Happening Right Now: New Restaurant Intel

PHOTO: Noah Devereaux

You already have the Hit List, our regularly updated guide to the best new spots in NYC. But based off Team Infatuation's recent restaurant experiences, here’s our newest intel:

1/31/17 Update

  • Loring Place is the new-ish restaurant from the guy who was previously behind the food at ABC Kitchen and ABC Cocina. AKA, the guy who made vegetables taste really, really good - before a ton of other restaurants started following his lead. There are also a lot of vegetables on the menu here - but the long menu also has pizzas, pastas, and meats/fish - and everything we’ve tried is both very good and mostly kind of healthy. The space is big, with a whole separate bar area, and definitely feels upscale. Come on a later in the game date or with parents or with a group of friends who are willing to throw down a bit - the place isn’t cheap. You’ll find Loring Place on our next Hit List update.

  • The next especially freezing night you find yourself in Williamsburg, it wouldn’t be your worst decision to head for Samurai Mama. It’s a mostly-udon Japanese place (they also serve sushi) with a setting that feels like a noodle hideout. Get the curry udon.

  • If you've heard about Tim Ho Wan, it's likely because the dim sum chain's original Hong Kong location has the distinction of being the "world's cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant." The restaurant now has a location on 10th Street and 4th Avenue, and since people love to freak out about superlatives of any kind, lines have stretched into the hours. We went and waited recently, and put simply, they make some very good dim sum. But there are quite a few places in this city making good dim sum, so it's really up to you whether you want to spend an hour or two of your life waiting to see if it's the very best. If you're alone (or maybe with one other person), you can stand at the bar area and order, likely without a wait - that's the way to go if you just want to try some of the food.

  • El Almacen was a Very Cool Restaurant. Somewhere around 2010. We never made it then, but we recently stopped in for the first time and were pretty impressed. It’s a red-brick-covered little Argentinian place, cozy enough for a date and comfortable enough for a group dinner, with huge portions and affordable prices, and some excellent steak and empanadas. In short: we’ll be back.

  • Here’s a useful fact: if you’re hungry around midnight in Crown Heights, you can go and eat a chicken fried steak at Catfish. We know this from very recent experience. The restaurant-bar won’t be too crowded, and your steak will have a thick, fried crust that somehow stays crunchy despite being covered in gravy. We approve. This place does New-Orleans-inspired food, and other options include pulled pork, jambalaya, and cornbread. The kitchen stays open until 2 a.m.

  • The Drift is a new bar from the people behind The Commodore, our favorite place in Williamsburg for late-night fried chicken and poor life choices. (They also own El Cortez, another great spot for a fun night out in Bushwick.) It’s early - but for now, this place feels like much less of a destination bar than its predecessors. There’s a lot of wood and taxidermy, but otherwise not much stands out about the place. It’s good for drinks with friends if you live nearby, but otherwise don’t feel the need to go out of your way for it.

  • We stopped back into Root & Bone on a recent rainy Tuesday, and the place was packed. We really wanted some fried chicken, however, so went for a beer at the bar next door. Thirty minutes later, we ate our fried chicken - and it was just alright. Maybe it was an off night, or maybe it’s gone downhill. The shrimp and grits were good though. And we’d like a birthday cake made out of their biscuits.

1/10/17 Update

  • Au Cheval is a burger place in Chicago, and it's one of our highest rated restaurants on The Infatuation's Chicago site. Their burger comes with a huge steak knife stuck into the middle of it, so it's very serious. Needless to say, we were excited to hear that the owner of Au Cheval was opening 4 Charles Prime Rib, a West Village restaurant that would be serving said burger. The small and dark underground space looks like a robber baron's underground hangout, which is to say we plan on hanging out here regularly. While the burger is good, it's actually the prime rib that arguably steals the show here. There's also a pasta that's both carbonara and cacio e pepe, in case you're attempting to have a heart attack.

  • We recently went back to Sushi Dojo for a late Saturday night meal at the bar, and found ourselves at the biggest rager we've been to in recent memory. That's definitely a sign we need to go to better parties, but Lil Wayne was playing at club volume and shots of sake were taken. The 15 piece, $90 omakase is still great, so it just depends on whether you prefer to eat your uni wrapped in seared toro in the serene peace of most other fancy sushi places, or while getting slightly rowdy. This probably isn't the case at 7pm on Tuesdays, for what it's worth.

