New York City Update: The Best New Spots
We just spent 72-hours in the city—and ate and shopped our way through as many neighborhoods as possible. Here, the new-ish spots we’re most excited about.
Whitmans406 E. 9th St., East Village | 212.228.8011
Though they’re famous for the Juicy Lucy (two hamburger patties sandwiched around a dollop of pimiento cheese), we actually like the Turkey Burger best (fried egg on top optional). They offer pretty much everything else we’ve ever craved for lunch, including an excellent kale salad (along with requisite kale chips), sweet potato fries, and the perfect grilled cheese.
Sweetgreen162 N. 4th St., Williamsburg | 347.987.3863
We’re big fans of this sustainability-first spot, which is growing like crazy. The focus is on local farmers, proper sourcing, and environmental respect, which is also reflected in the hands-down delicious food. Besides the build-your-own salad bar, the bowl-centric dishes range from Mexican-inspired salads to basic cobbs—and in the true spirit of transparency, they reveal calorie content, too. Come lunchtime, the lines extend around the block.
Sushi Nakazawa23 Commerce St., West Village | 212.924.2212
A two-month wait for a seat at Nakazawa’s bar, a chef whose claim to fame is having worked under Jiro, is not unheard of. Pedigree aside, the wait for the restaurant makes total sense: You’ll get 20 perfect pieces of perfect nigiri. The cuts are gorgeous, and it’s dressed up ever so slightly with just an ingredient or two (yuzu paste, lemon, salt).
Decoy529 ½ Hudson St., West Village | 212.691.9700
This Peking Duck-dedicated spot—tucked away in a converted laundromat beneath RedFarm—has the sort of exquisite Chinese food that you’d expect from Ed Schoenfeld and Joe Ng. While the Peking Duck was excellent (you have to reserve one in advance), we were most blown away by the uni noodle and octopus salad and the crab fried rice.
Dover412 Court St., Carroll Gardens | 347.987.3545
Unlike its sister restaurant Battersby, you can also order à la carte here. This is a boon as you'll want to sample as many of these New American dishes as possible. From a hamachi with homemade ponzu, radish, and sesame, to cauliflower topped with raisins, pistachios, and colatura, to a garganelli with duck ragu and wild ramps, the dishes are excitingly creative, seasonal, and tasty. The pale wood and small tabletops feel a bit casual for the sophistication of the dishes and the price point, but we like that it's so low-key.
Russ & Daughters Café127 Orchard St., Lower East Side | 212.475.4880
While take-out from the 1914 original on East Houston is an unparalleled New York City experience, the new, wonderfully turned-out, old-world café is about a ten minute walk from the mothership, with waits that are two or three times that long. We heartily recommend the classic open-face sandwich, the super heebster nosh with wasabi roe, and matzo ball soup. Dying to try next: Chocolate babka french toast, along with their potato pancakes, which are topped with Gaspe Nova smoked salmon and a sunny side up egg.
Glasserie95 Commercial St., Greenpoint | 718.389.0640
Perched on the northern tip of Brooklyn, and housed in a former glass factory, this is inarguably Greenpoint’s most notable new opening—which says a lot, as it’s a burgeoning culinary scene. Chef Elmdad Shem Tov’s heritage influences the menu significantly, as flourishes from Israel and the Middle East dot the contemporary offerings.
Estela47 E. Houston St., Nolita | 212.219.7693
We were thrilled when Igancio Mattos (formerly of Chez Panisse, Il Buco, and Isa) opened this spot on East Houston (he now has Café Altro Paradiso nearby on Spring Street). The dishes are of a Mediterranean slant, and while they’re unfamiliar and unexpected, he never sacrifices taste or pleasure for innovation. There are many swoon moments on the menu: egg salad on matzo, raw scallops with yuzu, beef tartare with sunchoke (the texture of this was incredible), and ricotta dumplings. It’s a small spot with rustic accents that never threaten to overshadow the food. It can get quite loud, and tables can be hard to come by, but if you can get one, go.
Black Seed Bagels170 Elizabeth St., Nolita | 212.730.1950
Black Seed draws big crowds, which we totally get: The hand-rolled, wood-fired bagel sandwiches are actually easy to eat (they’re much smaller than their brethren), and for the most part, they’re great—particularly for those times when the only thing that will satisfy is a bagel sandwich. Favorites include: beet-cured gravlax, a basic tuna salad, Tobiko spread, and the egg salad (though it's heavy on the dill). There's now a location in Battery Park City, and one coming in the East Village soon.
All’onda22 E. 13th St., Greenwich Village | 212.231.2236
Chef Chris Jaeckle teamed up with restaurateur Chris Cannon (Michael White’s former business partner) to open this well-dressed restaurant in the village. The first floor—occupied solely by the bar—is generally packed, thanks in no small part to the fact they are currently not taking reservations for two. The menu is Venetian with touches of Japan—evidenced by the crudos (a la Marea). Everyone these days has their version of the uni bucatini, but Jaeckle has one of the best we’ve tried.