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The Manhattan Heatmap: Where to Eat Right Now

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123412123123112008_10_hasmaps-thumb%20%281%29.jpgMore often than not, tipsters, readers, friends and family of Eater have one question: Where should I eat right now? Restaurant obsessives want to know what's new, what's hot, which favorite chef just launched a sophomore effort, what Michael White is up to these days. And while the Eater 38 is a crucial resource covering old standbys and neighborhood essentials across the city, it is not a chronicle of the "it" places of the moment. Thus, we offer the Eater Heatmap, which will change continually to always highlight where the foodie crowds are flocking to at the moment.

Check out the map of Manhattan's hottest restaurants below, and stay tuned for the Brooklyn map tomorrow.



06/07/12: Added: Mission Chinese Food, Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya, Neta
07/05/12: Added: Nicoletta, Rosemary's, Hillside, Extra Fancy, Rocket Pig
08/02/12: Added: Murray's Cheese Bar, Governor, Lake Trout, Swine
09/06/12: Added: Blanca, Pork Slope, Pok Pok Phat Thai, Porsena Extra Bar, Dassara, All Good Things
10/04/12: Added: Ichimura at Brushstroke, Salumeria Rosi Il Ristorante, Barraca, Pig and Khao, Calliope, The Leadbelly
11/20/12: Added: El Toro Blanco, Gaonnuri, L'Apicio, Bill's, The Butcher's Daughter, The Library
12/06/12: Added: Chez Sardine, Willow Road, Tribeca Canvas, Sen

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Chez Sardine

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Gabe Stulman and Mehdi Brunet-Benkritly's handsome new restaurant offers sushi and traditional Japanese dishes, as well as things like Brussels sprouts with apples, crispy chicken with kimchi, and a grilled cheese sandwich made with smoked cheddar and foie gras. From day one, Stulman has pitched this as an inauthentic version of a Japanese izakaya, and that's still a good way to describe what's going on here. The early word suggests that the miso-maple salmon head is the must-order dish.

Willow Road

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Willow Road is the stylish new Chelsea American restaurant from a team of NYC nightlife vets. Former Cru chef Todd Macdonald and Top Chef alum Grayson Schmitz are in the kitchen. They're not trying to reinvent the wheel here, but the space is fun, the menu offers a little something for everyone, and the food is reasonably priced. Summit Bar's Greg Seider designed the cocktail list, and the space is open late.

El Toro Blanco

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John McDonald and Josh Capon, the boys behind Lure and B & B, recently opened this stylish new Mexican restaurant. Capon developed the menu with Scott Linquist, a California chef who has worked in some of the country's best modern Mexican restaurants. The early word suggests that El Toro Blanco is both a crowd-pleaser, and a restaurant that Mexican food snobs will dig. It's already packed to the gills.

The owners of Sag Harbor Japanese favorite Sen recently opened an outpost in the Flatiron District. The sushi chef here is Hiro Sawatari, who worked at Yasuda before doing a stint at short-lived Soho restaurant Niko, and Bryan Emperor, formerly of Kalu in Charlotte, is in charge of the rest of the menu. This is a fine choice if you want a full sushi dinner, or just cocktails and a few Japanese small plates.

L'Apicio

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L'Apicio is the new East Village restaurant from restaurateur Joe Campanale and chef Gabe Thompson, of L'Artusi, Dell'Anima, and Anfora. They haven't messed with the formula established at their West Village restaurants very much, but so far, people love what Thompson is doing in the kitchen. Order any of the polenta dishes (there are five), and make sure to try one or two of the pastas. And if you just want a cocktail or a glass of wine, L'Apicio has a bar that's big enough to accommodate you and a few of your friends.

Tribeca Canvas

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Tribeca Canvas is one of the stranger restaurants to open this year, but so far, early diners have good things to say about chef Masaharu Morimoto's menu of Asian-influenced American comfort food. The offerings include fried chicken with ginger scallion dressing, steamed mussels with chorizo, shrimp nachos, hamachi tacos, mac and cheese, and skirt steak with "bone marrow potato puree." Most of the appetizers are in the low teens, and most of the entrees are in the mid 20s.

Gaonnuri

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This Korean restaurant is one of the big dining surprises of the year. Located on the 39th floor of an office building in Koreatown, the bar and the dining room at Gaonurri offer spectacular views of Midtown Manhattan. The service still has some kinks to work you, but if you want to eat solid Korean food with a breathtaking view of the city, it's worth a trip.

The Library at The Public

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First and foremost, go to The Library to enjoy the room, which was built by legendary designer David Rockwell and his crew. Stay for the superb cocktails, and the eclectic menu by Andrew Carmellini. Right now, The Library is a stealth gem, mostly because it's hard to find — walk into the Public Theater, veer left, walk up the flight of stairs, cross the fluorescent-lit hallway, open the door, and then you're there. This place will absolutely blow up in the next few months, but right now it's very manageable. Get the burger.

The Beatrice Inn

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The Beatrice Inn is a space with a lot of history. It existed for decades as a fine West Village Italian restaurant, then, for a few years, it was the hottest nightclub on the planet. Now, in its third iteration, The Beatrice is an upscale American restaurant owned and operated by Sir Graydon Carter, with food by Per Se vet Brian Nasworthy. This is a very hard table to score right now. Pro tip: show up early, or very late.

Bill's is the clubby new steakhouse from John DeLucie and Crown Hospitality in the space that previously housed Bill's Gay Nineties. The menu here features dry-aged steaks, pastas, seafood, steakhouse sides, and salads. Jason Hall (Crown, Gotham Bar & Grill) is the executive chef. The dining room looks like a cross between Gramercy Tavern and DeLucie's The Lion, but with taxidermy and blue wallpaper. The socialites and celebrities will feel right at home here.

