To keep tabs on every New York bar and restaurant 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). Let’s eat!
Tsoru means “the sound of slurping noodles.” Ton is the “sound of kneading and shaping a noodle.” And tan is interpreted as “the sounds of cutting noodle strands.” Safe to say they take their noodles pretty seriously here. Indeed, the time-honored process is at the cornerstone of udon newcomer TsuruTonTan. The international eatery’s first U.S. locale, the menu offers a cycle of 36 rotating udon options, of which we recommend the creamy mentaiko with cod caviar. The atmosphere is minimal but not cold, the service punctual, and the fare outstanding. Find us here all winter long.
21 E 16th Street (map)
Fast, fine and healthy, ReViVer is on a mission to change how healthy food is served. No arguments here. Taking on the challenge are Todd Horowitz, Bill McDermond (a founding partner of Under Armour) and Chef Scott Leibfried. Expect enough creativity that you’d want to eat there three times a day, and enough health-conscious prep that you’d be able to. The recommend: Mahi Curry, Carolina BBQ Chicken, Loco Moco, Steak and Fig Salad, Mahi Fish Tacos and the Red Sauce Meatball.
303 Park Avenue South (map)
The first resto from Londoners Clare de Boer, Annie Shi and Jess Shadbolt (whose CVs include the likes of River Café and The Clove Club) bring some vibrant, honest eats to the table. A daily-changing menu will never disappoint — trust us, we went two nights back to back — with favorites like Salt Cod Brandade, Soupe au Pistou and Gnocchi alla Romana.
18 King Street (map)
The Cannibal Liquor House
Classic cocktails and classic American food. Can we get a hearty “Ahhh”? Christian Pappanicholas, Cory Lane and the team behind The Cannibal Beer & Butcher present their newest neighborhood spot, with familiar hits like Pigs in a Blanket, Mama’s Burger with shishito peppers and Yorkshire Pudding & Braised Veal Cheek on the menu. It’s warm and friendly, or maybe that’s you after too many of their excellent (see: loud) boozy milkshakes.
111 East 29th Street (map)
Gramercy Farmer & The Fish
Sister restaurant to OG Westchester location Purdy’s, Gramercy is helmed by chef-farmer and co-owner Michael Kaphan, formerly of SoHo restaurant Zoe. And if you think you’ve had farm-driven before, think again. Farmer & the Fish raises the barn, sourcing more than three-quarters of its produce from the team's terraced, five-acre estate in North Salem. The restaurant's seafood is sourced from founding partner Edward Taylor's equally sustainable Down East Seafood, and you'll find it in the Scallop Salad with house-smoked bacon and Farm “Sushi” with riced root vegetables topped with the catch of the day. For something heavier, go in for the Slow-Cooked Pork Shank. And for something sweeter, you’d be a fool to pass up the Deconstructed Sweet Potato Pie with honey-orange ice cream.
245 Park Avenue South (map)
If it’s a new, sultry nightcap haunt you’re hunting for, look no further. New Zealand transplant Jacob Willis and his partner Cadi Storm have created an intimate, chic late-night scene complete with drinks that’ll make the eyelids heavy and the palate sing. Coupled with midnight snacks like a Cuban sandwich and Sliders, it’s a stone-cold killer for a first date.
177 Grand Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (map)
Led by Chef Andy Bennett and Partner/Beverage Director Pascaline Lepeltier comes the newest iteration of their Michelin-starred restaurant. Just like the Upper East Side locale, the focus is healthy, conscious and delicious fare. But this time, it's a bit more informal and more intimate. Nestled into a 19th-century carriage house, the dishes are as pristine and balanced as the decorum. Signature dishes like the Amberjack Crudo with pineapple green Thai consommé and the Milbrook Venison with beet and king trumpet mushroom, finished with a huckleberry jus are the perfect pick for winning over clients or persnickety visiting in-laws. And should the latter be the case, you can count on their extensive and innovative cocktail program, including a wine list with over 1,600 references.
126 West 18th Street (map)