To keep tabs on every New York restaurant and bar opening is folly. But to keep tabs on the most worthy? Yeoman’s work, and we’re proud to do it. Thus we present Table Stakes, a monthly rundown of the five (or so) must-know spots that have swung wide their doors in the past thirty (or so). Bon appétit.
Rose (3 images)
You’re here because: It’s a sister restaurant to charming and storied West Village institution Rosemary’s.
You’re dining on: Rustic Neapolitan pies fresh from a wood-burning oven with creative toppings like Brussels sprouts and almonds, oyster mushrooms, fontina and apple, and broccoli rabe. All locally sourced. Very local — as in grown on their roof.
KCI (2 images)
Kings Co Imperial
Lower East Side
You’re here because: The modernized dim sum that took Brooklyn by storm just set up shop city-side.
You’re dining on: New items like salt steamed veal ribs (a must) and go-to favorites like the pork dumpling and mock eel, which is actually shitake and the chef’s secret soy. Don’t overthink it, just order it.
LL (2 images)
You’re here because: Some days you need a bodega chopped cheese, but other days you deserve a $20 Peruvian sandwich.
You’re dining on: Sanguchas (sandwiches). Not to be overlooked is the rib-eye dressed with charred onion, gruyere and lomo saltado sauce. Second up: a duck sausage number with potato, killer chimichurri and Peruvian corn.
OATH (3 images)
Upper East Side
You’re here because: You used to have to drive all the way to Nantucket to get this fabled pizza goodness.
You’re dining on: Oath’s renowned crispy, thin-crust pizza, perfected in avocado oil. Newcomer to the list: the reuben pizza. You heard that right. It’s a match made in heartburn heaven.
Alla Pala Pizza & Enoteca
You’re here because: Pizza and wine go together like a horse ‘n’ carriage. And they give you tableside wine lessons to boot.
You’re dining on: Baked Roman-style pizza on a wood “pala.” The spicy sausage with peppers is a hit, paired exquisitely with regionally appropriate Italian wines.
LE (2 images)
You’re here because: Chef Jonathan Benno (previously of the prestigious Per Se) and his superior Roman trattoria are exactly what the new Evelyn Hotel needed.
You’re dining on: Traditional Italian cuisine, but hyper-focused on quality like no other. The gnocchi with braised oxtail vaccinara is a reason to live all its own. And get dessert. It’s as thoughtful as the mains for certain.
You’re here because: Vets from Booker & Dax, PDT, August and Cocktail Kingdom have taken over a space that’s rotated through multiple concepts and owners in recent years, incorporating past design touches to create a swanky new cocktail den (hence the name).
You’re drinking: Cocktails that go beyond shaken or stirred and more into science. Crowded? Grab a boozy concoction from the on-site vending machines while you wait. (Note: Check their Facebook before you go; the bar is still in a soft-open phase, but should officially welcome all comers any day now.)