, madeira, foie gras, and leek), as well as “land & sea” dishes like duck, squid stew, and pork chops.
The team behind one of the biggest BBQ and burger hits of the summer, Pig Beach, has taken its outdoor operation indoors (and right next door) for a winterized version of the pop-up -- which now has “Burger” tacked onto its name as well. Of course, the menu still features the much-Instagrammed Pig Big Burger (with brisket and short rib blend, American, and secret sauce) and the popular pulled pork sandwich, but there’s also a few new winter additions, including a Bangkok Banger Banh Mi with Texas-style, Thai-inspired sausage, and mac & cheese with toasted Goldfish.
One of three new projects from the team behind Talde at the Arlo Hotel, Massoni is a sit-down restaurant focusing on “inauthentic Italian” food -- that is, multicultural takes on traditional Italian dishes, seen in dishes like beef tartare cannolis, rigatoni alla Singapore (clams, shrimp, Italian sausage, Chinese broccoli, and XO sauce), and NY-inspired cocktails like the Far Rockaway with amaro, rye, lime, and prosecco. The restaurant will be doing breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and is also connected to a lobby grab 'n’ go station with Emmy Squared-esque pan pizzas, sandwiches, and salads.
1. Hart's506 Franklin Ave., New York
2. SUGARFISH33 E 20th St, New York
3. Sunday In Brooklyn348 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn
4. Brodo496 Hudson Street, New York
5. Wagamama210 5th Ave, New York
6. Leuca111 N 12th St, Brooklyn
7. Augustine5 Beekman St, New York
8. Italienne19 W 24th St, New York
9. Pig Beach460 Union Street, Brooklyn
10. Massoni11 E 31st St, New York
Hart’s, off the Franklin Ave subway stop in Bed-Stuy serves simple and elegant Mediterranean-leaning dishes in an intimate, 30-seat dining room. Expect an ever-changing menu of shareable plates like clam toast with pancetta and larger, heartier mains like pork Milanese. A tiny, five-seat bar serves wines-by-the-glass, as well as rum, mezcal, and amaro-heavy cocktails.
At the first New York (and out-of-California) location of Kazunori Nozawa's Sugarfish, sushi obsessives will find an approachable but upscale selection of over a dozen sushi and sashimi options. The cult-favorite chain is know for its affordable "Trust Me" omakase menu, which includes blue crab and toro hand rolls, tuna sashimi, and other one- and two-piece servings of sushi. The two-story Flatiron location is larger than many of New York's intimate sushi dens, but you should still expect to wait for a seat at prime dinner hours. Just don't ask for a side of spicy mayo: Sugarfish makes a point to note on the menu that they "politely decline requests for extra sauces, salt, or additional rice.”
It just may be possible to spend an entire Sunday in Brooklyn at this three-story Williamsburg culinary complex housed in the former Isa space. From veterans of Eleven Madison Park, Catch, and Sadelle's, Sunday in Brooklyn combines a market, bar, coffeehouse, and sit-down restaurant into one all-day spot. Chef Jaime Young (Atera) helms the kitchen of the second-floor dining room, where the modern American menu follows a no-waste principle and focuses on smoked fish, fermented vegetables, and freshly baked bread. In the first-floor marketplace, you'll find many of the unconventional ingredients from the chef's pantry for sale.
Brodo is all about broth -- that age-old base for gravies and soups -- and nothing else. What started as a singular-focus East Village window stand has expanded to meet popular demand at this West Village brick-and-mortar. The casual shop from Chef Marco Canora features three bone broths (chicken, beef, or a mix of chicken, turkey, and beef) that you can spice up with elixirs like ginger juice, seaweeds, pulverized herbs, and fats like Moroccan-spiced butter. Don’t get it wrong: you’re not enjoying the stuff as a host for noodles or shredded meat. You’re sipping the stuff from a cup, because why settle for tea when you can have a restorative liquid meal?
Chef Alan Yau’s Wagamama, a Japanese ramen chain that gained popularity in London after opening in 1992, has expanded to more than 150 locations worldwide, including this Flatiron outpost. The cuisine appeals to a pan-Asian palate with Thai-inspired curries, teppanyaki, donburi, and ramen bowls that can be adjusted according to broth spiciness, noodle type, and choice of protein. Standout items from the London locations, like chili-spiced squid tentacles, are available, but the cocktail and brunch programs are exclusive to the New York flagship.
The centerpiece of Andrew Carmellini's culinary program at Williamsburg's William Vale hotel, Leuca offers a menu inspired by Southern Italian flavors. Expect comforting dishes like ricotta dip with hot honey & garlic, spaghetti tossed with sea urchin, and charred, wood-fired pizzas. The best end to any meal here comes in the "Sophia Loren for Two" sundae, made with espresso gelato, caramel, meringue, and rum granita. The two-room space, like the food, blends contemporary and traditional with wood-paneled walls, tiled floors, and contemporary black-and-white portraits.
Keith McNally, the man responsible for NYC hits like Balthazar and Cherche Midi, expands his Francophile restaurant trophy case with Augustine in the Financial District’s sexily anachronistic Beekman Hotel. McNally updates his French brasserie formula with rustic classics and luxe seafood dishes, which are served in a mosaic-tiled dining room pulled from a bygone era. The wine list draws heavily from French vines, while a special martini menu pays proper dues to the New York sipping standby.
Named after the French word for Italian, chef Jared Sippel's restaurant combines the flavors of Southern France and Northern Italy. A block from Madison Square Park, Italienne is separated into two dining rooms: a formal back room, and a front taverna reserved for lighter, à la carte fare. The latter serves a menu heavy on cheeses, cured meats, crostini, and seafood small plates, while the former blends French and Italian culinary techniques into a four-course land and sea tasting menu.
It's easy to understand why the Gowanus pop-up Pig Beach found enough summer success to open a winterized brick-and-mortar location: the signature triple-stacked cheeseburger proves that the best things in come in threes. Smoked meat specialities, like baby back ribs and pork shoulder, are also draws, while a chickpea-quinoa veggie burger that's almost as good as its short rib-brisket counterpart will appease vegetarians. Sandwich specials like Italian meatball subs and pastrami on rye keep things exciting.
From the team behind Talde, Massoni is a self-described "inauthentic Italian" restaurant in Nomad's Arlo Hotel. The menu challenges traditional Italian recipes by incorporating unconventional ingredients: arancini balls are made with Indian biryani rice; Caesar salads are spiked with nori seaweed; and malfalde pasta is tossed with sea urchin and Japanese smoked-onion stock. The space echoes the modern fusion on the menu with a colorful mural, speckled teal banquettes, and lots of raw concrete.