The Most Significant Openings of 2018
New York’s dining scene is ever-evolving; for every restaurant that closes there’s an exciting newcomer on the horizon, critically-acclaimed chefs move from one venture to the other, and menus are constantly influenced by the seasons and social media. It’s here, where chefs dream of running a successful restaurant. As the year is coming to a close, we’ve whittled down the most significant openings of 2018 – plan your New Year’s goals accordingly…
What is it? A permanent restaurant for the seasonal-focused pop-up concept.
Why’s it unmissable? Helmed by chef Nico Russel (previously of Michelin-starred restaurants Daniel and Mirazur), the pop-up sold out countless dinners throughout the city with thoughtful, five-course tasting menus where vegetables take center stage.
Everything you need to know: Oxalis
What is it? The first US location for Japan’s award-winning yakitori restaurant.
Why’s it unmissable? Usually enjoyed as a snack with beer, Toriko transforms the casual Japanese affair into a refined experience with delicately crafted yakitori and carefully chosen wines to match.
Everything you need to know: Toriko NY
What is it? A Moroccan couscous bar by chef/restaurateur Einat Admony (of Taim, Balaboosta, and Bolonat).
Why’s it unmissable? It’s New York’s only couscous bar, where the Moroccan staple is hand rolled traditionally with a special two-part food steamer. The result is fantastically fluffy, cloud-like couscous, served alongside lemony chicken tagine or hearty vegetable stews.
Everything you need to know: Kish-Kash
Una Pizza Napoletana
What is it? The return of New York’s legendary pizza restaurant, which replaced East Village for San Francisco back in 2006.
Why’s it unmissable? This is pizza pie perfection, a soft, pillowy bottom with a churred crust, topped with a mere handful of top-quality ingredients – just like in Naples (San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella di bufala and fresh basil).
Everything you need to know: Una Pizza Napoletana
What is it? A restaurant with a focus on “Pan-African” cuisine.
Why’s it unmissable? It’s the first solo venture by James Beard-nominated chef Joseph Johnson, serving undeniably creative dishes with influences from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Think dumplings packaged with curry or Portuguese sausage, folded roti paired with eggplant purée (sweetened with dates), and salmon noodles swimming in nectar broth.
Everything you need to know: Henry NoMad
What is it? An all-day destination in Hudson Yards, home to a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant, café, and wine and cocktail bar.
Why’s it unmissable? Brought to you by the team from downtown hits Charlie Bird and Pasquale Jones, Legacy Records has proven to be just as popular. Maybe it’s the menu of on-trend small plates, a never-ending wine list, or America’s best bartender creating your cocktails – who knows.
Everything you need to know: Legacy Records
What is it? An all-day, vegetarian café in Soho.
Why’s it unmissable? New York is packed with trendy all-day cafés, but Westbourne stands out with creative plates of Californian cuisine such as “The Bounty” (raw and cooked vegetables with dips), grain bowls with lentil falafel and tri-colored cauliflower, and honey-glazed eggplant over cashews and peas.
Everything you need to know: West~bourne
What is it? A Korean fine-dining restaurant by the Atoboy team.
Why’s it unmissable? It’s quite the experience, with hand-written cards unveiling each item in chef Junghyun Park’s multi-course tasting menu, from wagyu with fermented pear juice to sea bream wrapped in Chinese-mustard leaves.
Everything you need to know: Atomix
And if you’re looking for drinks…
What is it? A cocktail bar atop the Freehand Hotel.
Why’s it unmissable? Broken Shaker started as a pop-up concept, receiving several awards for its cutting-edge cocktails that eventually made it a permanent addition to the Freehand Hotel in Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, and – after a long-awaited time – New York.
Everything you need to know: Broken Shaker
Featured image: Legacy Records