If you spent the summer away from the city, you probably already have a short list of places you need to visit upon your return; Daniel Rose’s Le Coucou (a surprisingly buzzy July debut) and Floyd Cardoz’s Paowalla (a welcome August addition) quickly spring to mind. But since fall is prime season for big deal restaurant openings, you’ll want to clear plenty of space on your dining schedule soon; and here are just 10 compelling reasons to look forward to vacations end!
Dan Kluger: Although his eagerly awaited solo project has already graced both our winter and spring preview lists, Jean-Georges longtime right hand man, Dan Kluger, should finally be ready to step out on his own this fall, with a wood-burning spot featuring small and large shareable plates and spotlighting the farms and farmers whom Kluger has gotten to know intimately over 20+ years of frequenting the Union Square Greenmarket.
Union Square Café: Having recently devoured the slim memoir, “Sweetbitter” (chronicling a servers tenure in the exalted Union Square Café) has only whet our appetite for its heralded revival in the City Crab space, featuring an updated menu from chef Carmen Quagliata.
Made Nice: If former boss Danny Meyer can add a billion dollar burger franchise to his fine dining resume, why not EMP and NoMad’s Will Guidara and Daniel Humm? Except instead of shakes and sliders, the duo is taking a wholesome approach to their streamlined fast food concept, offering composed, $10-15 plates of seasonal produce, meat and fish.
Fowler & Wells: Tom Colicchio’s anticipated addition to the iconic Beekman Hotel finally has a name. And it’s taking a cue from its location’s landmarked, luxurious, 1800’s-era past (where it served as a white collar hub of industry), by offering classic New York dishes made popular at the turn of the century, such as Beef Wellington and Lobster Thermidor.
CUT by Wolfgang Puck: L.A.’s most famous Austrian is taking a bite out of the Big Apple with his first NYC steakhouse, situated inside the new Four Seasons Downtown. While it will be open for breakfast and lunch, dinner is when you’ll have unfettered access to a dazzling array of meat, such as Nebraska Corn Fed 35 Day Dry Aged Sirloin, Snake River Farms American Wagyu Porterhouse, and Miyazaki Prefecture Japanese Pure Wagyu Ribeye.
Miss Paradis: Successful Parisian restaurateur, Claude Louzon, is taking on New York in this Philippe Starck-designed Nolita fantasia, focused on healthy Mediterranean food (from Nobu Tel Aviv alum, Adir Cohen), as well as extravagant fruit-based desserts and — due to its proximity to a church — an abundance of beer and wine.
Ortzi: It may have taken Jose Garces longer than anticipated to bring Amada to Battery City, but now that he’s finally situated in New York, it’s only a matter of months before he launches his follow-up, Ortzi, a Basque-inspired eatery inside of LUMA Hotel in Times Square.
Massoni: Dale Talde and team are finally headed to Manhattan. Although instead of bringing pretzel pork potstickers with them, they’re trying their hand at an “inauthentic Italian” concept like the kind they test drove in New Jersey; serving Arancini Balls made with Indian biryani and Gnocchi bathed in gochujang chicken jus, in the Arlo NoMad Hotel.
Chinese Tuxedo: High end Chinese cuisine is still on the rise, as demonstrated by the opening of this modern Cantonese spot slated for the bi-level site of a historic Doyers Street opera house. Hearkening back to Chinese food’s 1970’s-era heyday, the late night hangout will offer an elevated dinner menu, a full cocktail program and dim sum on weekends (no word yet if staff will actually be wearing tuxedos).
Sweetcatch Poke Bar: It seems that NYC’s rabid poke obsession (which started to gain momentum this past spring), will continue to ride a cubed raw fish wave clear into fall, when Kang Ho Dong Baekjong’s Deuki Hong teams up with “Top Chef” Season 1 favorite Lee Anne Wong on a fast-casual franchise called Sweetcatch; which will toe the line between Hawaii’s long-marinated and L.A.’s fresh and clean styles, with a few Korean flavors thrown into the mix.