After a lull in new openings, New Yorkers welcome a handful of amazing new dining destinations. Here are some of the restaurants on our radar currently:
Isola Trattoria & Crudo Bar
9 Crosby Street, between Howard and Grand Streets
Located in the former Imperial No. 9 space in the Mondrian SoHo, Isola is a new restaurant inspired by coastal Italy. Chef Victor LaPlaca created a menu of light, fresh and flavorful Italian dishes reminiscent of the Amalfi Coast. Menu highlights include: hamachi crudo with salsa verde and avocado; burrata pizza with squash blossom pesto and roasted tomato; and cuscinetto with goat cheese, baby heirloom tomatoes and mint. The dining room, a 5,000-square-foot greenhouse, is decorated with ornate chandeliers and an oversized glass sculpture suspended over the high-top communal table.
504 East 12th Street, near
Designed after a restaurant in owner Sho Boo’s hometown of Osaka, Bugs is a new 15-seat restaurant in the East Village. Boo, formerly of Sushi Yasuda and Jewel Bako, will be the only chef in the completely exposed, centralized kitchen. In addition to an amazingly fresh selection of raw fish are kitchen dishes such as simmered Berkshire pork belly with mashed potatoes and okonomiyaki. Sample a variety of small plates via $45 and $60 tasting menus. Best explained in Boo’s words, “Bugs tend to gather, especially around a bright light, and this restaurant is the bright light that everyone would gather around.”
Jezebel, recently opened in SoHo, presents seasonal, modern American cuisine with global influences by a James Beard award-winning chef. The kicker? The menu is entirely Kosher, as is the unique wine list and a selection of libations created by renowned mixologist and wine expert Nick Mautone (formerly of Gramercy Tavern). Jezebel is housed in an 1887 townhouse, and throughout the entire space, nods to Jewish icons and playful biblical references combine to communicate a whimsical Jewish theme in a tasteful manner.
531 Hudson Street, at West 10th Street
New to the West Village is Swine, a casual restaurant with a meat-centric menu by former Café Cluny chef Phil Conlon. Swine has a large focus on charcuterie, small-production wines, craft beers and specialty spirits. The two-story space is retro and funky with ping-pong tables, a pinball machine and vintage rock ’n’ roll photos.
8 Extra Place, off of First Street at Bowery
Former Ciano chef Michael Han is in the kitchen at Extra Place, a new restaurant named for the little-known alleyway where it sits. Extra Place has a solidly Mediterranean menu with entrées for one or two and a beer and wine list with options from Hungary and Lebanon. Situated just next door, and from the same owner, is Heidi, a 20-seat restaurant with a Swiss-inspired menu that emphasizes cheeses, cured meats, veal and sausages.