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NYC's Best New Restaurants Of 2023

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NYC's Best New Restaurants Of 2023

In 2023, we came dangerously close to a clubstaurant revival. Jello shots were a thing. Martinis replaced water as the most-requested beverage. Each new opening strained our nation’s reserves of neon and velvet. So many restaurants aimed for excess, and the most successful ones paired their maximalism with original, exciting food. Our two highest-rated spots, for example, did so in style. Former pop-ups also had a strong showing, and, as per tradition, a French bistro materialized in the West Village. Bistro aside, the year’s best restaurants were often the least classifiable. So keep an open mind, don’t get hung up on labels, and go eat some incredible food at the top new spots of 2023.

Tatiana

Pan-African

Upper West Side

9.8
Tatiana image

photo credit: David A. Lee

THE MOMENT WE KNEW WE LOVED IT

Lauryn Hill’s “Lost Ones” blasted through the dining room, nearly rattling the chain-link curtains.

A PERFECT ORDER WHEN YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT “SOMETHING GREEN”

Egusi dumplings, curried goat patties, short rib pastrami suya, braised oxtails, and the Bodega Special for dessert. (Oh, just get the honeynut piri piri salad too.)

THE BEST TIME TO GO

Show up at least 20 minutes before they open at 5pm, and put your name down for a table. Or try and snag a seat at the walk-in only bar.

Collective Team Visits

5

THE MOMENT WE KNEW WE LOVED IT

Lauryn Hill’s “Lost Ones” blasted through the dining room, nearly rattling the chain-link curtains.

A PERFECT ORDER WHEN YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT “SOMETHING GREEN”

Egusi dumplings, curried goat patties, short rib pastrami suya, braised oxtails, and the Bodega Special for dessert. (Oh, just get the honeynut piri piri salad too.)

THE BEST TIME TO GO

Show up at least 20 minutes before they open at 5pm, and put your name down for a table. Or try and snag a seat at the walk-in only bar.

photo credit: Kate Previte

THE MOMENT WE KNEW WE LOVED IT

When a bartender wearing a very persuasive tuxedo told us to get the fennel and grapefruit cocktail, and it wound up being one of the best salads of the year.

A PERFECT ORDER FOR YOUR 11PM BIRTHDAY RESERVATION

Start with the fennel and grapefruit, wrap a few slices of cured ham around some warm zeppole, then finish with the tortellini pomodoro and rotisserie lamb.

THE BEST TIME TO GO

A special occasion meal that involves a few rounds of martinis and possibly a Justin Bieber sighting. Reservations are tough, but late ones are often available, and the bar seats are first-come, first-served.

COLLECTIVE TEAM VISITS

6

THE MOMENT WE KNEW WE LOVED IT

When a bartender wearing a very persuasive tuxedo told us to get the fennel and grapefruit cocktail, and it wound up being one of the best salads of the year.

A PERFECT ORDER FOR YOUR 11PM BIRTHDAY RESERVATION

Start with the fennel and grapefruit, wrap a few slices of cured ham around some warm zeppole, then finish with the tortellini pomodoro and rotisserie lamb.

THE BEST TIME TO GO

A special occasion meal that involves a few rounds of martinis and possibly a Justin Bieber sighting. Reservations are tough, but late ones are often available, and the bar seats are first-come, first-served.

photo credit: Kate Previte

THE MOMENT WE KNEW WE LOVED IT

When we forgave the waiter for monologuing about the butter flown in from Normandy, because we could not stop eating the butter flown in from Normandy.

A PERFECT ORDER FOR DATE NIGHT

Start with bread and butter, the salade maison, some oeuf mayo and the lobster chou farci. Splurge on the Duck Deux Façons, and get chocolate mousse for dessert.

THE BEST TIME TO GO

Just before the sun goes down, so you can watch the West Village come alive through the big picture windows on Christopher Street.

COLLECTIVE TEAM VISITS

6

THE MOMENT WE KNEW WE LOVED IT

When we forgave the waiter for monologuing about the butter flown in from Normandy, because we could not stop eating the butter flown in from Normandy.

