With everything in the world so uncertain these days, it’s nice to know that we can at least look forward to some excellent new restaurants. As usual, New Yorkers can expect a high-low mix of fully realized high-roller “concepts” and casual mom-and-pop affairs—which, of course, could always evolve into a concept. Here are some of the restaurant trends I’m seeing in my crystal ball for 2018.
What is an all-day café? The short answer is that it serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but it’s way more than that. These stylish spots serve healthy-ish food in an environment that’s as much about the vibe as it is what’s on the plate. As a result, creatives use them as de facto offices for ideas meetings at all hours, while regulars come to catch up with friends or do a little solo work. De Maria, Atla, and L’estudio set the bar last year; I’m looking forward to newcomer Westbourne in 2018, a superchic, L.A.-inspired eatery in SoHo that will also bring wellness into the mix. On the Lower East Side, Bar Beau will be a cool daytime hang, with great food, that morphs into a bar at night. And the Hudson Yards area will get an all-day café from the powerhouses behind Charlie Bird and Pasquale Jones in the lobby of a luxury high-rise—Legacy Records, their anticipated two-level, Mediterranean-inspired restaurant and cocktail bar.
High-End Asian (With Cocktails!)
Kaiseki- and omakase-style spots helmed by renowned Japanese chefs aren’t going away. Neither are the finance folks who can afford them. But newcomers like Juku and Tetsu by the legendary chef Masa have added a more affordable izakaya element, as well as a cocktail bar that pulls as much upon sake and sochu as it does whiskey and gin. Next year, the critically acclaimed Korean steakhouse Cote will debut Undercote, a cozy basement bar serving Korean-inspired cocktails and bar snacks alongside an extensive champagne and wine list.
Very Good Pizza
I don’t know how it’s possible, but NYC keeps upping its pizza game. Next year, the award-winning experimental young chefs behind Contra and Wildair are partnering with Anthony Mangieri, the pizzaiolo from the much-missed Una Pizza Napoletana (which first elevated pies when it was open for five years on the Lower East Side before moving to San Francisco), on a pizzeria and natural wine bar on Orchard Street. The stakes are high! Mangieri’s SF outpost was ranked one of the top five restaurants in America by the Food Network. Meanwhile, in the West Village, the owner of the beloved Rosemary’s is opening 1 Perry Street, a spot that promises a new mix of wood-fired pizzas topped with ingredients from the restaurant’s farm.
Snazzy newcomers and Brooklyn upstarts are fun, but sometimes you just want to hang with the pros who are confident in their game. Chefs Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson spent years behind the scenes at Balthazar and Minetta Tavern, mastering classic French food while revolutionizing NYC’s burger game. With their new Tribeca restaurant, Frenchette, they’ll do what they do best: serve great food and strong cocktails in a warm, seductive atmosphere that doesn’t try too hard. The wine director hails from the natural wine bar Wildair but worked with the Balthazar team back in the day, so the effortless mix of new and classic will be solid on that front, too. It’s also exciting to learn that the delightfully grown-up, female-helmed restaurant King will begin serving lunch this month. With such beautiful lighting in the corner SoHo space, it always seemed a shame to eat the perfect pasta and rustic Italian fare only at night.
Dine at NYC’s hottest new restaurants before the rest of your foodie clan. We’ll save you a table.