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A slice from Umberto’s
A slice from Umberto’s
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NYC’s 13 Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings of Spring 2019

This season’s crop of exciting new restaurants ranges from a pizzeria from a Long Island legend to a Chinese tasting menu

With the first fresh breezes of spring comes a whole new crop of restaurants to eagerly await. Winter brought blockbuster arrivals like Kawi and Mercado Little Spain in Hudson Yards, and spring shows no signs of slowing down.

This season, expect newcomers from seasoned industry giants like Keith McNally and Stephen Starr, with a revival of perhaps NYC’s hottest-ever restaurant Pastis, and casual entrants from newer favorites like Uncle Boons’ Ann Redding and Matt Danzer, Olmsted’s Greg Baxtrom, and Via Carota’s Rita Sodi and Jody Williams.

There will be yakitori in Prospect Heights, Italian pastries in the West Village, and fried chicken in Red Hook. There will be high-end affairs, like a Chinese tasting menu from Simone Tong, all the way to a casual Taiwanese bakery from the Win Son team. It’s bound to be a tasty season. Here’s what to get excited about.

Franks Umberto

Key players: Frank Castronovo, Frank Falcinelli, Umberto Corteo
Target open: April

Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli — together known as the Franks — made their names creating neighborhood hits like Frankies 457 Spuntino and the now-shuttered Prime Meats. For their next project in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill, they’re pivoting to pizza, and they’ve brought on an exciting new business partner. Long Island grandma and Sicilian-style pizza legend Umberto Corteo has signed on to open a slice shop that combines Corteo’s food with the Franks’s seasoned NYC know-how. Although Corteo is less known within the five boroughs, his pies have a cult following on Long Island. He’s credited with creating the first-ever grandma pie, and here in Brooklyn, he’ll be on site making pies, though with different ingredients than his Long Island shops. 210 Court St., between Warren and Congress Streets, Cobble Hill

Llama San

Key players: Erik Ramirez, Juan Correa, and Lynnette Marrero
Target open: April

New York will soon get a glimpse of the latest project from chef Erik Ramirez of acclaimed Williamsburg Peruvian restaurant Llama Inn and his business partner Juan Correa. Opening soon in the West Village, their new restaurant Llama San will center on Nikkei cuisine, a style created by Japanese immigrants in Peru, kind of like a Peruvian izakaya. The chef, trained at fine-dining restaurants like Eleven Madison Park, will here create dishes like a quinoa-infused tofu with quinoa furikake, wild sturgeon caviar, and chancaca, a sugarcane syrup. Lynette Marrero will similarly be creating drinks that pull from Japan and Peru. 359 Sixth Ave. near Washington Place, West Village

Keith McNally in 2016, wearing a black sweater with a white collar
Keith McNally
Nick Solares/Eater
Stephen Starr and daughter Sarah Starr
Stephen Starr and daughter Sarah Starr
Jason Kempin/Getty Images for GOOD+

Pastis

Key players: Keith McNally, Stephen Starr
Target open: Early May

Keith McNally’s legendary French restaurant Pastis will soon make its much-anticipated comeback around the block, reviving one of the renowned restaurateur’s most celebrated restaurants. And this time around, he’s brought fellow James Beard Award-winning restaurateur Stephen Starr on board. Starr will be running the day-to-day operations at Pastis, the original of which opened in 1999 and closed in 2014. It was a McNally classic, a highly atmospheric French bistro credited with transforming the Meatpacking area into a hip dining destination. Celebrities like Anna Wintour, Martha Stewart, and Sarah Jessica Parker mourned its closure, and it’s likely that the returning crowd will be equally star-studded. 52 Gansevoort St., between Washington Street and Ninth Avenue, Meatpacking District

Bar Pisellino

Key players: Rita Sodi and Jody Williams
Target open: May

West Village restaurateur queens Rita Sodi and Jody Williams already rule the roost at their highly charming Via Carota, Buvette, and I Sodi. They’re about to gift the neighborhood with another casual restaurant, Bar Pisellino, inspired by standing coffee bars in Rome where one can pop in in the morning for an espresso and pastry, all the way to a digestivo at night. The small corner restaurant will have panino, bomboloni, cocktails, and other casual Italian dishes that — if their other restaurants are any indication — will push the restaurant to the top of the food world as both a destination and neighborhood joint. 100 Seventh Avenue South, at Grove Street, West Village

