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).
For this special edition, we've partnered with the gourmands at the Infatuation to find the best new bites in the city, no matter the occasion.
Bonus: we're giving a $500 tab to one lucky winner to spend at any of the restaurants featured below.
From the unstoppable Major Food Group behind Parm, Carbone and Dirty French comes Sadelle’s, here to give Russ & Daughters a run for their money. There’s a line. And, yes, we are happy to wait. Veteran Roberta’s baker Melissa Weller and team pump out hot bagels every 20 minutes, churning roughly 1,200 a day. Toasting neither necessary nor advised. Expected specialties include nova lox, whitefish salad and smoked sablefish sliced to perfection. If it’s lunch you’re after, there’s Waldorf Salad and Salmon Paillard. Just make sure to get there before 11 a.m., by which hour the covetable chocolate babka will likely be long gone.
Lower East Side
Conceptualized by Richard Kimmel of The Box, Kitty’s Canteen is a tribute to Kimmel's grandmother (a former Golden Age jazz agent) cooking up Jewish soul delights. Now open next door to the theater-crowd speakeasy: sister spot Kitty’s a-Go-Go, which offers a handful of seats, takeout and delivery below 14th. They’ll be serving up Canteen’s standards like the not-to-be-missed Matzo Meal Fried Chicken with black pepper parmesan spoon bread and pastrami gravy, as well as a few easier carry-aways like a Catfish Po’ Boy served on housemade challah. Oh: and Snoop Dog is part-owner. So there’s that.
The Solid Dinner
Upper East Side
Typically known for his Italian fare, Chef Michael White is crossing borders with Vaucluse, an elevated Brasserie-style French Uptown newbie. The 12,000-square-foot space is elegant yet approachable. The kind of place that comes to mind for a lovely weeknight on the town. Of note: truffles in spades and a fontina cheeseburger. The nostalgic classics are accounted for as well — read: Boeuf Bourguignon and Blanquette de Veau — along with a playful dessert menu and more wine than you can shake an oak barrel at.
The Crowd Pleaser
Formerly the helmsman of the BLT chain, Chef Laurent Tourondel is throwing his proverbial hat into NY’s pizza ring with L’Amico. Verdict: delectable. It's soft, it's rustic, it's the product of five years spent perfecting the dough. The entire restaurant is designed around the the copper-clad ovens and ample lighting lends the joint a warm ambience. American in concept with Italian influence, the not-quite Flatiron, not-quite Chelsea establishment touts fare reminiscent of the Sunday dinners of Tourondel’s youth.
Kat & Theo
Running the ship at eatery Kat & Theo: chefs from Per Se, Momofuku and the world-renowned elBulli, with cocktails from a Lamb’s Club vet, wine from an Aquavit alum and a pastry chef hailing from Eleven Madison Park. Top that. The menu is market-driven American and Mediterranean. And never have we seen an atmosphere so deftly reflect its cuisine. That is: it’s impressive. All of it. Even the waiters' aprons are cool. Absolute musts include the charred octopus, the steak with sunchoke and the mackerel with black lime. That being said, put it on reservation rotation and try everything.