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New and noteworthy

Top 10 New and Noteworthy Restaurants: June 2013

In this issue, we bid farewell to spring and welcome a slew of new spots ready for the summer, including Michael White’s latest, a sibling for the west side’s Brasserie Cognac, a surprise “clam bar” from the Torrisi/Carbone boys and a new reason to spend time outdoors in Brooklyn.

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 June 2013.

The Butterfly
With his latest opening, Michael White turns back the clock to a time before he made his name as a chef of Italian cuisine at restaurants such as Marea. Reaching back to his roots (or more likely to his parents’ roots), White has opened this Tribeca-based homage to the mid-century modern days of Wisconsin. What that means for a restaurant concept: retro food and drink to go with the 1950s-style furnishings with comfort favorites like fried chicken washed down with brandy old-fashioneds. 225 West Broadway, 646-692-4943,


Cognac East

(Photo: Courtesy of Cognac East)

Cognac East
What separates this spot from the standard model of faux-French brasseries is chef Florian D. Hugo, who is so French that he is a descendant of Victor Hugo. Yes, he of Les Miserables. More importantly, Hugo trained at Institut Paul Bocuse and worked under Alain Ducasse. This Upper East Side spinoff of the Midtowner Brasserie Cognac shares a menu just as authentic as its sibling, with gougeres, seafood vol au vent, steak frites and, of course, there’s an extensive selection of cognac — 50 of them for your sipping pleasure. 963 Lexington Ave., 212-249-5100,

Dinosaur Barbecue
Though this is the seventh location of a 25-year-old low-and-slow chain based in Syracuse, N.Y., the Gowanus, Brooklyn, branch makes this site its own with clever design details — a wall of wood reclaimed from the Coney Island boardwalk and a sculpture made from antique whiskey bottles collected from the borough’s underpasses. Otherwise, expect the grub that made this joint famous, such as Southern-style pork shoulder, Texas brisket and St. Louis ribs. 604 Union St., Brooklyn, 347-429-7030,



(Photo: Courtesy of Distilled)

Reinventing the “public house” seems to be all the rage these days (see April openings: Alder). This month’s entry comes to Tribeca courtesy of Shane Lyons, formerly of Momofuku. Inventive dishes poised to become new classics include liver pate with “chicken skin” crackers, whipped honey and red wine pickled shallots, and country-fried duck and waffles with smoked Serrano maple syrup. 211 West Broadway, 212-601-9514,

Diners have been waiting to see what creative chef Ignacio Mattos would do next ever since he departed Williamsburg’s Isa. He landed in the intimate space above Botanica bar, on the SoHo side of Houston Street. Mattos’s menu consists mostly of small plates, such as calamari a la plancha with romesco and beef tartare with sunchoke. Add a former PDT bartender mixing cocktails, and Estela becomes a Downtowner’s dream for gourmet grazing and sipping.  47 East Houston St., 212-219-7693,

Hawker Bar
One reason to make Prospect Heights a destination this summer: the outdoor garden at this Southeast Asian eatery. But the best incentive to go is the variety of street food flavors that conjure the market stalls of Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. Enjoy bites like Thai sausage or lemongrass shrimp on “stix” or tucked in a bun; or tuck into authentic mains like clay pot chicken or Vietnamese seafood crepe. The cocktails, made with infusions and fresh juices and numbered one through six, make dining al fresco even more refreshing. 611 Vanderbilt Ave., Brooklyn, 347-915-1000,



(Photo: Courtesy of Malbec)

Eat upstairs, see tango downstairs, in this new NoHo Argentine spot. The name betrays the main focus, however: Yes, there are South American wines, but there’s also the expected grilled-meat fare (rib eye and lamb for two), and some unexpected surprises such as meloso rice — a creamy, paella-like dish, garnished with frog legs. The lower-level tango parlor is open and hosting shows six nights a week. 428 Lafayette St., 212-419-4645,


Musket Room

(Photo: Courtesy of Musket Room)

Musket Room
New Zealand comes to NoLita as chef Matt Lambert salutes his homeland with his spin on Kiwi cuisine — certainly a New York City rarity. Hearty yet refined dishes from down under worth discovering: New Zealand red doe flavored with gin, and steak and cheese pie. 265 Elizabeth St., 212-219-0764,

New York Sushi Ko
After training at top NYC sushi spots Masa and 15 East, chef John Daley went on a quest for authenticity, which brought him to Tokyo to study the finer points of omakase. The result is this faithful Lower East Side sushi bar, with only 11 seats and no menu. Diners put their trust in the chef to produce the best 3-, 5- or 7-course meal that the daily market will yield. 91 Clinton St., 917-734-5857,

ZZ Clam Bar
The trio behind Torrisi Italian Specialties unveiled this new Villager, just a few doors down from their latest, Carbone. In a surprising twist, the concept changed from a seafood shack serving lobster club sandwiches to a 12-seat haute “clam bar,” with upscale indulgences such as beef carpaccio garnished with sea urchin and caviar. 169 Thompson St., 212-254-3000, 

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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