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.
Eclecticism at its best. Husband-and-wife team Ham and Sohla El-Waylly, previously of Atera, Del Posto and Momofuku, have launched their first fine dining concept featuring a menu that boasts ultra-creative twists on classic American fare. Think Bolivian-style hot dogs and grilled half duck with Egyptian dirty rice. We suggest you zero in on the “Egg All Day” section — the deviled egg dip with trout roe, smoked maple and homemade “Ritz” crackers is one of our new favorites. The menu almost reads risky, but trust us, they nailed it.
This new eatery specializes in bone broth and paleo cooking as a nutritious answer to what NY natives Jordan Feldman and Sam Eckstein saw as a city with a lackluster healthy dining scene. So they simmered broth for 36 hours with grass-fed free-range bones and organic vegetables and swung open the doors. And for those who prefer a little weight to their plate, options include the avocado toast with seaweed, meatballs with zucchini spaghetti and spicy shakshuka. Crossfitters and gluten-free-ers, here’s your new sweetheart.
Sushi Ginza Onodera
Perhaps one of the few chains that gets our gold-star seal of approval. If this month’s restaurant openings were an old issue of Playboy, Onodera would be the centerfold. The high-end, intimate 32-seat omakase has opened its first NY branch. It’s approximately f***ing delicious. Every piece of sushi, a majority of which is imported direct from Japan, is customized to each individual guest. Quality’s gonna cost you though, lads.
Günter Seeger NY
There are roving culinary dinners you’ll enjoy in someone’s home. There are pop-up Noma chefs who cook in homes. And then there’s just plain eating at home. Point is — people like that homespun feel. And chefs have taken note. Including Seeger, with his first restaurant in the city that feels like it drifted off the street into a polished friend’s dwelling. There are 42 seats, a gargantuan kitchen and a nomadic bar cart rather than a bar. New American yet German in influence, the tasting menu changes daily but is surprisingly heavy on the veggies.
Chef Eduard Frauneder, you’ve been a busy man. Following the recent opening of Freud, the Michelin-starred mover-and-shaker also responsible for Edi & the Wolf just debuted a new downtown bistro. It’s a day-to-night number, and in keeping with his style, still a contemporary take on Austrian fare, but this time with a touch of Mediterranean. Divided into large and small plates, highlights include beef carpaccio with crispy artichoke hearts and remoulade, hamachi crudo with Meyer lemon and braised lamb shoulder. And you can count on his beloved wiener schnitzel and spätzle to be on hand. Post-chow, snag a cocktail at Third Man and head to their lovely back garden.
Fort Greene, Brooklyn
A very sneaky joint here. To get to Karasu, you’ll be walking through Walter’s. Head all the way to the back and you’ll discover a secret Japanese eatery courtesy of Thomas Waugh of ZZ’s Clam bar and Shuko-decorated Yael Peet. The fare’s casual, with kampachi crudo, duck wings, chips and pickles. Truth be told, there are more cocktail and sake options than bites. But that’s never really been a problem for us. And plus, we like playing “hard to get” here and there.
166 Dekalb Ave., Brooklyn (map)
For all the award-winning truffle- and caviar-drenched cuisine Manhattan has to offer, we often forget that Astoria has some of the best damn authentic ethnic anywhere. And this is the big summer opening. Helmed by Chef Jonathan Lemon, previously of Woodland BK and Flex Mussels, you’re looking at a 135-seat biscuit-baking junction. There are the classic ever-so-fluffy biscuits, a tea-brined fried chicken and some elevated veggie options coming hot out of a wood-burning oven.