We've been rounding up openings and trying things all over the city this Winter, while the Polar Vortex's seemingly endless snowfall had you hibernating and eating nothing but delivery beef and broccoli for the last three months. Well, now that it's almost Spring -- the official season of "getting off your ass and going to the awesomest places that opened this Winter" -- we're taking stock of all of those, and counting down the 20 best.
Narcissa (click here for address and deets) East Village The Standard East Village finally got a restaurant, and it's a stunner from Michelin-starred John Fraser, who's serving up "California cuisine" with farm-fresh produce like carrot fries, whole rotisserie branzino with fennel and arugula, and a bone-in, slow-roasted prime ribeye with a little gem salad and sea salt potatoes.
Gato (click here for address and deets) Nolita Bobby Flay is stepping back into the restaurant game at this Nolita blockbuster: a beautiful, open ode to Mediterranean eats, like an "11-layer potato" with caramelized shallots and fried sage (and... 11 layers of potato??), crab risotto with garlic bread crumbs, and charred beef with blue cheese brown butter, red wine, and broccoli rabe farro.
Antonioni's (click here for address and deets) LES From the team behind Cafe Gitane, this LES spot is focused on hearty Italian with some quirk, like chitarra pesto with green beans and shoestring fries, brisket Milanese with saffron risotto, salami pizza, and a Roman grilled cheese sandwich with mozz and anchovy parsley sauce.
French Louie (click here for address and deets) Boerum Hill 28-day dry-aged steak, chilled lobster with Béarnaise Sabayon, and skate and crab "dirty rice" are allllllll on the menu at this new French spot -- with an Adirondack vibe -- from the Buttermilk Channel (which is a real channel in the Bay filled with buttermilk) crew and a chef formerly with Momofuku.
Colonia Verde (click here for address and deets) Fort Greene Continuing the social Latin American steez established at its West Village spot Comodo, CV is dishing out awesomely meaty goodness, like a buttermilk-soaked fried chicken rubbed in chiles and served with chipotle honey, and a coffee-rubbed pork shoulder.
All'onda (click here for address and deets) Greenwich VIllage The early frontrunner for best pasta of the year comes in the form of All'onda's uni bucatini. There's other awesome Venetian cuisine from Chef Chris Jaeckle, and the cocktails here are no joke either... but the uni bucatini? Wow.
Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club (click here for address and deets) Gowanus If you haven't yet been to New York's only full-sized shuffleboard club with tropical drinks, live music, and cabanas, get there... immediately.
Bodega Negra (click here for address and deets) Meatpacking District Tucked inside a dark-wooded den underneath Dream Downtown, this London import from Serge Becker is plating up awesomeness like soft-shell crab tacos, a quesadilla rustic that's posing as a sort of pizza, and dope cocktails and pitchers of frozen margaritas.
Black Crescent (click here for address and deets) LES Somehow a great date spot and... a great party spot?... this uber-fresh oyster and cocktail bar gets crazy with pastrami-smoked salmon on brioche, and punches filled with rum, tequila, Cognac, and Prosecco.
BarBacon (click here for address and deets) Hell's Kitchen It's exactly what it sounds like: a bar where everything has bacon in it. But it's also more than that, thanks to the fact that it's A) delicious bacon, and B) way more interesting than just grocery store bacon -- they literally scoured the country and the backwoods of Kentucky to find bacon with interesting and unique flavors.
Mission Cantina (click here for address and deets) LES Danny Bowien's follow-up to his Chinese food spot, Cantina is taking tacos to the next level with fillings like octopus, shrimp, pork belly, and tripe, in addition to next-level rotisserie chicken. It's also worth checking out their uniquely delicious wings and a just-dropped, top-notch burrito menu.
Margaux (click here for address and deets) Greenwich Village This Parisian gem in the Marlton Hotel is hooking up guests in an elegant/charming/pants-probably-required dining room with excellent dishes like burrata with a garlic muffin & crushed basil and grilled Colorado lamb chops with Winter veggies.
Rarities (click here for address and deets) Midtown East This isn't the only place on the list you can drop thousands of dollars, but it is the only place you can do it on just one glass of whiskey.
The Clam (click here for address and deets) West Village The Market Table team's new spot isn't just cooking up clams; they've also got Long Island duck with blood orange and palm hearts, Block Island swordfish with Meyer lemon aioli, and roasted half chickens. There are a LOT of clams still, though. Definitely get the ones in the chowder-fried rice and the spaghetti.
Emily (click here for address and deets) Clinton Hill S'mores calzones, hangover pizzas, and spaghetti with 'nduja, poached egg & curry leaf are the types of things you can expect to eat pretty much all of here, in addition to some rock-solid classic choices.
Dirck The Norseman (click here for address and deets) Greenpoint With a brewery in the back, this beer hall from the Brouwerij Lane team is pouring crafts and imported's (in addition to its own concoctions), plus 11hr-smoked brisket, 6hr-smoked turkey confit, and some other dish they also cook for a crapload of time.
General Assembly (click here for address and deets) Murray Hill The huge space that used to be home to The Hurricane Club is now this bright, airy, French-tinged bistro with dishes like uni toast, lamb steak frites, and boozy cocktails with whimsical adds that include ice cubes made with jalapeño juice. When they melt, the drink gets hotter.
Andrew Zimmer is Thrillist's NYC Editor, and he challenges you to eat in all these restaurants before the end of Spring. Go ahead, you deserve it. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.