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A Popular Southeast Asian Dessert Pop-Up Settles Down in the East Village — and More Openings

A weekly updated roundup of new restaurants in New York City

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A square kuih dessert has a three layers of green, blue, and white flavors.
A steamed pandan cake at Lady Wong in the East Village.
Lady Wong

Nearly two years into the coronavirus pandemic, restaurants across the city continue to open their doors, sometimes because their concepts could be adapted to the new normal, but more often because their owners saw no other choice but to forge ahead. Since March 16, 2020, when the state first temporarily closed indoor dining, hundreds of new restaurants have opened, including a new location of beloved jerk spot Forever Jerk, the relaunched club Copacabana, and the iconic Spanish restaurant El Quijote, now under new ownership at Hotel Chelsea.

Here’s a round-up of the restaurants and bars that opened in February. This list will be updated weekly. If there’s an opening in your neighborhood that we’ve missed, let us know at tips@eater.com.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.


February 24

East Village: Southeast Asian dessert pop-up Lady Wong has opened a permanent location, the team tells Eater. The menu features items like kuih puteri ayu (a sponge cake with coconut), and several versions of the steamed, glutinous rice cake seri muka, including options made with pandan or durian. Seleste Tan and Mogan Anthony, who are from Malaysia and lived together in Singapore, also apply Southeast Asian flavors to French desserts, as is the case with their pandan or durian crepe mille. In addition to sweets, Lady Wong has drinks like pulut hitam, a black rice drink that Anthony likens to a horchata, coffee from Coffee Project NY with condensed milk, and pulled tea. 332 East Ninth Street, between First and Second Avenues

East Village: A new Indian fried chicken spot has flown into in Manhattan called Rowdy Rooster. Here, there are sandwiches like the “Big Rowdy,” that comes with mint chutney, scallion yogurt, and pickled onions. Instead of fries, this quick-serve spot offers pakoras on the side. Rowdy Rooster comes from restaurateur Roni Mazumdar and chef Chintan Pandya, the team behind runaway hits Dhamaka, Adda, and Semma. 149 First Avenue, near East 9th Street

Greenpoint: Neighborhood blog Greenpointers shares that Okka has opened in north Brooklyn. The new Turkish coffee shop uses Devocion coffee and features a range of Turkish pastries, like the sesame-coated simit and flaky boreks. Each cup of coffee comes with a complimentary Turkish delight. 117 Nassau Avenue, at Eckford Street

Lower East Side: A new, sub-$100 omakase sushi spot is now open in downtown Manhattan called Matsunori. According to the Infatuation, the 14-course service costs $68 and includes one appetizer, 12 pieces of nigiri, and one hand roll. A BYOB option is available. 151 Allen Street, near Rivington Street

Midtown East: The New York Times reports that Francis Staub, founder of the popular French cookware brand, has opened a restaurant, fittingly called Francis Staub La Brasserie. The menu features steak tartare, moules-frites, cauliflower veloute, and other French classics. Staub’s new spot takes over the former acclaimed Brasserie Les Halles restaurant that helped launch the late Anthony Bourdain’s career. 411 Park Avenue South, at 29th Street

Murray Hill: Addolorata Marzovilla, often called Nonna Dora, who was cooking at the decades-old mainstay I Trulli Ristorante until its closure earlier this month, has opened her own restaurant. According to a press release, Nonna Dora’s is now serving an extensive menu of handmade pasta in Manhattan. There are several non-pasta entrees, like wild boar, that must be preordered in advance. The restaurant also has an attached shop that sells fresh pastas for at-home cooking. 606 Second Avenue, near East 33rd Street

Nomad: A representative for Standard Dose, a boutique that sells wellness-related products like gummies that help with sleep, dishtowels, and meditation mats, tells Eater it has added a latte bar to its store. Drinks range from turmeric lattes to rose tea. 1145 Broadway, near West 26th Street

Tribeca: Chanson Le Salon is a new French brasserie that serves filet mignon au poivre, citrus-infused seabass, and duck a l’orange, according to a representative. The new spot is from the team behind dessert bar Patisserie Chanson and Thyme Bar. 355 Greenwich Street, at Harrison Street

Union Square: The New York Times reports that Chard, a new takeout-and-delivery restaurant slinging Southeast Asian comfort food and hawker stall fare, is now open. The menu highlights soy-braised noodles with wontons and sambal, Thai chicken biryani with a mint sauce, and a Singapore-style burger with shrimp crackers. Chard is the latest restaurant to open from Laut, Singapura, and Wau’s Salil Mehta. 17 East 13th Street, between Fifth Avenue and University Place

