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. Dizengoff (New this week)
The much-anticipated chickpea-centric spot from Michael Solomonov, Steven Cook, and chef Emily Seaman is now open in Chelsea Market, dishing out hummus with braised lamb neck and late-morning shakshuka to all who stop in, which means it is time to get over there and give it a try. Expect to hear a lot more about this place in the coming weeks.
2. Sauvage (New this week)
The Maison Premiere team has expanded with this brand-new French-ish spot in Greenpoint. Expect leek terrines, spring-pea salads, pig-head confit for two, and — of course — lots of cocktails.
3. Café Altro Paradiso (Last week: 1)
About three months after opening, with a few good reviews in tow, Ignacio Mattos and Thomas Carter’s Italian café is settling in nicely. The dining room is still mobbed at night (and loud, if that’s the kind of thing that bugs you), while the food — more straightforward and less cerebral than Mattos’s cooking at Estela — is ever-evolving, too.
4. Emmy Squared (2)
A spot check this week revealed a quoted wait time that started stretching into multi-hour territory relatively early on a Monday night. (And for good reason: The square pizzas here are the kind of thing people are going to return for over and over.) So word to the wise: Get here when they open — or perhaps stop in over the Memorial Day weekend, when the city promises to be a little emptier than usual.
5. Olmsted (New this week)
A team that includes vets of Alinea and Atera is behind this new Nordic-leaning neighborhood spot in Prospect Heights. Fittingly, the menu features items like a carrot crêpe with surf clam, and radish-top gazpacho with trout roe.
6. Pommes Frites (Making a triumphant return this week)
About 14 months after the original location was destroyed in the tragic Second Avenue explosion, the late-night French fry spot is back in action, this time in Greenwich Village. This is welcome news indeed.
7. Günter Seeger NY (16)
The opening was slightly delayed, but chef Günter Seeger’s eponymous tasting room is officially open. Seeger has talked a lot during the run-up to opening about how his menu will lean heavily on seasonal produce and change frequently. Some of the early dishes look as refined and elegant as you’d expect.
9. Win Son (New this week)
In East Williamsburg, two partners have opened this spot dedicated to modern Taiwanese cooking, with both riffs on classic dishes and new creations that simply take inspiration from the region’s deeply eclectic cuisine.
10. Barano (3)
Albert Di Meglio’s Williamsburg spot is up and running, and the early reception has been extremely positive. With a menu that leans heavily on crowd-pleasing takes on Italian-American classics — along with more than a few pizzas — the restaurant is another solid addition to a neighborhood that’s already packed with excellent spots.
11. Sushi Ginza Onodera (New this week)
Lately New York is, um, swimming in exemplary sushi destinations. In addition to the recent opening of Sushi Zo, the city is now also home to a Fifth Avenue outpost of this highly respected international chain. Truly, we are living in the golden age of the power-sushi restaurant.
14. Indian Accent (Off last week)
Times critic Pete Wells drops in to the midtown location of Manish Mehrotra’s acclaimed New Delhi restaurant. He likes it quite a bit, calling attention to many carefully made dishes, including a dessert of saffron milk, rose petals, and palm sugar that, when eaten together, creates “the kind of happy collision that few restaurants in town can deliver as well as Indian Accent.”
15. Tapestry (9)
In a similar vein, chef Suvir Saran has returned to New York with this modern Indian spot, which opened late last week. The short menu is less about traditional dishes and more focused on applying Indian spice and technique to dishes like fried chicken, rabbit terrine, and glazed pork chops.
16. Agern (6)
International culinary superstar Claus Meyer just opened his first New York restaurant, inside Grand Central Terminal. If you’re familiar with Meyer’s uniquely Scandinavian aesthetic, all of the blond wood and beets on display here will not surprise you. And if you aren’t familiar with Meyer’s sensibility, you will probably be pleasantly surprised by this new addition to the city.
17. Ando (13)
Should you happen to be one of the chosen few who signed up early for David Chang’s new delivery-only “restaurant,” and who also happen to work or live (or know someone) in the still-limited delivery area, perhaps you’ve also been lucky enough to enjoy a Momofuku-fied take on cheesesteaks or a box o’ fried chicken. If you are not, be patient, and your time will no doubt come soon.
18. Hail Mary (10)
In Greenpoint, husband and wife Hisham and Sohla El-Waylly — who have collectively worked at some of the city’s most impressive restaurants — are applying a truly global focus to the classic American diner. As such, expect Bolivian-style hot dogs, homemade blood sausage, and a toad-in-a-hole made with duck eggs.
19. Momosan Ramen & Sake (8)
It might not be the very best ramen in New York, but Masaharu Morimoto’s Murray Hill noodle destination has nevertheless proven extremely popular since opening last month.
20. Brooklyn Barge (New this week)
Have you been outside? It’s hot, man. And so it is very nice indeed to see that this Greenpoint spot is open for the season as of this week. There are unobstructed water views, lots of tacos, and even kayak lessons. Summer!