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A pie from Una Pizza Napoletana

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NYC’s 17 Most Anticipated Openings of Early 2018

From all-day cafes to hot-shot pizza, here’s what to get excited about this season

A pie from Una Pizza Napoletana
| Photo via Una Pizza Napoletana

All-day dining is still going strong. Japanese fare, including an outrageous-sounding restaurant where diners can literally fish for their dinner, continues to capture the NYC dining scene. And at least three high-profile restaurants and bars are making their way here from other cities — including a hot-shot pizza restaurant that’s been here before. The most anticipated new restaurants of early 2018 skew casual, like Israeli fast-casual pitas, Italian and Japanese all-day cafes, and barbecue pitmaster Billy Durney’s two new off-shoots with fried chicken and deli meat. But the upscale, like a Korean tasting menu, and the everyday bistro are still trying to make things work.

Opening new restaurants in New York City hasn’t gotten any easier, but this crew proves that there’s still promising stuff on the horizon. Below, see the most exciting new restaurants and bars to expect in early 2018, listed by expected opening date.

Miznon

Key player: Eyal Shani
Target open: Late January/early February

Chef Eyal Shani is a celebrity over in Israel, first manning fine-dining kitchens before striking out with a more casual concept called Miznon. The pita restaurant first opened in 2011, arguably before it became super trendy for top chefs to offer cheaper fare. Several locations of Miznon exist around the world, but Shani doesn’t consider it a chain. Half the menu at each one outside of Israel is unique to that outpost — meaning when the Chelsea Market one opens, half of the menu will be for NYC only. The location, sequestered in Chelsea Market with 120 seats, thankfully has ample room to sit. Expect pitas with fillings uncommon in the city, like lobster, Caesar salad, and herring. Shani’s signature, though, is a whole roasted cauliflower, eaten by picking off florets by hand. Inside Chelsea Market across from Friedman’s, 75 9th Avenue, between 15th and 16th streets, Chelsea

Lobster pita
Lobster pita from Miznon
Jean Schwarzwalder/Eater

Simon & The Whale

Key players: Gabriel Stulman, Matt Kebbekus, Matt Griffin
Target open: early February

West Village hitmaker Gabriel Stulman translated his casual vibes to the new Freehand Hotel in Flatiron, first opening all-day restaurant Studio and cocktail bar The George Washington Bar earlier in January. But the main event will be a ground floor, full-service restaurant Simon & The Whale. The 80-seat restaurant will eventually also have outdoor seating, and with a bigger kitchen, longtime Stulman chef Matt Griffin says he’ll be able to unleash creativity that the smaller West Village kitchens didn’t necessarily allow. Dishes will skew new American, including tartares and crudos. “I really feel like a kid in a candy store with this restaurant,” Griffin has said. 23 Lexington Ave., between East 23rd and East 24th streets, Flatiron

Frenchette

Key players: Lee Hanson, Riad Nasr
Target open: February

As opening chefs of Balthazar and Minetta Tavern, duo Lee Hanson and Riad Niasr helped make the quintessentially New York Keith McNally restaurants what they are today. Now, they’re embarking on their first solo project with Frenchette, a 100-seat Tribeca restaurant that’s an updated version of a French brasserie. It will be open all day, with a basement aging room, a rotisserie, and a Japanese charcoal grill. And though the word “French brasserie” sounds like old territory for the chefs, they insist that it will be more modern — with fewer white subway tiles.

Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr
Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr
Nick Solares

Davelle

Key players: Yudai Kanayama
Target open: February

Another entry into the all-day dining category is Davelle, a 22-seat Japanese cafe on the LES from restaurateur Yudai Kanayama. Kanayama is behind similarly small East Village hit Izakaya and the very solid food hall stand Izakaya Samurice in the Canal Street Market. Here at Davelle, he’s evoking kissaten, a classic Japanese cafe-restaurant where coffee is accompanied by food like Japanese-style toast and a boiled egg or an onigiri rice bowl and a boiled egg. Lunch items will include dishes like a curry rice set, and at dinner, small plates like the ones from Izakaya will show up. 102 Suffolk St., between Delancey and Rivington streets, Lower East Side

Legacy Records

Key players: Ryan Hardy, Robert Bohr, Grant Reynolds, Jeff Bell
Target open: February

The hit-making team behind Charlie Bird have teamed up with cocktail guru and PDT head bartender Jeff Bell for their latest project near the Hudson Yards Development. (PDT owner Jim Meehan is no longer part of the project.) Legacy Records, as is on trend, will be an all-day restaurant, with an 85-seat dining room, a bar, a wine lounge, and outdoor space that will debut later. The full menu will include lots of seafood, while the cafe may have pastries like chocolate croissants and yogurt with figs. With both lots of wine and cocktail cred, expect drinks to be ambitious and interesting here. The space, meanwhile, wants to channel “luxury luggage,” with lots of wood, leather, and velvet.