Upper West Side: Sherry Herring is now swimming on the Upper West Side, Gothamist reports. As the name suggests the menu features sandwiches using herring, as well as other seafood like tuna. The restaurant is the first New York City outpost for Sherry Ansky and her daughter Michal Ansky, behind the popular Tel Aviv-import. 245 West 72nd Street, between Broadway and West End Avenue

West Village: New coffee shop El Condor has opened in the West Village serving all-day cafe fare like congee, kumquat toast, and muesli. The new spot comes from two hospitality industry veterans: Nicolas Simon, a former Alain Ducasse operations director, and real estate broker Mucjon Demiraj. The pair also run a consulting firm with clients like the esteemed bar Death & Co. 95 Greenwich Avenue, between West 12th and Bank streets

West Village: A downtown expansion of Upper West Side pizzeria Made in New York Pizza, is now open, according to its Instagram account. The slice shop, co-founded by ex-Prince Street staffer Frank Badali, is known for its square, roni-cup slices — that look a lot like the signature slices from Prince Street. Badali’s partner in Made in New York Pizza is Eytan Sugarman, who is also behind the historic White Horse Tavern. 561 Hudson Street, near West 11th Street

Williamsburg: Ensenada is a breezy new Mexican seafood spot with aguachiles, ceviches, and fish tacos, best paired with the menu’s extensive mezcal list. The restaurant sits above nightclub Black Flamingo, and is run by its owner Bryce David, alongside partner and executive chef Luis Herrera (formerly of Cosme, Blanca, and Casa Ora). 168 Borinquen Place, near South Second Street

Williamsburg: Soho brunch favorite Jack’s Wife Freda has opened a location in Greenpoint, according to neighborhood blog Greenpointers. It’s the fifth location of the all-day spot. 258 Wythe Avenue, between North Third Street and Metropolitan Avenue


February 17

Clinton Hill: The Bowl, according to an Instagram post from Fab Fulton, the Business Improvement District group, has opened its doors in Clinton Hill. The new spot has coffee, shrimp gumbo, sandwiches, salads, and a breakfast grits bowl with salmon or turkey. 466 Grand Avenue, at Fulton Street

East Village: Customers order food by the decimeter at a new East Village restaurant, EV Grieve reports. DM Restaurant is a Chinese Korean restaurant chain, that, according to its Yelp page, has 200 locations worldwide. This is its first outpost in North America. 71 Fourth Avenue, near East 10th Street

East Village: A new dumpling spot called Dumpling n’ Dips has opened on St. Mark’s Place. The menu features an array of flavors: mushroom-taro dumplings, chicken green curry dumplings, and kimchi fries are among the lot. 5 St. Mark’s Place, near Third Avenue

Forest Hills: Queens sports bar Roam is now open, according to a representative. According to Qns.com, the space is intended to feel like a “living room” and serves wine, cocktails, and beer, as well as classic bar bites such as wings, Caesar salad, and burgers. Roam comes from co-owner Manish Chadha, who operates several Queens businesses, including Singas Famous Pizza, Zeppola Italian Bakery, and Miniburger. 10712 70th Road, near Austin Street

Financial District: The Tribeca Citizen reports that a new Greek bakery has opened in downtown Manhattan. According to the publication, the team behind Financier bakery, which closed during the pandemic, has opened Pi Bakerie — which already has a location in Soho — in the same space. The mini-chain is a part of HPH Group, behind family-style Italian spot Harry’s Italian and the recently opened Anassa Taverna. 35 Cedar Street, at William Street

Gramercy: Chef Guy Vaknin of vegan sushi restaurant chain Beyond Sushi, has opened a new Manhattan spot. Coletta opened on February 15, according to a post on its Instagram account, and features a mix of pizzas, pastas, and tiramisu that are all vegan and kosher. 365 Third Avenue, near East 26th Street

Hamilton Heights: A new gelato spot and bakery has landed in Harlem called Avrilililly’s, the Infatuation reports. In addition to gelato, the shop sells cookies, cupcakes, and floral cakes. According to its website, the new business comes from couple Avril Lekic, who formerly worked in human resources, and Esad Lekic, a former manager at Keith McNally’s Morandi. 1610 Amsterdam Avenue, near West 139th Street