  • The original Bun-Ker was out in Ridgewood, and we were pretty big fans. (We gave it an 8.4.) Unfortunately, the old spot closed down - but they just opened up in a larger space in Bushwick. And when we stopped by the other night, it was packed. Every seat was filled, and it was snowing outside. So if you're looking for a place with good, lively vibes, this is it. The chicken pho was also still exactly what you want when there's snow in your shoes, and we'll give the soundtrack a solid B +. Just know that they don’t have their liquor license yet, and they might be BYOB when you go. Call ahead.

  • Unlike Bunker, the newish Korean place Green Street LIC, was pretty much deserted when we went. Maybe it’s more of a lunch spot (it sort of feels that way) or maybe people in LIC are offended by the idea of paleo fried chicken. And, to be fair, this does sound offensive. But you can also get regular Korean fried chicken here, and the outside part's so good you'll wish they sold it in bags like Lay’s. Did we mention they project TV shows across a big wall? That's a little weird - but we're down. Hawaii Five-O goes well with a bottle of soju. Who knew? We didn't. We don't even watch Hawaii Five-O.

12/7/2016 Update

  • We hit recently hit this red sauce Italian-pop up that happens every Sunday at The Nomad Bar, and can report back to say that it’s fun, but sort of expensive at $70 per person (before you get any booze in the mix). The attention to detail that goes into transforming Nomad Bar into an Italian restaurant is most of what makes the experience, but the food is up to snuff too - from the antipasto to the caesar salad, to the cacio e pepe, and chicken parm. Dial it up for one of these upcoming extra depressing winter Sunday nights. Just don’t expect Carbone.

  • Leases must be reasonable in Bushwick, because we keep heading out there to try new restaurants. The latest was Sally Roots, a Caribbean/American spot doing things like jerk chicken and brussels sprouts with mojo (garlic sauce). The food is solid, and the place is overall fun and affordable. If it were in Manhattan it would steal business from spots like Westville and Jack’s Wife Freda - but it’s in Bushwick, and it’s worth a little trip if you’re in the area. Order the tostones and spread the side of garlic sauce on everything else you put in your mouth.

  • Salvation Burger closed a few months ago thanks to a fire, but as of this week they’re back in action. Hit it up before everyone else remembers it exists.

  • Guadalupe Inn, another place in Bushwick, is an upscale Mexican spot, and it feels kind of grown-up for the neighborhood. There’s a bar area up front and a main dining room in the back where there’s a stage for live music, and this gives the place some throwback dinner-theater vibes. Which is a little weird (especially for Bushwick), but it’s also something different. Their DIY al Pastor platter is fun, huge, and a good way to get some real bang for your buck here.

  • The Wild Son is a healthy-ish place that’s been open for a few months, but they only recently started doing dinner so we wanted to check it out. For the Meatpacking District especially, the vibe here is low-key (bordering on non-existent). But that might also be because people haven’t yet figured out you can get a reasonably-priced, not-unhealthy, pretty-tasty dinner here. This place isn’t a must-visit, but it’s good to know about should you find yourself in the area looking for a normal meal.

  • Eating near Madison Square Garden just got a big time upgrade. Massoni is the new restaurant from the Dale Talde crew inside the Arlo Hotel, a quick couple blocks from MSG. They serve Asian-Italian fusion - so things like calamari with a big kick, rice balls, and some tasty square Detroit-style pizzas. This place feels way more LES than NoMad, and we’re OK with that. Definitely hit it before your next Knicks or Rangers game.

11/22/2016 Update

  • We finally made it back to Le Coucou, for dinner at 5:45. Which is the only time we could get a reservation. Side-note: turns out eating before 6 is kind of great. Anyway, the food here is pretty exceptional, and it's fancy without being stiff. What do we mean by that? Well, there are white tablecloths and your dish which has a French name you don't recognize might come out in a copper pot, but your waiter will be very casual and nice in explaining what exactly a bourride or a quenelle is. It's the rare fancy restaurant where you can actually feel relaxed and have a good time, which feels like something new.

