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Everywhere You Need to Eat and Drink in NYC Right Now

Everywhere You Need to Eat and Drink in NYC Right Now
May 3, 2019 coraandkrist

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Everywhere You Need to Eat and Drink in NYC Right Now

The “best” restaurant in New York City doesn’t really exist, per se. Sure, Per Se is probably the best place to drop a bundle of money. And your nearest bodega is probably the best place for a hangover-slaying BEC. But that leaves a lot of room in-between for all your Big Night or Just Because dinners out. You probably have an all-time favorite and a few secondary go-tos for sundry circumstances — and those places were once new to you, too. Almost any restaurant can be the best restaurant, depending on your needs. And sometimes, you need to check out the newest addition to our expansive culinary landscape before the crowds come.

Here in the land of endless eating and drinking options, we have new bests popping up all the time. These are the most noteworthy restaurants that opened elsewhere in NYC this April. Get in quick, and see if you can find a new personal best birthday, anniversary, bon-voyage, big promotion, first date, last date, or special occasion spot among the crop. Then read on to reacquaint yourself with the classics, discover neighborhood institutions far from home, and revisit those erstwhile hotspots where you can finally get a table.

maison yaki
(L to R) Duck Rillettes, Cherry Blossom Manhattan, Escargot, Duck a L’Orange Skewers, Scallops & Sauce Maltaise Skewers | Cole Saladino/Thrillist

Maison Yaki

Prospect Heights

Frenchie finger foods and small plates from a neighborhood staple
Perennial Brooklyn favorite Olmsted opened three years ago and it still isn’t easy to nab a primetime table, so scoot into its new sister venture ASAP. Maison Yaki’s casual back patio and half the spots in its narrow, colorful, kicky dining room are dedicated to walk-ins, so you might be able to try crispy golden frog legs, earthy escargot in shiso butter, novel duck a l’orange (Surprise: It’s on a skewer!), and supple scallops in sauce maltaise before the crowds come. If you’ve heard anythingabout this place, it’s that nothing on the menu exceeds $9 — not even on-tap cocktails like the perky vespar martini, fragrant, not-too-sweet, cherry blossom Manhattan, and refreshing ginger French 75. Since there’s so much to try, this doesn’t exactly make it a budget locale, but maybe a choose-your-own-value adventure.

the poni room
L: DIY wine room | R: (Front to back) Crispy Pork Belly, Sesame Soy Lotus Root, Seared Rare Tuna, Rosé in fish jug | Cole Saladino/Thrillist

The Poni Room


A tasting menu destination sprung fully formed from social media
We may never know why the Instagram set loves photographing themselves miming seemingly mundane tasks so much, but The Poni Room — somewhat hidden beneath Saxon + Parole without trodding out tired “speakeasy” tropes — is as good an action shot backdrop as any. Down a staircase and through a curtain, the walls are lined with a deconstructed quilt of Millennial pink textiles. A self-serve wine alcove emits a pale golden glow from the far end of the room. Inside, you’ll pour your own wine by the glass, or pose trying. Larger format photogenic fish carafes, fruit-forward frozens, and bottled cocktails there for the taking, too. Even without the photo ops, Poni Room’s $49, six-ish course tasting menu is a welcome addition to the typically spendy genre. The lineup varies from night to night, and items like the subtly smoky sesame soy lotus root, rich coconut laksa (served in darling tea cups), bracingly garlicky grilled octopus, seared rare tuna, and velvety braised short rib with sweetness-cutting bao buns are also available à la carte. [Reservations – by Open Table]

Mothership Meat Company

Long Island City

Ribs by the pound, beers by the pint, and sunshine for days
The long-awaited second NYC opening from the pitmaster behind LIC’s John Brown Smokehouse is here just in time for barbecue season. Head to the sunlight-filled space’s counter and order straightforward, Texas-style smoked prime rib, brisket, ham, and ribs by weight, skip the quick-to-crowd communal tables inside, and nab a spot on the sleekly graffitied patio out back. There’s no table service, so you’ll have to pop back inside if you’ve still got room for picnic-syle sides like beans and potato salad. The bar’s a small, one-man-band, so stick to draught beer for speed, ease, and because it pairs so perfectly with warm days and barbecue.

Clockwise from top left: Yuja Makgeolli Fizz, Truffle Mac & Cheese, Sujeonggwa Flip, Salt and Pepper KFC, Pork Belly Confit, Insam White Negroni | Cole Saladino/Thrillist


West Village

French, Korean, and American Southern flavors mingle downtown
Jean-Georges alum Chef Sung Park’s new solo spot has a boisterous street-facing space suited to groups, and a quieter, more intimate area off to the side. The menu, too is divided into conventional “small” and “sharing” plate sections (which could more simply be referred to as “appetisers” and “entrées”), but there’s no pressure from the congenial staff to stick to a formula — so go ahead and mix and match it up! The Berkshire pork confit is slow cooked for 24 hours, the chicken wings are served under a dramatic dome of smoke, and the steak bibimbap is efficiently mixed tableside. The truffle tteok and cheese (pillowy rice gnocchi suspended in cheese béchamel) easily steals the show, setting a new standard for what mac & cheese should be. Share if you must, or save it for yourself, sip a signature Sujeonggwa Flip (brandy, pear, spiced ginger honey, egg yolk, pine nut milk) or Yuja Makgeolli Fizz (genever, yuzu, egg white, becherovka, St-Germain), and witness the birth of a new craving.

hanoi soup shop
L: (Top to bottom) Pho, Classic Banh Mi, Shrimp Summer Roll | R: Avocado Smoothie | Cole Saladino/Thrillist

Hanoi Soup Shop

Hanoi Soup Shop

A quick-stop Vietnamese shop
The team behind the perpetually busy Hanoi House has added a takeaway operation to defray demand for their Vietnamese fare — and they even squeezed in a little room to linger with a smattering of stools around a bright L-shaped bar. Stop in for steamy bowls of silken beef pho on chilly spring days, and extra thick avocado shakes, crisp papaya salads with a hint of heat, summer rolls, and rotating banh mi specials once the temperatures rise.