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Tonkatsu at Momosan Ramen & Sake
Photograph: Zandy Mangold Tonkatsu at Momosan Ramen & Sake

The best new restaurants in NYC in April

From a tapas-focused Philly import to a subway-station food hall, here are NYC’s most exciting new eats

By Christina Izzo and Dan Q Dao
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Temperatures are finally heating up in New York, and so is the restaurant scene. This month welcomed the much-anticipated follow-up to one of the best New York pizza spots, a neo-bistro inside one of Brooklyn’s coolest live-music venues and the launch of a snack-packed food court at the Columbus Circle subway station. These are the best new restaurants NYC diners can now visit.

RECOMMENDED: Full list of new restaurants in NYC

Best new restaurants in NYC

Amada

Restaurants Spanish Battery Park City

In the 10 years since his tapas temple Amada opened in Philadelphia, Jose Garces has become a food-world emperor, with 15 restaurants, a James Beard Award and an Iron Chef title under his belt. The megachef now brings that empire to New York with this Brookfield Place outpost of his tapas-focused flagship, a 248-seat, Andalusian-inspired dining room fitted with rattan-backed banquettes, geometric tile work and woven screens. Garces is collaborating in the kitchen with Gilt vet Justin Bogle—the youngest chef ever awarded two Michelin stars—on small plates like clams with chorizo and almonds, a flatbread topped with Catalan sausage and piquillo pepper confit, and empanadas stuffed with Manchego and served with artichoke escabeche. The companion wine program, curated by Nacho Monclus (Socarrat, Lupulo), exclusively features Spain-bred bottles, while cocktails take inspiration from acclaimed Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar’s films: the Bad Education features apricot-infused brandy, Spanish grappa and chamomile cordial.

EMMY SQUARED
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Emmy Squared

Restaurants Pizza Williamsburg

With their popular Clinton Hill, Brooklyn canteen Emily, husband-and-wife team Matt and Emily Hyland created the rare restaurant where you can get both some of New York’s best new-school pizza and one of its finest burgers. For the couple’s latest za destination, a square-pie spin-off in Williamsburg, they’re trading Gotham’s thin-crust rounds for thick, Detroit-style pan pizza and cheeseburgers for saucy Italian-American subs. Teaming up with chef-partner Lou Tomczak (Paulie Gee’s), the Hylands pan-bake both red and white pies, such as a burrata-crowned Margherita, a marinara-sauced house special topped with banana peppers and ranch, and a blanca Angel Pie with sottocenere, mushrooms and a truffled egg yolk. Sandwiches include options like a chicken parmigiana hero, while sides and snacks—including crispy cheese curds, waffle fries and a bottarga-shot bok choy Caesar salad—round out the menu.

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Steamed clams at Rider
Zandy Mangold

Rider

Restaurants American creative Williamsburg

After a three-year sojourn in his native St. Louis, where he helmed sleek basement pub Basso, James Beard Award–winning chef Patrick Connolly (Bobo) makes his New York return with this 64-seat bi-level restaurant, set inside Williamsburg’s nonprofit music venue National Sawdust. And although it’s named after tour riders, the often ridiculous dressing-room requests of musicians, you won’t find color-coordinated M&Ms or Rihanna-approved Hot Cheetos on Connolly’s menu—instead, expect vegetable-forward plates such as ricotta toast with grilled mortadella and shaved raw beets with blue cheese and quinoa. Meatier offerings include confited chicken wings with caramelized fennel, and roasted beef served on a bagna-cauda–lavished baguette with roasted marrow. Diners can enjoy their meals in the upstairs dining room, decorated with padded leather booths and dark-wood seating, or downstairs at a bar trimmed with beechwood benches and stainless-steel stools. Behind the marble bar, general manager Colby Zito (Maialino) crafts cocktails like a brandy-rum Bernie Sanders Rookie Card (vanilla, grenadine) and a mescal-based Free Brain Surgery (lime, fernet).

Tonkatsu at Momosan Ramen & Sake
Photograph: Zandy Mangold

Momosan Ramen & Sake

Restaurants Japanese Murray Hill

it’s hard to believe that a megawatt Japanese chef such as Morimoto namesake Masaharu Morimoto wouldn’t have forayed sooner into the lucrative world of ramen, having spent a decade erecting an international empire of modern Japanese restaurants and sushi bars spanning New York to New Delhi. But the bespectacled Iron Chef alum makes his splashy debut to the noodle-soup game with this 60-seat Murray Hill restaurant, which affectionately takes its title from the toque’s nickname in the kitchen. On the menu are the titular bowls, offered both in traditional varieties, such as tonkotsu (with soy tare, pork chashu and ajitama egg), and globally inspired broths, such as a spicy, Malaysian-inflected laksa version with coconut curry and red miso ground pork. Beyond ramen, small plates range from a romaine-cucumber chashu salad in garlic sauce to a Peking duck taco with hoisin and apricot-chili sauce in a soft tortilla. On the drinks front, a sake menu touts 13 regional varieties offered by the glass in traditional cedarwood masu boxes, along with a selection of sake-based cocktails.

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FREEK'S MILL interior-exterior
Paul Wagtouicz

Freek's Mill

Restaurants American Gowanus

Named after an 18th-century water mill once situated on the Gowanus Canal, this locally driven American eatery from Casa Mono and Bar Jamón alums J.T. Stewart and Maxime Giordani pays homage to the neighborhood’s long history of farming both in title and in principle. The vegetable-forward menu, overseen by chef Chad Shaner (Union Square Cafe, Gotham Bar & Grill), nods to the canal’s long-gone oyster beds with a plate of wood-roasted bivalves and pickled scapes, while fish and wild game appear in small plates like striped-bass crudo with sea beans and a “rabbit in a jar” with beet mostarda. Rotating greens adhere to seasonal availability, with an opening spring lineup sporting dishes like dandelions with fried chicken liver and egg, and BBQ kohlrabi with grits. On the vino front, Hotel Delmano beverage pro Alex Alan curates a wine list of 120 bottles and 16 by-the-glass options centered heavily on cru beaujolais and Loire chenin blanc.

