New Openings in NYC – Exciting Times for the Restaurant Industry

It’s fun and delicious to discover a restaurant that has just opened and is ready to delight customers with their new menu. Check out ten of the spots debuting in New York City. From casual to elegant, once you get to know a little about them, you likely will want to plan a visit.

Little Charli has opened a Roman-style pizzeria in the West Village. The rustic, authentic wood-oven pizzas founded by Hospitality Group Drink & Enjoy Crew Founder Chris Reda will include family recipes and housemade ingredients by Neapolitan pizzaiolo Salvatore Olivella. The intimate 35-seat restaurant will serve Roman-style pizzas, La Pizza al Metro, with everything prepared in-house. Olivella was born in the birthplace of pizza, Naples, Italy and has been working on his craft for over 20 years. In addition, he has opened some of the most renowned gourmet pizza restaurants in New York including Rossopomodoro, and Danny Meyer’s Marta and Serafina. 

Down & Out in the East Village is inspired by New York’s cocktail culture, the neighborhood’s history of oyster saloons, and George Orwell’s memoir Down and Out in Paris and London, detailing his days dishwashing in Paris restaurants. With a uniquely retro ambiance recalling the 1930s,  it also bucks the trend of $20+ cocktails since all the drinks on the list are $14 to $16. Down & Out offers two of New Yorkers’ favorite things, cocktails and oysters. The cocktail program by Bar Manager Madison Barker focuses on creative and historic drinks and the bar features an extensive spirits library of vintage bottles. Down & Out pays tribute to the East Village and Lower East Side’s immigrant population who once patronized the area’s many oyster saloons. The building where the bar is located even had one in it in the 19th century. Owner Joshua Richholt, who formerly owned The Wick and The Well in Brooklyn, sources all the sustainable seafood himself, visiting producers in the northeast to taste many varieties of oysters.

The Paris Café You don’t need to travel to Paris this holiday season. One of New York’s oldest brasseries, The Paris Café, established in 1873, has been restored to its former glory by Drink & Enjoy Crew Founder Chris Reda along with White Horse Tavern and Hunt + Fish Club Team who are joining forces to restore the venue to its former glory with a new menu and late night lounge – launching this week on December 15th. The Paris Cafe in the South Street Seaport will feature timeless American fare, such as a classic caesar, belly-warming French onion soup, chicken Milanese pounded thin and breaded, and linguini and clams tossed in butter, garlic, shallots and a white wine and lemon sauce. Other must-try items include the steak frites served tender with old bay fries and béarnaise sauce and the signature Paris double smash burger. And once dinner concludes on the weekends at 10 p.m. – Friday and Saturday – that’s when the Parisian-inspired party begins. The room will transform into a lounge just in time for holiday party season and New Year’s celebrations. The lounge will feature classic and nostalgic cocktails, bottle service, and amazing music that will transition from day to night with late night bites for revelers.

M’s Tavern in NoMad is an Eastern and Central European leaning gastropub. For 84 years, the space housed one of the city’s longer running eating and drinking establishments, Desmond’s Tavern. Guests will recognize familiar vestiges of their old haunt. Refreshed versions of the original bar, the wooden archway separating it from the dining area and the three crescent shaped tables attached to one wall remain. The wainscotting throughout the dining room is also in place, although it has been painted a sophisticated grey to complement what are now distressed brick-lined walls. Those walls are adorned with vintage-inspired bronze, ivory-shaded sconces, and a collection of antique window frames and classic prints. The name, M’s Tavern, is a homage to Romanian native owner Istvan Nagy’s mother and the food reflects his roots, as well. Some of the authentic menu items are the mici sliders, Oma’s  spaetzle soup, and pierogis.  Partner and executive chef Dan Nistorescu, who grew up in the same Romanian town as Nagy, tempers the Eastern and Central European bend of M’s Tavern with some favorite American gastropub favorites with classic deviled eggs, M’s burger and the shrimp roll. The duo is responsible for Midtown Manhattan’s popular Side Door.  

CASA TuLuM’s in the South Street Seaport is a new, stylish Mexican restaurant from Managing Partner Luis Villanueva and Chef/Partner Rodrigo Abrajan. The restaurant marks a downtown debut for Chef Rodrigo, whose cuisine has been a staple of East Harlem’s food scene since 1993. CASA TuLuM’s opening menu will focus on the best seafood dishes from across Mexico with heavy emphasis on the seafood bar, tacos, and authentic signature dishes from Tulum and the Yucatan Peninsula. The beverage program was designed by Luis Villanueva, who previously created the cocktail menus at Havana Alma de Cuba, Cuba, La Pulperia, and worked at Astoria’s Blend on the Water for three years. His cocktails are inspired by the natural beauty found all along the Mexican coastline, expressed through seasonal ingredients and spices to pair with Chef Rodrigo’s cuisine. The restaurant’s interior resembles a Tulum beach resort, featuring notes of earth tones of white and beige, accented by live plants hanging above the bar and throughout the space creating a serene, tropical feel.

