NYC's 20 best openings of the Winter

New York

NYC's 20 best openings of the Winter
NYC's 20 best openings of the Winter

Andrew Zimmer

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)
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.


Navy (click here for address and deets)
The latest addition to the ever-growing list of spots to catch a former Top Chef, this Camille Becerra-helmed, maritime-themed Soho joint is doing mostly seafood-centric eats, like a raw bar with caviar, porgy with potatoes and watercress, and beef cheek ravioli (See! Mostly!).


Antonioni's (click here for address and deets)
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

French Louie (click here for address and deets)
Boerum Hill
28-day dry-aged steak, chilled lobster with BĂ©arnaise 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

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.

Andrew Zimmer

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.

Andrew Zimmer

Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club (click here for address and deets)
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.

Andrew Zimmer

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.

Andrew Zimmer

Black Crescent (click here for address and deets)
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.

Andrew Zimmer

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.

Andrew Zimmer

Mission Cantina (click here for address and deets)
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.


Telepan Local (click here for address and deets)
Bill Telepan's new casual American eatery has a solid selection of small plates, like their pigs in a blanket and foie gras jammers, plus some must-get pizzas.

Andrew Zimmer

Empire Diner (click here for address and deets)
With one of the best burgers we've had so far this year, Amanda Freitag's new spot in the old space is doing upscale diner food the right way.


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.

Andrew Zimmer

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

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.

Andrew Zimmer

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.

Andrew Zimmer

Dirck The Norseman (click here for address and deets)
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.

Andrew Zimmer

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.

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1. Narcissa 21 Cooper Sq, New York, NY 10003 (East Village)

Inside The Standard East Village, Narcissa crafts a seasonal menu based around farm-fresh Hudson Valley ingredients that are both light and filling. Two dining rooms and an outdoor space with a private garden view give off a cozy, upscale vibe complemented by a crowd of downtown regulars and hotel guests. The menu gives equal play to meat, fish, and vegetables, with an emphasis on roasted dishes. Be sure to order a side of the carrot fries -- they give their fried potato counterparts a run for their money.

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2. Gato 324 Lafayette St., New York, NY 10012 (Noho)

Brought to you by Chef Bobby Flay, Gato is located in a 100yr-old building and it serves fine Mediterranean fare in a casual and enjoyable environment.

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3. Navy 137 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012 (Soho)

Every part of Top Chef Camille Becerra's '40s-themed fish bar is highly considered, from the beautifully plated small eats, like tuna crudo and crispy yams, to the 51-seater's military-themed decor, which features various odds and ends inspired by Maritime World War II.

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4. Antonioni's 177 Chrystie St, New York, NY 10002 (Nolita)

This Italian bar/resto has a menu absolutely loaded with unique and tasty options for every meal of the day, whether you're dropping by for brunch, lunch, or dinner.

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5. French Louie 320 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

This Boerum Hill establishment slings French-American fare and mixes up superb craft 'tails.

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6. All’onda 22 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003 (Union Square)

Located right near the heart of Union Square is All'onda, a Japanese and Venetian hybrid restaurant housed in a rustic duplex building. The first floor has a spacious bar (complete with sake) where you can drink or dine without having made a reservation, and the second floor is dimly-lit with cozy booths and wooden rafters. The menu is limited, but the smoked uni bucatini is a must-try.

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7. The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club 514 Union Street, Gowanus, NY 11215 (Gowanus)

A massive hall of Florida kitsch (Cabanas! Drink umbrellas!) mixed with industrial not-kitsch (Concrete!), RPSC is officially NYC's first and only bar outfitted with 10 bonafide sunken shuffleboard lanes.

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8. Bodega Negra 355 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011 (Meatpacking)

Inside the Dream, this taco joint is superbly unique and delicious.

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9. Black Crescent 76 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002 (Lower East Side)

Black Crescent is a sultry, LES raw/cocktail bar that's doling out delicious oysters from both coasts, and inventive 'tails on the reg.

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10. BarBacon 836 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019 (Hells Kitchen)

NYC's seen its fair share of single-item centric bars and restos but none captures the zeitgeist more than BarBacon. An ode to everything pork, you'd be remiss to go to this Hell's Kitchen spot and not try a bacon flight, a riff on the omnipresent beer sampler showcasing a selection of four artisanal cured variations on the fatty treat, or at least the bacon guac. Non-bacon options (aka a beer and wine list) are also spot on.

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11. Mission Cantina 172 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002 (Lower East Side)

Danny Bowien may be best known for his creative eats at Mission Chinese, but similar culinary aptitude is found at his Mexican outpost, Mission Cantina. The cooking is playful, clever, and often includes Asian touches. The vegetarian options are as good as the braised meats, and no matter what you order, be sure the tortillas make it to your table. The unforgettably golden, hot corn rounds are durable enough to support whatever you pile on top. If the food isn't enough of a pull, Mission Cantina's fiesta-forward atmosphere surely is, but the most entertaining part might be watching the chefs crank out tacos in the partially open kitchen.

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12. Telepan Local 329 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013 (Tribeca)

This swank, American-fare Tribeca joint is doling out delicious cocktails, perfectly-portioned entrees, and fresh, innovative desserts.

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13. Empire Diner 210 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011 (Chelsea)

Empire Diner in Chelsea brings in all walks of life, at all hours. Check out the burger or more innovative apps to start.

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14. Margaux at The Marlton Hotel 5 W 8th St, New York, NY 10011 (Greenwich Village)

Margaux can be found inside the Marlton Hotel -- head in for some delicious 'tails from a lauded mixologist, great apps, and excellent service.

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15. Rarities 455 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10022 (Midtown East)

This ultra-pricey, ultra-rare bar inside of The New York Palace Hotel is one for the books.

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16. The Clam 420 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014 (West Village)

The Clam has brought an ode to everybody's favorite mollusk, and the Atlantic Seaboard at large to the city with the titular shellfish worked up in a bunch of interesting ways.

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17. Emily 919 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11238

This cozy Clinton Hill spot was founded by two foodies who sparked a relationship in college over a shared pizza. Today, they're serving up an overwhelming selection of creative pies in their intimate restaurant. In addition to pizza -- split between red and white on the menu -- Emily is known for the critically-acclaimed Emmy Burger, featuring a dry-aged patty topped with rich cheddar, sweet caramelized onions, and a buffalo-like sauce inside of a pretzel bun. A limited amount of burgers is served every night, but luckily, they're available in (near-unlimited) amounts during Sunday lunch service.

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18. Dirck the Norseman 7 N 15th St, Brooklyn, NY 11222

This spacious Brooklyn haunt features an industrial-looking interior and serves the likes of brisket, pig knuckles, and other tasty options, as well as excellent beers.

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19. General Assembly Restaurant & Bar 360 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10010 (Murray Hill)

This bistro looks sorta like a giant indoor courtyard -- there's a bar up front plus three distinct dining areas all manned by Chef Craig Kokestsu and Michael Stillman (of Quality Meats and Quality Italian) who're feeding lively diners with epic eats and top-notch cocktails developed by Clover Club veteran Bryan Schneider.

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20. Colonia Verde 219 Dekalb Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205 (Fort Greene)

Colonia Verde's the place to go when you're feeling especially carnivorous -- they've got Latin American-style buttermilk fried chicken, grilled steaks, and slow-braised pork shoulder.