New and Noteworthy – Check Out the Growing Restaurant Scene in New York

We are excited about the new restaurants and casual eateries that are now open in New York City.  Whether you’re interested in visiting and dining in or taking advantage of take-out and delivery in the neighborhood, these are places you should know about.

Nami Nori – The acclaimed Japanese restaurant specializing in open-style temaki from partners Taka Sakaeda, Jihan Lee and Lisa Limb, opened in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Located steps from bustling McCarren Park, Nami Nori offers new open-style temaki, sashimi, and crispy rice dishes, all exclusive to the Brooklyn restaurant, alongside their signature temaki rolls. The Brooklyn location has two temaki counters, floor-to-ceiling window-paned doors that fully open to covered outdoor seating overlooking the park, and a sake bar that displays the team’s favorite selections of local beers, sake and natural wine.

Amor Loco – The lively, new Mexican fusion restaurant recently opened in Times Square. Offering a convivial and much-needed new option for dinner before a Broadway show, post-theater cocktails, large company gatherings, or bottomless weekend brunch, the taqueria is an upbeat yet casual spot, boasting an extensive cocktail program developed by creative mixologist, Cody Goldstein.  The restaurant is fitted with high table tops and features graffiti-like artwork displayed across painted brick walls, vibrant colors and patterns and hot pink ceilings with rustic wood tables and metal accents to offset the vivid color scheme. The restaurant will host weekly “Loco Friday” nights, where the eatery transforms into a burlesque club featuring live jazz music and a show hosted by Lucy Buttons from 8-8:45pm. They’ll also have a roster of rotating DJs on Saturday nights.

Dingaling – This stylish East Village bar that transforms into an irreverent house party after the sun goes down. Helmed by Noble Harris and Michael Bray – the duo behind Kind Regards,  Dingaling ably walks the line between laid-back and elevated, fostering that kinetic feeling where just about anything can happen. Perfect for a post-work cocktail or a late night dancing, it’s a great place to meet people, laugh, and have a totally fun time.  

Mochidoki – This popular spot opens its second brick-and-mortar location on Manhattan’s Upper East Side The features family-friendly, zen garden-inspired outdoor seating and a whimsical, location-exclusive new flavor, as well as seasonal tea and mochi pairings. Mochidoki is a nationally renowned, New York-based, mochi ice cream company, beloved for their imaginative and refined Japanese-inspired desserts. Using only the highest-quality ingredients, Mochidoki offers elegant flavors such as Red Bean with chopped azuki red beans, Black Honey Walnut with kuromitsu (Japanese molasses), Salted Caramel with cracked caramel candy, Matcha made with organic, premium matcha, and more. 

Coco Sutton – On the heels of last winter’s successful opening of Coco Pazzeria Soho, restauranteur Pino Luongo and industry veterans Ciro Verde and Alessandro Bandini have opened Coco Pazzeria Sutton.  Like the downtown location, the uptown Coco Pazzeria features a raw bar and wide selection of bubbles to top it off.  The thin crust pizzas are made of highly digestible flour that makes them very light and palatable, enhancing the flavors of the sauces and other quality ingredients that are all sourced from Italy. The menu also features a curated selection of buzzetti, panozzi, pastas, and salads. There are some even made using Luongo’s own pasta sauces as pizza toppings.

Kyma Hudson Yards is now open. With Executive Chef George Pagonis at its helm who executes traditional Greek dishes with modern flair, the restaurant is in Midtown at 445 West 35th Street, between Ninth and Tenth avenues.  They are open Monday through Saturday for happy hour and dinner service starting at 4:30PM. The restaurant features 200 seats including two private rooms, a large circular bar with a cocktail program by Konstantinos Chantzis and outdoor seating. The restaurant plans to introduce lunch and brunch service in the future.

Spritz NOMAD -This is the newest dining experience from CinCin Group, the team behind Glass Ceiling Rooftop and Elsie Rooftop. Spritz offers guests a new, vibrant take on coastal Italian dining with a festive vibe and a specialty cocktail menu featuring various twists on the eponymous cocktail. Guests are invited to experience a fun and casual atmosphere that instantly transports them to the streets of Cinque Terre.  Helmed by acclaimed chef David DiSalvo, the flavorful menu is a labor love inspired by DiSalvo’s youth cooking alongside his Sicilian grandmother. The Front of the House is manned by General Manager Gabriel Solano, who brings a wealth of experience from the Mandarin Oriental New York, The Stone Rose, the Mercer Hotel and the W Washington DC. A vast outdoor dining section offers versatile seating options in all seasons and can accommodate pandemic restrictions or personal preferences. In addition, the private dining room seats up to 20 people. The downstairs lounge, Jewel Thief, is coming soon.  

Festival Café on the Upper East Sideis a Farm-to-Bar cocktail lounge delights offering a diverse menu of unique coffee blends from Brooklyn’s SEY Coffee and freshly made decadent pastries, and evening service with an array of sharable items, eclectic small bites, and delectable entrees prepared by partner and executive chef Andrew Maturana. For the ultimate al fresco experience, Festivál has three outdoor dining cabanas offering groups an intimate outdoor dining area that changes themes seasonally. In addition to the cabanas, Festivál boasts sidewalk seating, perfect to take advantage of bright, sunny days.