A PERFECT ORDER FOR DATE NIGHT

Start with bread and butter, the salade maison, some oeuf mayo and the lobster chou farci. Splurge on the Duck Deux Façons, and get chocolate mousse for dessert.

THE BEST TIME TO GO

Just before the sun goes down, so you can watch the West Village come alive through the big picture windows on Christopher Street.

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

THE MOMENT WE KNEW WE LOVED IT

After plowing through four substantial courses, we ordered the profiteroles as a formality, and they arrived dripping in a salty caramel sauce.

A PERFECT ORDER FOR A RAINY WEEKNIGHT

Get the warm salt-cod brandade and mussel toast with saffron aioli, then try the chunk of cod that comes stranded in a bowl of thick soup.

THE BEST TIME TO GO

A Wednesday night when your life feels unromantic and you want to eat deeply comforting food by candlelight.

COLLECTIVE TEAM VISITS

3

THE MOMENT WE KNEW WE LOVED IT

After plowing through four substantial courses, we ordered the profiteroles as a formality, and they arrived dripping in a salty caramel sauce.

A PERFECT ORDER FOR A RAINY WEEKNIGHT

Get the warm salt-cod brandade and mussel toast with saffron aioli, then try the chunk of cod that comes stranded in a bowl of thick soup.

THE BEST TIME TO GO

A Wednesday night when your life feels unromantic and you want to eat deeply comforting food by candlelight.

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

THE MOMENT WE KNEW WE LOVED IT

When the chef came around and gave us a little bump of 128-year-old soy sauce to lick off our wrists.

A PERFECT ORDER FOR A FERMENTATION NERD’S NIGHT OUT

The $185 tasting menu. It’s your only option (unless you book a special dinner), and it comes with seven courses focusing on different types of Korean fermentation. The hwe with gochujang is incredible, as is the Miyazaki beef served with small-batch ssamjang.

THE BEST TIME TO GO

Meju is open thrice a week, with one seating per night. The last time we were here, four of the eight seats around the counter were taken up by a birthday party, and we were jealous that we hadn’t thought of this.

COLLECTIVE TEAM VISITS

3

THE MOMENT WE KNEW WE LOVED IT

When the chef came around and gave us a little bump of 128-year-old soy sauce to lick off our wrists.

A PERFECT ORDER FOR A FERMENTATION NERD’S NIGHT OUT

The $185 tasting menu. It’s your only option (unless you book a special dinner), and it comes with seven courses focusing on different types of Korean fermentation. The hwe with gochujang is incredible, as is the Miyazaki beef served with small-batch ssamjang.

THE BEST TIME TO GO

Meju is open thrice a week, with one seating per night. The last time we were here, four of the eight seats around the counter were taken up by a birthday party, and we were jealous that we hadn’t thought of this.

photo credit: Kate Previte

THE MOMENT WE KNEW WE LOVED IT

We argued over which datsi (melted cheese) dish to get, ordered three, and finished them all.

A PERFECT ORDER FOR THREE PEOPLE WHO DON’T MIND SQUEEZING IN

Start with salty butter tea, and share ema datsi, cheese momos, goep paa (our current favorite tripe dish), pork ribs or sikam pa, and puta. Steamed red rice is complimentary.

THE BEST TIME TO GO

When you need a meal that will stick to your ribs. Go between lunch and dinner, so you don’t have to wait too long for one of the five little tables.

COLLECTIVE TEAM VISITS

6

THE MOMENT WE KNEW WE LOVED IT

We argued over which datsi (melted cheese) dish to get, ordered three, and finished them all.

A PERFECT ORDER FOR THREE PEOPLE WHO DON’T MIND SQUEEZING IN

Start with salty butter tea, and share ema datsi, cheese momos, goep paa (our current favorite tripe dish), pork ribs or sikam pa, and puta. Steamed red rice is complimentary.