  • Lalo, the new spot from the El Rey and Dudley’s people, is not an easy one to describe. It’s sort of a Mexican/Latin version of Dimes, but with nicer people and more space. But for as funky as the menu here is, the most straightforward thing is also the best - carnitas with homemade flour tortillas. Lalo has only been open for a week, but even though it’s early, it’s already worth checking out.

  • Sunday in Brooklyn is a new restaurant by the Williamsburg Bridge that feels like it wants to be a little neighborhood spot - but it’s three-stories tall with a patio. As for the food, it’s strangely ambitious. Take the toasted buns with “oyster cream.” They cost $5, the oyster cream is weird and, also, such small portions. The weirdness continues with a bowl of sweet potato chips they serve with the equivalent of salsa verde drizzled on top. That said, this is a cool-looking place doing interesting things, and we plan to go back once they've had a little more time to figure the food part out.

  • We like Navy, we like Smith & Mills, and we really wanted to like Yves (it’s from the same owners). And we sort of did. When we went, it was dark and candlelit, and it felt more like a casual neighborhood hang than a fancy restaurant. And it isn’t really fancy, but it also isn’t cheap, and the food seems more complicated than it needs to be. Their salmon, for example, comes with some forest-green dill puree that you’ll wish you could swap out for mashed potatoes. The vibes are great here, though.

  • Unless you live in Tribeca, you probably don’t know about The Greek. But we think you should. Despite its painfully boring name and location almost in the Hudson River, the food and vibes at this place are surprisingly great. The traditional Greek menu certainly isn’t cheap, but the ridiculously friendly service and lively, warm environment make up for it. Come on a date or with a small group.

  • Definitely not news, but definitely worth reiterating: Babu Ji continues to be one of the most excellent restaurants we have in this town. If you still haven’t been because you’re worried about the waits, know that you can book a table if you commit to the tasting menu - which is the best way to experience the food here anyway. For $62, you taste around ten different things. It is completely worth it.

11/7/2016 Update:

  • Nod once if you often wish you had a pitcher of margaritas and a bowl of guacamole in front of you. Nod twice if you often feel like you don’t have enough good places to eat cheaply. Keep nodding if you often find yourself around the East Village. Still nodding? Then get Taqueria St. Mark’s on your radar immediately. It’s a divey spot for good and strong margaritas, good and cheap Mexican food, and really friendly service. We’re not sure how we didn’t know about this place sooner - learn from our mistakes and get it in your rotation.

  • It’s been open for all of 72 hours, but the people have spoken: Sugarfish is here to stay. Not that we had any doubts - this California chain has built a rabid following for its affordable, high-quality sushi, and we have no idea why it’s taken them so long to come to NYC in the first place. Get there soon, but expect waits. Big ones.

  • Team Infatuation just finished a month-long stint in a temporary office in Union Square. Things we learned during that time: Union Square still sucks, and there’s a sh*t ton of fast-casual food around there. We ate our way through most of it, and a few clear winners emerged: Cava Grill, Glaze, and Taboonette were office favorites.

  • But Union Square is behind us now, because we’ve officially moved into our new Soho HQ. And we’ve already found one of our new go-to’s: Nickel & Diner. It opened recently, but it’s already got its formula down pat: slick retro diner vibe, very solid classic breakfast and lunch foods. Expect to hear more from us on this topic once they start serving dinner.

  • Also new, also excellent: Los Mariscos. It’s the seafood-focused spot from the same people who brought you Los Tacos No. 1 (easily one of our favorite taco spots in the city), and Los Mariscos is merely a hidden hallway away from the original. One step inside the small, brightly-lit spot and you’re no longer in the tourist hellzone that is Chelsea Market - you’ve escaped to Baja, and you’re eating insanely good fish tacos and drinking a strong margarita.

  • Also new, also in Chelsea: Rouge Tomate. This is the new version of the fancy healthy spot that used to be on the Upper East Side. If you’re pretty serious about eating cleanly, and you don’t mind shelling out for it, you’ll probably like this place. Otherwise, don’t feel the need to rush here. And if you do, don’t be ashamed to get the kale cocktail.