Wicked Jane – This is a fine dining restaurant in Greenwich Village that was originally supposed to open in March of 2020 with a 16-course tasting menu, but instead opened in July [2020] with a weekly-changing a la carte menu. They just launched a reworked version of their original concept by offering a 6-course menu with extra complimentary dishes throughout the evening. Acclaimed New Jersey restaurateur and chef Zod Arifai is the owner and chef.

Scampi is the vibrant coastal Italian seafood restaurant in the Flatiron district from acclaimed chef PJ Calapa (also of The Spaniard, formerly of Ai Fiori). Chef PJ offers a thoughtful menu inspired by the Mediterranean seaside that showcases local Northeast seafood cooked with minimal ingredients. Scampi’s menu features delicately composed raw seafood dishes, handmade pastas, and seasonal vegetables that are all sourced from local farmers and seafood purveyors through the Northeast. Scampi carries its open, natural architecture to the outdoor dining area that is lined with greenery and evokes a Mediterranean seaside feel.

Black Barn Restaurant is a Farm-to-Table, American restaurant located in NoMad from James Beard Award-Winning Chef, John Doherty that pairs a menu with refined food, wine, and service in a rustic, casual environment. Black Barn sources most of their ingredients from local farmers allowing them to provide customers with the freshest ingredients that are seasonally available. Located directly across the street from Madison Square Park, its al fresco sidewalk seating acts almost as an extension of the park with its chairs and railings covered with vines – allowing you to feel at one with nature, while enjoying your meal.

Sobre Masa Tortilleria – This new spot in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn is from Zack Wangeman, founder and chef behind the beloved Brooklyn tortilla brand and cafe, Sobre Masa, and his wife Diana Wangeman [52 Harrison Place, between Knickerbocker Ave and Morgan Ave]. The vibrant space features a tortilla factory that sells fresh, house-made tortillas alongside Mexican groceries and goods, a morning coffee shop with Oaxacan coffee and house-made Mexican pastries, as well as a taqueria with a variety of traditional taco styles and cocktails highlighting Mexican spirits. Zack’s mission and ethos behind Sobre Masa Tortilleria is to promote conversation around Mexican culture, the rich history of heirloom corn, the hardworking producers and growers of Mexico, and his home of Oaxaca. 

The NormLocated 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. 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. 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.

Comodo – This Latin American-inspired restaurant is from husband-wife team Felipe Donnelly and Tamy Rofe [executive chef and wine director, respectively], opens in Flatiron [23 Lexington Avenue, at the corner of 23rd Street]. Housed on the first floor of Freehand New York, Comodo offers a menu that pulls from chef Donnelly’s childhood home kitchens throughout Latin America, from Mexico to Brazil and beyond. The beverage menu highlights a selection of natural wines, curated by Rofe and sommelier Raquel Makler [previously of Winona’s and Racines], and signature cocktails that nod to the lively social experiences waiting to be discovered at the hotel. The duo, also behind acclaimed Colonia Verde in Fort Greene and Disco Tacos in Williamsburg, is excited to celebrate the return of their first restaurant Comodo with new vibrancy and location in the heart of New York City, complete with a private dining room and heated outdoor seating.

Three new and individual restaurants from the Coming Soon Food Group are now open on the Upper West Side at 77th Street and 2nd Avenue. Innocent Yesterday is a vegan café that features meal specialties and a vast array of tempting treats.  S.N.O.B or Sophia’s Natural Organic Bowls is your grab and go spot for bowls, salads, fresh juices and smoothies.  Zazzy’s Pizza with other locations in NYC is also serving vegan sides and snacks along with their delicious pizza pies.   All of the eateries have outdoor seating.  Innocent Yesterday has a beautiful indoor space with a fireplace and Zazzy’s can accommodate guests indoors as well.

Sapphire Cuisines of India Now on the Upper West Side, the restaurant has relocated to to 2014 Broadway. Sapphire has turned to veteran restauranteur, Darshan R. Shah to elevate the restaurant’s more classical menu items by introducing an innovative prix fixe dinner menu that combines Western ingredients with traditional Indian flavors as well as improving its traditional Indian offerings. The modern prix fixe menu allows diners to curate their own experience from an exclusive selection of 15 dishes—four choices for each savory course and three dessert choices—that cannot be found on the restaurant’s main dinner menu.

Top photo: Bigstock 

About Marina P. Kennedy (155 Articles)
Marina Kennedy began her writing career when her four children were grown and she returned to college to study in the humanities. She is delighted to be a contributor for Woman Around Town. The majority of her articles focus on the culinary scene, theatre, and travel. Marina and her husband Chuck enjoy the rich cultural experiences of the New York metro area and beyond. She hopes that readers like reading her articles as much as she enjoys writing them.