THE BEST TIME TO GO

When you need a meal that will stick to your ribs. Go between lunch and dinner, so you don’t have to wait too long for one of the five little tables.

photo credit: Kate Previte

THE MOMENT WE KNEW WE LOVED IT

When the Ethiopian folk music seamlessly transitioned to house, right as our Bunna Martini hit.

A PERFECT ORDER FOR THE FULL SWEDIOPIAN EXPERIENCE

The bread basket with teff biscuits and blue cornbread, hamachi with black ceviche, the Addis York with doro wot and fried chicken, and the banana leaf snapper.

THE BEST TIME TO GO

Catch the tail end of Happy Hour (nightly 5-7pm at the bar) so you can get some discounted oysters before dinner.

COLLECTIVE TEAM VISITS

7

THE MOMENT WE KNEW WE LOVED IT

When the Ethiopian folk music seamlessly transitioned to house, right as our Bunna Martini hit.

A PERFECT ORDER FOR THE FULL SWEDIOPIAN EXPERIENCE

The bread basket with teff biscuits and blue cornbread, hamachi with black ceviche, the Addis York with doro wot and fried chicken, and the banana leaf snapper.

THE BEST TIME TO GO

Catch the tail end of Happy Hour (nightly 5-7pm at the bar) so you can get some discounted oysters before dinner.

photo credit: Kate Previte

THE MOMENT WE KNEW WE LOVED IT

We sat on the plushest velvet bar seats our butts have had the pleasure of knowing, and ate a pork chop with a dinuguan that smelled like a bouquet of night-blooming flowers.

A PERFECT ORDER FOR A SPLASHY DATE NIGHT AT THE BAR

One cocktail each, a bottle of wine, two-to-three smaller plates including a seasonal vegetable carpaccio, one or two big plates including the fish or meat, the affogato with chocolate mousse and any dessert.

THE BEST TIME TO GO

Later in the week, around 8pm when the lights dim and the place is full. Or on a Wednesday, when the owner’s father, a well-known NYC wine importer, brings in bottles from his cellar.

COLLECTIVE TEAM VISITS

7

THE MOMENT WE KNEW WE LOVED IT

We sat on the plushest velvet bar seats our butts have had the pleasure of knowing, and ate a pork chop with a dinuguan that smelled like a bouquet of night-blooming flowers.

A PERFECT ORDER FOR A SPLASHY DATE NIGHT AT THE BAR

One cocktail each, a bottle of wine, two-to-three smaller plates including a seasonal vegetable carpaccio, one or two big plates including the fish or meat, the affogato with chocolate mousse and any dessert.

THE BEST TIME TO GO

Later in the week, around 8pm when the lights dim and the place is full. Or on a Wednesday, when the owner’s father, a well-known NYC wine importer, brings in bottles from his cellar.

photo credit: Alex Staniloff

THE MOMENT WE KNEW WE LOVED IT

The description of the cheese board made up entirely of rinds: “This Is A Little Geeky, But We Promise These Are Special Ones.”

A PERFECT ORDER FOR YOU AND THE FRIEND YOU EAT-PRAY-LOVED WITH IN ITALY

A bottle of wine, just like old times. Burrata, maybe the one with caviar. One amatriciana and one carbonara. Tiramisu. And like that time the airline lost your suitcase, share everything.

THE BEST TIME TO GO

Sneak out of work early. Arrive at 4:50pm, be seated at the counter by 5:30pm, home by 7:30pm, skincare routine done by 7:52pm. Or any time you get a four-person reservation.

COLLECTIVE TEAM VISITS

6

THE MOMENT WE KNEW WE LOVED IT

The description of the cheese board made up entirely of rinds: “This Is A Little Geeky, But We Promise These Are Special Ones.”

A PERFECT ORDER FOR YOU AND THE FRIEND YOU EAT-PRAY-LOVED WITH IN ITALY

A bottle of wine, just like old times. Burrata, maybe the one with caviar. One amatriciana and one carbonara. Tiramisu. And like that time the airline lost your suitcase, share everything.

