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A dish at Llama San
Alex Staniloff/Eater

The Hottest Restaurants in Manhattan Right Now, October 2019

A casual sushi restaurant from Masa vets and a restaurant with seafood and natural wine join the list

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A dish at Llama San
| Photo by Alex Staniloff/Eater

Eater editors get asked one question more than any other: Where should I eat right now? NYC dining obsessives want to know what’s new, what’s hot, and what is going to be the next big hit in the greatest dining city on earth. So here it is, a guide to the hottest restaurants in Manhattan this month.

September adds: Hutong (elegant Chinese in Midtown), Canal Street Oyster Bar (a raw seafood and natural wine hangout between Tribeca and Soho), Nami Nori (a casual temaki spot from Masa vets), Esca (a Midtown seafood stand-by that’s gotten a revamp), Llama San (the rare New York City Nikkei restaurant), Qanoon (homey Palestinian food in Chelsea), Cathédrale (party experts Tao Group’s latest).

For more New York dining recommendations, check out the new hotspots in Brooklyn and Queens; the Eater 38 lists the essential long-standing restaurants in town.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Reverence

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2592 Frederick Douglass Blvd
New York, NY 10030

Chef Russell Jackson was a pioneer of San Francisco’s supper club scene, and now, he’s brought his talents to Harlem, where he’s created Reverence as an ode to his childhood in California. The $98 five-course meal touches on the state’s multicultural cuisines, from French and Japanese to Korean and Latin American. Dishes could include escargot with fermented uni-chili crema and a quail egg empanada, plus an almond honey cake with coffee syrup to finish. Jackson’s known as “the dissident chef”; diners must make reservations in advance and cannot take photos or have their phones out, a rule for people to be present during the meal.

2. Hutong New York

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731 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10022
(212) 758-4800
Visit Website

Midtown gained an elegant new Chinese restaurant this year with Hutong, a Hong Kong-based restaurant that’s transformed the expansive former Le Cirque space with Art Deco sensibilities. The restaurant — which may be better suited to a quieter, fancier night out — has been attracting attention for its daylong dim sum service, where chef Fei Wang dishes out inventive dumplings like a jet-black mochi dumpling filled with pork. Other dishes to watch for include the you shui chicken, roast Peking duck, and the dessert, where artful sculptures have classic Chinese flavors. For a more casual stop-in, there’s also an 83-seat lounge and bar. 

A bar at Hutong Tanya Blum/Hutong [Official Photo]

3. Esca

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402 W 43rd St
New York, NY 10036
(212) 564-7272
Visit Website

More than 20-year-old Midtown Italian seafood restaurant Esca underwent a revamp following a fire, and now owner Victor Rallo and longtime executive chef Dave Pasternack have reopened it with a patio, a farmhouse dining room, a fresh wine list, and some new menu items. There’s more charcuterie, additional meat options such as a pork Milanese, and vintage wines from Rallo’s personal collection. Stand-bys such as sea urchin pasta are still available, as is a robust list of crudos. And after a brief dinner-only period, it’s now also reopen for lunch.

An outdoor restaurant patio with several four-top tables Jim Connolly [Official]

4. Qanoon Restaurant

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180 9th Ave
New York, NY 10011
(646) 843-9711

Chelsea’s new Middle Eastern restaurant Qanoon highlights the flavors of chef and owner Tarek Daka’s childhood on a farm in Palestine, when fresh produce and sharing with family was key. Look for Palestinian meatballs baked with cauliflower, onions, tomatoes, and tahini, or a single-serving version of makloubeh, a chicken-and-rice dish that comes in a ceramic bowl and then gets flipped over onto a plate. The cozy, brick-walled restaurant with 50 seats includes a bar, though it’s still waiting for a liquor license. Once that comes through, expect lots of Mediterranean wines. 

The interior of a restaurant Carla Vianna/Eater

5. Pastis

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Read Review |
52 Gansevoort St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 929-4844
Visit Website

One of the most important restaurants this century is back in action, still with the same signature Keith McNally golden lighting but with the addition of Stephen Starr on the team. The new Pastis — which helped turn the Meatpacking District into a celebrity-packed dining destination — is also more spacious, but it maintains a familiar menu of French brasserie fare, including charred steaks, fries, onion soups, and a special of the day. Waits at dinner have been wild, but getting a seat at the bar, where the full menu is served, is a little easier. It’s also open for breakfast and lunch, when primetime reservations are far easier to come by.

