Deeming a restaurant as “the best” is obviously a subjective term, especially in the great food capital of New York City. There are so many restaurants throughout this bustling town that it can be overwhelming even to the most experienced culinary connoisseur.
New restaurants, reviews, and specials are popping up every single year, and there is no sign of that slowing down. With that said, here are a few of NYC’s latest restaurants receiving a decent amount of buzz, and some that have already been declared by locals as iconic eating establishments.
Established just this past November, chef Sungchul Shim opened his first solo restaurant after sharing his talents with both Per Se and La Bernardin. Shim specializes in upscale Korean royal court cuisine for a cozy dining space that seats smaller crowds. For just $75, you can experience a nine-course Korean skewer meal, items depending on seasonal availability.
Another very young establishment, Portale opened in Chelsea on November 15th, 2019 thanks to the esteemed efforts of Alfred Portale, who previously spent over 30 years at Gotham Bar and Grill as executive chef. His newest project seats 100 and is a great fit for food lovers of all ages. From traditional Italian meals to more unique takes on the classics, diners can try things like bolognese bianco, branzino, roasted chicken, or their signature warm foie gras tortellini appetizer.
- HK Food Court
What was once an HK supermarket, HK Food Court features 26 different vendors offering a plethora of Asian cuisine. This includes everything from Tibetan, to Thai, to regional Chinese food, and a seating area for more than 200. Live fish stalls, dumpling stands, and bubble tea makeup this vast food court that would satisfy the craving of any customer looking to try something new.
A new Italian restaurant food lovers all over the city are excited about, Rezdora was started by chef Stefano Secchi after he spent years training in the kitchens of Northern Italy, specifically the kitchen of Osteria Francesca under Massimo Bottura. Rezdora’s menu aims to mirror the cuisine of Emilia Romagna in Bologna, Italy, which is famous for its Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and prosciutto. Serving antipasti, homemade pasta dishes, duck ragu, and veal, diners will feel like they’re in their own grandmothers’ kitchen.
Nick Anderer opened Anton’s in West Village this past month, taking over what was once Frankies 570 Spuntino, whose owners are actually serving as Anderer’s silent partners. Taking nothing away from it’s previous design, Anton’s took advantage of the Frankies 570 layout and owned its vintage feel that looks straight out of the 1960s. Some of their favorites include grilled pork rib chops, housemade pasta dishes, and the enticing “ice box” manhattan and martini cocktails.
- The HiHi Room
Restaurateurs Matt Ross and Eric Finkelstein started their business ventures with four different Court Street Grocers establishments, finally bursting onto the full-service scene with The HiHi Room. With the help of chef Walker Stern in the kitchen, this restaurant serves comfort food with a flair, including hush puppies, charred cheeseburgers, and even housemade spaghetti with spicy duck chili.
- Gramercy Tavern
Meat lovers rejoice. Gramercy Tavern is a homey restaurant serving an array of meats, including a renowned tasting menu of beef tartare, duck meatballs, scallops, sea bass, and lamb. The bar is not one to be neglected either. With weekday happy hours from 4-6pm, their tavern’s cocktails include delicious concoctions of bourbon, gin, and tequila, not to mention their all-domestic craft beer list that features brews from all over America and Europe.
- Tacos El Bronco
Opening a taco restaurant in New York City may seem like oversaturation, but Tacos El Bronco gives every other one a run for their money. Aside from their fantastic steak, chicken, barbacoa, and chorizo tacos, they offer much more unique proteins, such as pork skin, cow tongue, veal head, and tripe. Platters are served here, as well, featuring enchiladas, burritos, and flauta; an impressive foundation given their humble beginnings as a food truck.
Opening back in 1975, little has changed within the walls of Raoul’s, which continues to offer exquisite dinner plates nostalgic of classic 70s ballroom dinners. Oxtail consomme, a variety of oysters, roasted chicken, and top-shelf wines round out this vintage menu for diners looking to take a trip back in time and experience the old Soho.
Going back to a past blog of mine, the debate over who has the best pizza in the Big Apple continues to rage on and will likely never come to a final resolution. That being said, Lucali is one restaurant that makes a strong case for this highly sought after title. However, with such praise comes enormous crowds. Even their website states, “Show up before 5. Put your name on the list. Go have a drink. We’ll call you when your table is ready.” Quite the transparency, but absolutely worth the wait.
Reopening this past summer after a brief hiatus, Pastis is a beautifully designed French restaurant that looks like it was pulled out of the country itself. Their bathrooms are even designed to resemble wine cellars. The dining room resembles that of a Parisian cafe with white tiled walls, distressed mirrors, and enormous leather booths. Their menu matches this grandeur as well, featuring items like Croque Monsieur, crab and avocado with frisee, and entrecote frites.