Simply beautiful. @legacyrecordsnyc #comingsoon #hudsonyards

A post shared by Brandon Barton (@brandoncbarton) on

Gem

Key players: Flynn McGarry
Target open: February

Teen chef Flynn McGarry, now 19, has been making the rounds in the international culinary scene since he was far younger, and now, he’s finally striking out on his own for a permanent restaurant. The chef’s 36-seat LES restaurant Gem will have a daytime cafe called The Living Room with pastries made in-house, but the flagship time to dine will be at dinner, with a second aspect called The Dining Room. The latter will serve a 12- to 15-course set menu for $155, including hors d’oeurves served with Champagne, pasta, and a featured protein. The chef has spent time in restaurants like Eleven Madison Park and reportedly has talents far beyond his years. 116 Forsyth St., between Broome and Delancey streets, Lower East Side

Una Pizza Napoletana

Key players: Anthony Mangieri, Jeremiah Stone, Fabián von Hauske Valtierra
Target open: Late February/early March

Anthony Mangieri is coming home. The star chef was one of the first people to turn pizza making in New York into a vaunted culinary endeavor when he operated the restaurant in New Jersey and the East Village. He moved to SF, where his pies drew long lines, but this year, he’ll be back, this time with a 70-seat restaurant on the LES, and Wildair restaurateurs Jeremiah Stone and Fabián von Hauske Valtierra as partners. Stone and Valtierra will be providing some small plates, but the focus, of course, is primarily on the Neapolitan-style pie. 175 Orchard St., between Stanton and Houston streets, Lower East Side

Zauo

Key players: Noriki Takahashi and his sons Kazuhisa and Takuya
Target open: March

Japanese restaurants have been expanding to New York like crazy, but Zauo might just be the most unique one. The family-owned restaurant, which has 13 outposts in Japan, allows diners to fish for dinner inside the restaurant from a tank filled with ten different kids of fish — an added element that takes the trend of theatrics in restaurants to a level that will surely attract crowds. But the Takahashi family doesn’t want people to think of the new Chelsea location as a gimmick or just entertainment — it’s about understanding where food comes from and thanking the fish for giving its life. Fish, after it’s captured, can be fried, grilled, or served as sushi. 152 West 24th St., between 7th and 6th avenues, Chelsea

Zauo in Japan
Zauo in Japan
Photo via トモ T./Yelp

Di An Di

Key players: Dennis Ngo, Tuan Bui, Kim Hoang
Target open: March

Greenpoint will soon have a restaurant primarily dedicated to pho, the traditional Vietnamese noodle soup with aromatic broth. Though most restaurants in New York serve just one or two options, Di An Di will go the extra mile with several different versions. Other Vietnamese dishes may be offered too, but noodle soups will be the star player. The team behind the restaurant has cred, too. All three come from An Choi, the popular LES Vietnamese restaurant that’s also known for pho, and the chef Dennis Ngo also has experience smoking brisket from his Smorgasburg stand Lonestar Empire. 68 Greenpoint Ave., between West and Franklin streets, Greenpoint

Dennis Ngo, Kim Hoang, and Tuan Bui
Dennis Ngo, Kim Hoang, and Tuan Bui
Photo vi Di An Di

Hometown Fried Chicken and Hometown Deli

Key players: Billy Durney
Target open: March

After much delay, Hometown Bar-B-Que pitmaster Billy Durney is finally closing in on his dedicated fried chicken restaurant in Red Hook. He’s been testing a variety of recipes for months and the Instagram teases have been drool-worthy. The 30- to 40-seat restaurant will also have biscuits. Further south in Sunset Park’s Industry City, Durney is also working on a 1,200-square-foot restaurant inspired by Jewish deli counters. Here, his deft barbecue hand will be smoking up pastrami and corned beef, all to be served on bread from local Jewish bakeries. Other deli classics like egg salad will be on deck as well. 454 Van Brunt St., at Sullivan Street, Red Hook; 220 36th St., between 2nd and 3rd avenues, Industry City, Sunset Park

