2017 was, among other things, the year that brought us fancy fast-casual spots, unicorn lattes and dessert tasting menus. Join us on a gastronomic retrospective of the past 12 months—here’s to many more great meals in the new year.
When it gets cold, our hibernatory instincts tell us to go underground…and have a really lavish meal. This gorgeous subterranean restaurant with a courtyard inside NoMad’s MADE Hotel focuses on seasonal dishes created by the hotshot former chef of Le Turtle, Greg Proechel. That means carrot agnolotti, Iberico pork collar and a killer côte de boeuf (rib steak) with all the fixings.
44 W. 29th St.; 212-213-4429 or ferrisnyc.com
The biggest news in the meat-free world might have been the much-anticipated opening of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s all-vegetarian spot. And the food proves worthy of all the buildup, with offerings like kabocha squash soup with sourdough croutons and roasted cauliflower with turmeric tahini. (Naturally, the dining room is stunning.)
38 E. 19th St.; abchome.com/dine/abcv
Another legendary spot has been given new life: the former Four Seasons in the Seagram Building, which has been revamped by the folks behind Carbone and Santina. As you might expect, it’s a pretty fancy affair, with servers in tuxedos, a midcentury-chophouse-inspired menu (think: prime rib and foie gras) and a gorgeously restored interior.
99 E. 52nd St.; 212-375-9001 or thegrillnewyork.com
The all-day counterpart to Union Square Café has already become a neighborhood staple. Stop by for its famous crullers, next-level sandwiches and something magical called “cake in a cup,” which comes drizzled with espresso-chocolate ganache. In case you’re wondering: Cake definitely tastes better when eaten with a spoon.
103 E. 19th St.; 212-488-1505 or dailyprovisionsnyc.com
HÀ NỘI HOUSE
East Villagers have a new spot to get their pho fix. Along with soul-warming soup (including an incredible vegetarian version made with seaweed and charred Brussels sprouts), the family-style menu also includes an uni bánh mì and pomelo and shrimp salad.
119 St. Mark’s Pl. (between First Ave. and Ave. A); 212-995-5010 or hanoihousenyc.com
We're obsessed with Chef Alex Stupak's downtown spots, so we're stoked we can now chow down on his inventive Mexican fare above 34th Street. You're definitely going to need an order crab nachos with sea urchin "queso" and the unreal avocado dessert.
510 Madison Ave. (at 53rd St.); 212-367-0999 or empellon.com
The city’s love affair with modern-Indian fare is still going strong, as evidenced by this sleek new spot. Grab a table under the funky mural and dig into shareable plates like octopus with coconut-turmeric mousse, butter-pepper lobster tail and tomato-basil-cream-cheese naan.
60 Greenwich Ave.; 212-373-8900 or rahinyc.com
DEKALB MARKET HALL
Yep, this is a fancy food court, not a restaurant, which means multiple amazing options in one place. To name just a few: Bunker Vietnamese, the Arepa Lady, Hard Times Sundaes and—most exciting of all—Katz’s first-ever spin-off after 129 years. Pastrami, here we come.
445 Albee Sq. W., Brooklyn; dekalbmarkethall.com
We know where we'll be hanging out all next summer: at this stunning waterfront spot, an Italian hot spot (owned by swanky members-only club Soho House) with locations in Miami, L.A. and London. Settle into one of the plush chairs (or grab a seat in the prime sidewalk café) and watch the sunset over wood-fired pizza and lobster spaghetti.
55 Water St., Brooklyn; 718-650-3900 or cecconisdumbo.com
OK, technically this one opened at the tail end of 2016, but it’s more than worth the inclusion: After serving as executive chef of ABC Kitchen and ABC Cocina, Dan Kluger finally got a place of his own. No surprise—the man is an absolute genius with vegetables.
21 W. Eighth St. (between Fifth and Sixth aves., Brooklyn); 212-388-1831 or loringplacenyc.com
Little Tong Noodle Shop
The specialty here is mixian: thin, spaghetti-shaped rice noodles from China’s Yunnan province. While the bowls are rich, they won’t leave you in the same full-blown salt coma as ramen. Garnishes such as housemade pickles, fermented vegetables and fresh herbs also help add bright bursts of flavor.
177 First Ave.; littletong.com
Another Dumbo newcomer (with views for days) is this Mediterranean-focused restaurant that modernizes our fave mezze for adult palates: baked hummus with sumac and brown butter, tangy housemade yogurt with dates and tamarind gastrique, and a killer cocktail program by the talented barmen of Boerum Hill’s Grand Army. (The Man of Wool, a scotch old-fashioned with nocino, bitters, date syrup and an orange peel-wrapped date, is perfect for a cold fall night.)
