New York Restaurants- server apron

The city that never sleeps is also a place that spends much of its waking time dining out, with a wonderful array of styles and high quality in its restaurant sector. But it also never stands still.

At any time, there will be new restaurants opening all over the city, reflecting not just the ambitions of the owners to make their mark and build great careers in the hospitality sector, but also developments in consumer taste and growth in demand to try new cuisines and styles.

Whether it is caterers aiming to find a place in established markets for popular foods, ‘ethnic’ cuisine styles finding growing markets from more diverse demographics and wider curiosity in the general public, or a rise in the popularity of ethical food, from vegetarian and vegan dishes to sustainable cuisine with reduced food miles, the opportunities are there.

As staff at these restaurants put on their new server aprons, the reviewers have been hard at work (or at lunch) identifying them.

For instance, last month Time Out revealed its list of the best new restaurants in Manhattan, describing these as “eight greats from the last six months or so”.

The list had a significant European contingent, such as Café Mars, where some of the furnishings look like they are not of this world. However, one can rest assured, that the menu is not themed on the cuisine from The Martian movie, although the baked potato gnocchi comes in for special praise.

If Café Mars is described as an “unusual Italian restaurant”, the Golden Swan is all about style and grandeur amid a range of French and Mediterranean dishes, while Bar Vinazo is a Spanish wine bar with some fine Iberian offerings, not least its tasty sheep‘s cheese.

Spanish, French and Italian food may be familiar enough, but Georgian is somewhat different, not least as Chama Mama is from the East European country, not the US state. Georgian wines and cocktails complement a fine seasonal menu.

For something a bit more exotic, you can try kangaroo at Foxface Natural, which started out as a small sandwich hut but has now progressed to a full restaurant with some novel offerings bounding into downtown from ‘down under’ and elsewhere. Those going for a taste of Asia can try Nasrin’s Kitchen, a new Persian restaurant in Midtown West.

For those who prefer a traditional American bar and grill with great steaks, new treats lie in store at Justine’s on Hudson with its American Wagyu steak, or Cecci’s in West Village.

This latest selection of great new venues comes after Pure Wow listed no fewer than 40 fine new restaurants in NYC in the summer.

Because these predated the eight listed by Time Out, there is no overlap between them. That may be a good thing, because while the 40 includes many European, Asian and American venues offering similarly fine food, vegetarians and vegans may ask what new places have opened for them.

They need not fear. The Pure Wow list highlighted the likes of vegan soul food venue Cadence in East Village and Planta Queen on 27th West Street as great plant-based options, showing that as new restaurants open up, there is something for everyone.

December 11, 2023 — Jake Blakey