It was a pretty wild August, it was hot, Donald Trump did a bunch of things, and most of you were probably off beaching it up somewhere rather than working (congrats if that’s you), but with so many other things going on it may have diverted you from your goal of going to each and every damn good new restaurant and bar in the city. Let's right that ship, shall we?
Here's a rundown of the 12 best new NYC spots that opened in August.
This famed Upper East Side spot (which was a pioneer of the now-ubiquitous farm-to-table movement in the '80s) is back in a slightly more Southernly location at 1 Hotel Central Park. Chef Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto is also back with California-inspired eats from the original ‘80s spot like the Jams pancakes with red pepper, smoked salmon, corn sauce, crème fraiche, and caviar, and of course newness like lobster with blood sausage or squid ink rigatoni with crab, garlic & chili.
Manned by a chef who worked at Osteria Francescana with Massimo Bottura when it was deemed the second best restaurant in the world (and received two Michelin stars), this Italian spot is welcoming you in with plates like semolina ravioli with lobster, fava, and sheep’s milk ricotta, plus seared scallops with summer squash, guanciale, mint, and carrots.
Claiming to be the neighborhood’s first craft cocktail bar, this spot is rooftopping One Fulton Square and mixing bomb cocktails like The Hellcat with jalapeño-infused tequila, agave nectar, fresh lime, coriander, and smoked red alder sea salt. The small bites are also delicious, including braised pork belly buns, salt & pepper popcorn chicken, and beef noodle soup.
Finally expanding from the EV original to Bedford Ave, this ice cream shop offers what-the... flavors like Whopcorn (popcorn and Whoppers in sweet cream), s’mores, and strong coffee.
Upper West Side
First of all, the chef’s name is Denzell Washington, which is awesome. Second of all, it's got a top-notch selection of wines, craft beer, and eats like chicken with cremini mushrooms, roasted garlic, and amber honey.
Chicken, pork, and “beast of the week” are on hand and served with tortillas, assorted pickled veggies, and chimichurri at this new spot focusing on rotisserie meats.
Upper West Side
The team behind Williamsburg spots The Bedford and Roebling Sporting Club branched all the way out to the Upper West Side for its next project -- this pizza joint pushing “Tutto” everything knots, five-cheese ravioli, and of course pizza, including a red one with veal meatballs and a white one with yukon potatoes and double-smoked bacon.
Lower East Side
This pop-up is still kicking through September so head up to the top of SIXTY Lower East Side for a taste of Tiki cocktails made by Jim Kearns (Happiest Hour, Death + Co, Pegu Club...) that include both traditional and lesser-known Tiki options, as well as the mandatory scorpion bowl.
Large-format cocktails (including a $26 Tiki-inspired drink for two, called the Employee of the Month, that’s served in a trophy cup...), Negronis, and other classic cocktails are on hand at Drexler's, but a beer iced in one of the bar-mounted vintage bathtubs is the move at this new drinkery from the team behind nearby Boulton & Watt.
There aren’t a ton of Peruvian spots in the city, but there’s a new one in Queens serving up goods like fluke tiradito, grilled pizza topped with artichoke and salami, and skirt steak with chimichurri and parsley butter.
This tiny spot, the casual sister restaurant to next-door Cocotte, has just a few seats to pull up and enjoy Southwestern French tapas like tiny burgers on focaccia, octopus carpaccio, and Armagnac pulled chicken toast.
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1. Jams1414 6th Avenue, New York
2. La Pecora Bianca1133 Broadway, New York
3. Leaf Bar & Lounge133-42 39th Ave, Flushing
4. Joe's Pizza216 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn
5. Davey's Ice Cream201 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn
6. Manhattan Brew & Vine998 Columbus Ave, New York
7. Broken Spoke Rotisserie439 3rd Ave, New York
8. Macchina2758 Broadway, New York
9. Tiki Tabu190 Allen St, New York
10. Drexler's9 Avenue A, New York
11. Nazca Restaurant34-20 Broadway , Astoria
12. Petite Cocotte110 Thompson St, New York
The original Jams helped lead the farm-to-table movement in the '80s from the Upper East Side. Now it, along with Chef Jonathan Waxman, has resurfaced at 1 Hotel Central Park. The California-style menu includes dishes like the Jams Pancakes with red pepper, smoked salmon, corn sauce, caviar, lobster with blood sausage, and squid ink rigatoni with crab, garlic, and chili.
Located in a historic NoMad building, La Pecora Bianca is reminiscent of an Italian farmhouse, albeit an upscale one. While it's one of those all-day power restaurants that serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, definitely go when you’re in the mood for pasta: spaghetti, lasagna, risotto, and other specialities are all made in-house, and available in gluten-free varieties. The drink menu is as Italian as the food, with more than 100 bottles of wine, plus Aperol Spritzs and Negronis.
Flushing is know more for its abundance of cheap Asian dining options than flashy rooftop lounges, yet Leaf Bar & Lounge manages to combine the two ideas in a rustic-chic take on an izakaya with Taiwanese street foods joining quality cocktails. The bar menu by chef Henry Lin, from Taiwan himself, is filled with satisfying snacks like pork belly buns and popcorn chicken. The unexpected drinks have both flavor and character, exemplified by the Pineapple Express -- vodka and sherry with pineapple puree and salted-caramel syrup in an ornamental copper cup.
Joe's Pizza is the epitome of an NYC slice joint. The West Village original has been doling out perfectly simple slices of New York and Sicilian-style pies since 1975, while the Williamsburg outpost is much newer, having set up shop in 2015. No matter which Joe's you're at, the process is simple: wait in line, pay for a slice, fold it in half, and eat it while standing.
You say "old-school ice cream parlor," we say, "Davey's Ice Cream." Based out of the East Village, this purist's ice cream joints whips up its flavors from scratch, crafting decadent flavors like Mexican vanilla bean and double chocolate. As if the retro storefront aesthetics weren't convincing enough, vintage wooden stools and jazz-ey typography will help transport you to a happier, sweeter state of mind.
This Upper West Side wine bar serves craft beers and, well, lots of wine. Eats are limited, but what is there (courtesy of chef Denzell Washington, not kidding) are great.
If this spot is any indication, more places should be rotisserie-ing more meats. Check out the "beast of the week" with tortillas, pickled veggies, and chimichurri.
True to it's name, the interior of Macchina gives has definite industrial vibes, but also celebrates American rock 'n' roll. The rustic Italian food is cooked in two wood burning ovens, while drinks are made at a welcoming bar.
This Lower East Side pop-up is open until September 2015, and serves all your favorite tiki drinks (including scorpion bowls) and then some. Find it at the top of SIXTY Lower East Side.
From the team at Boulton & Watt comes Drexler's, where large format cocktails, classic cocktails, and beers that are iced in vintage bathtubs are the norm.
The city doesn't have a lot of Peruvian restaurants, but this Queens spot serves classic dishes like fluke tiradito and skirt steak with chimichurri.
"Petite" applies to both the space and the food at this tiny, French tapas style restaurant in Soho. It's more casual than it's sister Cocotte, which is next door, and serves dishes like mini burgers on focaccia bread and octopus carpaccio.