The 6 Best Restaurants That Opened in NYC This Spring
A real-deal Mexican taco joint highlights the triumphant return of in-house dining in the Big Apple
After a year of hibernation, New Yorkers are coming back out in full force. New restaurants are popping up across the boroughs, the doors to once-closed restaurants are bursting back open and the name of this summer’s game is al fresco.
One spot where you can find yourself drinking and dining outside this summer is Disco Tacos, the latest concept from the husband-and-wife team behind the popular Fort Greene backyard spot Colonia Verde. Launched last summer in Williamsburg as a food truck, co-owner Felipe Donnelly tells InsideHook that the response he got from the community is what inspired him to open it up as a permanent fixture in the neighborhood.
“All of our neighbors were there constantly, and we received a lot of love,” says Donnelly. “We wanted to formalize the idea and do something really fun, especially because we have this huge street-side seating area that we need to take advantage of.”
Taking advantage of it they are, with Spin Sunday events that the restaurateur plans on throwing every first weekend of the month. Live DJs will be fueling the vibes, turning their ample outdoor seating into a summer block party. Whether you’re coming for the party or just for dinner, you can’t go wrong with ordering several of their La Gringa tacos (stuffed with pork adobada and chihuahua cheese) and a spicy margarita from the bar.
Disco Tacos is just one of dozens of hot new restaurants in the city that’ll give you more than enough reasons to stay outside (and well fed) this summer. Keep reading for our list of the other best new restaurants in New York City.
Located in the former space of Cósmico at National Sawdust, Disco Tacos is serving up their own take on Mexico City tacos, with traditional options like Baja style fish and more inventive takes like steak and cheese and coffee-rubbed carnitas. Side dishes like queso fundido and desserts like churro donuts round out the menu, but don’t sleep on their tequila and mezcal-focused drink menu, either. Smokey and Spicy Margaritas play perfectly with the tacos, while connoisseurs can order straight pours from their well curated mezcal list.
Upper West Side
We all love a restaurant that has the ability to transport. A prime example is Dagon, the newest restaurant by restaurateur Simon Oren, which evokes the vibe of a Mediterranean seaside home with its tiled floors and vintage wallpaper. Come here to experience a variety of mezze, from whipped eggplant to chicken liver mousse, and mains like grilled branzino and crispy roasted lamb. Don’t leave without ordering a glass of wine from their extensive menu of over 100 varieties, or opt for something refreshing like a limonada.
Lower East Side
At restaurateur Chintan Pandya’s new Indian spot inside the Essex Market, don’t expect any run-of-the-mill butter chicken … or any dishes catering to Western palates for that matter. Instead, New Yorkers are flocking to Dhamaka for uncompromising and aromatic flavors which call upon an arsenal of traditional cooking methods involving everything from clay pots and open-fire cooking to pressure cookers and grills. Handpainted murals inside and colorful cocktails only add to the vibrancy of the restaurant, which opened in the Lower East Side back in February.
After five years in Paris, Fulgurances has brought its chef residency program stateside to Brooklyn. Following the same format, New York’s iteration of the popular program serves as an incubator for young chefs who are ready to show off their chops outside of someone else’s kitchen. Every three to six months the restaurant will debut a new resident chef, starting with chef Victoria Blamey, who just completed a residency at the equally trendy Blue Hill Stone Farms. Dinners at Fulgurances take the form of an $80 prix-fixe, five-course tasting menu, and optional organic wine pairings are picked by Pierre Buffet.
Gage & Tollner
For 125 years, this historic oyster and chop house maintained an elite status as one of the most famous restaurants in Brooklyn. After closing in 2004, the building went through a series of short-lived iterations, serving as the home for office spaces and a TGI Fridays. Luckily, a group of restaurateurs raised funds to reopen the iconic restaurant and restore it to its former glory. The reopening was originally planned for March of last year, but we all know how that one went, so it was pushed until this spring. Now, new and nostalgic patrons can walk through the doors into a fully restored, ornate dining room with 36 gas-lit lamps and brocade wall panels to enjoy a refreshed take on both surf and turf. Wash your clam belly broil and steak down with their cocktail menu, which includes a martini-only section.
Upper West Side
New Yorkers have been flocking (see what we did there) to the Upper West Side since the recent opening of chef-owner Jun Park’s Chick Chick, which shines a crispy spotlight on different varieties of fried chicken, from Korean fried chicken to the chef’s take on Nashville-style hot chicken. Park’s Korean fried chicken is a must-order — the ultimate flavorful crunch thanks to batter that utilizes 15 different spices, sans the unwanted greasiness. You can make a meal out of it by adding sides like homemade biscuits, kimchi fried rice and truffle fries.
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