Pastis Louise Palmberg/Eater

6. Rezdôra

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Read Review |
27 E 20th St
New York, NY 10003
(646) 692-9090
Visit Website

Italian restaurants open a lot in New York, but Rezdôra — from chef Stefano Secchi, an alum of three-Michelin-starred Osteria Francescana — offers a selection of specialties from the country that are lesser found in New York. Pastas and vegetable dishes come from Emilia-Romagna, and a $90-per-person pasta tasting, an a la carte menu, and cocktails are available. Early stand-outs include a gnocco fritto (fritters with charcuterie on top) and both a beef ragu and a duck ragu pasta. Though Secchi has a fine dining background, this Flatiron restaurant is supposed to be fairly casual. Go for one of the Italian wines.

Green cappelleti pasta with spring peas and black mushroom puree on a blue-and-white checkered plate Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

7. Gotham Bar & Grill

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12 E 12th St
New York, NY 10003
(212) 620-4020
Visit Website

Greenwich Village American icon Gotham Bar & Grill is stepping into a new era: After 34 years, it has a new chef in Victoria Blamey, whose goal is to liven up the restaurant to attract a younger crowd. To that end, Blamey has enacted an entirely new menu that pulls in global influences as opposed to the straight American menu of yore. New dishes include charred Japanese eggplant with wild peas, black garlic broth, and pickled chanterelle mushroom, as well as lamb collar with Calabrian chiles, peppers, kabocha, and pickled eggplant. The space has also had a refresh, with details like colorful ceramics in place of white plates.

8. Llama San

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359 6th Ave
New York, NY 10014
(646) 490-4422
Visit Website

Nikkei cuisine — a mash-up of Peruvian and Japanese ingredients and techniques — gets another stage at Llama San, the latest restaurant from the hit team behind Llama Inn and Llamita. Here, chef Erik Ramirez pays homage to his bi-cultural upbringing through dishes such as a ceviche with ponzu sauce. Other items include pork tonkatsu with green udon noodles and pickled cucumbers and a creamy Peruvian chicken stew known as ají de gallina that’s wrapped in sushi rice and toasted sesame seeds, then sealed in banana leaves and charred with open fire. The 65-seat space is outfitted in light wood tones and tons of plants. The drink menu is particularly strong, so be sure to order a cocktail or some natural wine.

9. Cathédrale Restaurant

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112 E 11th St
New York, NY 10003
(212) 888-1093
Visit Website

The latest offering from famed nightlife group Tao is the French-Mediterranean Cathédrale in the new Moxy East Village, with soaring ceilings and multiple rooms meant to evoke a cathedral. Executive chef Jason Hall is serving up dishes inspired by Nice, Provence, and St. Tropez, such as snapper made with a Provencal sauce, rotisserie chicken chasseur-style, roasted calamari, and chickpea crepes, to the 300 seats. There’s also a patio area with a retractable roof and a lot of greenery, plus a large black marble bar.

A white plate with baked red snapper on top, with cilantro leaves Cathedrale [Official]

10. Nami Nori

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33 Carmine St
New York, NY 10014

Three seasoned Masa vets have added a more laidback sushi restaurant to the West Village serving varied versions of temaki, or hand rolls stuffed with fresh fish and vegetables. Options at Nami Nori include tuna poke and crispy shallots; chile sea bass, daikon, mint, and chogochujang; and salmon, tomato, onion cream, and chives. What makes it particularly singular is that owners Taka Sakaeda, Jihan Lee, and Lisa Limb serve the temaki in taco format — the ingredients are held in a nori shell that’s open on top, acting as the taco’s “tortilla.” Sake, beer, wine, and Japanese teas and sodas round out the menu.

A taco-shaped hand roll topped with rice and salmon, served with a side of ginger Sebastian Lucrecio [Official]

11. The Jones

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54 Great Jones St
New York, NY 10012
(646) 429-8383
Visit Website

After 35 years as a Cajun hangout, Great Jones Cafe has been reborn as the Jones, a more modern and bohemian seafood restaurant from prolific restaurateur Gabriel Stulman. Dishes include a fried cod sandwich inspired by McDonald’s fish fillet, bluefish tartine, and poached head-on prawns with housemade mayo and lemon. Some vestiges of Great Jones Cafe do remain in the decor, such as the orange and blue exterior and an Elvis bust in the window, but the tiny dining room is now stocked with very 2019 restaurant markers like a communal table, beautifully appointed flowers, and a mahogany leather couch.

