We are delighted to keep our readers informed about the restaurant scene in New York City. With openings, re-openings, and the latest menu developments, there’s more opportunity to enjoy the culinary scene than ever before. And with entertainment coming back full swing in the city, plan a great outing!
Lodi, located at 1 Rockefeller Plaza, will be one of the first concepts to join the iconic Rockefeller Center as it reimagines its retail and hospitality collection for a new era. The all-day caffè, bakery and bar is the latest project from chef Ignacio Mattos, owner of estela and Altro Paradiso. Drawing inspiration from Italian aperitivo culture, Lodi will be a neighborhood anchor – a place you can visit practically any time of day, whether for a morning espresso or afternoon cocktail on the patio.
The Norm at Brooklyn Museum has reopened with new chef, new menu and new programming, Brooklyn native Kavon Langley will be in charge of the kitchen which will serve an all-day menu, Wed. through Sunday with brunch options on the weekends. The new menu resonates with a contemporary culinary vibe with offerings such as: Butternut Squash Fritters, Spiced Labneh; Smoked Trout, Trout Roe, Cucumbers, Pickles, Dill Sauce; Gemelli with Zucchini, Sage, Pecorino; Hot Smoked Salmon, Pickled Fennel, Tomatoes; and Beef Pave, Triple Cream, Caramelized Onions. Operated by Great Performances, the city’s premier catering, events and hospitality company that is the Brooklyn Museum’s exclusive food partner. The Norm showcases ingredient grown on GP’s organic Katchie Farm in Kinderhook, NY with dishes like Confit of Katchkie Farm Vegetables. Summer Squash, Eggplant, Tomatoes, Basil, Sliced Potatoes. On the programming front, The Norm will inaugurate a new brunch series designed to enhance the experience of selected exhibitions. It will present the opportunity for an exclusive 90 minute viewing of an exhibit, followed by a private brunch at The Norm featuring a tasting menu reflecting the exhibition’s theme and a presentation by an expert connected to the exhibition. In addition, a series of wine-centric exhibition-themed experiences curated by Marquis Williams, owner of the Brooklyn-based wine club Highly Recommended, is in the works.
Esora Omakase is the new restaurant at 239 East 5th Street, from owners of the high-end wagyu restaurant J-Spec. While omakase is often associated with sushi, Esora Omakase serves a tasting menu that highlights wagyu beef and tempura. Chef Koichi Endo (formerly of Michelin-star Tempura Matsui) prepares his magnificent tasting menu for only 7 guests each night. Throughout its many courses, the meal showcases different cuts and types of A5 wagyu (the highest grade) from various regions of Japan, including the rare Ozaki beef, as well as sashimi, wagyu sushi, and multiple pieces of exquisite tempura ($185, sake pairing $85). The tempura features vegetables, seafood and, uniquely, wagyu – this is the first and only restaurant in NYC serving wagyu tempura. Esora Omakase will have one seating at 6:30pm Tuesday-Saturday, reservations required at least one day in advance.
Bandits at 44 Bedford Street, is the 70’s-inspired watering hole from Den Hospitality (Borrachito and The Garret Bars). They will be introducing a weekend brunch menu on Saturday, September 18th. Opened in May 2021, Bandits offers modern take on an old school diner and dive – a timeless concept with pockets of nostalgia alluding to vintage New York. The weekend-brunch menu will feature All-American diner and deli-inspired classics like Bandits BEC, Huevos Banditos, Vegan Biscuit & Gravy, French Toast, and more! Cocktails will include elevated takes on brunch staples from Beverage Director, Max Stampa-Brown, like the Maria Mary, the Cappelletti Spritz and the Bandits Bloody Mary. The Bandits’ brunch menu will be available from 12pm – 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays, with reservations are now available on Resy.
Hawksmoor New York City is located in Gramercy Park at 109 E. 22nd Street. Owners and childhood friends, Will Beckett and Huw Gott, together with Group Executive Chef Matt Brown (formerly Head Chef at Restaurant Marco Pierre White and La Tante Claire) and Executive Chef Matt Bernero (formerly Head Chef of Minetta Tavern) will introduce Hawksmoor to New York City. The restaurant, which first opened in London in 2006, is renowned for its steaks and award-winning cocktail program and has now found its US home in the historic United Charities Building, steps from Manhattan’s Gramercy Park.
Chai is Restaurant Row’s latest addition. They will serve diners authentic regional Beijing Cuisine using the cooking techniques famously used in court cuisine. Set to open on September 12, 2021, the restaurant’s mission is to give a taste of Beijing to each customer who walks through the restaurant’s doors both through menu items and a carefully cultivated dining environment that will transport diners to one of Beijing’s historical courtyard gardens. Chai’s expansive menu-which features dishes influenced by Beijing and other regions across China-will include 80 dishes split into 11 different categories utilizing the cooking techniques famously used in Chinese court cuisine. Ambassadors of the region’s cuisine, Chai will serve diners staples of China’s Capitol including Beijing Zha Jiang Noodles, served with seasonal vegetables and a soybean paste-based sauce that are mixed in tableside; and of course Peking Duck, roasted thinly sliced and crispy duck served with traditional soft pancakes, cucumber, scallions, and chef’s special sauce that can be served as a half duck serving 2-3 people or a whole duck which serves 4-6 people.
Bar Benno at 7 East 27th Street in The Evelyn Hotel just opened in late August. Chef Jonathan Benno and his team are thrilled to open Bar Benno in NoMad’s Evelyn Hotel. Bar Benno will be the chef’s very first Parisian-style bistro, with a menu refined by his years of French culinary experience and a focus on evoking the warmth of classic French fare. Later in September, one Michelin starred Benno will reopen with a fine-dining menu that features French gastronomy with a focus on seafood.