Tino’s Artisan Pizza Co. in Chelsea is the newly opened sixth location for the restaurant. The artisanal pizzeria and Italian restaurant has gained a cult following across five locations in New Jersey and now in the Chelsea/Flatiron neighborhood. It is family owned and operated serving their celebrated pizzas and a balance of homestyle Neapolitan, Roman, and Italian American cuisine. Their mission is to create all-natural Italian food using the highest quality ingredients that are sustainable, local, and organic. The food is free of artificial preservatives, colors, sweeteners, flavors, and hydrogenated fats to promote healthier eating. Furthering their mission in clean eating, Tino’s Artisan Pizza Co. uses only their pizza oven and a convection oven to cook. Pizza highlights include but are not limited to: tartuffo, the pie begins with tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella, and is finished with layers of sausage, cremini mushrooms, and white truffle oil; and Raffaela, named after Tino’s wife, made with fresh mozzarella, roasted garlic, homemade Calabrian chili paste, topped with shaved Parmigiano, parsley, and extra virgin olive oil. The pizzas are also available with a gluten free cauliflower crust, a vegan gluten free crust, sourdough Roman flatbread, and a nine-inch round Sicilian crust. There’s much more to their menu with antipasti, insalate, sandwiches, pasta and dolce. The beverage program is composed of a carefully curated, approachably priced wine list, consisting of organic Italian wines, as well as a rotating selection of craft beers from local breweries, and imported Italian beers.

Mermaid Oyster Bar in Midtown is a joint venture between owners Danny Abrams and Cindy Smith, and the Alicart Restaurant Group. They offer the restaurant’s fan-favorite oyster happy hour, expansive raw bar and their signature coastal dishes. This marks the first time Abrams and Smith have teamed with Jeffrey Bank, the CEO of Alicart Restaurant Group, which owns nine restaurants across the country including outposts of Carmine’s and Virgil’s BBQ in Manhattan. The 15,000 square-foot venue has 285 seats with the remaining seats to open at a later date, making it the largest location yet for the Mermaid team. The open oceanic space features an extensive 30-square-foot white marble raw bar with 18 stools, as well as a 40-square-foot cocktail bar at the opposite end of the venue with 24 stools and surrounded by several high-top tables. 

Steak Frites is the new Parisian-style neighborhood bistro in the heart of Midtown West. From seasoned Executive Chef and Owner Adam Schop, Steak Frites is both cozy and elegant bistro with a menu of classic French fare with a contemporary twist. Menu items include: tartare de bœuf; escargots de bourgogne; shrimp cocktail; onion soup gratinée; salad lyonnaise; croque madame; pâté de campagne; poulet rôti; côte de bœuf for two; and, chateaubriand for two. Desserts include soufflé au chocolat and Ccafoutis aux cerises. The natural leaning, all-French wine list is curated by sommelier Alexis Percival of Ruffian Wine Bar and Kindred. Riffs on classic cocktails were designed by Alex Cajuste featuring Lavender 75, Boulevardier la poire. The transporting 65-seat restaurant is designed to feel Parisian and adorned with intricate tile and woodwork that recalls the best of La Belle Époque. Antique mirrors, eclectic artwork and art deco fixtures designed by Tiff Porter and Evan Collier of Arch, fill the space with a classic, timeless vibe.

Sake No Hana by the TAO Group is now open inside the new Moxy Lower East Side. The restaurant features an extensive menu of Japanese specialties, the culinary vision of chief culinary officer Ralph Scamardella with the menu created by chefs Yoshi Kojima and Jason Hall and executed by executive chef is Nick Phongmekin. The culinary style reflects the team’s meticulous care and respect for Japan and its culture while also freely blending Western ingredients with a playful, modernized approach. From start to finish, dishes throughout the menu utilize ingredients sourced from prime purveyors at peak status, including fish flown in daily from the prestigious Toyosu Market in Tokyo, snow-aged sirloin from Niigata in Western Japan, and dry-aged specialty cuts from Meyer Farm.

Grayson Hotel has opened in Bryant Park, welcoming with it two first-class dining destinations by award-winning NYC-based hospitality group Apicii. Harta, a Mediterranean brasserie, and Bar Cima, a rooftop mezcaleria, bring a thoughtful mix of global cuisine and cocktails to the Midtown Manhattan neighborhood, inspired by the Apicii team’s deep knowledge and experience with Mediterranean and Mexican cuisines, as well as extensive travels and long relationships with culinary pioneers, distillers and craftsmen across each region. Apicii, helmed by founder and CEO Tom Dillon and lead by an all-star team of hospitality veterans including chief culinary officer Jonathan Benno and beverage director Kyle Tran, will open two additional concepts at Grayson Hotel, including Bar Harta, a second-floor wine and tapas bar, later this fall, followed by Tacalle, a taco garden, in spring 2023. With refined, transportive surroundings by Dutch East Design that offer a lush oasis from the bustle of the city, each food and beverage venue features indoor-outdoor seating, with botanical-inspired and natural elements to bring the outdoors in year-round.

About Marina P. Kennedy (88 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.