12. Canal Street Oysters

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380 Canal St
New York, NY 10013
(646) 448-4032
Visit Website

Canal Street at the Tribeca and Soho border has long been weak as a dining destination, but the area recently gained a big seafood and natural wine hangout from some very seasoned restaurateurs. Canal Street Oysters, from Broome Street Hospitality of East Pole on the UES, is a 200-seater with a menu focused on sustainably sourced seafood. Chef Charlene Santiago (Reynard, the John Dory Oyster Bar) translates that into an oyster selection, cold dishes like a Spanish mackerel tartare with jalapeño and squid, hot ones such as squid ink paella, and shellfish towers. Cocktails include a sherry spritz or a spiced black tea cocktail with mint and peaches, but the wine list is the thing to check out. Lee Campbell, a natural wine game changer who used to run the program at Andrew Tarlow’s restaurants, was in charge of the list here. 

The empty interior of a restaurant, showing a central bar and checkered floors Evan Sung [Official Photo]

1. Reverence

2592 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10030

Chef Russell Jackson was a pioneer of San Francisco’s supper club scene, and now, he’s brought his talents to Harlem, where he’s created Reverence as an ode to his childhood in California. The $98 five-course meal touches on the state’s multicultural cuisines, from French and Japanese to Korean and Latin American. Dishes could include escargot with fermented uni-chili crema and a quail egg empanada, plus an almond honey cake with coffee syrup to finish. Jackson’s known as “the dissident chef”; diners must make reservations in advance and cannot take photos or have their phones out, a rule for people to be present during the meal.

2592 Frederick Douglass Blvd
New York, NY 10030

2. Hutong New York

731 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10022
A bar at Hutong Tanya Blum/Hutong [Official Photo]

Midtown gained an elegant new Chinese restaurant this year with Hutong, a Hong Kong-based restaurant that’s transformed the expansive former Le Cirque space with Art Deco sensibilities. The restaurant — which may be better suited to a quieter, fancier night out — has been attracting attention for its daylong dim sum service, where chef Fei Wang dishes out inventive dumplings like a jet-black mochi dumpling filled with pork. Other dishes to watch for include the you shui chicken, roast Peking duck, and the dessert, where artful sculptures have classic Chinese flavors. For a more casual stop-in, there’s also an 83-seat lounge and bar. 

731 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10022

3. Esca

402 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036
An outdoor restaurant patio with several four-top tables Jim Connolly [Official]

More than 20-year-old Midtown Italian seafood restaurant Esca underwent a revamp following a fire, and now owner Victor Rallo and longtime executive chef Dave Pasternack have reopened it with a patio, a farmhouse dining room, a fresh wine list, and some new menu items. There’s more charcuterie, additional meat options such as a pork Milanese, and vintage wines from Rallo’s personal collection. Stand-bys such as sea urchin pasta are still available, as is a robust list of crudos. And after a brief dinner-only period, it’s now also reopen for lunch.

402 W 43rd St
New York, NY 10036

4. Qanoon Restaurant

180 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011
The interior of a restaurant Carla Vianna/Eater

Chelsea’s new Middle Eastern restaurant Qanoon highlights the flavors of chef and owner Tarek Daka’s childhood on a farm in Palestine, when fresh produce and sharing with family was key. Look for Palestinian meatballs baked with cauliflower, onions, tomatoes, and tahini, or a single-serving version of makloubeh, a chicken-and-rice dish that comes in a ceramic bowl and then gets flipped over onto a plate. The cozy, brick-walled restaurant with 50 seats includes a bar, though it’s still waiting for a liquor license. Once that comes through, expect lots of Mediterranean wines. 

180 9th Ave
New York, NY 10011

5. Pastis

52 Gansevoort St, New York, NY 10014
Read Review |
Pastis Louise Palmberg/Eater

One of the most important restaurants this century is back in action, still with the same signature Keith McNally golden lighting but with the addition of Stephen Starr on the team. The new Pastis — which helped turn the Meatpacking District into a celebrity-packed dining destination — is also more spacious, but it maintains a familiar menu of French brasserie fare, including charred steaks, fries, onion soups, and a special of the day. Waits at dinner have been wild, but getting a seat at the bar, where the full menu is served, is a little easier. It’s also open for breakfast and lunch, when primetime reservations are far easier to come by.

52 Gansevoort St
New York, NY 10014

6. Rezdôra

27 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003
Read Review |
Green cappelleti pasta with spring peas and black mushroom puree on a blue-and-white checkered plate Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Italian restaurants open a lot in New York, but Rezdôra — from chef Stefano Secchi, an alum of three-Michelin-starred Osteria Francescana — offers a selection of specialties from the country that are lesser found in New York. Pastas and vegetable dishes come from Emilia-Romagna, and a $90-per-person pasta tasting, an a la carte menu, and cocktails are available. Early stand-outs include a gnocco fritto (fritters with charcuterie on top) and both a beef ragu and a duck ragu pasta. Though Secchi has a fine dining background, this Flatiron restaurant is supposed to be fairly casual. Go for one of the Italian wines.