1 John St., Brooklyn; 718-522-5356 or celestinebk.com
This modern-Israeli newcomer excels at shareable plates like housemade labne and lamb shawarma-topped hummus. And once it warms up again, you can be sure we’ll be first in line to chow down on shakshuka in its backyard garden.
184 Dekalb Ave., Brooklyn; 917-909-1023 or missadanyc.com
This Thai spot opened on a quiet stretch in Carroll Gardens and promptly drew hordes upon hordes of spice-seekers, who happily endure the wait to feast on dishes like snapper in ginger-tamarind sauce, spicy duck salad and five-spice pork-leg stew. Be forewarned: When the menu says something is “brutally spicy,” it means it.
407 Smith St., Brooklyn; uglybabynyc.com
Few things can replace a Hamptons getaway…except for maybe a meal at this charmingly breezy new spot, which feels like it was uprooted from Montauk. The menu includes a seafood crudo section, naturally, but also farmhouse roasted chicken, mint pappardelle and some of the prettiest chocolate truffles we’ve ever seen.
509 E. Sixth St.; 212-509-5096 or outeastnyc.com
BOWERY ROAD + LIBRARY OF DISTILLED SPIRITS
Union Square, you’re looking great these days. And it might have something to do with the one-two punch of the globally influenced brasserie Bowery Road (helmed by the former Locanda Verde chef de cuisine) and the adjacent cocktail bar in a luxe, inviting space.
This izakaya, helmed by a sake sommelier and former wd~50 chef, serves up just the kind of creative-but-somehow-familiar dishes we could snack on all day, like a baguette with kombu butter and smoked salt, and corn on the cob with bonito and Parmesan.
439 Third Ave.; 929-367-8607 or oka.nyc
NICKEL & DINER
We love the city’s greasy spoons, but sometimes we want the old-school vibe without, well, the grease. This Chinatown eatery offers the best of both worlds with diner classics (lox bagel, BEC) and inventive options like tuna tartare and a kale cashew bowl.
1 Howard St. (at Centre St.); 646-870-6100 or nickelanddiner.com
Cooking over an open flame is the M.O. here, and we’re not mad about it, when it means dishes like crispy lamb with squash and crème fraîche or beef-tallow potatoes with spicy paprika.
197 Adelphi St., Brooklyn; mettabk.com
Does the city need another ramen shop? It does when it’s a spin-off of the legendary Tokyo-based ramen chain known for its high-quality dekitate noodles (translation: “still warm, please eat right away”). Along with Tokyo-style tonkotsu and housemade noodles, you’ll find nambutekkiyakki dishes (made on a cast iron griddle), kushiyaki (skewers), karaage (fried chicken), cocktails and an Instagram-worthy dining room.
13 W. 36th St.; tonchinnewyork.com
Eleven Madison Park underwent a major revamp this year, but it also rolled out a brand-new fast-casual spot—where the most expensive dish is $22. (Be still our heart.) Expect the same culinary brilliance in composed bowls (like one with steak á la plancha, charred cabbage salad and crispy rice), roast chicken and herb frites, and soft serve with oat shortbread and honey brittle. Oh, and did we mention there’s rosé on tap?
8 W. 28th St.; madenicenyc.com
When a celebrated Beijing chef opens a stateside outpost of his acclaimed roast Peking duck house, you pay attention. And we’re happy to report that the signature bird does not disappoint—and neither do modern Chinese dishes like lobster and saffron rice or seared Wagyu beef with preserved Sicuhan vegetables.
3 Bryant Park; dadongny.com
This all-day bar/café/restaurant wins the award for Interior That’s So Inviting We’d Like to Live There, Please. But it’s much more than just good looks: You’ll find super-tasty shareable plates like chicken leg with za’atar stuffing and carbonara shortbread, plus a well-curated wine list.
234 W. Fourth St.; fairfax.nyc
The kryptonite of every group outing: splitting the bill. Avoid the awkwardness by ordering the Butcher’s Feast at this Korean steakhouse. For $45 apiece, you’ll get a spread of dry-aged meats grilled right in front of you, plus banchan, salads, stews, egg soufflé and dessert. (Leave your vegetarian friends at home, obviously.)
16 W. 22nd St.; 212-401-7986 or cotenyc.com
Chez Ma Tante
The offerings at this cozy Greenpoint gem are the epitome of feel-good food: Think Caesar salad, roast chicken, pancakes and a fancy hot dog—but all of them done extremely well. (We have a feeling we’ll be here a lot in the coming year.)
90 Calyer St., Brooklyn; chezmatantenyc.com