  • Staten Island doesn't export much that people get excited about - with one exception: pizza. First it was Joe & Pat’s, which gave birth to a little pizza joint you may have heard of: Rubirosa. Denino’s is another popular Staten Island pizza joint, and they recently opened their first Manhattan outpost in the heat of Greenwich Village. We went. We ate. And we are on board. That clam pizza is ridiculously good. It’s a no frills kind of place that isn’t fancy and feels like it could be in Little Italy, but doesn’t suck like everything else there.

  • If you’ve ever been to the casual Mediterranean spot 12 Chairs in Soho, you should know that their new Williamsburg location is nothing like it. While the original is a bit dark and lacking in any real vibe, the Brooklyn space is light and bright and covered in plants. It’s a great spot for brunches, “super cute” dinners, or any meals where eating kind of healthy is the priority.

  • Wanting to impress someone in FiDi? Bring them to The Beekman Hotel. We went for the first time recently and were blown away by the space. The bar there would be an excellent place for a fancy drink in the neighborhood. There are some new restaurants in there too, but we don't go to press previews, so no info on those yet.

  • If you’re old enough to have been drinking in New York City for multiple decades, the return of Chumley's is kind of a big deal. The old-timey pub (where Hemingway allegedly used to hang) that burned down almost 10 years ago has been brought back to life. It's a totally different experience now, more of a restaurant paying tribute to its history than the fancy people's pub serving bar food that it once was. It's the kind of spot that makes you want to drink brown liquor and eat an expensive hamburger.

10/10/16 Update

  • Cocoron, the fantastic soba spot with two locations within a few blocks of one another, is not new news. But despite its high rating, and the fact that it’s always busy, we still feel like it doesn’t get all the attention it deserves. This is the absolute sleeper hit of restaurants for impressing out of towners (or anyone) - the soba is ridiculously good, the atmosphere is really fun, and for somewhere around $30 a head you’ll have an excellent, unique experience.

  • We’ve been hitting the mean streets of Midtown a lot lately in preparation for something major coming your way soon. In the meantime, you should know about one of our best recent discoveries: Pickler & Co. It’s a “craft deli,” which means it’s a deli that wishes it were in Brooklyn. But for Midtown, it’s great. If you’ve reached your breaking point with that salad place you go to four days a week, give Pickler & Co. a try.

  • Our most trusted source when it comes to new restaurants? You. Which is why, when we received multiple emails about Gristmill, we knew we needed to get there. And after hitting it recently, we can easily say this place is the best thing to happen to central Park Slope in a long time (we know that because one of us used to live two blocks away). The food coming out of the wood-fired oven is a little bit weird (in a great way) - think cornbread served inside a corn husk and black pepper whipped cream on top of a corn & blackberry ice cream sundae - the service couldn’t be nicer, and the back patio should be taken advantage of before it’s too late.

  • We recently revisited Navy, one of those "cute little restaurants" that doesn't get talked about much. It's on a side street in Soho, and feels like a cousin of The Smile. The seafood (the menu is mostly seafood) was all tasty, if not life-changing, and it's overall a great, pretty easy-to-get-into spot for that last minute four-person dinner next Friday for which you forgot to make a reservation. Caveats: it's loud, and they don't have hard liquor.

  • Casa Neta is a new Flatiron tequila & mezcal bar that also serves Mexican bar snacks. We checked it out recently, but you shouldn’t feel the need to do so. We were disappointed by this place all around.

  • Another new restaurant we're underwhelmed by: Fish Cheeks, the Noho Thai seafood place. Despite being all about its fish, everything we ordered came covered in sauce. And the sauces don’t do quite a good enough job of masking the overall bland food.

  • Our search for great, casual neighborhood sushi spots is well documented - but we’re always looking for more. So we checked out the classic (open since 1978) Greenwich Village place Japonica, and left pretty surprised we’d never been before. Not because it's going to blow your mind, but because it’s a good spot to know about if you find yourself in the Union Square area often. Have a favorite casual sushi spot you think we should know about? Let us know by emailing us at

9/14/2016 Update

  • We just checked back in on ABC Cocina, and it’s in a much better place than its sister spot ABC Kitchen. The food is still great, the place is still packed, and the vibe kind of feels like a cross between Manhattan and Vegas - but it works well for a special occasion.

