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.
The rustic LES haunt’s new BK outpost includes a living wall of flowers and herbs for use at the Chef’s Table: a highly recommended 8-to-12-course menu for a reasonable $88 every Wednesday through Friday. Also on the menu: a “Weekly Rotation” of locally sourced meats that’ll feature a different theme each week, from Beef Butter and Flatiron Tacos to homemade Goat Belly Sausage and a “GoatWich.” And with 1,700 square feet to spare, there’s also plenty of room for posting up at the bar, where you can watch ‘tenders tap Van Brunt Stillhouse Whiskey straight from the barrel.
Shameless admission: the InsideHook crew is cuckoo for Inday. The primo lunch spot is fast and casual, with an innovative and healthy approach to traditional Indian cuisine that includes “Not Rice”: a rainbow of minced veggies that play base to mains like beef brisket and grilled salmon. Think Sweetgreen gone sophisticated. Fancy fact: the locale was created in partnership with restaurant cowboy Phil Suarez of Mercer Kitchen, WD-50 and ABC Kitchen fame.
Eli’s Night Shift
Upper East Side
Moonlighting Uptowners will cotton warmly to Eli’s Night Shift, a craft-cocktails-and-small-plates joint by baker/grocer/businessmen Eli Zabar — a name synonymous with smoked fish and city brunch. The menu offers creative mixed drinks, rotating shandies (read: Winant’s Chocolate Stout Beer) and easy eats like the Winter Veggie Tempura and Poulet Rouge Chicken Fingers.
Lower East Side
A cocktail den on the 15th floor of Hotel Indigo spanning 9,000 square feet over two terraces and seducing you with sweeping harbor-to-harbor views? This is why we city. The baby of Gerber Group — known for similar haunts like Irvington and Whiskey Park — patrons can expect craft cocktails galore and nosh from the likes of Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery and Il Laboratorio del Gelato. Go for the Namesake Punch with tequila, cranberry and cinnamon allspice, but look forward to summer as well, when you’ll be imbibing the Elyx Cup (vodka, cucumber and Prosecco) while stretched out on a chaise by the rooftop pool.
Midtown's Quality Meats has a kitschy new sister spot where you can get all the steak your heart desires without emptying your billfold: their char-heavy selections run from $19-$29. But look beyond the beef and you'll find standouts like grilled bacon with peanut butter and jalapeño jelly, jumbo crab with avocado, creamed spinach hush puppies and baked potato monkey bread. Pack a lumberjack's appetite.