Bourke Street Bakery

Key players: Paul Allam and Jessica Grynberg
Target open: May

The Australian culinary invasion of New York may feel like it’s already reached its peak, but Bourke Street Bakery is so exciting that it overcomes any potential for Aussie fatigue. It’s an institution in Sydney for classic goodies like sausage rolls, as well as standout breads and pastries, and part of what makes the New York edition particularly promising is that co-founder and baker Paul Allam has moved to the city for the venture. He’ll be baking at the Nomad cafe all day, incorporating seasonal and local produce into both pastries and savory goods, such as sandwiches and salads. The 50-seat, counter-service restaurant — run with Jessica Grynberg, Allam’s wife — is intended to be similar in purpose to the cafes in Sydney: a community spot, where everything is affordable and fresh. There, all items land under $10, and in New York, prices will likely be similar. 115 East 28th St., between Fifth and Madison avenues, Nomad

Floret

Key players: Joe Ogrodnek, Andrew Whitcomb, Tara MacMullen, Josh Hanover
Target open: May

Sister City, a spin-off brand of the Ace Hotel’s hospitality company Atelier Ace, will open a rooftop bar called Last Light in its Bowery hotel this month. But in May, the hotel will debut Floret, a ground-floor, all-day restaurant focused on vegetables and seasonal fare. The kitchen will be overseen by executive chef Andrew Whitcomb, who previously served as executive chef at Brooklyn restaurants Colonie and Norman. He’s working with the hotel’s culinary partner Joe Ogrodnek on the menu, and Ogrodnek also has serious Brooklyn cred, previously opening the now-closed Cobble Hill tasting menu darling Battersby. 225 Bowery, near Rivington Street, Bowery

Matt Danzer and Ann Redding
Matt Danzer and Ann Redding
Daniel Krieger

The Uncle Boons team’s new Nolita restaurant

Key players: Ann Redding, Matt Danzer
Target open: May/June

Nolita favorite Uncle Boons remains packed for both impressive Thai food and a fun vibe — a credit to duo Ann Redding and Matt Danzer’s culinary skill and knack for imbuing spaces with eclectic personal touches that feel genuine. For their next project, they’re keeping their eyes on Nolita but not serving Thai food. It’s not the first time they’re going for a different genre: Mr. Donahue’s served American food, and though critically adored, it closed and was soon replaced with a spinoff of Uncle Boons. Details are still slim for what the former Per Se chefs are planning for their newest restaurant, but if it’s anything close to the quality level of Mr. Donahue’s or Uncle Boons, it will be a worthy addition to the neighborhood. 186 Mott St., between Broome and Kenmare Streets, Nolita

Red Hook Tavern and Hometown Deli

Key player: Billy Durney
Target open: May/June

Now years in the making, maybe spring will be the season that Billy Durney opens his two new restaurants. Durney — of Hometown Bar-B-Que — says he is currently at the mercy of gas companies coming to turn the gas on. But when his two new concepts do open, there will be a fried chicken- and natural wine-focused pub in Red Hook and a Jewish deli-inspired fast-casual operation in Sunset Park’s Industry City. Both are a pivot away from the smoked meats that turned Durney into New York’s top barbecue pitmaster, but the New York native is pulling from of his hometown favorites, such as a Corner Bistro-style burger at Red Hook Tavern and pastrami sandwiches at Hometown Deli. Red Hook Tavern, 329 Van Brunt St., at Sullivan Street, Red Hook; Hometown Deli, 220 36th St., between Second and Third avenues, Industry City, Sunset Park

Evil Twin Brewing’s new brewery

Key players: Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergso
Target open: May/June

The cult-followed Evil Twin Brewing is imminently opening its first official brick-and-mortar location in Ridgewood, which has been years in the making. It’ll be a massive space with an indoor bar, a beer garden, and a year-round greenhouse. Owner Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergso has been brewing IPAs and other beers since 2010, starting in Denmark and hopping to other breweries around the world in true gypsy brewer fashion. This will be his first permanent spot. As of now, brewing operations are already up and running, and construction on the tap room and courtyard are wrapping up. Plus, popular Williamsburg barbecue restaurant Fette Sau is supposed to have a permanent food truck in the space. 1616 George St., between Wyckoff and Cypress avenues, Ridgewood

