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The 6 Best New NYC Restaurants to Book Right Now

New York City’s reopening has energized diners and restored dining out to its pre-pandemic glory days. Although many of the city’s beloved spots will be missed, newcomers are quickly stepping up their game to meet the eagerness of returning diners. Vegan Caribbean bites, destination-worthy hotel restaurants, irresistible Palestinian fare, and sushi in a house party-esque setting—you name it, this city’s got it all.

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Alexandra Ilyashov
6 Restaurants
Bijgewerkt 17 maart 2022
Restaurants:Aunts et Uncles, AlBadawi, Sushi On Me
Prijsklasse:$$ - $$$$
Keukens:Veganistisch, Amerikaans, Sushi
Buurten:Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn Heights, Jackson Heights
Een foto van restaurant Aunts et Uncles

Aunts et Uncles

$$$$
Veganistisch
Prospect Lefferts Gardens
4.7
38 recensies

Vegan Caribbean fare whipped up by husband-and-wife team Michael and Nicole Nicholas is the focus at Aunts et Uncles. The welcoming, bright, all-day cafe-restaurant and lifestyle store (with books and clothes for sale) in Brooklyn’s Little Caribbean neighborhood opened in 2020, and scored a rave New York Times review in December 2021. But the concept started percolating over five years ago, when the couple began experimenting in their home kitchen, tinkering with their favorite island dishes and turning them into healthier, plant-based versions. The resulting menu includes cleverly reimagined Caribbean classics such as bake and saltfish made with hearts of palm, a vegan riff on Jamaican beef patties, and mofongo, along with comfort foods like truffled mac and cheese, a pea protein burger, and a lobster roll that subs hearts of palm for shellfish, plus cocktails.


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Een foto van restaurant AlBadawi

AlBadawi

$$$$
Amerikaans
Brooklyn Heights
4.6
90 recensies

This vibrant Palestinian restaurant, which opened in November, is hopping on most nights, even amid a cold pandemic winter—for good reason. The hearty rice and meat-centric entrees, flavorful mezze, and hefty, pizza-like flatbreads come courtesy of the teams at Yemen Cafe, a beloved Brooklyn institution, and Ayat, an acclaimed fast-casual spot in Bay Ridge. You can’t really go wrong anywhere on the lengthy, leather-bound menu, but the comforting mansaf, a tender, tangy lamb stew in fermented yogurt sauce, served over buttery rice and topped with slivered almonds, is a must. Luckily, the family-style portions are truly massive—expect to head out with enough mansaf for at least a day or two. Among AlBadawi’s mezzes, the ultra-rich labneh and zahir, a very lemony, crispy cauliflower dish, are standouts. As a bonus, it’s BYOB, and there are a number of great wine shops within a couple blocks’ radius.


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Sushi On Me

$$$$
Sushi
Jackson Heights
4.9
189 recensies

Sushi and all-you-can-drink booze are synonymous with a rollicking party of a meal, one where the quality of the sushi tends to be secondary to the bottomless beverages. But that’s not the case here—Sushi on Me, which opened in early 2020 and is still going strong, pours unlimited sake and has a raucous vibe, paired with a well-reviewed 15-piece omakase by chef Atip “Palm” Tangjantuk. To that, add live jazz music and one-hour dining slots, making for a truly free-spirited experience. The cash-only spot, on the border of Jackson Heights and Elmhurst, is tucked in a subterranean, speakeasy-esque space decorated with a disco ball and hot pink neon “Sushi on Me” sign. It offers four dining timeslots nightly, from 5 pm to 10:30pm, with 30-minute breaks between seatings, in addition to private parties and catering.


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Een foto van restaurant Jasmine's Caribbean Cuisine

Jasmine's Caribbean Cuisine

$$$$
Caribisch
Hell's Kitchen
4.3
24 recensies

Nestled in the theater district’s bustling Restaurant Row, Jasmine’s Caribbean Cuisine serves up a slew of Jamaican and Trinidadian dishes in a colorful, brick-walled space on equally vibrant plates. First-time restaurateurs and husband-wife team Jasmine Gerald and Lloyd Hollie, who opened the restaurant in 2020, recently enlisted a new chef: Basil Jones, who took the kitchen’s helm in 2021 and has a reputation for excellent Caribbean cooking at various NYC restaurants, such as Footprints Cafe on Coney Island. Dishes include jerk chicken, codfish fritters, oxtail stew, and jazzy pasta, a riff on rasta pasta, the bell pepper-studded, creamy, spicy Jamaican dish that Jones helped popularize locally at previous stints around the city. Colorful cocktails showcase Caribbean ingredients and flavors as well, such as scotch bonnet pepper-infused tequila, passionfruit and mango nectars, and sorrel (hibiscus).


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As You Are

$$$$
Amerikaans
Boerum Hill
4.5
64 recensies

Restaurants situated in hotels went from forgettable to worthy destinations in recent years, and the Ace Hotel in Nomad was arguably a trailblazer. The newest Ace outpost in NYC, opened in September and located in Downtown Brooklyn, continues that tradition with its stylish on-site restaurant-cafe, As You Are. Ryan Jordan, an Ace alum and the former executive chef at The Breslin, has conceived a wide-ranging menu that spans the gamut from warm clams dressed with pearl onions, homemade hot sauce, and brown butter to chicken liver accessorized with a bay leaf-flavored madeleine. Baked breakfast goodies—created by Danny Alvarez, formerly of Danny Meyer’s Daily Provisions—are equally impressive. Enjoy it all as your eyes feast on a dreamy wall mosaic by artist Isaiah Zagar, sprinkled with playful culinary motifs.


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Een foto van restaurant Bar Cicchetti - NYC

Bar Cicchetti - NYC

$$$$
Italiaans
Chelsea
4.5
43 recensies

Another noteworthy hotel restaurant opening, Bar Cicchetti is Top Chef alum Fabio Viviani’s first NYC restaurant, housed in the Motto by Hilton Chelsea. The restaurant, which debuted in January 2021, has art deco-accented interiors swathed in jewel tones and velvets, making for a sexy date night backdrop. Expect creative twists on familiar Italian fare, with starters such as fried burrata, crispy duck salad, and black rice arancini. Heartier plates include Roman pizzas with unique toppings like ‘nduja or melted leeks, plus pastas such as a seafood-topped handmade squid ink cavatelli, as well as orecchiette with pistachio pesto, crispy mortadella, and stracciatella.


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