Casa Ora, at 148 Meserole Street, is a refined, farm-to-table Venezuelan-American restaurant serving elevated takes on traditional plates and modern cocktails in the heart of Brooklyn. Opened in 2019, the restaurant is owned and operated by Isbelis Diaz, her son Ivo Diaz, and his wife Rachel Diaz Pirard. Lovingly named after the couple’s young daughter, Ora, the eatery’s recipes and values are inspired by family, with a menu featuring South American dishes that can be enjoyed by every generation. Since opening, Casa Ora has been recognized as the only Venezuelan restaurant to ever receive a Michelin Plate, showcasing the quality of their innovative cooking and the diversity of Venezuelan cuisine. During the summer of 2021, Casa Ora underwent an extensive renovation, allowing the team to create the more spacious concept they had always dreamed of. The updated layout – which includes 96 indoor seats in addition to the substantial outdoor dining area – features a more expansive and airy dining room and private event space, each decorated with furnishings evocative of a Latina abuela’s 1980s home.
Pekarna New York is located at 594 Amsterdam Avenue. The restaurant was conceptualized by Australian-native Dean O’Neill, introduces Slovenian food and culture to New Yorkers in the largest restaurant and events venue on the Upper West Side. Combining O’Neill’s backgrounds in engineering and hospitality, the 6,500 square foot labyrinth of dining rooms and bars is structurally designed for a good time. The lower level, which can be accessed by an elevator or by the stairs, has four different private and public event spaces that are all soundproof and claim their own separate entrances and exits. Pekarna’s expansive set of rooms fit for dining, drinking and public or private events is certainly enough to get lost in, but you will always find your way back to a bar. Executive Chef Kamal Hoyte’s dinner menu is a melding of traditional Slovenian and New American seasonal dishes with French techniques. The robust cocktail program, curated by Mr. O’Neill and head bartender David Hu, takes guests back to the origins of mixology combining more spirits and quality liqueurs than juices to make drinks more spirit and fruit forward than sweet.
Carmine’s Italian Restaurant re-opened its Times Square location. With Broadway shows returning, offices reopening, and more tourists visiting the Big Apple, Carmine’s is eager to welcome everyone back after being closed for 18 months. Located at 200 West 44th Street, Carmine’s is steps away from some of the biggest Broadway stages and tourist destinations. Known for their signature Italian dishes, Carmine’s has always prided themselves on family-style dining and enormous portions – making them an ideal restaurant for celebrating with family, friends, and groups of all sizes. Bringing people together and sharing a great meal is what Carmine’s is all about. Reservations can be made online at carminesnyc.com, or by phone at 212-221-3800 and are highly encouraged. In business for over 30 years, Carmine’s has built a name for themselves serving Italian classics such as Chicken Parmigiana, Penne Alla Vodka, baked Lasagna, and their famous homemade Meatballs. Signature pastas like Linguini, Rigatoni, and Spaghetti come in a variety of styles and choice of sauces including Marinara, Vodka, Ragu and Bolognese meat sauce. From steak to seafood, the endless menu offers something for everyone. Served in family-style portions feeding two to four, dishes are perfect for sharing – the hardest decision being what to order. Of course, no meal would be complete without dessert, and Carmine’s choices of Chocolate Torta, Italian Cheesecake, or an all-out ice cream showstopper The Titanic will provide a perfect finish.
Sereneco, located on the ground floor of Greenpoint’s historic Pencil Factory building and located at 113 Franklin St in Brooklyn, it is officially opening on September 23. Sereneco is a warm and relaxed neighborhood restaurant designed to put guests at ease. The menu, spearheaded by Executive Chef Dennis Hong (Lincoln Ristorante, Le Bernardin, Fenwick Hospitality Group), offers seasonal American fare with some Italian influences. Ingredient-driven and nourishing, with vegetables at the forefront, Sereneco will offer an all-day menu and weekend brunch, as well as to-go options from a charming take-out window. Dinner menu highlights include Grilled Prawns (salsa verde, chorizo oil, lemon, focaccia), Polenta Fresca (fresh local corn, smoked mozzarella, thyme), and Ratatouille (squash, tomato, eggplant, basil, marinara). Sereneco’s bar program will feature balanced and elegant cocktails, local draft beer, and organic wines, primarily biodynamic and from small producers. Natural and unpretentious, Sereneco offers a well-earned respite for Greenpoint locals and visitors alike.
Dowling’s at the Carlyle at 981 Madison Avenue is set to open in October. Celebrate a new era of dining with the introduction of Dowling’s at The Carlyle. Newly appointed Executive Chef Sylvain Delpique (formerly of 21 Club) has created a menu that features his interpretations of timeless New York favorites and throwback dishes from another era. This latest addition to The Carlyle family is named after Robert Whittle Dowling, former owner of The Carlyle and an influential urban planner known for his passionate efforts over half a century ago to revitalize the city that never sleeps. He acquired the hotel in the 1940’s and was instrumental in turning it into the institution it is today and putting it on the map as a fashionable destination attractive to celebrities, politicians, royalty and tastemakers alike. It is through his whimsical vision that The Carlyle embodies a distinct sense of place, offering a welcoming, intimate and eclectic atmosphere for New Yorkers and visitors alike. Designed by New York based tonychi studio, the stylish and intimate new dining room will exude the glamour and charm of the 1930’s and 40’s highlighted by historic artwork and newly acquired Ludwig Bemelmans paintings that will pay tribute to the adjacent bar that has been a beloved Upper East Side favorite for 75 years. Dowling’s at The Carlyle is located at 981 Madison Avenue and will be open for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner with Brunch service on Saturdays and Sundays.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Freeimages.com