In a city like New York, where a new restaurant debuts seemingly every hour, the challenge is not finding somewhere to eat––it's finding just the right place. Fortunately, from upscale eateries in Nomad or the West Village to hubs of international cuisine in Jackson Heights or Sunset Park and delicious pop-ups all over the city, there is no shortage of “just right” places to satisfy a local or visitor’s culinary cravings.
To help cut through the noise, Departures dedicates one week each month to exploring the best and brightest new restaurants, chef collaborations and projects, pop-ups, new menus, and other food events and opportunities across New York City. The lists are far from exhaustive but offer a carefully-curated insiders’ peek into where to focus one’s dining energy in the Big Apple right now. We hope each month’s roundup surprises, delights, and leads to some decidedly excellent meals.
After nearly a decade on Morton Street, this beloved French bakery recently relocated to new, expanded digs in Greenwich Village. Pastry chef Damien Hergott continues to turn out perfect macarons, caneles, and other pastries and sweets which diners can order alone or as part of an elegant tea service alongside scones with clotted cream, and tea sandwiches topped with chicken liver mousse and cherries or smoked salmon and capers.
The team also welcomed executive chef Jeanne Jordan (Mas Farmhouse, The Standard) to launch a new lunch and dinner menu laden with classics like frisee aux lardons and steak au poivre, and enlivened with innovative dishes like foie gras terrine with rose gelee and peaches and a vegan cassoulet with roasted cauliflower and cranberry. 506 Laguardia Pl; 212-352-9900.
Modern Southern comfort fare is the focus at this new Crown Heights-based restaurant. The team boasts experience at New York City culinary icons from Jean Georges and Gramercy Tavern to Dirty French. The menu is spare and well-curated with playful dishes like pork candy with skillet cornbread and barbecue cauliflower as well as the more formidable almond-crusted pork with heirloom squash and a platter of fried chicken served with blueberry hot honey, mashed potatoes, and collards.
The on-brand cocktails range from the Velvet Elvis (tequila, mezcal, sherry, lime, pineapple, and chilies) to Problems with Hurricanes (rum, lime, mango, and Tajin.) 698 Nostrand Ave.
Brunch at the Lower East Side’s recently opened bistro offers classic and inventive takes on traditional Filipino dishes by executive chef Jappy Afzelius. There’s the chicken porridge, arroz caldo, which comes with smoked fish and a soft boiled egg, and pineapple tocino liempo—braised pork belly with garlic fried rice, and a fried egg, and chayote relish. The brioche French toast, meanwhile, comes with a ramekin of bright purple ube butter as well as maple syrup and berries.
The brunch cocktail menu extends well beyond mimosas, with beverage director Philippe Segura’s inventive drinks. There’s Rosa y Calma (white wine, sake, ginger, blueberry, lemon) and Carinosa (sparkling wine, plum sake, violet liquor, and lavender bitters). Those looking for something warming to sip can opt for Tsismis’ tsokolate—a thick and frothy Filipino hot chocolate.143 Orchard St; 646-329-6875.
The husband-and-wife team behind NYC’s Michelin-starred Malay restaurant, Laut, just opened this Union Square-based sister restaurant. Inspired by Singapore’s street hawkers, the decor is bright and lush, and the menu is vibrant. Laut translates to “the sea” in Malay language—and fittingly, there are plenty of fish-focuses dishes like crispy prawns with salted duck egg sauce and grilled turmeric fish.
Refreshing salads like one with green mango, mint, and cucumber, and tamarind, and several varieties of roti help round out the menu. 31 E. 20th St; 212-674-5288.
Last month, barbecue master Billy Durney’s (Hometown BBQ) long-awaited new restaurant finally landed in Red Hook. The old school-style New York tavern serves up dressed up classics—a wedge salad with pickled mustard seeds, bacon, and buttermilk herb dressing, Little Neck clams with chili oil and shallots, and smashed fingerling potatoes with Romesco sauce.
The menu’s meaty stars included a dry aged burger with thick-cut wedge fries and a bone-in New York strip steak with roasted garlic herb butter and creamed spinach. Along with a bevy of thoughtful cocktails, diners can pair their meals with a glass of “light” or “dark” ale—a tribute to the historic McSorley’s Ale House in Manhattan. 329 Van Brunt St.