Another opening, another show. And when it’s Michael White at the helm, the show is sure to be spectacular. With mainstays such as Marea and Ai Fiori already on the books, White’s big plans to open not one, but two new spots within mere months of one another has proven to be the best decision on the books. While the supper-club vibed Butterfly is finally opening to the public this week, Costata, his Italian-inspired steakhouse (Costata literally means “ribeye”) made it’s thrilling debut earlier this season in a three-story townhouse smack dab in the middle of Soho. Speaking to the business diners and special occasion seekers alike, Costata is already garnering some serious accolades. The menu features unctuous cuts of locally sourced steak, bolstered by inventive and uber fresh seafood crudo preparations (our favorite is the truffle-infused sea scallops) and homemade pastas peppered with delicate seafood and hearty meats alike. The hyper-curated list of Italian vino and bespoke, flowery cocktails pair well from the start, while decadent desserts like the tartalleta di cioccolata lend a full-bodied finish that’s not to be missed.
2 ABC Cocina
In the months leading up to ABC Cocina’s opening, the anticipation was palpable; now, with consistently stellar reviews and spot on tacos to boot, the latest and greatest from Jean-George Vongerichten is everything the culinary world was waiting for, and more. Wooden benches meet dim lighting, complementing the Bohemian inspired decór and ambiance. Like a sultry, Spanish-charged version of ABC Kitchen next door, ABC Cocina showcases a meticulous and inventive tapas menu. Warm homemade focaccia and snacks, such as fried chickpeas and charcuterie, introduce standout entreés like fluke with green chile dressing and shrimp in “agua diablo” with bananas and almonds. Additionally, don't miss the stellar fish tacos or the divine Maine lobster rice. The red hibiscus sangria tops our list as one of the City’s most refreshing summer cocktails.
Just when we thought the downtown foodie-scene couldn’t get any better, leave it to one of the most highly lauded veterans in the biz to prove us wrong. Andrew Carmellini’s newest venture is everything we hoped for and much, much more. This grand Gatsby-esque dining room holds court in this prime piece of corner real-estate boasting space for 200 plus, a beautiful Parisian patisserie (that conveniently offers take-out for that perfect picnic addition or late-night sweet treat) a robust wine list, as well as swoon-worthy dinner entrees cooked ever so thoughtfully in the wood-fired oven. The menu itself is a food-lovers dream as diners are encouraged to travel through the shared small plates and snacks (like hyper-curated cheese plates and unctuous foie gras) before venturing into the larger, more rich dishes, highlighting only the most seasonal ingredients and rounded flavor profiles of course. Standouts include the Beef Tartare Cressonniere with poached Bone Marrow, Black Fettuccine with Seafood and Chorizo and the to-die-for Duck Au Poivre. Dessert? Croissants, tartlets, macarons, oh my!
In NYC, not a day goes by without a new haute cuisine hitting the scene, making culinary waves of craze-worthy proportions. Wylie Dufresne is no exception to this rule and in fact, is the leader of the pack. Lauded as the father of molecular gastronomy, he opened his critically acclaimed 65-seat solo venture, WD-50 in 2003 following years of training alongside Jean-Georges Vongerichten. With gorgeous plates and hyper-constructed tasting menus that shift with the seasons, WD-50 is still packing them in and has continued to showcase cutting edge techniques and innovative ingredient pairings. Finally, a decade later, Dufresne has done it again with the opening of Alder--a chic and trendy gastropub which cooly combines artistry and science in a casual, fun setting. With cheekily named small plate standouts like Pubcheese (a purple--repeat: purple smooth blend of cheeses glommed on to a black slate and peppered with pistachios) or larger format dishes like their fried cauliflower, a piece unapologetically as large as a side of beef, crisped to perfection swathed with the crunchy nuggets of lardo, these dishes pack an powerful punch. With fame, a name and serious culinary chops to boot, even the most unadventurous eaters will be lining up to indulge.
It should be no surprise that this three Michelin-starred perennial made our Top 5 List of Celebrity Chef-helmed restaurants--for the name says it all. With 8 restaurants in NYC alone, Daniel Boulud is as famous stateside as he is internationally and has continually upheld his reputation as the unrivaled authority on fine French cuisine. Daniel, his beautiful, neo-classic architectural gem on the posh Upper East Side of Manhattan is a food-lovers paradise. Multiple ways to experience Daniel include sipping from one of over 2,000 bottles of wine, housed in their dramatic, expansive wine cellar, to planning a special occasion in the highly coveted Bellecour Room. Menus are complex and range from a la carte caviar platings, the finest cuts of veal served in not one but three ways, a surprisingly detailed vegetarian menu featuring such standouts as their red wine braised rye berries, to a positively mind blowing chef’s tasting menu. In whichever way one chooses to dine in the lap of luxury, this is haute cuisine in its finest hour, and with plates as beautiful as the surroundings, (and let’s not forget the star power behind it all) what’s not to love?