Harrison: New Viennese bistro Charley has touched down in Harrison, New Jersey, with chef Kurt Gutenbrunner of the Michelin-starred, Viennese West Village spot Wallsé, at the helm. Gutenbrunner will oversee both restaurants, but Charley will be more casual than Wallsé, with a menu that runs the gamut from soft pretzels with mustard to a cabbage-lingonberry tartine. There’s also a potato and sour cream-laden soup, short rib goulash, mushroom spaetzle, and, the famed Viennese wiener schnitzel. The sleek, 65-seat restaurant is located just a short walk from the town’s PATH train stop. 202 Angelo Cifelli Drive, near South Second Street

Hell’s Kitchen: Storied nightclub Copacabana returned to New York City last weekend, W42st.com reports. After an 80 year-run that in its heyday drew celebrities like the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, and the Temptations, the Midtown hotspot, which changed locations several times over its lifespan, closed the doors on its Times Square venture in 2020. Now, in its latest reincarnation, club co-owner John Juliano tells the publication he hopes to restore the venue as a spot for meringue and salsa. 625 West 51st Street, near 12th Avenue

Lower East Side: A new erotic bakery called Kinky’s Dessert Bar, that requires guests to be 18+ to enter, opened on Valentine’s Day, according to a representative. Waffles, cookies, and cupcakes feature images of genitalia and sexual acts, and, according to its menu, the baked goods have names like, “I like it rough.” The bakery comes from August and John DeWindt, behind the Smorgasborg stall Fluffy’s. 181 Orchard Street, near Stanton Street

Midtown West: Upscale Italian chain Serafina has opened a speakeasy-ish bar inside its upper-level Pod Hotel restaurant, Serafina in the Sky. Hidden behind a curtain, UnPublished by Serafina has the same Italian menu as its dinner counterpart, but guests need a secret password in order to enter the bar. 400 West 42nd Street, at Ninth Avenue

Upper East Side: Lashevet, a new uptown Middle Eastern restaurant, opened in mid-January, according to a representative. In the daytime, the menu is entirely vegetarian, with dishes such as an eggplant moussaka and shakshuka. At night, the restaurant adds in meat dishes like steak with red wine reduction and chicken with porcini mushroom and a peppercorn sauce. The new spot comes from the team behind the East Village’s Sushi Dojo. 1663 First Avenue, near East 87th Street

Upper East Side: Padoca Bakery, known for its Brazilian cheese bread, has opened an additional location on the Upper East Side, a representative tells Eater. The bakery closed its five-year-old Lenox Hill location in 2020, and then opened a new location on East 67th Street just ten months later. Now, Padoca has expanded again, just a mile away, with an outpost on East 87th Street. 1663 First Avenue, near East 87th Street

Williamsburg: North Brooklyn Dispatch shares that a new appetizing shop Simply Nova has launched on Metropolitan Avenue. Simply Nova offers by-the-slice corned beef, lox, and other Jewish deli fixings. The shop’s to-go menu includes olives, latkes, blintzes, soups, matzo balls, pickles, and the iconic Dr. Brown sodas. In addition, there’s a separate sweets counter with a variety of chocolates. 754 Metropolitan Avenue, at Graham Avenue

Woodlawn Heights: Jerk chicken favorite Forever Jerk — which the New York Times applauded for its “pull-apart tenderness that a fourth-generation Carolina pitmaster would admire” — has relocated to a new spot in the Bronx, according to an announcement on Instagram. Owner Oneil Reid, who made a name for himself years prior with a since-shuttered Midtown jerk food truck, also runs locations of Forever Jerk in Brooklyn and Queens. The corner of East 233rd Street and Webster Avenue


February 10

Astoria: The team behind Astoria bars Judy & Punch and Madam Marie have opened a new Victorian-themed cocktail den. Dubbed Maggie Hall’s, the bar opened its doors on December 30. 34-06 30th Avenue, near 34th Street

Bushwick: According to an announcement on Instagram, a new Thai spot opened in Bushwick on January 31. Forever Thai features pad kra pow, khao soi, and pad thai with lobster tail. There’s also a lunch special that allows customers to select their entree of choice, alongside a soup and salad ($10.95 for tofu, vegetable, or chicken; $12.95 for shrimp), until 4 p.m. 1031 Flushing Avenue, at Morgan Avenue

Chelsea: The Hotel Chelsea’s iconic El Quijote restaurant has returned. The historic spot first opened in 1930, and had been closed since 2018 due to the hotel’s ongoing renovations. Now, in its reincarnation, the menu will be run by Sunday Hospitality, the restaurant group behind Williamsburg’s Sunday in Brooklyn. The New York Times reports that Spanish classics like boquerones, paella, and sangria are still at the heart of the new version of the restaurant. The Times also shares that Sunday Hospitality has plans to open a French American bistro at the property, sometime this year. 226 West 23rd Street, near Seventh Avenue

