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Grilled quail at Schilling
Photograph: Filip Wolak Grilled quail at Schilling

The best new restaurants in NYC in May

From a fine-dining Indian restaurant to a Pop Tarts-loving Greenpoint diner, here are NYC’s most exciting new eats

By Christina Izzo
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This month’s crop of new restaurants is delicious proof of how diverse New York’s food scene can be—there’s a cool-kid homage to old-school diners and luncheonettes, a Greenpoint sister-restaurant to Bar Awards-winning Maison Premiere and an upscale Indian restaurant from a Michelin-level chef. These are the best new restaurants NYC diners can now visit.

RECOMMENDED: See more of the best new restaurants in NYC

Best new restaurants in NYC

Olmsted

Restaurants Contemporary American Prospect Heights

Olmsted’s focus on hyperfresh produce should come as no surprise, given chef Greg Baxtrom’s résumé—before opening this seasonal Prospect Heights spot, the chef put in kitchen time at renowned ingredient-driven restaurants like Chicago’s Alinea, Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Atera. It’s at the last of those where Baxtrom met horticulturist Ian Rothman, who partnered with the chef for this white-brick 50-seat dining room—which sports high ceilings, a chef’s counter and butcher-block tables—as well as the backyard garden, equipped with produce beds growing vegetables (Easter egg radishes, Jerusalem artichokes), flowers (violets, lilacs) and herbs (sassafras, opal basil). Those fresh wares are employed in both dish and drink: On the plate, find options like carrot crêpes with surf clams, spring-onion chawanmushi (Japanese egg custard), and roasted guinea hen with ramps and morels; cocktails include the Rhubarb (tequila, rhubarb cordial, tonic) and the Tarragon (gin, yuzu, tarragon syrup).

Sauvage

Restaurants Contemporary American Greenpoint

The owners behind Sauvage already know how to open an exceptional bar: Joshua Boissy and Krystof Zizka’s cocktail-and-bivalve favorite Maison Premiere won Bar of the Year at our own 2016 Bar Awards and has evolved into a destination dining room in its own right thanks to executive chef Lisa Giffen’s elegant work. Now the team is beefing up those restaurant bona fides with this Greenpoint follow-up. Playing off the restaurant’s name (French for “wild”), the 68-seat Art Nouveau–inspired room offsets handblown glass chandeliers and retro embossed chairs with a plethora of potted palms and planted herbs, and the menu follows in earthy suit. Giffen serves mountain pike with a sour-beer sabayon, carrot carpaccio with a carrot-top gremolata, and Plymouth Rock pot-au-feu with chicken-skin schmaltz toast. Though food is the centerpiece, the team doesn’t slack on cocktails: The walnut bar, overseen by bar director Will Elliot, is stocked with 200 small-batch spirits used in drinks including a Pastis Cobbler with chamomile grappa and Maurin Quina.

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TAPESTRY
Paul Wagtouicz

Tapestry

Restaurants Indian West Village

Back in 2005, New Delhi–born chef Suvir Saran became the first toque to earn a Michelin star for an Indian restaurant with Devi, his now-shuttered tasting-menu dining room in Union Square. Saran left Devi in 2012 for the Bay Area, but now the acclaimed chef is making his New York comeback with this 70-seat West Village spot, decorated with a white-quartz bar, whitewashed brick walls and works from Indian artists. Collaborating with chef de cuisines Joel Corona and Aarti Mehta in the kitchen, Saran serves Indian-spiced global plates like risotto with Indian tarka, meatballs zapped with ginger and puri built with all-American cornmeal.

Hail Mary

Restaurants Diners

This ain’t your granny’s diner, although it certainly looks the part: The retrofied Greenpoint eatery is done up with grandma-friendly flourishes like floral wallpaper, Tiffany-style glass lamps and kitschy artwork (dogs dressed as soda jerks, toast depicting the visage of the Virgin Mary). The 74-seat comfort-food spot comes courtesy of husband-and-wife team Hisham “Ham” and Sohla El-Waylly, who have a laundry list of restaurant gigs between them: Empellón Cocina, Corton and Pok Pok are a mere few. The couple’s menu is more eclectic than eggs-all-day diner staples (though they have those, too): short-rib stroganoff,  deviled-egg dip with trout roe and Egyptian grilled duck over dirty rice. Desserts are more wholesomely all-American, with house-made Pop-Tarts and candy bars. Overlooking the open kitchen is a 16-seat bar where you can find spins on soda-fountain staples like a bourbon banana split.