Win Son Bakery

Key players: Trigg Brown, Josh Ku, Jesse Shapell
Target open: May/June

Essential Taiwanese Brooklyn restaurant Win Son will soon give birth to a casual cafe and bakery nearby in Williamsburg. It will be open only for breakfast and dinner with counter service and packaged take-out meals. Breakfast items include Taiwanese donuts made with millet, soy milk will be made in-house, and there will be sweet and savory pastries as well as coffee and espresso. Dinner, meanwhile, will focus on milk bun sandwiches and fried chicken. The team has made its mark on NYC at Win Son, a destination restaurant for its Taiwanese food, which often incurs long waits for the super flavorful and playful food. 164 Graham Ave. at Montrose Avenue, Williamsburg

Simone Tong sits at a table with her hair pulled back and an apron on
Simone Tong
Nick Solares/Eater

Silver Apricot

Key player: Simone Tong
Target open: June

Chef Simone Tong, formerly of fine-dining restaurants such as Wd~50, went casual when she opened her first solo restaurant Little Tong Noodle Shop. It still quickly picked up accolades for complex soups filled with mixian, rice noodles that are now essentially another New York City food group in part due to the popularity of her East Village restaurant. Now, Tong is going a little bit more upscale again with Silver Apricot in the West Village. Here, a tasting menu will be on deck, and an experimental chef’s counter may also be an option. Cheese, charcuterie, and bread will be made in-house, and once it’s warm, there will be an outdoor garden. 20 Cornelia St., between Bleecker and West Fourth streets, West Village

Essex Street Market and Market Line

Key players: Rohan Mehra, Andrew Katz
Target open: Spring

One of the largest developments long seen on the Lower East Side, Essex Crossing encompasses a whole lot. The multi-block, 1.65 million-square-foot development will have retail, office space, apartments, and parks, in addition to lots of food. City-owned Essex Street Market is moving into the ground floor first, and developer Prusik is behind the Market Line, a basement-level food hall arriving later in the season. Twenty-one legacy Essex Street Market vendors such as quirky diner Shopsin’s are making the move, along with two new full-service restaurants and 18 new vendors like Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. Meanwhile, the Market Line is also bringing in major names like the experimental new American Contra/Wildair team, classic Ukrainian diner Veselka, and boutique butcher Ends Meat. It may be another food hall, but the concepts involved are legit and mostly female- and minority-owned — a rarity in this business. 115 Delancey St., at Essex Street, Lower East Side

Greg Baxtrom at Olmsted
Greg Baxtrom
Daniel Krieger/Eater

Maison Yaki

Key players: Greg Baxtrom, Max Katzenberg
Target open: Spring

Greg Baxtrom has nailed what most chefs try to achieve at Olmsted in Prospect Heights: a casual restaurant that serves the neighborhood and also rises to the top as a destination meal. Now he’s taking over the block with front-of-house extraordinaire Max Katzenberg for another restaurant called Maison Yaki. Baxtrom’s still in development mode, but what is certain is that the intimate French bistro will have about 50 seats, with another 20 or so in a backyard. And if the name reveals anything, it may be a mix of French fare and Japanese skewers — a hunch buoyed by the fact that Baxtrom staged at several acclaimed yakitori restaurants in Asia in 2018. Lots may change, but with Baxtrom involved, that’s enough to add anticipation. 626 Vanderbilt Ave., between Prospect and Park places, Prospect Heights

Franks Umberto

210 Court St., Brooklyn, NY 11201

The Market Line

81 Norfolk Street, Manhattan, NY 10002 (347) 569-8701 Visit Website

Win Son Bakery

164 Graham Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11206 (917) 909-1725 Visit Website

Bar Pisellino

52 Grove Street, Manhattan, NY 10014 Visit Website

Pastis

52 Gansevoort Street, Manhattan, NY 10014 (212) 929-4844 Visit Website

Silver Apricot

20 Cornelia Street, Manhattan, NY 10014 (929) 367-8664 Visit Website

Maison Yaki

626 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11238 (718) 552-2609 Visit Website

Llama San

359 6th Avenue, Manhattan, NY 10014 (646) 490-4422 Visit Website

Bourke Street Bakery

15 East 28th Street, Manhattan, NY 10016 Visit Website

Essex Street Market

120 Essex Street, Manhattan, NY 10002 (917) 881-7096 Visit Website

Evil Twin Brewing

1616 George St, Ridgewood, NY 11385 (718) 366-1850 Visit Website

Hometown Deli

220 36th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11232

Floret

225 Bowery, New York, NY 10002

Red Hook Tavern

329 Van Brunt Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231 (917) 966-6094 Visit Website
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