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)
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 (click here for address and deets)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
1. Narcissa21 Cooper Sq, New York
2. Gato324 Lafayette St., New York
3. Navy137 Sullivan St, New York
4. Antonioni's177 Chrystie St, New York
5. French Louie320 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn
6. All’onda22 E 13th St, New York
7. The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club514 Union Street, Gowanus
8. Bodega Negra355 West 16th Street, New York
9. Black Crescent76 Clinton St, New York
10. BarBacon836 9th Ave, New York
11. Mission Cantina172 Orchard St, New York
12. Telepan Local329 Greenwich St, New York
13. Empire Diner210 10th Ave, New York
14. Margaux at The Marlton Hotel5 W 8th St, New York
15. Rarities455 Madison Ave, New York
16. The Clam420 Hudson St, New York
17. Emily919 Fulton St, Brooklyn
18. Dirck the Norseman7 N 15th St, Brooklyn
19. General Assembly Restaurant & Bar360 Park Ave S, New York
20. Colonia Verde219 Dekalb Ave, Brooklyn
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.
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.
There’s no shortage of chic, hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Soho; the narrow streets -- constantly crawling with polished tourists and lower Manhattanites -- are stacked with open-windowed storefronts, and Navy on Sullivan St. is, seemingly, unremarkable. But what sets the 40-seat, seafaring hideaway apart is its personality and minimalist menu. The restaurant’s name speaks to its design: the interior is reminiscent of a World War II naval ship, with studded copper plating and canvas from old US Navy duffle bags lining the walls, blue and white floor tiles and flags, and a wall display of stacked sardine cans. The season-dependent menu is themed accordingly: it’s straightforward, simplistic American food with fish at the forefront (as you’d expect from a restaurant with a maritime motif), while maintaining its appeal to the Soho masses with its penchant for vegetables. You can have the market salad (vegetables!) with the daily fish -- which can be as simple as tinned smoked salmon (I didn’t say it was fresh). For the seafood-averse, the open-faced egg sandwich with bacon, cheese, and avocado is a one-time staff-meal-turned-menu-item -- a ringing endorsement from the restaurant’s nearest and dearest. It’s served with French fries (potatoes are vegetables!) that are eerily reminiscent of those from McDonald’s, but in the best way: they’re the thin, uniformly cut, crispy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside fries you didn’t know existed outside of the double arches. They do. During dinner, the menu opens with raw bar options like oysters, crudos, and house-cured fish topped with caviar, then dives into larger, market dishes like the popular whole trout en croute. Again, you can avoid sea creatures with an all-beef cheeseburger, which can and should be topped with the agave-drizzled Billionaire Bacon. A meal at Navy isn’t complete without a beverage; the wine -- which is secured to the back wall by leather straps in case the ship rocks -- is primarily old world, with lesser known varieties and regions accounted for (like the Grecian Assyrtiko or a Black Vermentino). Beer -- including the local Catskill Pilsner and Ommegang Witte, among other fish-friendly brews -- is poured from unmarked wooden taps. And somewhat antithetical to a ship’s nature, there’s no liquor here: the cocktail program is anchored by light-on-the-palate, crisp, soju- and wine-based aperitifs. For simple, satisfying food and a seaside departure to decades past, Navy is your port of call.
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.
This Boerum Hill establishment slings French-American fare and mixes up superb craft 'tails.
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.
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.
Inside the Dream, this taco joint is superbly unique and delicious.
A fire in 2015 couldn't keep Black Crescent down -- the Lower East Side raw and cocktail bar came back with a thirst for sating yours. Notable on the corner of Rivington and Clinton for the serpentine mural that covers the building's edifice, the spot is low-key on the interior, with simple wood and chrome accents. Oyster happy hours are made happier by strong riffs on classics, like a take on the Negroni called the Hempen Halter, with hickory-smoked Italian vermouth, sweet vermouth, Campari, and gin.
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.
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.
This swank, American-fare Tribeca joint is doling out delicious cocktails, perfectly-portioned entrees, and fresh, innovative desserts.
Empire Diner in Chelsea brings in all walks of life, at all hours. Check out the burger or more innovative apps to start.
Margaux can be found inside the Marlton Hotel -- head in for some delicious 'tails from a lauded mixologist, great apps, and excellent service.
This ultra-pricey, ultra-rare bar inside of The New York Palace Hotel is one for the books.
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.
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.
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.
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.