East Village: The Bronx Brewery has opened a follow-up location, this time in Manhattan. Distinct to this operation is the addition of smash burgers, a growing trend in NYC. 64 Second Avenue, between East Third and Fourth streets

East Village: A new Vietnamese coffee shop has landed in the East Village called Le Phin, named after the Vietnamese coffee apparatus that’s used on the premises. Currently, the coffee spot offers danishes and croissants from Colson Patisserie and coffee from Stumptown, but the team tells Eater they will eventually expand to include Vietnamese baked goods and work with Vietnamese coffee suppliers. 259 East 10th Street, between First Avenue and Avenue A

Financial District: A new location of popular sushi chain Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill has opened in downtown Manhattan, according to a representative. 84 William Street, at Maiden Lane

Fort Greene: The Ashland, an apartment complex in Fort Greene, has a new addition to its Gotham Market food and beverage offerings. Whatever Forever is a cocktail bar that stays open until 2 a.m. It’s owned by Smashed NYC, a smash burger spot, which is also opening an outpost shortly at the market. 590 Fulton Street, at Ashland Place

Hudson Yards: In a very on-brand move, Hudson Yards has a new, luxe cocktail bar called Peakaboo that’s located 101 stories up. 30 Hudson Yards, at 10th Avenue

Inwood: Industry veteran Felix Abarca, a native of Guayaquil, Ecuador, has opened his first restaurant. Abarca tells Eater that his new restaurant Fito leans on South American flavors with a mix of small plates, wine, and cocktails. The menu includes a ceviche (served warm) with shrimp and tomatoes, deviled eggs with aji amarillo and bacon, and the Argentinian hot dog-like dish, choripan. 4736 Broadway, near Thayer Street

Long Island City: According to an Instagram announcement, new bakery Wild Flour, with a focus on wedding cakes, opened its doors in Queens this week. 43-76th 44th Avenue, at 10th St

Manhattanville: Pandemic-era pop-up Seadbird Bakery, from pastry chef Shuna Lydon, has planted roots in uptown Manhattan. Seabird can now be found at the Manhattanville Market, a food court connected to Columbia University. According to its website, the opening menu features pralines, sourdough English muffins, salted brown butter rice krispies, and to-go jars of Lydon’s marmalades and jams. 3229 Broadway, at 130th Street

Midtown West: The newly-renamed Penn 1 building has a new restaurant and bar. Located on the second floor, the 150-seat space called the Landing is run by Morton’s Steakhouse royalty David Morton’s hospitality group DMK. The menu features piri piri chicken, lemon chicken orzo, and, yes, a ribeye steak. West 34th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues

Park Slope: According to an Instagram post, partners Jay Kumar and John Kim’s new Brooklyn restaurant Lore opened this week. The website’s menu lists samosas with tamarind chutney and a mango-cashew creme, a play on butter chicken with cashew creme and tomato, and other dishes that pull from a variety of global influences. 441 Seventh Avenue, near 15th Street

Soho: Restaurateurs Marco Britti and Andreea Milgram have opened a new Italian restaurant, Mareluna, in the former West-bourne space, a representative for the restaurant tells Eater. The restaurant is a homecoming for Britti, who years ago worked at a French bistro at the same location. The menu ranges from squid ink pasta with pistachio pesto, to pappardelle with duck ragu, and fritto misto. 137 Sullivan Street, between Houston and Prince streets

Upper West Side: Harlem institution, Charles Pan-Fried Chicken has mounted its return, opening the first of two Manhattan locations currently in the works. Serving up some of this city’s best fried chicken, as the name suggests, this spot separates itself by frying its chicken using an iron skillet, rather than the deep friers more commonly seen in the city. 144-146 West 72nd Street, between Amsterdam and Columbus avenues

Washington Heights: The Plug, a new coffee shop with espresso drinks, opened three weeks ago, the team shares with Eater. The new caffeine spot comes from couple and first time food business operators Ben Stovall and Abbie Ortiz. (Stovall has worked in commercial photography for the past decade, while Ortiz, a native of Washington Heights, is a food service manager for the Department of Education.) Coffee beans are from Gotham Coffee Roasters; Colson Patisserie supplies pastries to the shop. 502 West 167th Street, near Amsterdam Avenue