AGERN interior
Paul Wagtouicz

Agern

Restaurants Contemporary European Midtown East

Noma cofounder Claus Meyer has grand plans for New York this year: his nonprofit culinary center and cooking school in Brownsville, Brooklyn, and his weekend Danish bread pop-up at Williamsburg’s Margo Patisserie. He also has two big-deal projects inside Grand Central Terminal: his 5,000-square-foot Nordic-themed Great Northern Food Hall and this adjacent Scandinavian dining room, overseen by Icelandic supertoque Gunnar Gíslason (Reykjavík’s acclaimed Dill). Located inside the terminal’s shuttle passageway, the 85-seat restaurant taps into the Danish concept of hygge or coziness, with leather-covered banquette sofas, brass and glass pendant lights, and chevron-tiled walls. Gíslason dispatches two tasting menus (vegetarian and otherwise) and an á la carte docket that includes dishes like salt-baked beet root with crème fraîche and vegetable “sparks”; roasted-and-braised lamb with sunchokes and dill; and a parsley-root mousse paired with fried parsley peel and a sorbet made from the herb.

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BARANO interior-exterior
Paul Wagtouicz

Barano

Restaurants Italian Williamsburg

At Rubirosa, Nolita’s throwback Italian joint, chef Al Di Meglio helped bring a slice of Naples to Mulberry Street with family-style pastas and 50-year-old pizza recipes. Now he delves even deeper into the southern Italian region with this South Williamsburg neotrattoria, pulling inspiration from his grandmother’s birthplace, the Neapolitan island of Ischia. Armed with a wood-fired grill and rotisserie in the open kitchen, Di Meglio turns out pizza topped with mushrooms and pancetta; a spit-roasted lamb leg with potatoes al forno; and charred octopus with farro and mint pesto—as well as house-made pastas and hand-pulled mozzarella made to order. Both Italian and Brooklyn wines and beers are available at the 13-seat cactus marble bar, alongside nonalcoholic house sodas (cream, orange-fennel). The 89-seat dining room also plays up the Old World versus New Brooklyn contrast, with leather booths, patina mirrors and pearl-tiled columns.

L’Appart at Le District
Photograph: Liz Clayman

L'Appart

Restaurants French Battery Park City

Amid the market bustle of Battery Park’s Le District lies this eight-table French tasting-menu restaurant, helmed by Daniel alum Nicolas Abello. Pulling produce and proteins from Le District’s market stalls, Abello puts together a six-course spread that includes dishes like organic-zucchini hand rolls with Crottin de Champcol goat cheese and kiwi chutney, a mille-feuille of roasted beets with 12-month Comté and aged balsamic, and cucumber cups with poached Maine lobster and makrut-lime leaves. Diners can view the cooking action through an open kitchen from the 28-seat dining room, fixed with marble countertops, copper light fixtures and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Hudson River.

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TurnStyle

Restaurants Food court Hell's Kitchen

What’s the best way to stomach subway delays? With a snack, obviously. Columbus Circle elevates your platform noshes with this 325-foot-long subway passageway turned underground retail complex, designed with glass storefronts, porcelain floor tiles and white steel columns. Thirty-nine vendors now call the subterranean mall home, including dining outlets like Doughnuttery and MeltKraft. Grab Taiwanese dumplings at Yong Kang Street, empanadas at Bolivian Llama Party and vegan cookies at Blossom du Jour. Some merchants, like Gastronomie 491, are outfitted with seating areas; others, like Ellary’s Greens, serve wine and beer.

Chinese Club
Photograph: Courtesy of Chinese Club

Chinese Club

Restaurants Chinese Williamsburg

Long gone are the days when the disparate regions of Chinese cuisine were all lumped into one monolithic category. Hyperfocused regional cooking is now at the forefront, from the fiery flavors of northern Xi’an to the coastal seafood of Zhejiang and now lesser-known Hakkanese and Kolkata-Chinese fare, offering a glimpse into the Chinese diaspora as far as Darjeeling, India. A collaboration between husband-wife team Salil Mehta (Laut) and Stacey Lo, who grew up in a mixed Hakka-Indian household, this 60-seat restaurant reboots the space formerly home to the couple’s Malaysian critical darling Pasar Malam. Rejiggered with glowing red-glass lanterns, a golden lucky piggy bank and posters of cheeky Chinese puns, the eatery takes its name from the Darjeeling Chinese Club, a cultural refuge for Chinese immigrants living in India of which Lo’s grandfather was a founder. Dishes aptly draw from both cultures, such as tandoori chicken tossed kung pao style, egg noodles slicked with Calcutta chili garlic, and Indian-style fritters nestling Manchurian vegetables in a soy-based sauce.

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Find 5-star restaurants in NYC

5 star restaurants in NYC
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

5 star restaurants in NYC

Restaurants

Over the years, Time Out New York has awarded the coveted five stars to just a handful of NYC restaurants, who have all achieved that damn-near-perfect balance of cuisine, decor and innovation. Among this select group are fine-dining titans, long-standing hotel restaurants and international imports running the gamut from Mexican to Korean cuisines. Say hello to the ten 5 star restaurants in NYC, as determined by our critics.

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