By Juliet Izon | December 29, 2015 | Food & Drink
Make it a resolution: eight great new restaurants to check out in 2016.
Oh Yes! Fried Kumamoto Oysters from O Ya.
New York is a foodie’s paradise—dozens of restaurants open each season with star chefs and innovative restaurateurs making sure the city remains one of the world’s leading culinary capitals. Here are eight new restaurants worth a resolution to sample in the New Year.
Why the buzz: An import from Boston, this sushi haven from restaurateurs Tim and Nancy Cushman is serving some of the finest fish in the city–with prices to match. The omakase-only menu is either $185 or $245 per person.
What to order: While the menu changes depending on the daily catches, look out for the freshwater eel flavored with Thai basil.
The crowd: Artsy types; the plating is exquisite. When to go: It’s open for dinner only Tuesday through Saturday. 120 E. 28th St., 212-204- 0200
Why the buzz: With Andrew D’Ambrosi (of Top Chef fame) helming the open kitchen, this East Village vegan eatery is attracting herbivores and carnivores by the droves.
What to order: The roasted cauliflower with raisins, capers, pine nuts, and grapes. For starters, try the innovative (and rotating) selection of appetizer toasts: The tomato-jam, pickled-peach, and almond-ricotta versions are scrumptious.
The crowd: LES gallerists; up-and-comer-celebs.
When to go: Early or late evening; tables book up fast. 130 E. 7th St., 646-922-7948
Why the buzz: John Doherty, former executive chef at the Waldorf Astoria, and Tom Struzzieri, owner of the largest equine jumping show in the world, have joined forces to bring a country aesthetic and rustic flavors to the city.
What to order: The butternut ravioli, served with Swiss chard, pumpkin seeds, and bacon, is earning raves; other standouts: the black-fig pizza and heirloom- beets risotto.
The crowd: Hamptonites hunkering down for fall.
When to go: Thursday and Friday nights are the most popular. Those in the know grab a drink at the Champagne and oyster bar before sitting down to a meal. 19 E. 26th St., 212-265-5959
Why the buzz: This pop-up, run by teen-chef prodigy Flynn McGarry (he preps, cooks, and serves the entire omakase meal himself), is one of the hardest reservations to land this season.
What to order: A much-buzzed-about dish is the seawater-brined sea urchin served with carrot crémeux and coffee-pickled carrots.
The crowd: Professional and amateur foodies.
When to go: Any time you can land one of the 12 seats. The restaurant is open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. 639 Washington St.
Why the buzz: Indian Accent is restaurateur Rohit Khattar’s first foray into New York; he’s setting up at Le Parker Meridien hotel. His original location, in New Delhi, was hailed as the best restaurant in India by the famed San Pellegrino list, which ranks the world’s finest tables.
What to order: Butter-poached lobster with Kashmiri spinach and chili broth. Leave room for dessert—the Bengal rice pudding with candied fox nuts, air-dried fruits, and white chocolate is not to be missed.
The crowd: Because the restaurant is on billionaire’s row, expect a lot of chichi internationals.
When to go: The restaurant is launching with dinner, and will add lunch soon after. 123 W. 56th St.
Why the buzz: Owned by Florian Hugo, a descendant of none other than the writer Victor Hugo and his wife Michelle, this Upper East Side beauty is reimagining classic French fare with an inventive seasonal menu.
What to order: Hugo, who trained under master chefs Paul Bocuse and Alain Ducasse, works wonders with seafood. Try the lobster in a light curry sauce or the fresh tuna on a tarte flambé. For dessert, don’t miss the tarte fine aux pommes, served warm with calvados sauce, or the molten chocolate cake.
The crowd: Young Park Avenue types.
When to go: Get there early-ish on the weekend. Stop by Le BAR before dinner; plentiful wines by the glass make it the perfect pit stop to unwind after a long work week. 132 E. 61st St., 212-832-0500
Why the buzz: From Michael Stillman, the man behind the über-popular Quality Meats and Quality Italian, comes this latest creation: a hip, casual steakhouse in the heart of the Village.
What to order: The bone-in short ribs served with a mini-corn crème brûlée.
The crowd: Finance types who’ve done every restaurant in FiDi.
When to go: Expect this place to be mobbed, so arrive early or very late on weekdays for your best shot at a table. 19 Greenwich Ave., 212-337-9988
Why the buzz: Chef Mina Newman, who is of Peruvian descent, and Japanese native Taku Nagai own this hybrid restaurant.
What to order: Tofu-and-avocado salad with lime juice and cilantro to start. For an entrée, try the Mero a la brasa: grouper marinated in a sauce of dashi, Peruvian pepper, and cumin, then roasted on the robata grill.
The crowd: Millennials with good expense accounts, and the Broadway-bound.
When to go: Pre-or post-theater. 28 W. 44th St.
photography by gentl and hyers