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

The Lower East Side wins the derby for most openings this month, with four notable new spots including a beer garden atop the Thompson LES hotel from Blue Ribbon. As well, celeb chefs keep churning them out — Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Michael White each have hot new additions — and a Midtowner from a trio of Eleven Madison Park alum demonstrate how May has simply bloomed with new places to eat.

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 May 2013.


ABC Cocina

(Photo: ABC Cocina)

ABC Cocina
Who knew the Flatiron home goods store ABC Carpet and Home was bilingual? “Cocina” is Spanish for kitchen, tipping diners off to the focus of the latest from Jean-Georges Vongerichten and ABC Kitchen executive chef Dan Kluger. Like its English-speaking partner, ABC Cocina strives for sustainability with seasonable fare such as guacamole with spring green peas and crunchy tortillas. 38 E. 19th St., 212-677-2233,

Achilles Heel
In the latest from the team behind popular Brooklyn spots Reynard, Marlow & Sons and Diner, this Greenpoint dive bar is cleaning up its act, opening for breakfast, lunch and capping out the evening with charcuterie, oysters, sardine sandwiches and other bar snacks. Open from 8am to 2am, it’s bound to be a great spot for day-drinking and late-night lingering. 180 West St., Brooklyn, 347-987-3666,

This modern American Midtowner reunites general manager Eamon Rockey, wine director Luke Wohlers and chef Bryce Shuman, all alums of Eleven Madison Park. A “grid”-style, ingredient-driven menu echoes their alma mater, with dishes such as asparagus papparadelle with black pepper and summer truffle and roast chicken with morels. 41 W 57th St., 212-465-2400,

Blue Ribbon Beer Garden

(Photo: Blue Ribbon Beer Garden)

Blue Ribbon Beer Garden
Brews, a spacious outdoor terrace and a ping-pong table can only mean one  thing: beer pong! Add barbecue to the mix and you’ve got the fixin’s for good, clean American fun. This seasonal new venue at the Thompson LES hotel brings 1,600 square feet of happy hour-ready outdoor space to the Lower East Side. 190 Allen St., 212-466-0404,

Charlie Bird
Like jazz legend Charlie “Bird” Parker, this spot lives on the fringes, bordering the south Village and SoHo. Chef Ryan Hardy, who made his name out west at Little Nell hotel in Aspen, Colo., improvises American fare with Italian harmonics in dishes such as suckling piglet with mostarda and cappelacci pasta with ramps, peas and guanicale. Ex-Cru partner Robert Bohr curated the tight, 100-bottle wine list. 5 King Street, 212-235-7133,

It turns out you can go back home again, at least in Michael White’s case. After conquering Manhattan with a string of popular restaurants (Marea, Ai Fiori, Osteria Morini, Nicoletta) the James Beard Award-winning chef now goes back to where it all began, in the SoHo space that once housed Fiamma, the NYC kitchen that earned him three stars from The New York Times and put his name on the culinary map. Here, he’ll try his hand at steakhouse fare with Italian sauces. 206 Spring St., 212-334-3320,

Miller’s Near and Far
Nathan Foot, formerly of Northern Spy Food Co., returns in the latest locavore restaurant to hit the Lower East Side. While the interior holds an arty/indie vibe, the menu, with dishes such as minute steak with potato cake, braised greens and bordelaise sauce, focuses on simple, wholesome fare. 65 Rivington St., 646-559-1210,


(Photo: Preserve 24)

Preserve 24
This enormous, atmospheric space feels like part restaurant, part antique store annex and part art installation. A close look at details reveal the thoughtful, imaginative design—a skeleton of a piano, for example, frames the back of the bar; one wall is fashioned from reclaimed doors from surrounding Lower East Side tenements; and an antique rowboat adorns the raw bar. Then there’s the cage that dangles between the two floors, built to carry a 2-ton piece of iceberg, (coming soon, apparently), which will stay frozen via solar energy. The menu, with dishes produced from a wood-fired oven, is straightforward with the likes of porterhouse steaks and burgers, as one can only take so much artfulness in one experience. 177 East Houston St., 646-837-6100

The Fourth
Husband-and-wife team Marco Moreira and Jo-Ann Makovitzky of Tocqueville and 15 East have waited years to open their new project, an American brasserie within the new Hyatt Union Square. The centerpiece of the space, a sculpture of floating bed frames, looks like something out of Bedknobs and Broomsticks and draws delighted attention from diners. The menu is also full of crowd-pleasers like wedding soup and roasted leg of lamb with braised neck. 132 Fourth Ave. 212-432-1324,

Tiny Fork
Named after the diminutive utensil used for bivalves, this Lower East Sider goes beyond the ordinary fish shack with a James Beard Award-winning chef, Bradford Thompson (best chef Southwest 2006), and a lobster stock michelada. Need we say more? 167 Orchard St., (no phone),

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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