January is typically the slowest month for many businesses, even for the best restaurants in NYC. After all, your bank account seems to be missing an extra zero and like everyone else, you probably have resolutions to cook more, workout more and drink less. But for the Time Out New York Food & Drink team, there’s no slowing down. Restaurant Week is around the corner and some buzzy openings are helping kick off 2020. If there’s something that won’t change this year, it’s that dining out in this new decade is still one of the best things to do in New York.
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Verōnika, a new restaurant at the recently-opened, Fotografiska Museum, comes from celebrity restaurateur Stephen Starr who runs New York heavy-hitters such as Le Coucou, Pastis, La Mercerie and Buddakan (among others). There are old-school French dishes like “Soufflé Suissesse” with sauce mornay and “Consommé Nana” (chicken, quail egg and Parmesan croutons) as well as cozy plays on Eastern European delights, such as Viennese veal schnitzel with crushed potatoes and cucumber salad.
What Noods n’ Chill lacks in space (there are only 12 seats in this self-serve restaurant), it makes up in dynamic flavors. Fluffy brioche is topped with fragrant pork floss with a shiny spread of sweet chili paste. You’ll also find noodle soups (order the pork blood-enriched boat noodles) but there’s also a rarely seen Chinese-Thai rice porridge perfect for breakfast.
Delores Tronco-DePierro, who opened Denver's popular Work & Class, and her husband, executive chef John DePierro, are offering a taste of difficult-to-find Southwestern bites. The dinner menu presents pork spiked with hatch green chillies, New Mexican wedding cookies topped with toasted corn ice cream and other intriguing items.
Ops, one of Brooklyn's most popular pizzerias, is still slinging pies in this brighter, much larger venue. With favorites like lasagna, meatballs and potato croquettes with anchovies, the small menu can be paired with the fun natural wine and beer. Oh, and the tiramisu. Don't skip it.
The new restaurant inside the Soho Grand Hotel is a modern, greasy spoon that's open 24-hours, exceedingly rare in today's dining scene. Inside its salmon-colored, almost Palm Beach-esque interiors, Soho Diner offers New Yorkers breakfast basics such as (yes) avocado toast, a smoked salmon platter and egg sandwich with chili mayo and roasted tomato on sourdough English muffins. The menu’s dishes get a bit more creative with raclette-doused disco fries, semolina pancakes with strawberry butter and burrata and preserved lemon syrup blintzes, but, overall, the point here isn’t to dazzle customers with ingenuity, rather more focused on comfort and strong hospitality.
Chef Ryan Bartlow (Alinea, Frankie’s Spuntino, Frenchette) has opened a Basque-influenced restaurant and bar. Dishes will include piquillos rellenos (braised lamb neck with peppers) as well as a Spanish-style French toast—best paired with wine from lesser-known Spanish regions.
Oceans, a new restaurant from a Vancouver-based hospitality group, is located in a part of the city fitting of its mission to serve sustainable seafood. Located just steps from the Union Square Green Market, Executive Chef Andy Kitko sources seasonal produce to pair with a menu that spans shareable plates of whole grilled fish to creative sushi. The handsome space, an airy 220-seat dining room designed by the Rockwell Group, includes a display of fresh fish in front of the kitchen.
Dig, our de facto salad chain, has opened a full-service restaurant that is anything but fast casual. In a menu led by celebrated chef, Suzanne Cupps, expect creative, vegetable-forward dishes such as kohlrabi with grapes and feta, grilled monkfish with caraflex cabbage, and gooey lasagna with kale.
The Chez Ma Tante team has taken over Reynard, the lobby restaurant in the Wythe Hotel. On The French-American menu, you'll find escargot, profiteroles and fries inspired by Balthazar's iconically crispy ones.
A charming little brunch spot has opened in Brooklyn Heights with a team that pulls collective experience from Claus Meyer's restaurants, Eleven Madison Park, Atomix and Arcade Bakery. The menu includes inventive morning-time dishes such as a pistachio scone with satsuma marmalade, buckwheat crepes with sweet potatoes and clam toast with sorrel and parsley.
Joe Ogrodnek is used to cooking in small kitchens (Battersby was his shoebox-sized space). While the chef is only a partner in this latest project, it’s a familiar concept with 50-seats where owner Marc St. Jacques is cooking up bistro fare inspired by cities like New Orleans, Paris and Montreal.
The Orchard Townhouse is a brasserie-style restaurant anchoring a four-story townhouse from the team behind the Fat Radish. Guests can order standards like steaks, burgers and chicken Milanese to enjoy in the stylish space filled with Thonet chairs, comfy banquettes and a marble-top bar. The team plans to rent out four apartments spanning the top two floors later this year.