Pisellino

Key players: Rita Sodi, Jody Williams
Target open: April

Nobody does rustic, neighborhood Italian fare quite like Rita Sodi and Jody Williams, the duo behind Via Carota in the West Village. For their next project, they’re going all-day with a 30-seat Italian cafe called Pisellino. It will be casual and unfussy, with pastries, breakfast, and panini during the day and cocktails in the evening. It’s inspired by cafes in Italy, and with their track record, expect it to be packed to the brim with locals and visitors. 100 7th Avenue South, at Grove Street, West Village

Rita Sodi
Rita Sodi in the kitchen at I Sodi
Photo by Alex Staniloff

Atomix

Key players: Junghyun ‘JP’ Park, Ellia Park
Target open: April

Modern Korean banchan-inspired restaurant Atoboy quickly became a hit when it opened in 2016, run by chef JP Park, an alum of Michelin-starred Jungsik, and partner Ellia Park. For their sophomore restaurant, the duo will be going even more upscale with a Japanese tasting menu-style restaurant and cocktail bar at Atomix in Kips Bay. The kaiseki menu, though inspired by the hyper-seasonal dinners common in Japan, will still focus on Korean fare — in hopes of expanding New Yorkers’ idea of what food from the country can look like. 104 East 30th St., between Park Avenue South and Lexington Avenue, Kips Bay

Junghyun 'JP' and Ellia Park
Junghyun 'JP' and Ellia Park
Photo via Atoboy

Japan Village

Key players: Tony Yoshida, Takuya Yoshida
Target open: Spring

It was just a matter of time before New York’s growing obsession for all things Japanese would culminate in a giant market. Industry City will soon have an Eataly-style grocery and food hall market but with a Japan focus — with six food stalls, a sake store, and izakaya covering 20,000-square-feet in the complex. The owners Tony and Takuya Yoshida also own Michelin-starred Kyo Ya and popular grocery Sunrise Market, and they want the market to represents a broad swathe of Japanese fare. Here, onigiri, matcha, takoyaki, ramen, sushi, bento boxes, and more will be available. 220 36th St., between 2nd and 3rd avenues, Industry City, Sunset Park

Broken Shaker

Key players: Elad Zvi, Gabriel Orta
Target open: Spring

The new Freehand Hotel in Flatiron will be a food and drink powerhouse in part because of Broken Shaker, a wildly popular cocktail bar that started in Miami. It’s taking over 2,500-square-feet of the rooftop and will have both indoor and outdoor space, which will both surely be backed once weather warms up. The tropical bar’s been named a semi-finalist in the James Beard awards twice for its seasonally changing craft cocktails. Here in New York, the menu of drinks and bar snacks will be slightly different, tailored for the city. 23 Lexington Ave., between East 23rd and East 24th streets, Flatiron

Broken Shaker Miami
A punch bowl from Broken Shaker in Miami
Photo via Broken Shaker Miami

Gjelina

Key players: Travis Lett, Fran Cemaj, Shelley Armistead
Target open: Spring

One of LA’s hippest restaurants is still planting a New York location at some point this year, possibly as early as the spring. Gjelina, known as one of the places that helped define new California cuisine, reportedly has even opened a farm in Rhinebeck to help service the restaurant. The restaurant from Travis Lett, Fran Cemaj, and Shelley Armistead is notoriously information-light, but the landlord of the property has said that the project looks on track to make an NYC debut. 45 Bond St., between Bowery and Lafayette Street, Noho

Mads Refslund Project

Key player: Mads Refslund
Target open: Late spring

Chef Mads Refslund helped start the Nordic food craze in New York while a chef at Acme, and now, he’s embarking on an idiosyncratic-sounding solo project themed around “fire and ice.” The new, to-be-named restaurant in Williamsburg will seat about 80 people and will be stocked with a huge iceberg to serve raw foods. Refslund, who was one of the founding chefs at Copenhagen fine dining stalwart Noma, expects the food here to be clean, simple fare. 93-99 North 10th St., between Wythe Avenue and Berry Street, Williamsburg

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