Best new restaurants in NYC in July
Nikkei cuisine is the fusion of Japanese and Peruvian fare, developed in the early 1900s from Japanese rail workers who immigrated to Peru. The hybrid cuisine has landed in NYC courtesy of Peruvian chef Mina Newman (Edison Ballroom) and Japanese toque Taku Nagai (Ootoya), who whip up plates using ingredients native to both countries: Think salchipapas (sausage and potatoes) with miso mustard and Kurobuta pork links, or quinoa chaufa (fried rice) with pork belly, plantains, king oyster mushrooms and smoked oshinko (Japanese pickle). The palatial 190-seat space also combines East and West, with a 10-seat sushi bar, light-wood tabletops and a cream-colored banquette.
After a kitchen fire destroyed the West Village space nearly a year ago, the Downing Street darling from chef-owner Galen Zamarra is back. Along with returning staff members, the James Beard Award–winning toque retained Mas’s brand of locally sourced French-American fare, found in plates both old and new, including yellowfin tuna l’occidental with beurre noisette and crispy shallots; roasted diver scallops in a sweet-corn soup with summer truffles; and Long Island duck breast dressed with beet and coconut purees, baby fennel and roasted turnip. And fans of the old will recognize the setting but with a slight twist: The original designers kept the red-and-black Vitra Prouvé chairs and reclaimed-wood accents but also installed cork wallpaper and Ralph Pucci–designed banquettes to give the space a fresh feel.
Eleven Madison Park, which took top honors on Restaurant’s 2017 World’s Best Restaurants list, may have shuttered its door in June for renovations (don’t worry, it’ll be back by the fall), but you can get chef Daniel Humm’s megawatt eats down near sunnier shores—East Hampton, to be exact—for the summer. The casual pop-up serves à la carte, seafood-heavy fare like poached lobster and ginger-laced striped bass in its main dining room, open only to American Express cardholders. However, if you’re not part of the plastic elite, you can always head to the covered back patio for flatbreads (corn, clam, zucchini), sandwiches (lobster rolls, the famed black-truffle Humm dog from the NoMad) and summery cocktails from beverage director Leo Robitschek, divided into Classics, Sunrise and Sunset sections. To really hammer in summer-casual vibes, the lawn is dotted with picnic tables and outdoor games, including corn hole and pétanque.
Sushi omakases are a dime a dozen around these raw-fish–loving parts, but an all-bacon omakase is brand-new territory. Owners Phillip Cho and Anna Lee recruited chef Brian Crawford (Todd English Food Hall, W Hotel Downtown) to bring their porcine vision to life. Belly up to a nine-course menu served at a 10-seat cement bar or communal table for dinnertime only, with swine-centric courses like bacon carpaccio (truffle oil, Himalayan pink sea salt, shaved Parmesan), bacon sushi (torched pork belly, wasabi, Szechuan oil) and triple-cooked pork jowl. For those who don’t think they can handle so much pig in one sitting, there is an à la carte menu with sandwiches and bowls and also a slimmed-down, five-course option during lunch hours.
After nearly 40 years downtown, the Chinatown dim sum stalwart welcomes a sibling on the Upper West Side. The uptown iteration features similar traditional Cantonese fare to the original’s, like Peking pork chops, honey-walnut prawns and beef chow fun, alongside freshly cooked dim sum items (shrimp dumplings, BBQ pork buns) that diners can watch chefs prepare at a 10-seat chef’s counter. The decor, however, is decidedly different from the spot’s below–14th Street counterpart: It’s dressed with modern accents like reclaimed-wood columns, hanging pendant lights and honeycomb wall panels.
New York harbor was once a hotbed of oyster production, home to nearly 220,000 acres of reefs. Governors Island pays tribute to that bivalve legacy with this outdoor oyster bar and beer garden from Alex and Miles Pincus, the brothers, sailors and restaurateurs behind the popular boat bar Grand Banks. Eat sustainably harvested shellfish sourced both near (Long Island) and far (British Columbia), or dig into other seasonal fare like Black Angus burgers and grilled corn on the cob from Eleven Madison Park alum Kerry Heffernan. The 32,000-square-foot venue contains a waterfront bar, a separate white-marble oyster bar and four large, communal mahogany tables for sipping craft beers or warm-weather cocktails alfresco.
Pescatarians are having a good time of it recently, with fish-focused newcomers like Gloria and Simply Hooked having debuted in Manhattan this spring. This Reykjavík, Iceland, import from Erna Kaaber jumps into those waters, spotlighting sustainably sourced fish fried in spelt batter and served with a choice of crispy potatoes or mango salad, among other dishes. What distinguishes the Icelandic fish-and-chips from the more well-known British variety is the dipping sauce: The signature Skyronnes accompaniment is made from skyr, a healthier alternative to the usual mayonnaise-based sauce, and comes in flavors like chili, tsatsiki and tartar.
New York is well-versed in food halls—and now the “grocerant” is on the rise, boosted by openings like this food-hall-meets-fresh-market in Financial District. The Eataly-style venue features a variety of vendors, including stalls from Artichoke Basille's Pizza, Vanessa’s Dumpling House, the Cinnamon Snail and Beyond Sushi serve meals for pick-up or eat-in, alongside a high-end grocery store fully stocked with a deli and counters devoted to cheese, seafood, butcher, produce and prepared foods.
Maman, the rustic-chic café in Soho, is expanding its pint-size space by connecting a small-scale marketplace right next door. Stocked with retail vendors in the front like beauty brand Bastide and flower shop Flower Girl, the Anthropologie-style space also purveys MilkMade ice cream. In the back, Garde Manger is an all-day, table-service café with rotating chefs curating the menu, kicking off with plates from The Yellow Table author Anna Watson Carl. Catch some rays with additional café seating in the Jardin de Maman, an outdoor garden area outfitted by West Elm.
Everyone knows New York City is home to the world’s best bagels. But what about the breakfast carb’s sidekick? Becky’s Bites, a cream-cheese–focused catering company from Becky Rosenthal, has opened its first brick-and-mortar location in the East Village. The shop serves minibagels, tiny tarts, cookie sandwiches and parfaits—all with a cream-cheese component. And there won’t just be your typical spreads like plain or lox, either. Look for premade flavors like peanut butter, cappuccino and cookies-and-cream to slather on the savory dough sandwiches. For wholly sweet snacks, try the Childhood Throwbacks dip combos like Beckaroos with Teddy Grahams cookies and funfetti dip, and Cinnamon Crunch with cinnamon-sugar cookie chips and vanilla dip.
The popular Nomad café-restaurant from husband-and-wife team Ashley Jaffe and Zach Israel has expanded to a second location right down the block. And instead of returning to its sit-down roots, the pint-size market is purveying high-quality groceries like Pat LaFrieda meats, Black Seed bagels and Balthazar breads, along with specially prepared meals for takeaway. Try the healthy servings of cauliflower fried rice, Dijon chicken salad, brussels sprout slaw or a “detox salad” with quinoa and veggies. The new digs look similar to the other store; the market is sticking to the signature mint-green hue in the light fixtures and “blank slates” (a.k.a. chalkboards) delineating what’s on the menu.
West Chelsea is packing on a few more pounds of flesh thanks to this Southern-fried eatery from celebutoque Cat Cora, her first stand-alone spot on the East Coast. The Iron Chef TV personality takes the menu back to her roots, with guilty-pleasure plates like crab-cake–stuffed biscuit sandwiches, Nashville-style hot chicken, and spicy shrimp and grits. Mason-jar cocktails from the team behind Sugar Factory also have a down-South bent—think blood-orange mint juleps and a s’mores-bourbon-coffee shake.