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Schilling

Restaurants Austrian

Apparently Eduard Frauneder’s New Year’s resolution was to expand his Austrian empire in 2016—the Michelin-starred chef behind East Village tavern Edi & the Wolf and cocktail bar the Third Man debuted Freud, a Viennese café in Greenwich Village, this February, and now he’s following that up with this FiDi bistro named after the former Austrian currency. It’s a rustic 70-seat room fitted with Thonet chairs, a reclaimed barnwood ceiling and glass-paneled garage doors,  and like at its sister restaurants, modern takes on Frauneder’s native cuisine dominate the menu: The spaetzle is dressed with Gruyère and crispy spring onions; a young chicken comes with roasted maitakes and a sourdough-bread salad; and traditional streusel tops panna cotta with blueberry compote. Drinks also zoom in on Central Europe, with German beers, Austrian wines and cocktails from the Third Man team, including the Vienna Morning (Byrrh Grand Quinquina, prosecco, mint).

DON MUANG AIRPORT
Paul Wagtouicz

Don Muang Airport

Restaurants Thai

Zachary Mexico and Billy Jones bring a little Bangkok to Brooklyn with this full-service Thai newcomer, set inside the team’s live-music haunt Baby’s All Right. Named for the Thai airport where Mexico first met chef and beverage director Jarrett Wrisley (Bangkok’s Soul Food Mahanakorn), the 65-seat restaurant riffs on Thai comfort classics, overseen by executive chef Michael Sablan (Mission Chinese Food). Green curry comes in the form of fried rice with slow-braised beef cheeks; northern khao soi flavors pulled pork sliders with crispy noodles and mint; and papaya salad is plopped on top of a Thai-spiced fried-chicken sandwich. At two bars, find beachy large-format cocktails served in buckets, such as the Under the Armchairs (tequila, chili, lime and Pacifico).

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Izi
Filip Wolak

Izi

Restaurants Japanese

Poke had a banner year in New York, with sit-down restaurants like Noreetuh and fast-casual operations (Pokéworks, Wisefish Poké) alike bringing Hawaii’s hallmark raw-fish dish to our shores. And demand doesn’t seem to be slowing down—at this 26-seat Japanese izakaya inside the W New York-Times Square, a section of chef Juan Carlos Ortega’s menu is dedicated to the stuff: The Blue Fin chef turns out tuna poke with sake-braised hijiki, a hamachi version with crispy rice, and a vegetarian variety made with asparagus, fava beans and ramps in citrus ponzu. Beyond poke and snacks (ginger-togarashi olives, bonito-topped shishito peppers), sushi chef Mike Lim (Sushi of Gari) fills out the menu with dishes like Japanese snapper with plum salt, and salmon with lime kosho and ginger blossom. It’s a fish focus reflected in the sleekly nautical room, set with mahogany-wood paneling, navy booths and a statement “wave wall” designed by Yabu Pushelberg.

Cherry Point

Restaurants Eclectic Midtown West

It may be set in the former home of a 1930s Polish butchery, but there are no Slavic specialties on offer at this 57-seat Greenpoint newcomer, named after the neighborhood’s onetime eponym. Instead of placki and pierogi, former Spotted Pig sous chef Julian Calcott turns out New American numbers splashed with French and Mediterranean flavors: seared poussin with grilled potatoes, koji-rubbed steak au poivre, and seared skate wing with favas and lamb bacon. Calcott does honor the space’s meaty beginnings, however, with a selection of house-made charcuterie like pork-and-prune pâté and chicken-and-ramp boudin blanc. Partner Garret Smith (the Finch) designed the drinks menu, stocked with by-the-glass French Loire Valley wines, local craft beers (Greenport Harbor Otherside IPA, Ommegang Hennepin) and cocktails like a house sour charged with smoked Scotch; while fellow partner Vincent Mazeau, a former set designer and art director, handled the decor: a woodsy spread of midcentury chairs, vintage tchotchkes (globes, baseballs) and an antique chestnut bar.

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Filip Wolak

Graffiti Earth

Restaurants Eclectic

A decade after bringing his eclectic brand of plant-based small plates to the East Village with Graffiti, chef Jehangir Mehta expands that pocket-sized concept inside Tribeca’s Duane Street Hotel—well, slightly. The country-house space is still an intimate 20 seats, including a central communal table and counter overlooking the open kitchen, but the influences at play in that kitchen stretch far wider, building off the traditions of Mehta’s native India with flavors from Korea, Mexico and Japan. Vegetable-focused dishes include curry-rice sushi with “ugly eggplant” and king mushrooms in a malbec-mole sauce, with proteins such as sustainable meat and underutilized fish as accompaniments and garnishes. The restaurant can be accessed from a streetside entrance or through a secret door hiding near a bookshelf in the hotel’s lounge.

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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