Five game-changing restaurants of 2013

In another year of barn-burning culinary debuts, these newcomers really shook up New York’s dining scene.

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  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Carbone

  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    Mackerel at Sushi Nakazawa

  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    Short ribs at Betony

  • Photograph: Loren Wohl

    Pigs-in-a-blanket at Alder

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    Bunker

Photograph: Filip Wolak

Carbone

Carbone

With their souped-up ode to red-sauce supper clubs where everyone is treated like mob royalty, Italian-American wunderkinder Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone not only revived the classic New York genre, they reinvented it.

  1. 181 Thompson St, (between Bleecker and W Houston Sts), 10012
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Sushi Nakazawa

Wise and hungry after an 11-year apprenticeship with Tokyo sushi deity Jiro Ono (of documentary fame), jovial fish whisperer Daisuke Nakazawa brought high-wattage star power to NYC’s sushi scene and threw down with a 21-course omakase that, piece for piece, swims with the city’s best.

  1. 23 Commerce St, (between Bedford Ave and Seventh Ave South), 10004
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Betony

Ditching a marathon tasting menu and robotic service for fun-loving à la carte and a charming staff, Eleven Madison Park alums Bryce Shuman and Eamon Rockey gave us a rare treat: an incredibly serious New American restaurant that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

  1. 41 W 57th St, (between Fifth and Sixth Aves), 10019
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Alder

Just when his madcap molecular gastronomy was feeling increasingly exclusive—wd~50 turned tasting-menu-only last year—Wylie Dufresne took a surprisingly democratic turn, thrilling gourmands and barflies alike with a whimsical mash-up of avant-garde cooking and pop-in pub food.

  1. 157 Second Ave, (between 9th and 10th Sts), 10003
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Bunker

In 2012, high-profile riffs on Thai and Chinese garnered all the hype, but this year Eleven Madison Park vet Jimmy Tu finally pushed Vietnam into the NYC limelight, letting his fine-dining chops loose and dispatching straight-up street food from a middle-of-nowhere shack.

  1. 46-63 Metropolitan Ave, (between Onderdonk and Woodward Aves), 11385
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