27 E 20th St
New York, NY 10003

7. Gotham Bar & Grill

12 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

Greenwich Village American icon Gotham Bar & Grill is stepping into a new era: After 34 years, it has a new chef in Victoria Blamey, whose goal is to liven up the restaurant to attract a younger crowd. To that end, Blamey has enacted an entirely new menu that pulls in global influences as opposed to the straight American menu of yore. New dishes include charred Japanese eggplant with wild peas, black garlic broth, and pickled chanterelle mushroom, as well as lamb collar with Calabrian chiles, peppers, kabocha, and pickled eggplant. The space has also had a refresh, with details like colorful ceramics in place of white plates.

12 E 12th St
New York, NY 10003

8. Llama San

359 6th Ave, New York, NY 10014

Nikkei cuisine — a mash-up of Peruvian and Japanese ingredients and techniques — gets another stage at Llama San, the latest restaurant from the hit team behind Llama Inn and Llamita. Here, chef Erik Ramirez pays homage to his bi-cultural upbringing through dishes such as a ceviche with ponzu sauce. Other items include pork tonkatsu with green udon noodles and pickled cucumbers and a creamy Peruvian chicken stew known as ají de gallina that’s wrapped in sushi rice and toasted sesame seeds, then sealed in banana leaves and charred with open fire. The 65-seat space is outfitted in light wood tones and tons of plants. The drink menu is particularly strong, so be sure to order a cocktail or some natural wine.

359 6th Ave
New York, NY 10014

9. Cathédrale Restaurant

112 E 11th St, New York, NY 10003
A white plate with baked red snapper on top, with cilantro leaves Cathedrale [Official]

The latest offering from famed nightlife group Tao is the French-Mediterranean Cathédrale in the new Moxy East Village, with soaring ceilings and multiple rooms meant to evoke a cathedral. Executive chef Jason Hall is serving up dishes inspired by Nice, Provence, and St. Tropez, such as snapper made with a Provencal sauce, rotisserie chicken chasseur-style, roasted calamari, and chickpea crepes, to the 300 seats. There’s also a patio area with a retractable roof and a lot of greenery, plus a large black marble bar.

112 E 11th St
New York, NY 10003

10. Nami Nori

33 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014
A taco-shaped hand roll topped with rice and salmon, served with a side of ginger Sebastian Lucrecio [Official]

Three seasoned Masa vets have added a more laidback sushi restaurant to the West Village serving varied versions of temaki, or hand rolls stuffed with fresh fish and vegetables. Options at Nami Nori include tuna poke and crispy shallots; chile sea bass, daikon, mint, and chogochujang; and salmon, tomato, onion cream, and chives. What makes it particularly singular is that owners Taka Sakaeda, Jihan Lee, and Lisa Limb serve the temaki in taco format — the ingredients are held in a nori shell that’s open on top, acting as the taco’s “tortilla.” Sake, beer, wine, and Japanese teas and sodas round out the menu.

33 Carmine St
New York, NY 10014

11. The Jones

54 Great Jones St, New York, NY 10012

After 35 years as a Cajun hangout, Great Jones Cafe has been reborn as the Jones, a more modern and bohemian seafood restaurant from prolific restaurateur Gabriel Stulman. Dishes include a fried cod sandwich inspired by McDonald’s fish fillet, bluefish tartine, and poached head-on prawns with housemade mayo and lemon. Some vestiges of Great Jones Cafe do remain in the decor, such as the orange and blue exterior and an Elvis bust in the window, but the tiny dining room is now stocked with very 2019 restaurant markers like a communal table, beautifully appointed flowers, and a mahogany leather couch.

54 Great Jones St
New York, NY 10012

12. Canal Street Oysters

380 Canal St, New York, NY 10013
The empty interior of a restaurant, showing a central bar and checkered floors Evan Sung [Official Photo]

Canal Street at the Tribeca and Soho border has long been weak as a dining destination, but the area recently gained a big seafood and natural wine hangout from some very seasoned restaurateurs. Canal Street Oysters, from Broome Street Hospitality of East Pole on the UES, is a 200-seater with a menu focused on sustainably sourced seafood. Chef Charlene Santiago (Reynard, the John Dory Oyster Bar) translates that into an oyster selection, cold dishes like a Spanish mackerel tartare with jalapeño and squid, hot ones such as squid ink paella, and shellfish towers. Cocktails include a sherry spritz or a spiced black tea cocktail with mint and peaches, but the wine list is the thing to check out. Lee Campbell, a natural wine game changer who used to run the program at Andrew Tarlow’s restaurants, was in charge of the list here. 

380 Canal St
New York, NY 10013

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