Welcome to Grub Street’s weekly survey of the most-talked-about, must-visit restaurants in New York City. The list below features spots both new and old ranked according to one important, ever-fluctuating (and admittedly subjective) metric: Who has the most buzz? Perhaps a famed chef has taken over the kitchen, or there’s a new dish you absolutely must order. Maybe the restaurant is just brand-new, or the critics are raving about it. Whatever the reasons, these are the hottest restaurants in New York right now.
1. Anfora, L’Artusi, L’Apicio, and dell’anima (Off last week)
Epicurean Group’s executive chef, Gabe Thompson, will leave the city after next month, which means it’s a great time to head to any of the company’s well-liked restaurants to check out his particular brand of often-excellent Italian cooking.
2. Cozinha Latina (Last week: 3)
In Greenpoint, chef Shanna Pacifico has a menu of (mostly) Brazilian specialities, like a shaved collard-greens salad, picanha steak, and the gloriously cheesy dumplings known as pão de queijo.
3. Bruno (1)
All hype-related commentary aside, chefs Justin Slojkowski and Dave Gulino have put together an interesting new spot, one with a few obvious issues (the less-than-comfortable seating, the overly bright lights) and some really interesting food, including the unique pizzas that many people — including New York’s Adam Platt, for the most part — really enjoy.
4. Tacombi (Bleecker Street) (6)
Tacombi’s latest outpost is now open and it’s more or less exactly what you’d expect it to be. Eater’s Robert Sietsema has even gone ahead and ranked all the tacos, which, really, all look pretty good.
5. Wildair (5)
Grub’s on record here: This is the most exciting restaurant in town right now. The wine list is bonkers in the best kind of way, the bistroesque food is cheffed up juuuust enough, and the spare, utilitarian space manages to be surprisingly comfortable.
6. Gabriel Kreuther (15)
Adam Platt weighs in on the former Modern chef’s luxe new namesake spot, for which he has three stars: “Two stars for the bar lounge, which is one of the best new restaurants in midtown, and another, grudging star for the ornate dining-room menu and the last, glorious days of haute cuisine.”
7. David’s Cafe (7)
Chef David Malbequi — the Boulud empire alum last seen at Rotisserie Georgette — has opened this casual Franco-American café on St. Marks Place. It’s very new, but expect comfort food like duck confit to be the main attraction.
8. Pizza Moto (14)
A spot check at the new Red Hook-adjacent pizzeria revealed a very nice dining room, warm service, and, of course, some pretty nice pizza that manages to break out of the typical margherita mold. The real surprise was the excellence of the non-pizza items, especially a dish of nicely fried, semolina-dusted broccoli paired with — no joke — lemon curd, which was a combination that worked much better than you might think.
9. Schaller’s Stube (Off last week)
Schaller & Weber’s sausage-bar spinoff gets featured in this week’s “Hungry City” column and, maybe it’s just because we’re tired of hearing everyone talk about how bad “processed meat” is for us, but oh man does everything there look extra amazing. Grub’s opinion: New York will never have enough encased-meat specialists.
10. Sadelle’s (8)
Well, Mimi Sheraton, for one, is something of a fan of the bagels that Melissa Weller’s team is putting out at the new Soho brunch-and-lunch place. As with all Major Food Group productions, the place is big and scene-y, so that may not be your bag, but it’s tough to find fault with the execution. (That said, Grub’s advice is to avoid the eggs and stick with the carbs and smoked fish.)
11. Black Seed Bagels (East Village) (11)
If Sadelle’s is the modern appetizing shop turned into a giant restaurant, Black Seed remains a straight-ahead bagel shop, cranking out sandwiches that are well above par. The new First Avenue location is bigger than the previous spots, and the menu has expanded accordingly.
12. Superiority Burger (Off last week)
Brooks Headley’s veggie burger is the “best burger of the year,” declares GQ. It would be easy to laugh at a claim like this, if so many other people hadn’t come to the same conclusion.
13. Vaucluse (20)
A report back from Michael White’s French truffle emporium on the Upper East Side: The aged duck l’orange for two — priced at $46 per person, or a cool $92 — is pretty special, if you can spring for it.
14. L’Amico (17)
More pizza! Grub isn’t in love with the somewhat charmless location of Laurent Tourondel’s newish rustic Italian spot, but the chef’s pies are getting high marks from customers, which is reason enough to head over to the corner of Sixth Avenue and 30th Street to check them out.
15. Fancy Nancy (13)
Does Brooklyn need more comfort food? Perhaps not. But any restaurant willing to garnish their burgers with a deviled egg — as this brand-new Bed-Stuy spot does — warrant some attention. There are duck wings, smoked-bluefish dip, and, as required by law these days, tater tots aplenty. Looks fun, really.
16. Tilda All Day (New this week)
Clinton Hill’s got a nice-looking, new neighborhood spot, offering — you guessed it — all-day service aimed at restaurant industry folks and writers in the neighborhood who are free to linger over some French toast on a weekday.
17. O Ya (Off last week)
Oh no: The Times drops in to Tim and Nancy Cushman’s new sushi bar this week and while critic Pete Wells finds some flashes of brilliance, the overall effect of the two set menus on offer is not great. And there are a surprising number of execution errors for a restaurant where meals start at $185 per person. The original O Ya is one of Boston’s preeminent restaurants, so hopefully the Cushmans can work things out at the NYC outpost, too.
18. Lumos (12)
Baijiu: Learn all about this Chinese liquor here, then head to NYC’s first baijiu-centric bar to give it a shot.
19. Bar Seki (18)
On West 46th Street, the team behind Sushi Seki have opened this elegant-looking Japanese cocktail den with seating for 80, divided into several sections including a 12-seat traditional bar, a no-reservations communal table for drinking and socializing, and more intimate private tables
20. Thirty Acres (19)
The ambitious, exciting, much-acclaimed Jersey City restaurant from Alex and Kevin Pemoulie will close at the end of November, so your time to visit is limited. If you still have yet to make it over, Grub suggests taking a trip before it’s too late.