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Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken (Photo: Courtesy of Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken)

Top 10 New and Noteworthy New York City Restaurants: August 2013

A world of flavors, from Icelandic to Jewish-Japanese, rush into town this month, while the Blue Ribbon and Pok Pok empires expand and a much-missed Michelin-starred chef makes his highly-anticipated return.

Blink and you’ll miss a restaurant opening in New York City; eateries debut and shutter at a fast clip in the Big Apple. To keep yourself up-to-date on NYC’s hottest restaurant openings, check out our top 10 newbies for August 2013.

Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken
Blue Ribbon’s crispy bird, made with matzoh meal, honey and spice, garnered so many accolades that the owners decided to give it its very own venue in the East Village. In addition to its signature fried fowl, there are seven variations of a griddled chicken burger on the menu, including “The Cordon Blue,” which comes with ham and Swiss cheese. Sides such as onion rings, and home-made ice cream for dessert complete a fully comforting meal. 28 E First St., 212-228-0404, blueribbonrestaurants.com

Toy Box Tomatoes at Juni (Photo: Courtesy of Juni)

Toy Box Tomatoes at Juni (Photo: Courtesy of Juni)

Juni
Fans of Australian sensation Shaun Hergatt who grieved the closing of his Michelin two-star restaurant, SHO Shaun Hergatt, take heart. The chef is back in Murray Hill’s Hotel Chandler, with a menu just as artistically composed as his previous venue. The lovely seasonal combinations on his four, six or ten-course tasting menus include baby leeks, lobster, scallop parcels and chia seeds. 12 E 31st St., 212-995-8599, juninyc.com

Maison O
The dining/nightlife enclave of Kenmare Square welcomes a new neighbor, Tadashi Ono, formerly of Matsuri in Chelsea. The chef’s new spot celebrates all great things Japanese—sushi, sashimi, yakitori and…karaoke. So after digging into dishes like curried rice korokke (croquettes), diners can belt out a tune or two in the themed rooms at the adjacent Stardust Lounge. 98 Kenmare St., 212-274-9898, maisononyc.com

Baked Fish at Martha (Photo: Courtesy of Martha)

Baked Fish at Martha (Photo: Courtesy of Martha)

Martha
What was once Brooklyn Sandwich Society has transformed into Martha, a full-on restaurant serving more than between-the-bread fare. The Fort Greene spot may seem quirky at first, with its two chefs bearing Portlandia-esque beards, but the menu, with dishes such as chicken with warm bread salad and elderberries, is seasonal and straightforward. 184 Dekalb Ave., Brooklyn, 718-596-4147, marthabrooklyn.com

Malt ‘n Mash
Diners have only a few months to catch this Meatpacking pop-up before it pops-out at the end of the year. Chef Nahid Ahmed, who has cooked in the legendary kitchens of Gray Kunz and Thomas Keller, whips up whimsical flavor combos, such as peanut butter and chipotle foie gras, sure to linger in diners’ memories well after the restaurant has come and gone. 53-61 Gansevoort St., 646-561-3931, maltnmash.com

Kushi Oysters and Frozen Verjus at Piora (Photo: Courtesy of Piora)

Kushi Oysters and Frozen Verjus at Piora (Photo: Courtesy of Piora)

Piora
At this worldly West Villager, whose name means “blossom” in Korean, monkey-bread lives side-by-side on the menu with bucatini and duck confit. Chef Chris Cipollone, late of Midtown’s Tenpenny, is in charge of the multi-culti fare, with dishes such as suckling pig with radish, burdock and pear. 430 Hudson St., 212-960-3801, pioranyc.com

Skal
All of NYC’s new Nordic fuss has been centered on Denmark, Norway and Sweden; now Iceland joins the gang, slipping into the Lower East Side in the former Les Enfants Terrible space. The homey interior feels like a charming little gnome hut, with china hung on the sky-blue walls, while the fish-forward menu is made up of cleanly composed dishes like lavender-cured arctic char. 37 Canal St., 212-777-7518

Chicken and Pastrami Stuffed Chicken Breast with Mustard Sauce at Shalom Japan (Photo: Courtesy of Shalom Japan)

Chicken and Pastrami Stuffed Chicken Breast with Mustard Sauce at Shalom Japan (Photo: Courtesy of Shalom Japan)

Shalom Japan
This mash-up dining destination, fittingly set in the cultural cyclone of Williamsburg, blends Jewish and Japanese flavors in dishes like pastrami-stuffed chicken and chilled udon noodles with beef, beets and horseradish. 310 S Fourth St., Brooklyn, 718-388-4012, shalomjapannyc.com

Sushi Nakazawa
Though this sushi spot stealthily slipped into a Commerce Street space in the West Village, it’s already the talk of the town. The chef apprenticed under Jiro Ono (yes, he who dreams of sushi) and with only 10 bar seats available until the dining room opens next month, it’s currently Manhattan’s toughest reservation to score. 23 Commerce St., 212-924-2212, sushinakazawa.com

Neua Naam Tok at Whiskey Soda Lounge (Photo: Courtesy of Whiskey Soda Lounge)

Neua Naam Tok at Whiskey Soda Lounge (Photo: Courtesy of Whiskey Soda Lounge)

Whiskey Soda Lounge
Chef Andy Ricker decided to give patrons more than something to wet their whistle while braving the wait for his popular Pok Pok NY. This neighboring Cobble Hill lounge features an extensive menu of “Thai drinking food,” including crispy strips of pig ear, deep fried and coated with 5 spice, served with a black vinegar dipping sauce. There’s also plenty of beer, cocktails and Pok Pok’s signature drinking vinegars. 115 Columbia St., Brooklyn, 718-797-4120, whiskeysodalounge-ny.com 

For more new and notable restaurants:
Top 10 New and Noteworthy Restaurants March 2014
Top 10 New and Noteworthy Restaurants February 2014

Top 10 New and Noteworthy Restaurants January 2014
The Keepers: The Most Promising Restaurant Openings of 2013
Top 10 New and Noteworthy Restaurants November 2013
Top 10 New and Noteworthy Restaurants October 2013
Top 10 New and Noteworthy Restaurants September 2013
Top 10 New and Noteworthy Restaurants August 2013
Top 10 New and Noteworthy Restaurants July 2013
Top 10 New and Noteworthy Restaurants June 2013
Top 10 New and Noteworthy Restaurants May 2013
Top 10 New and Noteworthy Restaurants April 2013

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