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American Cut (Photo: American Cut)

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

Fall always means a rush of new spots, and this month we saw another new opening from an on-fire Iron Chef, a Meatpacking Mexican destined to become the next late-night hot spot, and a foray into the food business from one of the country’s most successful CEOs.

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 September 2013.


American Cut

American Cut dining room (Photo: Courtesy of American Cut)

American Cut
Marc Forgione is on a hot streak since opening the Laotian restaurant Khe-Yo last month. This month, he brings it back to the homeland with a TriBeCa branch of his Atlantic City-based American steakhouse. To this Iron Chef, a surf and turf for two means a 42-ounce tomahawk ribeye chop plus a two-pound chili lobster with Texas toast. 363 Greenwich St., 212-226-4736,


Ilili Box

Butterscotch panna cotta, ashta and coconut quinoa pudding desserts at Ilili Box (Photo: Courtesy of Ilili Box)

Ilili Box
Six years after establishing the modern Middle Eastern restaurant ilili, brothers Philippe and Alexander Massoud unveil a fast-casual concept in a Flatiron street kiosk. Takeaway treats include shawarma sandwiches with duck or lamb, and three different spins on falafel — Mexican, Korean or Lebanese. Flatiron Public Plaza, 24th and Broadway, 646-771-4090,

Joe and Misses Doe
Some people change their names when they get married. Why should restaurants be any different? When chef Joe Dobias tied the knot, not only did his restaurant adopt a new moniker, it took on an entirely new concept. The new menu focuses on gently-priced, creative “blue plate” cuisine, with snacks such as crispy duck skins and entrees like beer-braised shellfish. But don’t worry — just because Joe Doe got married doesn’t mean you can’t hang out with him anymore: The original restaurant will be opening in a new space nearby in the East Village. 45 E. First St., 212-780-0262,

La Cenita
Known for its clubby restaurants, the EMM group introduces a little sister to Meatpacking neighbor Catch. Chef Akhtar Nawab, formerly of the equally sceney La Esquina, is behind the stoves, putting out Mexican-inspired small plates such as lamb barbacoa tacos and goat cheese crepes with Poblano chile. Judging from the Fashion Week parties that christened the spot, the chic bi-level space will rival its sibling for late-night crowds. 409 W. 14th St., 646-289-3930,

This trattoria slipped into the former Franny’s space in Prospect Heights, and though the proprietors are still in place, the pizza oven is not. The completely renovated interior still retains the same authentic sensibility of its predecessor, however, as does the menu, with polished versions of classics, such as roasted pork loin and pasta alla Norma. 295 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn, 718-230-0427,



Pagani bar (Photo: Courtesy of Pagani)

This regional Italian opened in a vintage West Village music shop that dates back to the early 20th century. Leave it to James Beard Award-winning designer Taavo Somer to preserve some of the antique details in the interior, while the kitchen respectfully reinvents traditional dishes such as ravioli cacciatore and slow-roasted veal shoulder. 289 Bleecker St., 212-488-5800,


Somtum Der

Tum thai khai kem (spicy papaya salad with salted egg) at Somtum Der (Photo: Courtesy of Somtum Der)

Somtum Der
A branch of a Bangkok restaurant lands in the East Village, specializing in food from Isan, a region in Northern Thailand. The focus is on finger-food, papaya salads and noodle dishes — all which pack a decisively spicy and aromatic punch. 85 Ave. A, 212-260-8570,


The Cecil

The Cecil dining room (Photo: Courtesy of The Cecil)

The Cecil
A one-time Citigroup chairman and former Time Warner CEO can now add restaurateur to his resume. Because of now restaurateur Richard Parsons, Harlem now has its first rice and vegetable wok bar, from which diners mix-and-match proteins (tofu, prawns, turkey and pork ribs) and sauces (piri piri, black pepper and curry) along with Afro-Asian-American influenced dishes such as spicy crispy ginger squid with okra and sweet chili peanut sauce. Minton’s, an adjacent jazz bar, arrives next month. 206 W 118th St., 212-866-1262,


The Chester

The Chester dining room and bar (Photo: The Chester)

The Chester
Chef Sam Hazen augments his offerings from Veritas with this vast Meatpacking venue within the Gansevoort Hotel. Dishes such as roasted chicken with bone marrow mushroom bread exemplify the American menu. Seating for 150 outdoors is an added bonus. 18 Ninth Ave., 646-253-2284,

Boston culinary kings Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer’s NYC debut in Chelsea is geared toward the been-there-done-that tapas crowd. Where else in NYC can you find rabbit paella, lardo with pickled pumpkin or gooseneck barnacles? Sangria on tap adds a special touch to the bar menu. 85 Tenth Ave., 212-691-2360,

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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