Travel

New York City Restaurants

Establishment neighborhood
Frenchette
241 W Broadway, Tribeca
Balthazar and Minetta Tavern alums Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson got together and decided to redo the idea of the French brasserie. What they came up with is Frenchette in Tribeca. The proof is in delicious if unpronounceable dishes like the brouillade—a buttery, garlicky scrambled egg and escargot dish. Technically, it’s an hors d’oeuvre, but who cares about technicalities? This could easily stand in as an entrée (especially with a side of charred carrots with labneh). And while ordering roast chicken at a restaurant might seem like a cop-out, Frenchette’s is perfectly roasted and presented on a bed of croutons that soak up all the drippings, along with a little pot of puréed potatoes. The biodynamic wine list, meanwhile, is a departure from the usual and a very welcome one.
Studio at The Freehand
23 Lexington Ave, Flatiron
Although restaurateur Gabe Stulman has five restaurants under his belt in the West Village (including Joseph Leonard and Jeffrey’s Grocery), this is his first venture into hotel dining. Studio is located on the second floor of the cool-kid hangout of the moment, the Freehand (which also has outposts in Miami, Chicago, and L.A.), in the Flatiron district. The theme is an homage to Stulman’s Jewish-Moroccan background, with influences drawn from North Africa and the Middle East. You could make a meal out of the small plates here, and we’d go for the spring pea hummus, served with a side of lamb merguez and pita; the berbere shrimp with fennel and blood orange; and the eggplant mirza with roasted tomato. The space itself resembles a private club more than a traditional restaurant, full of low-slung, sheepskin-covered leather chairs, cozy banquettes, and a soothing palette of warm browns and dark blues.
Tacuba
802 Ninth Ave., Hell's Kitchen
After chef Julian Medina scored a hit in Astoria, Queens, with his Mexican cantina Tacuba four years ago, he opened this outpost in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen, with a bigger menu and more seating, two years later. The concept is classic Mexican with a few creative twists thrown in: chili rellenos filled with quinoa, mushrooms, and kale, chili-dusted fluke tacos with a kohlrabi-habanero slaw, and carne asada with a side of bone marrow fried rice. The atmosphere is generally boisterous, thanks in part to a big cocktail menu (we’re partial to the frozen tamarind margaritas), as well as the mezcal and tequila selection (there are hundreds—really, hundreds—of bottles on offer).
Ferris
44 W. 29th St., Midtown
Ferris is the sleek, atmospheric restaurant that occupies the subterranean level of the Made Hotel; even if you’re a guest of the hotel, it’s worth making a reservation in advance. You’re in for a doozy of flavors, textures, and cultural mashups—it’s effing incredible. Start with the Melon de Caraibe, a cocktail of honeydew, rum, mint, and egg whites, plus bread and butter (it doesn’t come with dinner, you have to order it, and the luscious, fresh-out-of-the-oven sunflower-caraway is worth it). Sit in one of the pillowy nooks near the window and exult in dishes like charred broccolini in a creamy yogurt-cashew emulsion, broth-bathed hake (flaky, delicate, a tidal wave of flavor), and cardamom-coriander Szechuan-style duck with a side of fermented sour cherry relish to remind you of all that is right in the world.
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