February 2017 was a busy month, what with the Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day and a fresh wave of restaurants coming into New York. Last month saw the city welcome new food-and-drink options including a Mexican restaurant and deli that has a hidden agave bar, a solo sushi counter from one of New York’s Japanese food masters and a line-forming dessert spot dedicated to safe-to-eat raw cookie dough. From Koreancomfort food to high-profile Scandinavian eats, these are the best new restaurants that debuted in New York this February.
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Best new restaurants in NYC
Two Nordic titans—Agern restaurateur Claus Meyer and Aska chef Fredrik Berselius—join Michelin-starred forces for this Greenpoint newcomer inside A/D/O, a 23,000-square-foot creative space funded by BMW Mini. The 140-seat all-day restaurant serves as a café during breakfast, with house-baked pastries (Norwegian cinnamon buns), breakfast sandwiches (Havarti and cultured butter) and composed plates like rye porridge with quince. Lunch features rotating entrée and vegetable plates alongside fresh bread—think slow-roasted pork shoulder with buttermilk-dressed greens, or potato flatbread with a side of roasted escarole—while dinner options range from carrots with sea buckthorn to a dry-aged rib eye with chamomile.
Since 2012, Eiji Ichimura has been behind the exceptional omakase at the Michelin-starred sushi bar attached to David Bouley’s Brushstroke. Now the veteran sushi chef goes solo with this 10-seat Tribeca counter, where he stocks the daily-changing omakase with both aged and fresh cuts of fish, many of which are sourced directly from Tokyo’s famed Tsukiji market. The menu, spread across two hours, features zensai (Japanese snacks), soups, sashimi, sushi, dessert and tea service, all served on a bar made of sleek Brazilian brown quartz. Diners can pair the menu with natural wines chosen by Wildair wine director Jorge Riera or stick to sakes curated by Ichimura’s longtime collaborator Chizuko Niikawa-Helton.
The reopening of Danny Meyer’s Union Square Cafe made headlines on every site in the foodie-verse and damn near caused a Resy meltdown. But Union Square Hospitality Group wasn’t quite done—next door to that downtown dining room sits this small café sister issuing out Joe Coffee (the group recently invested in the java chain) and house-baked breads (caraway rye, a house miche) and pastries (crullers in cinnamon-sugar, maple or original glaze) courtesy of head baker Justin Rosengarten. Chef Carmen Quagliata expands those offerings to include breakfast gougères (eggs with ham and spinach), lunch sandwiches (chicken milanese, a broccoli melt) and sides, like shaved Brussels sprouts with guanciale. The intimate space operates mostly as a takeout spot but there is a handful of high-top tables if you want to tuck in on site.
Dale Talde and his Three Kings partners David Massoni and John Bush follow up Massoni with this playful 130-seat restaurant in Prospect Heights. The space is fitted with a 50-seat bar, 16 flatscreen TVs and a game room set with sofas, a fireplace and arcade games including Buck Hunter and NBA JAM. Talde pads the eclectic Americana menu with comfort foods like General Tso’s chicken wings, loaded beef-chili nachos and a double-patty burger.
The Bromberg brothers’ restaurant empire is broad in scope, from sushi counters (Blue Ribbon Sushi) to Southern-style chicken joints (Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken). For their latest, an 84-seat dining room on the ground floor of the AKA Wall Street, Bruce and Eric Bromberg zoom in on the grill. Along with plenty of aged steaks and chops, the meaty menu includes its signature bone marrow with oxtail marmalade and turkey rillettes on challah toast. The restauarant is expected to open mid-March of 2017.
Since 2014, Kristen Tomlan has calmed your salmonella fears with her line of safe-to-eat raw cookie dough, which gets a brick-and-mortar outlet with this 15-seat Greenwich Village shop. The poppy space—decorated with polka-dot wallpaper, neon signage and globe lights—offers signature flavors (sugar cookie, brownie batter) as straight-up scoops in cups and cones, as well as in ice cream sandwiches, milkshakes and build-your-own sundaes made using Blue Marble ice creams.
Adding to La Superior and Cerveceria Havemeyer, Felipe Mendez completes his trinity of Mexican concepts with this storefront deli-cum-mescal speakeasy. The brightly colored delicatessen stocks house-made ingredients like dried chilies, chorizo sausages and bottled sauces that Mendez uses in the kitchen at Cerveceria Havemeyer next door, and also features a coffee bar serving locally roasted espresso and freshly squeezed juices. Accessible through a freezer door in the deli is the 25-seat, reservation-only agave bar and “listening room,” where guests are treated to raw mescals, tequilas, ceviche and live DJ sets. (The room sports a vintage jukebox and floor-to-ceiling wood paneling for top-notch acoustics.)
Chelsea Market vendor Mŏkbar follows the recent trend of expanding beyond the food hall’s walls: Owner Esther Choi brings a 60-seat standalone version of her noodle bar to Bushwick. The focus is home-style Korean cooking like jip bap, a rice meal consisting of a central protein (braised short rib, salted mackerel) accompanied by seasonal vegetable sides and house-made kimchi. As at the Chelsea Market location, there are ramen bowls (roasted ginger chicken broth with pulled chicken, kimchi-bacon broth with braised pork) and a wide array of anji, small plates usually eaten while drinking (lentil jeon, vegetable tempura). The space melds Korean and Brooklyn influences: Think on-display kimchi pots and a large chopstick mural alongside exposed brick walls and, of course, Edison bulbs.
It may be named after a dude—American minimalist artist Walter De Maria—but there’s some serious femme power behind this sunny Nolita café: Chef Camille Becerra (Navy, Café Henrie) collaborated with music entrepreneur Grace Lee for the all-day spot, which has leather banquettes, pastel-green tables and neon-lit Virgin Mary artworks that were designed in conjunction with Amy Morris and Anna Polonsky of the branding studio the MP Shift. From the kitchen, Becerra turns out health-conscious, globally influenced breakfast and lunch options such as house tahini yogurt with persimmon, apricot and sumac, and a dragon bowl with a turmeric-poached egg, black chickpeas and avocado.
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