Pig and Khao

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Top Chef alum Leah Cohen returns to the NYC dining scene with a new restaurant in the old Falai space serving food inspired by her travels in Southeast Asia. The menu includes a lot of shareable small plates like quail adobo, mussels with Chinese sausage, green mango with charred chicken, and grilled pork jowl with watermelon. The space has a dining bar in the front, and a garden in the back.

Arlington Club Steakhouse

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Chef Laurent Tourondel teamed up with Tao Group for this new Upper East Side bar and restaurant. This is basically a steakhouse that looks like a club in the vein of Beauty & Essex. It will be interesting to see how the restaurant is received by both the critics and the people who live in the area.

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Chez Sardine

Gabe Stulman and Mehdi Brunet-Benkritly's handsome new restaurant offers sushi and traditional Japanese dishes, as well as things like Brussels sprouts with apples, crispy chicken with kimchi, and a grilled cheese sandwich made with smoked cheddar and foie gras. From day one, Stulman has pitched this as an inauthentic version of a Japanese izakaya, and that's still a good way to describe what's going on here. The early word suggests that the miso-maple salmon head is the must-order dish.

Willow Road

Willow Road is the stylish new Chelsea American restaurant from a team of NYC nightlife vets. Former Cru chef Todd Macdonald and Top Chef alum Grayson Schmitz are in the kitchen. They're not trying to reinvent the wheel here, but the space is fun, the menu offers a little something for everyone, and the food is reasonably priced. Summit Bar's Greg Seider designed the cocktail list, and the space is open late.

El Toro Blanco

John McDonald and Josh Capon, the boys behind Lure and B & B, recently opened this stylish new Mexican restaurant. Capon developed the menu with Scott Linquist, a California chef who has worked in some of the country's best modern Mexican restaurants. The early word suggests that El Toro Blanco is both a crowd-pleaser, and a restaurant that Mexican food snobs will dig. It's already packed to the gills.

Sen

The owners of Sag Harbor Japanese favorite Sen recently opened an outpost in the Flatiron District. The sushi chef here is Hiro Sawatari, who worked at Yasuda before doing a stint at short-lived Soho restaurant Niko, and Bryan Emperor, formerly of Kalu in Charlotte, is in charge of the rest of the menu. This is a fine choice if you want a full sushi dinner, or just cocktails and a few Japanese small plates.

L'Apicio

L'Apicio is the new East Village restaurant from restaurateur Joe Campanale and chef Gabe Thompson, of L'Artusi, Dell'Anima, and Anfora. They haven't messed with the formula established at their West Village restaurants very much, but so far, people love what Thompson is doing in the kitchen. Order any of the polenta dishes (there are five), and make sure to try one or two of the pastas. And if you just want a cocktail or a glass of wine, L'Apicio has a bar that's big enough to accommodate you and a few of your friends.

Tribeca Canvas

Tribeca Canvas is one of the stranger restaurants to open this year, but so far, early diners have good things to say about chef Masaharu Morimoto's menu of Asian-influenced American comfort food. The offerings include fried chicken with ginger scallion dressing, steamed mussels with chorizo, shrimp nachos, hamachi tacos, mac and cheese, and skirt steak with "bone marrow potato puree." Most of the appetizers are in the low teens, and most of the entrees are in the mid 20s.

Gaonnuri

This Korean restaurant is one of the big dining surprises of the year. Located on the 39th floor of an office building in Koreatown, the bar and the dining room at Gaonurri offer spectacular views of Midtown Manhattan. The service still has some kinks to work you, but if you want to eat solid Korean food with a breathtaking view of the city, it's worth a trip.

The Library at The Public

First and foremost, go to The Library to enjoy the room, which was built by legendary designer David Rockwell and his crew. Stay for the superb cocktails, and the eclectic menu by Andrew Carmellini. Right now, The Library is a stealth gem, mostly because it's hard to find — walk into the Public Theater, veer left, walk up the flight of stairs, cross the fluorescent-lit hallway, open the door, and then you're there. This place will absolutely blow up in the next few months, but right now it's very manageable. Get the burger.

The Beatrice Inn

The Beatrice Inn is a space with a lot of history. It existed for decades as a fine West Village Italian restaurant, then, for a few years, it was the hottest nightclub on the planet. Now, in its third iteration, The Beatrice is an upscale American restaurant owned and operated by Sir Graydon Carter, with food by Per Se vet Brian Nasworthy. This is a very hard table to score right now. Pro tip: show up early, or very late.

Bill's

Bill's is the clubby new steakhouse from John DeLucie and Crown Hospitality in the space that previously housed Bill's Gay Nineties. The menu here features dry-aged steaks, pastas, seafood, steakhouse sides, and salads. Jason Hall (Crown, Gotham Bar & Grill) is the executive chef. The dining room looks like a cross between Gramercy Tavern and DeLucie's The Lion, but with taxidermy and blue wallpaper. The socialites and celebrities will feel right at home here.

Pig and Khao

Top Chef alum Leah Cohen returns to the NYC dining scene with a new restaurant in the old Falai space serving food inspired by her travels in Southeast Asia. The menu includes a lot of shareable small plates like quail adobo, mussels with Chinese sausage, green mango with charred chicken, and grilled pork jowl with watermelon. The space has a dining bar in the front, and a garden in the back.

Arlington Club Steakhouse

Chef Laurent Tourondel teamed up with Tao Group for this new Upper East Side bar and restaurant. This is basically a steakhouse that looks like a club in the vein of Beauty & Essex. It will be interesting to see how the restaurant is received by both the critics and the people who live in the area.

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