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 12 hottest restaurants in New York right now.
1. Atomix (Last week: 5)
The critics are in agreement: This Korean tasting counter from Junghyun and Ellia Park is very good. Our critic Adam Platt has three stars to offer. Eater’s Ryan Sutton calls it “one of the city’s most exciting new bastions of haute gastronomie in years.” And over at the Times, Pete Wells writes this week, “Tasting menus can be arid and sterile when a chef doesn’t have much to say. The format comes to life when a restaurant is overflowing with ideas, like Atomix.”
2. Misi (1)
Missy Robbins’s newest restaurant is just charming. On paper, it all sounds very simple — straightforward vegetables, easygoing pastas, gelato for dessert — but of course, given Robbins’s talent, renown, and attention to detail, it’s quite easy to see why the large, open space has been thronged since it opened.
3. Saint Julivert (3)
Saint Julivert is the new Cobble Hill seafood bar from Alex Raij and Eder Montero, who also run El Quinto Pino and La Vara. The new restaurant is just as charming as the others. Small plates like anchovies with vanilla butter and roasted kanpachi collar blackened with jerk spice co-mingle with uni-topped chawanmushi and the small wine list — organized around oceanic growing areas — is lots of fun.
4. Oxomoco (2)
Yes, the white, sunny, plant-filled space is classic Brooklyn Instagram bait. But — surprise! — the food is also very good, as our man Platt recently discovered. He’s a fan of the smoky tomatoes in the guacamole, beef-tartare tostadas, the “excellent” tacos, the “cavalcade of sophisticated, labor-intensive salsas and moles,” and even the raspberry tres leches cake for dessert.
5. Morgenstern’s (6)
It’s fall, but the ice-cream savant Nick Morgenstern has unveiled his new flagship scoop shop at the corner of Houston and LaGuardia Place — and he’s giving New Yorkers something we probably didn’t even know we needed: an ice-cream shop with a mind-boggling 88 flavors on offer. That means five varieties of strawberry, cinnamon-whiskey, coffee caramel, durian-banana, and — hopefully — a plan to deal with all the people who want to sample all the flavors.
6. Zauo (8)
This Japanese chain has opened its first NYC location in Chelsea. The deal here, in case you haven’t heard, is that customers catch their own fish, which are promptly whisked to the kitchen to be filleted and cooked (or served raw as sashimi). PETA won’t love it, but you might!
7. Balaboosta (4)
The word beloved gets thrown around a lot these days, but it is nevertheless the best description for Einat Admony’s dearly departed Israeli restaurant. Except, guess what: Balaboosta is back in action, this time on Hudson Street. Go! Now! Why wait?
8. Let’s Meat (Off last week)
The biggest name in Korean BBQ right now is this all-you-can-eat buffet in K-Town. The big draw, of course, is that it’s about $40 per person for a full-on meat fest, but the secondary draw is that some of those meats are lesser-seen options like beef intestine and short-arm octopus.
9. Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop (7)
Paulie Gee’s owner Paulie Giannone has expanded with a new Greenpoint slice shop. Everything about this place is a throwback, from the wood-paneled walls to the working Atari set that decorates the dining room. Oh, and the pizza is very solid, too.
10. Sans (9)
Here’s an idea: Eat less meat and help save the world. One place to do just that is chef Champ Jones’s month-old Carroll Gardens spot, which — as the chef has told Grub Street — is a vegan restaurant for non-vegans.
11. Adda (11)
In Long Island City, chef Chintan Pandya is cooking some of the city’s most exciting Indian food. That alone should be enough to warrant a visit, but the even better news is that the entire menu is extremely affordable, with some dishes running a mere $5.
12. Shake Shack Innovation Kitchen (10)
The city’s newest Shake Shack, which just opened on that downtown stretch where Seventh Avenue becomes Varick Street, is no regular Shake Shack. It is the “innovation kitchen,” which means the menu will feature all sorts of experimental Shack foods.