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.
You’re here because: You’re intrigued by a place that’ll focus, unlike any other in NYC, on the king mushroom.
You’re dining on: The hearty, meaty fare of Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region. Not every dish involves mushrooms, but the ones that do have vigor. The cardoncello, as they call it, is particular to the region, served here grilled with fresh folded tortellini or tossed with fettuccine with braised beef cheeks, funny enough, as a side.
Llamita (3 images)
You’re here because: You already have a love affair with the progressive, modern Peruvian cuisine of big-sister resto Llama Inn.
You’re dining on: Sanguiches — aka sandwiches — like the ribeye with charred onion, gruyere and lomo saltado sauce, or the calamari with aji panca, aji amarillo and charred scallion. Don’t ask what that means. Just go.
You’re here because: They release a new beer every Saturday at 10 A.M.
You’re dining on: Well, beer. Founded by Lauren and Joe Grimm in 2013, the highly sought-after beers finally have a permanent home. They considered themselves “gypsy brewers” until now. Watch out for that double IPA.
Taco Electrico (3 images)
You’re here because: Mexico City is having a moment and you want on board … but also want it next door.
You’re dining on: Chef Fernando Navas’s parade of shareable highlights includes botanas (snacks), antojitos (small plates) and high-voltage tacos with fillings like esquites (sweet corn fritters) and carnitas de panza (pork belly). And, don’t kid yourself, you’re getting the churros once you lay eyes on ‘em.
Holy Ground (2 images)
You’re here because: We shared this secret pop-up spot with you previously. And now, the secret is out — in the form of a permanent home.
You’re dining on: Classic NYC steakhouse hits married with specialty smoked-to-perfection meats like ribs torched tableside, large-format brisket and, no joke, a $1,000 steak.
Bellini (2 images)
You’re here because: Who doesn’t love a Bellini on a Sunday afternoon?
You’re dining on: Classy casual Italian fare from Mr. C. Seaport (who also operates the same haunt in Beverly Hills). But fret not, it lives up to the NYer palate expectations. Big hits include the lobster with sliced avocado and lamb chops with veggie purée. The lasagna fetches as well.
Ada’s Place (2 images)
You’re here because: The world’s best sommelier in 2016 is on board, and it’s nestled above the famous Legacy Records.
You’re dining on: High-end bar snacks like razor clams, cracked lobster and a burger with black truffle. It’s a no-brainer date spot.