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.
From Michelin-starred chef Eduard Frauneder of East Village’s beloved Edi & the Wolf comes a turn-of-the-century brasserie inspired by his native stomping ground of Vienna. It’s a market-driven, contemporary take on Austrian fare with a cocktail program from the team behind The Third Man. Go for shared plates of Crushed Beets with Whipped Liptauer and Onion Tart with Cipollini. And bring ‘er home with the chef’s renowned Wiener Schnitzel and a side of our favorite, the Dark rye Spätzle with Cheddar and Cauliflower.
April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman — of Spotted Pig and Breslin fame, respectively — are bringin’ their big gun chef game to the burger world. Salvation is fast, casual and playfully traditional. All the goods are made in-house, from the meat blends to the mustard to the American cheese. Wood-fired and plancha-seared on a house-made potato bun — it delivers. For non-burger go-tos, try the Fish Sammy and Pickle Plates.
When powerhouses Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich have an announcement, our chops begin to moisten. Such is the case with La Sirena, their first New York project in 10 years. It’s lively yet elegant. The kind of space you want to hang out in for hours. The menu comprises elevated but forward-thinking classics, of which the “Old School” Beef Braciole with Broccoli Rabe, Mollica Picante and Gnocchi alla Sorrentina all had us cross-eyed by the time the check arrived.
Lower East Side
The street foods of Peru, Vietnam and Barcelona collide. From TAO founders Marc Packer and Rich Wolf, Vandal is a bi-level bazaar with a secret tunnel and a clutch of private rooms. The fare is a multi-ethnic adventure. Go to share, because you’re going to want to sample everything. Don’t sleep on the Greek Donuts and Hong Kong Egg Waffles. And this is TAO we’re talking about, so cocktails aplenty are a given. Our favorite: the Trigger Finger.
Apparently street food is trending. No complaints here. A concept 10 years in the making, Streets Bk brings the flavors of the world to the east side of the river. From cotija to manchego, cumin to turmeric, marjoram to ginger, it’s a culinary melting pot. We took a trip to Tulum with the Mexican Street Corn and a jaunt over to Uganda with the Rolex Omelette with Tomato Chutney. No passport necessary. Just bring an appetite.
00 + Co.
For those NYers in the unfortunate lactose-intolerant boat, your pizza destination hath arrived. New vegan pizzeria from Chef Matthew Kenney’s plant-based menu will fill the void, with wood-fired pies built on cheese made from nuts. We went in for the Smoked Oyster Mushroom Pizza and the Sunflower Caesar. And went home with a smile.
Chef Missy Robbins presents an exploration into the lighter side of Italian cooking. Some of Robbins favorite dishes were the simplest, as opposed to the hearty ragus that run amok elsewhere. It’s warm and rustic, with the ambience of a classic Italian dining room. Start with the Cacio e Pepe Fritelle and Bagna Cauda, then slide into the Malfadini and the Rigatoni Diavola. There’s a Little Fish section and a Big Fish section. Go big: Grilled Swordfish with Sage, Marsala and Sunchoke is the pick of the litter. Side note: Lilia serves fresh, homemade pastries daily starting at 7 a.m.