Fall Restaurant Preview: A Reboot for New York
New York City’s fall restaurant season will effectively be the first in two years, and though Covid is a wild card, chefs and restaurateurs are …
New York City’s fall restaurant season will effectively be the first in two years, and though Covid is a wild card, chefs and restaurateurs are forging ahead with openings and reopenings, often resuming projects that have been on hold. Ambitious restaurants in the heart of Manhattan from Union Square to 59th Street, like Le Pavillon and Iris, have been up and running, with new places set to join them. Prominent players like Danny Meyer, Laurent Tourondel, Ignacio Mattos and Franklin Becker are expanding their portfolios. Rick Bayless of Chicago, and Will Beckett and Huw Gott of London’s Hawksmoor are all making New York debuts. New steakhouses are still arriving, and Indian food, both fast-casual and formal, continues to get fresh attention. Despite the loss of some marquee names, there are signs of life in Hudson Yards. High-end sushi bars keep opening. And so far, despite the challenges of staffing and getting supplies delivered, the openings appear to be happening on time — a departure from past years, when many were delayed for months. That may be an index of how eager the owners are to get back to business.
Here are the most intriguing and high-profile openings scheduled for the coming weeks:
Too many places fell victim to the pandemic; how to compensate for losses like Uncle Boons, Aquagrill, Jewel Bako and Pegu Club? At one time, Gotham Bar & Grill was on that list. False alarm. Bret Csencsitz, a partner since 2011, took on the mission to save it. He found a business partner, got a new lease and did not have to look far for a kitchen leader, promoting the pastry chef, Ron Paprocki, to executive chef to prepare simplified fare with less dairy, more vegetables and an emphasis on ingredients rather than techniques. As for the rest of the staff, Mr. Csencsitz said people were knocking on the door looking for work. James Biber, the designer, is making the entry more welcoming, and adding an intimate lounge up front. “You’ll recognize the room,” Mr. Csencsitz said. “We’re honoring the past.” Still, he did trim back the name a bit.
12 East 12th Street, Greenwich Village, mid-October.
Just as New York hailed the long-delayed arrival of Wolfgang Puck a few years back, we can finally welcome Rick Bayless, the Mexican food master, who came to prominence in Chicago in the 1980s. He’s tiptoeing into Manhattan with a bright fast-casual spot serving tortas and Oaxacan tlayudas, based on the one he opened last year in Chicago. Ordering can be digital or at the counter; there are waiters for serving and clearing.
1123 Broadway (25th Street), NoMad, Sept. 15.
Restaurants at Manhattan West
Once a development like Manhattan West is set in motion, it stays on course. It moved ahead throughout the pandemic, and is officially opening on Sept. 28, in a collection of office and residential towers between Hudson Yards and the Moynihan Train Hall. Danny Meyer’s Ci Siamo, an ode to Italy with the chef Hillary Sterling in charge, takes a starring role, with an expansive second-floor room seating 120 and an outdoor terrace that sits above a large Daily Provisions store. The bar and lounge, where gnocchi fritto is a specialty, flow into the dining room. Ms. Sterling’s menu will feature pastas, salads of bitter greens, whole trout with a garlic-and-bread stuffing and pork Milanese. Across the plaza from Ci Siamo is Zou Zou’s, an expression of the Mediterranean and the Middle East done in intricate tile and woodwork, with an open kitchen run by Madeline Sperling, who worked at the NoMad. The Manhattan West complex is also anchored by several enterprises from Sam Nazarian’s company C3: the Citizens food hall, with rows of grab-and-go stands; Casa Dani, richly appointed in toffee-colored tile and leather for the Spanish chef Dani Garcia; and Katsuya, the sprawling New York branch of a global collection of modern Japanese restaurants.
Manhattan West, Ninth to 10th Avenues, 31st to 33rd Streets, Midtown, Sept. 28.
This trans-Atlantic representative of a major group of traditional chop houses from Britain was about ready to open when the pandemic hit in early March 2020. The beautiful setting, with a vaulted ceiling, is in the assembly hall of the United Charities Building, an 1892 structure that is now a National Historic Landmark. “We love heritage,” said Huw Gott, an owner. Menu highlights include East Coast seafood (no Dover sole), Yorkshire pudding and American beef from smaller producers. “The key is the charcoal grill,” said Matt Bernero, the executive chef, formerly at Minetta Tavern. This will be the place to try the English sparkling wines you may have heard about.
109 East 22nd Street, Gramercy, Sept. 8.
Save room for dessert at this steakhouse. The array of pies and cakes like coconut and chocolate displayed on a rolling cart provide plenty of choices to end a dinner from the chef Laurent Tourondel’s unusually focused menu. Mr. Tourondel, who already runs the popular L’Amico less than a block away, will serve only grilled American Wagyu skirt steak, with a green peppercorn béarnaise, salad and fries for $28; a cauliflower steak is an option. “You’ll know what you’re getting,” he said. The room has a big central bar, communal tables and outdoor seating for 30.
