There’s a whole lot to be excited about in the restaurant world right now — besides the appearance of ramps and fava beans on everyone’s menus, that is. And that’s the highly anticipated openings of a number of hotter-than-hot new eateries, like Drew Nieporent’s Bâtard, Andrew Carmellini’s Bar Primi, and Cosme from the envelope-pushing Mexican chef Enrique Olvera. Here are a few other especially buzzy, impending restaurant debuts to keep your eye on this spring!
Cherche Midi (April): Times are a-changing for Keith McNally, who’s waiting for construction to be completed on the building that housed his seminal Meatpacking District spot, Pastis (expect it to take well over a year). But the famed restaurateur sure is keeping busy, currently reimagining his shuttered pizza place, Pulino’s, as a chic Nolita brasserie called Cherche Midi, featuring classic French dishes from Balthazar chef Shane McBride.
Barchetta (April): Fish guru Dave Pasternack is straying from his longtime Batali-Bastianich partnership at this new restaurant, joining forces with the LDV Hospitality (from Scarpetta and American Cut) instead. Situated in Alain Allegretti’s former Bistro La Promenade space in Chelsea, Pasternack’s decided to keep the high-end kitchen (hey, why not?) and sexy, marble-topped bar. And since the name Barchetta means “small boat,” we assume he’s playing to his strengths and sticking with fish. Smart move!
Tavern on the Green (April): One of New York’s most iconic restaurants will finally return to its former glory in Central Park this spring. Overseen by Philadelphia’s Emerald Green Group and respected locavore chef, Katy Sparks, the team hopes to dust off its former reputation as a tourist trap, and turn Tavern into a true dining destination for a newer generation of discerning foodies.
Ramen Lab (April): Longtime purveyors of noodles to New York’s best ramen shops, Sun Noodle is getting in on the restaurant game and opening their own eatery in Nolita. In addition to serving a number of “never seen before” soups at the 16-seat spot, Chef Shigetoshi Nakamura will regularly host tasting sessions, educational seminars, and “ramen flights.”
Black Seed (April): Mile End’s Noah Bernamoff and The Smile’s Matt Kliegman are teaming up at this old-school bagel shop in Nolita as well (talk about a lucky neighborhood!), aspiring to marry the bagel-making traditions of New York and Montreal. Black Seed’s small, chewy specimens will be hand-rolled, poached in alkalized water, and baked in a wood-burning oven, before being schmeared with a variety of house-made cream cheeses, vegetable spreads and smoked fish. Salivating yet?
Arepa Lady (April): A bit of great news for Queens residents; beloved street vendor Maria Piedad Cano is opening her first brick-and-mortar in Jackson Heights. She’s even working on a wine and beer license, so eventually you’ll be able to enjoy a glass of sangria or bottle of Tecate along with her fantastic, griddled corn arepas, stuffed with chicken, vegetables, shredded beef or cheese.
Bâtard (May): Drew Nieporent continues to breathe new life into his hushed, Tribeca space, which formerly housed the inventive Paul Liebrandt-helmed Corton, and before that, the much loved fine dining mecca, Montrachet. Under Austrian chef Markus Glocker, the food and vibe will undoubtedly be less fussy than it was under Liebrandt, including dishes, like Octopus rubbed with pastrami spices and strewn with rye croutons.
Berg’n (May): The Smorgasburg brand continues to grow and evolve in leaps and bounds, resulting in expansions like Berg’n, an indoor beer hall and food court in Crown Heights. Suds will be curated by Brooklyn Brewery’s James Beard Award-nominated Garrett Oliver, and eats provided by many of Smorgasburg’s most popular vendors, like Asia Dog, Pizza Moto, Mighty Quinn’s and Ramen Burger.
Cosme (June): Innovative Mexican chef Enrique Olivera (of Mexico City’s Pujol) is actually moving to New York to oversee Cosme, his first stateside restaurant. He’ll be serving signature dishes, like dried gourds filled with Charred Baby Corn rolled in mayo, coffee and ground ants (yes, really), and making fresh tortillas for his Flatiron eatery out of a little factory in Brooklyn. We can’t wait!
Bar Primi (June): We’re still mourning the sudden loss of Peels’ perfect buttermilk biscuits, but comforted by the fact that Andrew Carmellini will soon be serving fresh pasta out of the Bowery space instead. And it seems like there are no hard feelings on the part of former Peels’ owner (and accomplished designer) Taavo Somer; he’s actually in charge of the interiors for Bar Primi. A Somer-designed Carmellini eatery? Sounds like a match made in heaven!