  • If you live in Williamsburg, or your commute back from work takes you through the Marcy J/M/Z, this intel is for you: Kichin, located under that subway stop, is an awesome little Korean place. This is a mostly to-go operation, but there are about five seats if you’d rather eat there. The Korean fried chicken and Bibimbap are standouts for dinner, and the rice ball filled with bacon, egg, and cheese is your new hangover buddy.

  • Still need to try Pasquale Jones, but really don’t want to risk a four-hour wait? The weekend lunch situation (at least right now) is still very under the radar. And during San Gennaro, they'll be doing a $30 lunch menu for the whole week, starting this Friday.

  • Speaking of ideal weather, here is something we cannot currently suggest you do: get ice cream on a Sunday night at Morgenstern's. Yes, the ice cream is awesome, but the lines and ordering process where you have to pay and then wait like ten more minutes for your ice cream, is too much to deal with on a hot day. We literally said the words, "We should have just gone to Red Mango." Which is saying something.

  • We hit up Nom Wah Tea Parlor in Chinatown for a random late night meal recently and found that the quality of dim sum has slipped a bit. It's still a fun throwback environment, but not the best dumplings in town. There are two other Chinatown spots we've discovered and really enjoyed as of late, though: Noodle Village, which has really solid soup dumplings and an incredible wonton soup, and Shu Jiao Fu Zhou, a super cheap hole in the wall with fantastic steamed dumplings.

  • Lighthouse Outpost, the new Nolita spot from one of our favorite casual dinner places, is not only extremely tasty, but also extremely useful. The food here is the healthy-ish, satisfying kind you probably want for lunch right now - but instead of the usual kale salads or avocado toast, there are more unique offerings like whole roasted eggplant with tahini and a pita stuffed with really fresh-tasting duck. Whether you work in the area or just find yourself there to shop sometimes, the very small but pleasant space is great for a quick solo meal. Right now it’s only open from 11am to 4pm, but they’re adding dinner soon. More to come on this topic.

  • We made it over to Zadie's Oyster Bar, in the old Terroir space in the East Village. The oysters come baked, broiled, fried, steamed, poached (and also raw, if you're a purist), with different interesting toppings like seaweed butter or fennel. There are some other bites, as well as a very solid happy hour from 5-7. Drink some sparkling wine while you're there.

  • And lastly, here are some new spots that have just opened (we haven't made it to any of these yet): King (Soho), TsuruTonTan (Union Square), Parm Brooklyn (Williamsburg), and Thursday Kitchen (East Village).

8/22/2016 Update

  • Atoboy is brand new, but we’ve already been three times. The $36/3 plate per person menu is a great concept, especially if you’re with some friends and you all order different things. The food is “modern Korean,” and the room is sort of like a big cement cafeteria. A cool one.

  • Faun is a new Prospect Heights restaurant run by some former Vinegar Hill House people, and that shows, in that it’s good. The menu is also similar, with simple pastas, some veggies, and some meaty things in the mix. Then again that’s the menu for most every restaurant in New York these days. Hit Gold Star for a few heady beers before or after.

  • The old chef from Sushi Dojo is now running his own four-seat, omakase-only outdoor sushi bar called Sushi on Jones, in Bowery Market, a new little collection of food stalls on the corner of Great Jones and Bowery. It's $50 for 12 pieces, and the meal is timed out to last exactly 30 minutes. The timing means that although there are only four seats, they can give you a precise time to return once you put your name down, and they can fit in a good amount of people per night. If you're really into sushi, the (relatively speaking) fairly reasonable price and novelty of the experience makes it worth trying once. Especially for the signature sushi piece - uni on top of seared wagyu beef.

  • There are many NYC places currently doing interesting things with meat-free food. But based on our initial visit, Ladybird, the new Greenwich Village vegetarian small plates spot, isn't yet one of them. The space feels overly formal and none of the food was memorable. We'll try it again in a few weeks.

  • Casa Apicii is the new Italian restaurant in the space where The Lion used to be, and it feels like somewhere you’d take your date before the prom. We’re still trying to figure out if that’s a good or bad thing. The food itself was solid, but there wasn’t anything we wanted to take to the bathroom and eat by ourselves. Also, the playlist was confusing.

