I can’t believe we only have a month of 2014 to go. There have been so many fantastic new openings in New York that I’ve been intending to try out but I just haven’t had time. Here’s my list of the five new places I’m determined to try out before 2015.
Forget everything you thought you knew about Mexican food. Located in the Flatiron district, Cosme is celebrated chef Enrique Olvera’s first restaurant in New York. It’s a beautiful space with a muted palette and warming woods created by architect Alonso de Garay and interior designer Micaela De Bernardi. There’s a 70-seat bar out front, a 60-seat restaurant, and a private dining space for up to 14 people. Corn, beans, and chilies are the foundation of many of the dishes, elevated by local and seasonal ingredients (mushroom and squash barbacoa, Swiss chard tamal, and duck carnitas for two).
35 East 21st Street; 212-913-9659
Chef Franklin Becker creates delicious dishes that also happen to be extremely healthy. If you’re already a fan of the casual, quick-service Little Beet in Midtown, consider The Little Beet Table on Park Avenue its slightly more formal big sister. The 72-seat interior is modern rustic with exposed brick and whitewashed walls, although one of them is a bold beet color, and a mix of communal and individual wooden tables. The menu is gluten free, and most ingredients are organic and locally sourced. The pan-roasted Hudson Valley organic chicken followed by roasted apples with vanilla-walnut haroseth & battenkill cream sound delicious.
333 Park Avenue South; 212-466-3330
Sarah Schneider and Demetri Makoulis call themselves “eggheads,” which is apt considering their airy and cool restaurant, designed by Brooklyn-based WRK Design, serves all things oeuf. With chef Nick Korbee in the kitchen you can opt for a steak and egg sandwich (grass fed tenderloin, a sunny up egg, chimi-chili and farm greens), a simple Scrambler (soft scramble with scallion, tomato and seasonal vegetables), or for the sweet toothed, French toast with Ronny Brook chocolate cream, fresh berries and maple syrup. I see it as the ultimate comfort food.
151 Elizabeth Street; 646-666-0810
A perfect antidote to the winter cold is this Greenwich Village two-story cocktail bar and restaurant opened by Jon Neidich (Acme) and Jim Kearns (NoMad Hotel and Pegu Club)—the retro interior with palm wallpaper has a fun, tropical feel. A diner-style menu features a satisfying burger, chopped salads, and sandwiches. If you’re looking for a cocktail, late-night snack, and a classic soul soundtrack, then this is your place.
121 West 10th Street, Greenwich Village; 212-243-2827
For pizza aficionados, I’ve heard that Milkflower in Astoria is a standout. Brothers Peter and Danny Aggelatos have opened this laidback spot with brick walls, reclaimed wood, and seating backed with burlap coffee bags with a recent graduate of the French Culinary Institute, Yair Lenchner, in the kitchen. The woodfired Neapolitan-style pies include classic tomato, mozzarella, basil, and parmigiano, called The Queen, and the Van Dammer—that’s mozzarella, egg, Brussels sprouts, cracked black pepper, and truffle oil. The meatballs have also been getting great reviews, so make sure you leave room for both.
34-12 31st Avenue, Astoria; 718-204-1300
Photo credits: Cosme image courtesy of Fiamma Piacentini; The Little Beet Table image courtesy of Ken Goodman; The Egg Shop image courtesy of Alli Shepherd; The Happiest Hour image courtesy of The Happiest Hour; Milkflower image courtesy of Milkflower