February 3

Chinatown: A new spot focused on vegan bites, called Cleanse Theory Kitchen, has launched downtown. Here, customers will find coconut chia pudding, carrot juice, ginger slaw rice bowls, and more. 83 Henry Street, at Forsyth Street

Gramercy: A new Chinese restaurant called So Do Fun is serving up mapo tofu, spicy crawfish, and beef in pickled vegetable soup. 155 Third Avenue, between East 15th and 16th streets

Flushing: Chef Richard Chan, who had to close his restaurants Yummy Tummy and Rolls Rice during the pandemic, has returned with a new venture. The stall in the Queens Crossing Food Hall is called Sin Kee and draws upon Chan’s Singaporean heritage with other Southeast Asian touches. Intended to evoke the feeling of hawker stalls, the menu includes Malaysian-style curry, Hainanese chicken, and Teochew braised duck. 136-20 38th Avenue, at Main Street

Fort Greene: After years working at Caribbean restaurants across the city, Latoya Hussain, an alum of Peppa’s Jerk Chicken, Negril Village, and Suede Caribbean, has opened her own spot. Hussain tells Eater that Island Shack nods to her Trinidadian roots and offers curry chicken with chana, rice and peas with callaloo and sweet plantains, curry shrimp roti, and ackee with saltfish. 87 South Elliott Place, near Fulton Street

Lower East Side: Aaron Aujla, owner of Green River Project LLC, the prominent furniture design studio behind the interiors of the hip restaurant Dr. Clark, has opened his own coffee shop. Aujla’s uses a coffee maker inherited from the building’s previous tenant, Classic Coffee Shop, a longtime favorite that had been in the neighborhood since 1976, until its pandemic closure. There are Indian-style coffee drinks infused with ground cardamom, which Aujla says are inspired by versions his grandma used to make. On the snacks side of the menu, customers can find roti, jalebi, and daal, as well as several sandwiches. The shop is attached to Bode, a menswear store run by Aujla’s partner, Emily Bode. 56 Hester Street, Ludlow Street

Midtown: Las Vegas import Kumi, helmed by Anastacia Song — the former executive chef at Tribeca steakhouse American Cut — has opened inside the upscale Le Méridien hotel. The 130-seat restaurant, an expansion of Kumi’s flagship in Nevada, will serve modern Japanese fare with a Korean American touch, according to Song. The opening menu includes green tea-smoked chicken, gochujang-glazed salmon, and galbi, or Korean braised short ribs, with wild mushroom, truffles, and charred pear. 120 West 57th Street, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues — Beth Landman, Eater NY contributor

Midtown West: The owner of Carnegie Diner has launched Pizza and Shakes next door. As the name suggests, the shop sells pies like the Columbus Circle (pepperoni, bacon, hot honey) and a cheeseburger-inspired version. Customers can also customize their own pies using any of the toppings. On the shakes side, flavors range from banana with Nutella to tiramisu. 209 West 57th Street, near Seventh Avenue

Park Slope: A new Thai restaurant has landed near Grand Army Plaza. Bangkok Degree features an extensive range of Thai dishes including larb tuna tartare, tea leaf salad with cranberries, and fried chicken wings with tom yum sauce. 847 Union Street, near Seventh Avenue

Ridgewood: Two Ridgewood neighbors Tracy Bradbury and Chad Johnson, have joined forces to open the Flying Fox Tavern, a new horror-themed cocktail bar in Queens. In addition to regular bar service, and snacks like Scotch eggs, the venue also projects old-school horror films. 678 Woodward Avenue, near Gates Avenue

Sheepshead Bay: Salvatore Carlino, the son of the founders of Park Slope’s beloved Smiling Pizza, has opened his own slice shop in Sheepshead Bay. Though Carlino tells Eater he could’ve just as easily opened his new spot, Lucia Pizza of Avenue X, elsewhere in Brooklyn, it was important to him to open in the neighborhood he grew up in. 2201 Avenue X, East 22nd Street

Williamsburg: North Brooklyn has gained a new speakeasy-ish bar. As the name suggests, the Cactus Shop functions as a plant store by day and cantina by night. Currently, the Cactus shop is operating with takeout-only. The menu, led by chef Eduardo Dominguez, a native of Sinaloa, Mexico, features birria gorditas, carnitas tacos, tacos with cauliflower, and a sweet potato dessert called camote horneado. Cactus Shop is currently still awaiting their liquor license, but when open in full, the cocktails will lean heavily on mezcal, in addition to non-alcoholic drinks like cactus pear seltzer, cantaloupe agua fresca, and horchata that are already available to-go. 231 Kent Avenue, near North First Street

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