You can live in New York your entire life and never tire of the restaurant scene. New York continues to re-invent itself, and 2023 was the year of the neighborhood restaurant. These spots may look unassuming at first glance, but they punch way above their weight class in the level of food, service, and design.
The Restaurant: Torrisi
The Neighborhood: Soho
If you’re a real New Yorker you remember the days when Torrisi was a neighborhood spot. Now, the restaurant brings you an elevated Italian meal with its characteristic open-floor plan. The kitchen is on view which adds a special touch to the experience. Watching the hardworking chefs prepare your food is always a wonderful experience. The dishes you’ll watch them make are decadent, with pasta and soups up to the caliber of the Major Food Group. Don’t sleep on the cucumbers, though. They might be your fav. Of the NYC restaurant openings, this is the place to bring your parents.
The Restaurant: Essential by Christophe
The Neighborhood: Upper West Side
Cuisine: New American
Aptly named, Essential was an essential addition to the UWS. Even Daniel Boulud is a proud fan. The tasting menu goes crazy with hours-long sittings where refined courses get placed down before you. They do the French thing with platings of unrecognizable dishes that take your taste buds to the high heavens. Then there are the more familiar courses of burgers and penne which, though sound average, taste anything but. The kicker, though, is the wine list which tops some of the fine dining establishments you’ll find downtown. Of the NYC restaurant openings, this is where you come to treat yourself.
The Restaurant: Cafe Carmellini
The Neighborhood: Nomad
Cuisine: French and Italian
We have too many favorite parts of Cafe Carmellini. The space: dreamy. The food: even dreamier. Remember, this is our top Michelin star prediction. The interiors center around actual trees — it’s a whole courtyard theme. The rest is pristine and matched by a service team whose professionalism comes complete with extensive knowledge of the menu and its preparation. Of the NYC restaurant openings, this is where you go on a date with your bestie.
The Restaurant: Libertine
The Neighborhood: West Village
New Yorkers are a specific breed. But one thing they know how to do is identify a good restaurant. Libertine is not flashy, nor gastronomically explosive, but it’s always filled with the cool West Village crowd. An authentic French bistro flair gives way to small, intimate tables spread too far apart to eavesdrop. The menu features French favorites designed and made with intention and love. Of the NYC restaurant openings, this is where you bring your boo.
The Restaurant: Sartiano’s
The Neighborhood: Soho
The trendy newcomer to the block is Sartiano’s, the eponymously named restaurant by famed club owner Scott Sartiano. Located where the Mercer Kitchen once stood, the restaurant builds from its bones — which is a good thing. Despite the fact that Sartiano could open a McDonald’s and still bring in celebrity clientele, he still went above and beyond to make a really decent restaurant. The Italian dishes are classic with some Kim K-level add-ons like caviar cannolis and a $425 steak. Although you can also bet on a good bowl of pasta. Of all the NYC restaurant openings, this is the bougiest.
The Restaurant: Cafe Chelsea
The Neighborhood: French
We have a special place in our heart for Café Chelsea, whose history holds the secrets from decades of celebrity visitors. Now, the café boasts a fresh and eclectic French facelift, that is bringing the top-tier clientele back. They may come for the legacy, but they also clearly come for the food. The French brasserie fare is really good. Raviolis De Dauphine, a seafood tower, and beef tartare go down too easy. Of the NYC restaurant openings, this one is for the girls
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Q: Which restaurants serve Italian?
A: Torrisi, Cafe Carmellini, and Sartiano’s
Q: Which Restaurants serve French?
A: Cafe Carmellini, and Cafe Chelsea
Q: Which Restaurant did Daniel Boulud post on Instagram about?