The following venues are expected to open by July 16th. Always call ahead, as openings can be delayed.
Big Smoke Burger The latest contender in New York's great patty pantheon arrives via our nothern neighbor Canada, where founder Mustafa Yusuf started his international burger chain in 2007, expanding to the U.S., Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. But unlike some burger-flipping franchies, the six-ounce rounds are made to order and range from the classic (a cheddar-hooded variety) to the elaborate, like a lamb version topped with cilantro-feta spread or the restaurant’s namesake, amped up with horseradish mayo, smoked cheddar and caramelized onions. For sides, expect old-school picks like hand-cut fries and onion rings, as well as the ultimate Canuck gut-buster: poutine, drenched in Ontario cheese curds and gravy. There are no cutbacks when it comes to milk shakes either: Three scoops of chocolate, strawberry or vanilla ice cream go into each frothy concoction. 70 Seventh Ave between 14th and 15th Sts (917-475-1995)
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams Beat the heat with artisanal scoops (salty caramel, wildberry- lavender) at James Beard Award winner Jeni Britton Bauer’s pop-up parlor, open through September. 600 Eleventh Ave between 44th and 45th Sts (no phone)
Lobby Bar As phase one of their bistro blowout Dirty French inside the Ludlow Hotel, Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi and Jess Zalaznick—the powerhouse trio that revamped meatballs at Parm and vodka-sauced rigatoni at Carbone—launch a gritty cocktail lounge in the hotel’s lobby. There, notable barman Thomas Waugh (ZZ’s Clam Bar) shakes spiced cocktails like the Chai Matsuda (chai bourbon, Americano, cardamom) and the Zaragoza (tequila, vanilla yogurt, clove) alongside fellow barkeep Dan Nicolaescu, while an extensive beer-and-wine list focuses on French vin and Belgian suds. In addition to the dark-wood-and-leather interior, decked out with vintage radio speakers, a garden courtyard seats an extra 50 outside, with a large window peering into the restaurant’s kitchen. 180 Ludlow Street between E Houston and Stanton Sts (212-254-3000)
Obicà Mozzarella Bar Pizza e Cucina The Rome-based mozzarella empire celebrates its first decade with this Flatiron outpost, dishing out four kinds of buffalo-milk cheese, plus pizzas, salads and salumi. 928 Broadway between 21st and 22nd Sts (212-777-2753)
ReViVerHell’s Kitchen alum Scott Leibfried serves nutritionist-approved plates, including dairy- and gluten-free fare (Moroccan grilled tofu, a Balkan chicken burger) at this health-minded fast-food alternative. 934 Eighth Ave between 55th and 56th Sts (917-475-1711)
This Soho restaurant serves modern Japanese fare with a touch of French influence. The minimalist menu offers diners a few different options: They could either go for the omakase ($125), the prix-fixe menu ($55) or order a la carte. On a recent visit, the prix-fixe meal included seasonal sashimi, mackerel with truffle oil and Dijon mayonnaise, miso egg drop soup and several other dishes. If you’d prefer to pick out each dish yourself, you might be tempted by the wagyu beef with bell pepper jam ($39), uni with soy reduction and wasabi ($18) or the fluke with mountain yam ($13). To drink, order a bottle of sake ($31–58)—what else? The drink menu includes both beer and wine, as well.
Venue says: “Modern Asian eatery reside in downtown Soho. Prix Fix $55 per person for 7 courses”