THE BEST TIME TO GO

Sneak out of work early. Arrive at 4:50pm, be seated at the counter by 5:30pm, home by 7:30pm, skincare routine done by 7:52pm. Or any time you get a four-person reservation.

photo credit: Kate Previte

THE MOMENT WE KNEW WE LOVED IT

The spicy cauliflower katsu was just as cartoonishly large and tasty as the spicy chicken.

A PERFECT ORDER FOR A FAKE SICK DAY

A fried chicken sandwich, the Spam grilled cheese, and a can of milk tea from the fridge.

THE BEST TIME TO GO

A weekday afternoon when you can hang out for an hour, shop for furikake and Kewpie mayo, and lounge on the front patio with a sandwich.

COLLECTIVE TEAM VISITS

6

THE MOMENT WE KNEW WE LOVED IT

The spicy cauliflower katsu was just as cartoonishly large and tasty as the spicy chicken.

A PERFECT ORDER FOR A FAKE SICK DAY

A fried chicken sandwich, the Spam grilled cheese, and a can of milk tea from the fridge.

THE BEST TIME TO GO

A weekday afternoon when you can hang out for an hour, shop for furikake and Kewpie mayo, and lounge on the front patio with a sandwich.

photo credit: Kate Previte

THE MOMENT WE KNEW WE LOVED IT

Biting into a piece of eggplant in the glazed jang-eo, and realizing it was just as delicious as the eel.

A PERFECT ORDER FOR FOUR “MOSTLY” PESCATARIANS

Get some soju or makgeolli, and order more than you think you'll need. Share the scallop DIY gimbap, octopus sook-hwe, lamb-stuffed fried pepper, fried soft-shell crab, glazed jang-eo, dolsot al-bap, hapcheon pork soup, and omija bing-soo.

THE BEST TIME TO GO

It’s no longer impossible to get a reservation here, though you should still make one. Go later in the evening when service is a little more relaxed.

COLLECTIVE TEAM VISITS

5

THE MOMENT WE KNEW WE LOVED IT

Biting into a piece of eggplant in the glazed jang-eo, and realizing it was just as delicious as the eel.

A PERFECT ORDER FOR FOUR “MOSTLY” PESCATARIANS

Get some soju or makgeolli, and order more than you think you'll need. Share the scallop DIY gimbap, octopus sook-hwe, lamb-stuffed fried pepper, fried soft-shell crab, glazed jang-eo, dolsot al-bap, hapcheon pork soup, and omija bing-soo.

THE BEST TIME TO GO

It’s no longer impossible to get a reservation here, though you should still make one. Go later in the evening when service is a little more relaxed.

photo credit: Emily Schindler

THE MOMENT WE KNEW WE LOVED IT

The non-traditional Cheesy Beef turned out to be a wetter, more delicious improvement on the Chicago-style Italian Beef.

A PERFECT ORDER FOR YOUR LITTLE LEAGUE TEAM

One Chicago Dog for each teammate, except Benji who insists on a Chili Dog, and Wayne who’ll only eat a plain Kids Dog. Cheesy Beef and Brooklyn Muffaletta sandwiches plus some beer for the coaches, and two tavern pizzas to share all around.

THE BEST TIME TO GO

When you’re walking down Smith Street, see the neon Bobbi’s Italian Beef sign and realize, yes, you are ravenous, and yes, a massive pile of wet, thinly shaved red meat would hit the spot.

COLLECTIVE TEAM VISITS

4

THE MOMENT WE KNEW WE LOVED IT

The non-traditional Cheesy Beef turned out to be a wetter, more delicious improvement on the Chicago-style Italian Beef.

A PERFECT ORDER FOR YOUR LITTLE LEAGUE TEAM

One Chicago Dog for each teammate, except Benji who insists on a Chili Dog, and Wayne who’ll only eat a plain Kids Dog. Cheesy Beef and Brooklyn Muffaletta sandwiches plus some beer for the coaches, and two tavern pizzas to share all around.

THE BEST TIME TO GO

When you’re walking down Smith Street, see the neon Bobbi’s Italian Beef sign and realize, yes, you are ravenous, and yes, a massive pile of wet, thinly shaved red meat would hit the spot.
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