  • We recently went back to The Black Ant and (we feel like old people for saying this), but wow that restaurant is very loud. Is that what we get for trying to eat in the East Village on a Friday night? What’s that? We can’t hear you. You’re going to have to speak louder.

  • The tavern attached to the main dining room at Delaware and Hudson is open and ready to receive a bunch of friends catching up over a quick bite. Because that’s what it’s good for. The room is plain and small, and they serve comfort food done up in special ways. If you want to eat a sloppy joe and still feel like an adult, this is the place to do it.

  • We hit the new casual seafood spot Seabird in Greenwich Village recently, and while nothing about it was wrong, we also weren’t super psyched about it. Its most apparent benefit is that it’s a real restaurant you can show up to in your gym clothes. But just because it’s seafood and you might be wearing stretchy pants doesn’t mean you should expect to eat healthily here - most things on the menu are fried or heavy on the butter/fat.

7/29/2016 Update

  • Looking for a spot for your birthday/small wedding reception/any other occasion requiring a killer party? Direct your attention Brooklyn Grange’s rooftop, located (somewhat confusingly) in Long Island City. The views of Manhattan are ridiculous, and you get to eat surrounded by real, live growing produce. The simple, home-cooked food is very pleasing as well.

  • We recently hit the ramen spot Momosan in Murray Hill. While these noodles aren’t going to change your life, the ramen is very solid - especially for a neighborhood that really needs good things. If you can sneak out of work, the lunch deal is also highly useful.

  • We’re a little conflicted about Sauvage, the new Greenpoint restaurant from the people behind Maison Premiere. The food is great, but the restaurant takes itself super, super seriously - if you don’t know anything about Gentian liqueur (we definitely don’t) or you don’t love being called “sir,” this might not be your spot.

  • Instead, if you’re in that neighborhood and looking for low-key drinks and food, we’d remind you about Nights & Weekends just across the street. It’s the bar owned by the Five Leaves people, and we’ve been hitting it for frozen margaritas, guacamole, and tacos lately.

  • We miss the original Perla. We’ve hit the new Perla Cafe a few times recently, and while the food is great, the space just doesn’t have the magic that the original one did. For best success, use it for brunch or lunch, when it's not as loud and the light shines in through the many windows.

  • There's a new Peruvian rotisserie chicken spot on the Lower Lower East Side, called Baby Brasa. It's run by a Peruvian model, who on occasion sits outside the shop shirtless, which is ridiculous. It's also not the reason we're telling you about this place. The reason we're telling you about it is that they serve really good rotisserie chicken and sandwiches. Add it to your casual LES eating rotation.

  • The Wild Son is a new Meatpacking restaurant from the people behind The Wayland, in the space that used to be El Colmado Butchery - right next to The Brass Monkey. It's a "healthy" place, but you can also get burrata on a piece of bread covered in jam. For now, it's only open from 10am - 4pm, so it's best used after a run along the highway, or if you're desperately searching for a decent brunch in the area. Otherwise, we're interested to see what happens here when they extend their hours to dinner and start serving booze.

7/12/2016 Update

  • If you’re the kind of person who gets excited about hidden bars, you should get Karasu on your radar. Walk all the way to the back of Walter’s in Fort Greene and you’ll find this Japanese cocktail spot. There’s Japanese food here, too, but most of the dishes are snack sized. For a perfect one-two punch, hit Karasu for drinks and bites, and follow them with the burger at Walter’s.

  • Tygershark sells coffee and surfboards, and also excellent, modern Korean food. If you’re looking for an awesome, funky new spot to try, this is it.

  • We may have found the best tacos in NYC, and they come from a truck in the back of a divey mezcal bar in Bed-Stuy called Chilo’s. Don't think. Just go.

  • Marlow & Sons is as fantastic as ever. We went recently and were reminded that this is still one of the best restaurants in Brooklyn.

  • By CHLOE's second location is officially open and serving vegan guac burgers, as well as new breakfast items, to the people of Flatiron. If you live or work around here and care about eating mostly healthy things, consider your life improved.