835 Avenue of the Americas (29th Street), Chelsea, Sept. 14.
In the front of this new addition to the growing seaport district is an array of Indian sweets that the chef and owner, Surbhi Sahni, sold before adding savories to her online delivery company. At her new restaurant, she will feature homestyle, mostly vegetarian fare in a colorful setting.
226 Front Street (Peck Slip), Seaport District, Sept. 17.
Second-floor restaurants are becoming a thing: Note Le Pavillon, Ci Siamo and now this diner-style Chinese spot where the well-known Akiko Thurnauer is at the wok. She’s turning out Chinese comfort food with Japanese touches, including rice rolls and salads. There’s also heartier fare, like lobster with fluffy egg white and burned garlic oil; braised oxtail, with daikon and crispy rice; Wagyu beef ho fun; and soft-shell-crab fried rice. A ground floor crudo bar is coming later.
43 Mott Street (Pell Street), Chinatown, Sept. 10.
Restaurant at Great Jones Distillery Company
At the highly polished dining room — all dark wood and black leather — in this Manhattan distillery, chances are your manhattan will be made with one of the three house whiskies. Dinner from the open kitchen — led by the executive chef Adam Raksin, formerly of Per Se and the Lambs Club — will likely feature French onion soup, Caesar salad, a burger, tataki-grilled Cornish hen and braised bacon over creamy polenta. A bar and lounge with an all-day menu is on the second floor.
686 Broadway (Great Jones Street), NoHo, Oct. 14.
Yoshino New York
With just 12 comfy chairs, not stools, the chef Tadashi Yoshida will prepare sushi omakase dinners with approximately six appetizers, 12 pieces of sushi and dessert, for $400. The chef, who followed his father behind the sushi counter, relocated his father’s restaurant to Nagoya, a city between Tokyo and Osaka. It closed in 2019. He said he takes liberties with his preparations, influenced by his work in a French restaurant. He is known for his binchotan grilled mackerel.
342 Bowery (Bond Street), NoHo, Sept. 23.
Kaiseki Room by Yamada
Isao Yamada, who was at the counter of David Bouley’s Brushstroke from 2010 until 2018, is opening this formal 20-seat tasting-menu restaurant that takes its inspiration from Kyoto’s tea ceremony. The restaurant, done in refined natural wood, is part of the Group, which also owns Omakase Room by Mitsu.
145 West 53rd Street, Midtown, September.
Jack & Charlie’s No. 118
The names of Jack Kreindler and Charlie Berns, the founders of the ‘21’ Club (closed as of now), have been adopted for a traditional, warmly decorated 110-seat room in the West Village unaffiliated with ‘21.’ The chef, Ed Cotton, a Daniel alumnus, will serve classic fare: raw-bar seafood, homemade pasta, seafood and wood-fired steaks. On the drinks list, martinis take center stage.
118 Greenwich Avenue (13th Street), West Village, mid-October.
Having taken over the former Bouchon Bakery in Rockefeller Center, Ignacio Mattos of Estela and Altro Paradiso is opening a sophisticated but laid-back all-day homage to Italy serving breakfast, lunch and dinner in a bar and lounge setting, with seating outside on the piazza — all right, plaza.
1 Rockefeller Plaza (49th Street), Midtown, September.
This spinoff of the chef Alex Stupak’s West Village taqueria will be in the slowly evolving Waterline Square development on the southern edge of the Upper West Side. It will dwarf the original, with 60 indoor seats and 60 outside, but will offer a similar menu of tacos and queso fundido.
645 West 59th Street, 3 Waterline Square, Upper West Side, October.
Una Pizza Napoletana
Anthony Mangieri, who has been baking his much-loved pizzas since 1996, is reopening his Manhattan location, which temporarily closed last year. During the pandemic he has made his pizzas in New Jersey.
175 Orchard Street (East Houston Street), Lower East Side, October.
Cherry on Top
Cerise Zelenetz, an artist and illustrator, has put the English translation of her first name on this Parisian-accented wine bar. On a low rooftop in Bushwick, Brooklyn, it has seating indoors and out. Her partner is Mohan Jumar, an owner of OddFellows Ice Cream, the company whose former factory houses the wine bar. Small plates by Jordan Anderson of the restaurant Sami & Susu accompany natural wines.
379 Suydam Street (Wyckoff Avenue), Bushwick, Brooklyn, Sept. 9.
On the Horizon
Here’s a sampling of what’s coming later: Late October will welcome Tyler Kord’s new No. 7 Restaurant, moved to Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. In November, Torrisi Italian Specialties, now called Torrisi Deli and Restaurant, will relocate to the former Chefs Club space in the Puck Building on Mulberry Street; what was Les Halles will reopen as La Brasserie; and a new Brooklyn Chop House with 650 seats and a 150-seat rooftop is coming to Times Square.Soon, Unapologetic Foods, the restaurant group run by Roni Mazumdar and Chintan Pandya that started in Greenwich Village with Rahi and in Queens with Adda, will be opening Rowdy Rooster, a spiced fried-chicken spot, and Kebabwala for meats and more on a stick, both in the East Village. In November, their Masalawala will debut in Park Slope, Brooklyn. December will see the arrival of the uptown branch of Frenchette in Rockefeller Center.
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