Hot Plates
Top 10 New and Noteworthy Restaurants: July 2014

Top 10 New and Noteworthy Restaurants: July 2014

Summer continues with a hot streak of openings

The weather has stayed somewhat mild as summer in the city sets in, but the restaurant climate has continued to heat up with openings galore. July happened to be on fire, with a glitzy Times Square newcomer, a glammy scene growing in Williamsburg and the return of a beloved long-time Big Apple chef.

 

Bar Sardine (Photo: Courtesy of Bar Sardine)

Bar Sardine (Photo: Courtesy of Bar Sardine)

Bar Sardine
The West Village’s Chez Sardine dropped the French part of its moniker, lost its Japanese menu and turned from a restaurant with an affection for European wine to an American cocktail bar with a full-on love affair with food. Chef Mehdi Brunet-Benkritly is now offering bar bites such as oysters shucked to order; cod fritters with lemon mayonnaise; and a smoked cheddar burger borrowed from neighbor/sibling Fedora, where Brunet-Benkritly is also chef. 183 W. 10th St., 646-360-3705, barsardinenyc.com

Champagne Charlie’s
The High Line Hotel’s terrace celebrates the high and low pleasures of dining, with a shady, civilized outdoor setting where patrons can enjoy bubbly and burgers in one sitting. The rest of the menu is spare and efficient, with oysters, crudo and salads to enjoy with the dozen champagnes on offer. 180 Tenth Ave., 212-929-3888, thehighlinehotel.com

Cherry Izakaya
The latest reverie from the team behind the Cherry at the Dream Downtown proves Williamsburg’s worthiness as a draw for the upscale, late-night dining set. Which means that yes, there is a VIP room where the “it” crowd can sup on sushi, sashimi and plates like short rib with Suntory whiskey glaze and pork ramen with brown butter miso and charred corn. 138 N. 8th St., Brooklyn, 347-987-4708, cherrynyc.com

Corkbuzz Chelsea
The original Union Square branch of Corkbuzz has certainly generated a lot of word-of-mouth, and now there’s even more chatter for its new Chelsea Market outpost as Michelin-starred chef Missy Robbins (ex A Voce) steps in with a menu of small plates. To go with master somm Laura Maniec’s 150-bottle list: veal tartare and spicy clams with Calabrian chili butter. There are also take-out snacks, convenient for anyone who wants to grab-and-go to the nearby High Line. 75 Ninth Ave., 646-237-4847, corkbuzz.com

 

Crimson & Rye (Photo: Courtesy of Crimson & Rye)

Crimson & Rye (Photo: Courtesy of Crimson & Rye)

Crimson & Rye
Midtown East’s Lipstick Building just took on a little more gloss with the opening of this Charlie Palmer (Aureole) spot in the lobby. Though set in a 34-floor skyscraper full of slick, big-business types, the menu feels welcome and homey with dishes such as penne amatriciana with parmesan broth and a whole roasted organic turkey breast. 198 E. 54th St., 212-687-6692, crimsonandrye.com

elan
Foodies who are still shedding tears for the late, great Chanterelle, which closed in 2009 after a 30-year run, can finally dry their eyes. Chef David Waltuck is back, resurfacing in Gramercy with a “contemporary cuisine rooted in French tradition.” That means wow-worthy plates like General Tso’s sweetbreads, potato potstickers with summer truffle and a chicken pot pie stuffed with bacon, and a nod to his past — chanterelle mushrooms. 43 E. 20th St., 646-682-7105, elannyc.com

Mimi Cheng’s
Mimi is the mama of sisters Hannah and Marian Cheng, who in their quest to find Manhattan’s best dumplings found out that no one cooks like mom. After much coaxing, Mimi gave up her secret recipes to her daughters, who now proudly showcase them — pan-fried or boiled — at this East Village Taiwanese dumpling shop. The menu keeps it simple with four choices: the Mimi Cheng (chicken and zucchini); the Reinvented Classic (pork, baby bok choy, and cabbage); the Mighty Veggie (kale, zucchini, egg and shiitake mushrooms); and even a sweet banana and Nutella dumpling for dessert. 179 Second Ave., mimichengs.com

 

Root and Bone (Photo: Courtesy of Root and Bone)

Root and Bone (Photo: Courtesy of Root and Bone)

Root and Bone
Two former Top Chef contenders — season 5’s Jeff McGinnis and season 11’s Janine Booth — team up to school Yankees on the cuisine south of the Mason Dixon line. Everything you’d expect is on the menu at this East Villager: biscuits; shrimp and grits; and the world’s most Southern bucket of fried chicken, where the bird is brined in sweet tea, dusted with pickled lemon and served with honey-spiked Tabasco. We wouldn’t be surprised if it clucked “y’all” when served. An adjoining market, Little Root, offers take-out. 200 E. 3rd St., 646-682-7080, rootnbone.com

The Gorbals
After buying some requisite Brooklyn flannel at Williamsburg’s Space Ninety 8, why not stay and dig in to some bahn mi poutine? And while it smacks of local hipster irony, the eatery within the retail shop is actually a Los Angeles transplant with Top Chef winner Ilan Hall in charge. Admittedly, menu divisions (field, stream, barn and coop) are a little precious, but dishes such as bacon-wrapped matzoh balls with horseradish mayo hold creative street cred. 98 N. 6th St., Brooklyn, 718-387-0195, thegorbalsbk.com

Urbo
Times Square’s newest spectacle falls under the restaurant category “extravaganza.” Two stories, 26,000 square feet, 3 open kitchens, a $29 million dollar investment and 600 seats shows Russian restaurateur Eugene Kadomskiy’s commitment to go big or go home. It’s also a paean to New York City, with an actual water tower as part of the décor; a chef, Brian Young, who has worked in some of NYC’s most fabled kitchens, including the Quilted Giraffe, Le Bernardin and Tavern on the Green; a smattering of food carts on the ground floor; and digital billboards flashing through the second-floor windows. 11 Times Square, 212-542-8950, urbonyc.com

For more new and notable restaurants:

Top 10 New and Noteworthy Restaurants June 2014
Top 10 New and Noteworthy Restaurants May 2014
Top 10 New and Noteworthy Restaurants April 2014
Top 10 New and Noteworthy Restaurants March 2014
Top 10 New and Noteworthy Restaurants February 2014
Top 10 New and Noteworthy Restaurants January 2014

 

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