  • St. Anselm has always been a spot we depend on for impressing out of towners with the best $18 steak they’ve ever eaten. Which is why we were so disappointed to find that the price has now jumped up to $23. (If you care to know the history, the St. Anselm butcher’s steak was only $15 back in 2012.) Inflation’s a b*tch.

  • Annisette is a casual new French spot in Gramercy. Use it for your any occasion that requires drinking rosé outside in this neighborhood and you will be pleased.

  • We know this one isn’t exactly breaking news, but Thai roll-up ice cream is suddenly, truly everywhere. If you're unfamiliar, this creation involves frozen sweet cream mixed with toppings, then shaved into rolls, placed in a cup, and topped with more toppings. It’s like Cold Stone, but significantly more scientific. The original NYC shop, 10Below, opened last summer, but we’ve seen what feels like a dozen more places open around the Lower East Side and Chinatown in the past few months. If you’re wondering whether those lines are worth it, the ones we’ve tried have been interesting and fun, but not worth waiting in line an hour for.

6/22/2016 Update

  • If you live or work near Chelsea, get Dizengoff on your radar. It’s a new counter in Chelsea Market specializing in truly excellent hummus, plus great toppings and bread to go with. If you’re not already passionate about mashed chickpeas, Dizengoff might convert you.

  • Remember Rye? It was one of those original "cool Williamsburg restaurants." Not only is it still alive and well, but it's also serving an unbelievably good happy hour: weekdays 5:30-7:30pm, $5 Old Fashioneds and $5 cheeseburgers.

  • We recently ate at Le Coucou, a relatively fancy but not fussy new French restaurant in the Howard Hotel in Soho. The chef here owns Spring, a famous restaurant in Paris that we also love - and our first visit at Le Coucou was great, too. Consider using it for your next special occasion where serious food is a priority.

  • Still haven’t been to Lilia? Get on it, but not without a reservation. This place is still insanely slammed every night of the week. 

  • Lighthouse is our current favorite place for a weeknight meal in Williamsburg. Healthy-ish, affordable food (plus one really great burger), indoor/outdoor space, and affordable prices. More to come on this topic soon.

  • We’re in the business of planning perfect one-two punches, so here’s a new one for you. Start at The NoMad Bar - it's great for a ball out meal, and while they don’t take reservations, we haven’t had any trouble recently walking right in. For your second step: get tickets for the Magician at TheNoMad, which is cooler than it has any right to be.

  • Haven’t felt like trekking to Greenpoint on a weekend morning to try Frankel’s? It’s now open until 9pm Tuesday-Saturday, so you have no excuse.

  • The ice cream sandwich at Freek’s Mill.

6/1/2016 Update

  • The Llama Inn rooftop is officially open. Ceviche outside, anyone? (Just ignore the fact that you're basically under the BQE and you can almost pretend you're in Lima.)

  • Poke has been making its way into NYC over the last few months, but we had yet to find any really worth talking about. Until now. Meet Chikarashi, our current favorite poke spot in NYC. It's a single room on Canal St., with no chairs, so unless you want to eat standing up you'll have to take it to go. But it's worth it.

  • Barano is a new Italian spot right under the Williamsburg bridge that's strangely fancy, and the vibes are a little stuffy. As for the food: the pasta is great, the pizza is not. More to come as we figure this place out.

  • For those of you in Gramercy or Murray Hill, we've discovered a very viable, new-ish brunch option in your neighborhood: Midwinter Kitchen.

  • We recently made it to Insa, the Korean BBQ (and karaoke) spot in Gowanus. We can't say we sang any Whitney Houston songs, but we did eat some excellent Korean food. The next time your group suggests another pasta place for your Friday night dinner, steer them here instead.

  • Le Coq Rico is the American outpost of a popular Paris restaurant by the same name. The idea is that you pay around $90 for a roasted bird that they’ve hand selected from a fancy bird farm. Not sure that’s an idea we can get behind. The food is tasty, but the price tag is hard to swallow.

  • We found ourselves back at Wildair last week, and you should know that the food is only getting better. This is quickly becoming one of the best restaurants we have in this town.

  • But after revisiting Vinegar Hill House, we can't say the same thing. The pork chop has slipped a bit. Here's hoping it was just an off night.

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