Between heaping bowls of pasta and cheese-filled pizzas, Italian seafood dishes often take a backseat—but that’s not the case with the opening of Piccola Cucina Estiatorio in SoHo. The flavors of the Mediterranean, drawn from Sicily and Greece, show up in dishes from a crudo of Mazara prawns with a spritz granita to whole fresh branzino. Chef and restaurateur Philip Guardione will import seafood daily from Italy to this convivial SoHo restaurant. 75 Thompson St., 212-625-3200
Ikinari Steak, a Japan-based eatery, is doing something unprecedented in New York—having people dine while standing up. Chairs are ditched and the idea is to have people dine “quickly and economically,” but don’t expect any shortcuts from the food. Chef Kunio Ichinose, who first opened the concept in Tokyo a few years ago, cooks up thick cuts of meat—from ribeyes to filets—served on sizzling cast-iron platters. 90 E. 10th St., 917-388-3546
The Los Angeles-based team behind cult-followed SUGARFISH is bringing KazuNori to New York, too. The specialty here is temaki, or hand rolls, served at a contemporary bar. Each roll combines seaweed, warmed rice, and pristine cuts of fish. 15 W. 28th St., 347-594-5940
BAR à FRITES Puts Fancy Touches on Your Typical French Fries
Enthusiasts for fries will have to visit BAR à FRITES in the French-centric Le District food hall, where hand-cut fries are served with Maille black truffle and chablis white wine mustard on tap. You can upgrade your spuds with truffle oil, a poutine iteration, and even beef bourguignon. Pair your fries with beer or wine and you’ll likely order another round. 225 Liberty St.
The Korean take on fried chicken gets a serious upgrade with the opening of bb.q Chicken’s flagship New York location. The hugely popular Korean chain uses extra virgin olive oil to fry up perfectly crisp chicken with an array of sauces. Accompany your soy garlic or Gangnam-style wings with an order of kimchi fried rice, pizzas, and more. 25 W. 32nd St., 212-967-8093
Sisters Emily and Melissa Elsen’s popular Four & Twenty Blackbirds now has a second permanent location in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. Favorite flavors like salted caramel apple and matcha custard will still be available at the pie counter, but new additions include coconut custard and malted chocolate. This location will also debut beer, wine, and cider on the menu. 634 Dean St., Brooklyn
It’s not a cake or cocktail but an impressive steak that you’ll want to order to celebrate American Cut Midtown’s one-year anniversary. Chef Marc Forgione is offering this off-the-menu special: a 96-ounce prime, bone-in chateaubriand that’s flambeed at your table and served with bone marrow bordelaise ($189 and it serves 3-4 guests). It’s available only in March at both locations.
Say Goodbye to Eataly’s Manzo & Hello to The Butcher Room
Eataly’s Flatiron location is reinventing its restaurant Manzo into a more behind-the-scenes butcher concept, Butcher Room, later this month. In the meantime, you can hit up a weekly Sunday pop-up through March 19 at La Scoula Grande from 12-7 p.m., where Manzo favorites will be served alongside possible dishes for the new resto. 200 Fifth Ave.
Chef David Burke teams up with Breckenridge Distillery for a four-course dinner on March 21 at Tavern62. The evening starts with cocktails at 6:30 p.m. before moving on to dishes like bourbon-braised belly bites, smoked trout with drunken bacon tartare, and a hay-roasted loin of lamb. 135 E. 62nd St., 212-988-9021