Dining Out 25 minutes 06 September 2023

5 New Spots from MICHELIN Guide Star Restaurants

Upping the ante on starry cuisine with buzzy spots.

The culinary world is continually evolving—from menu changes and renovations, to chefs finding new homes, it's an exciting time in the gastronomic landscape. And while the pandemic provided many hurdles for establishments, some have used this as an opportunity to unleash their creativity with new projects and openings. Whether it’s Shenarri Freeman of Cadence’s West African-inspired plant-based restaurant, chef Hoyoung Kim (of One MICHELIN Star Jua) bringing undiscovered dishes of Korean cuisine to the Big Apple, or former Eleven Madison Park alums, chef Andrew Quinn and wine director Cedric Nicaise’s neighborhood restaurant in the West Village, these MICHELIN Guide Starred talents prove that the next act is just as exciting as their first. Below, we highlight a few of the newest openings and break down the ethos behind plates.

The following interviews have been edited and condensed for clarity.

Ubuntu, Executive Chef Shenarri Freeman
7469 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

Hollywood is known for its stars. With Shenarri Freeman (of Cadence) and Ubuntu, it just got another one. A plant-based restaurant inspired by West African ingredients, Ubuntu is tucked on Melrose Avenue, offering the celebrated chef the perfect canvas to flex her culinary muscles. Guests can expect a modern vegan menu inspired by chef’s travels and heritage, along with an exclusive list of wines from black-owned winemakers.

Traveling to Lagos and Ghana for three weeks last year reignited the culinary interest that I had initially developed during culinary school. That’s when I knew I wanted to create a restaurant that pays homage to the global influence African cuisine has on the world. Whereas Cadence focuses on Southern and soul food ingredients, Ubuntu relies on different ingredients coming out of different countries in West Africa. Cadence represents me growing up in the South and southern food, while Ubuntu is a manifestation of my explorations and learning about West African cuisine as an adult.

Our menu highlights and celebrates Ingredients coming from West African countries through a plant-based lens (My favorite dish changes daily, but right now it’s the curried jollof rice Arancini paired with a sweet mint chermoula). We are most excited to be sourcing fonio from Chef Pierre Thiam and Yolélé. Many people think that plant-based food means cooking with fake meats, soy products, and processed foods. In reality, I only use real vegetables and ingredients. I would never feed someone something that I wouldn’t eat myself. 

By highlighting West African ingredients through a plant-based lens, I hope to build a community where food is the medium. I want to create a lane of resources for the next generation to carry the torch. 

Monhand Mathurin/Ubunto
Monhand Mathurin/Ubunto

Moono, Executive Chef/Partner Hoyoung Kim
29 E 32nd St, New York, NY 10016

Korean for “gateway”, Moono is chef Hoyoung Kim’s newest passion project in transforming the New York Korean food scene. Having trained under chef Pascal Barbot of One MICHELIN Star Astrance, chef Jungsik Yim of Two MICHELIN Star Jungsik, coupled with the experience of opening Jua, a One MICHELIN Star Korean Contemporary restaurant in New York City, Kim aims to take take guests on a one-of-a-kind adventure to experience the flavorful world of Korean cuisine.

I believe that Korean cuisine is one of the hottest food categories in New York right now. There are so many excellent Korean restaurants here, it’s one of those places with the most diverse range of Korean dishes. But there are still some Korean dishes that are difficult to find. There’s a common misconception that Korean food is always spicy, salty, or sweet. In reality, there are actually plenty of other dishes that don’t fit these assumptions. I want to convey that Korean cuisine offers not only delicious flavors but also healthy options that challenge these misconceptions. I consider it my role to promote more of Korea’s cuisine and culture.

Every item on the menu stems from my personal experiences. The Pyongyang-style cold noodles, for example, is the first dish I seek out when I visit Korea. But unlike the more commonly known Hamhung-style noodles, this dish features handcrafted buckwheat noodles and a delicate beef brisket broth. The buckwheat noodles are made from scratch daily with fresh buckwheat flour from Maine, while the beef broth is made from beef brisket and beef shank. Another dish is the Sotbap (Korean rice pot). In Korea, rice is a staple, and we enjoy rice with every meal. I believe that Korean cuisine begins with rice. To maintain its freshness, we source Golden Queen Rice from Kim'C Market that’s freshly milled every week. The rice is then prepared using beef brisket broth.

All these dishes draw inspiration from what I’ve eaten while growing up and my parent’s cooking, to my restaurant ventures. But it has to be unique - that’s the most important thing to me. If a dish doesn’t get reinterpreted in my style, no matter how exceptional it may be, it won’t find its way onto the menu. In my view, even with excellent ingredients and a compelling story, if the taste isn’t exceptional, it loses its significance.

That’s what “Moono” is. It’s the gateway to the wider world of Korean cuisine, where people can be introduced to a new variant of Korean cuisine and enjoy it without any hesitation. It’s a place where classic, traditional Korean cuisine is offered.

Dan Ahn/Moono
Dan Ahn/Moono

Jaffa Cocktail & Raw Bar, Chef de Cuisine Sam Levenfeld and Beverage Director Ashley Santoro
97 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Can’t get a table at Williamsburg hotspot Laser Wolf? Then checkout Jaffa, a cocktail and raw bar from Boka Restaurant Group in partnership with CookNSolo, the company behind Laser Wolf and K’Far. Bringing the fresh citrus flavors from the city of Jaffa, Israel to the Big Apple, this cocktail and raw bar marks chef Michael Solomonov’s third installment inside the Hoxton Hotel, completing the Israeli native’s culinary trifecta of delicious Israeli fare.

Sam Levenfeld

The idea behind Jaffa was to create an indoor/outdoor perch that evoked the seaside splendor of Jaffa, Israel’s famed port city renowned for its seafood, history, and eponymous signature orange (the city’s main export throughout the 20th Century). It’s chef Michael Solomonov’s first restaurant to serve shellfish, so we wanted it to have the laid-back vibes of a relaxed holiday while bringing a unique take on Israeli cuisine to New York.

While Jaffa and Laser Wolf are both al fresco restaurants that celebrate Israeli cuisine and culture, their menus are distinct. Laser Wolf is a shipudya (skewer house) serving salatim and grilled meats—much like the shipudyas in chef Solomonov’s native Tel Aviv. Jaffa’s seafood-centered menu is inspired by the brightness of native citrus and the freshness of locally-caught seafood in Jaffa. From fresh-squeezed orange juice-based cocktails to raw oysters and chilled crudos, the dishes allow the quality of the ingredients to shine and presents Israeli flavors in unconventional and creative ways.

One of my favorite dishes from the menu has to be the scallop crudo. It’s so simple and only uses three ingredients (besides the scallop): citrus salt, shipka peppers, and olive oil. The shipka peppers are roasted overnight, dried out, and then ground until it becomes a powder that we use to season the scallops. We then garnish the scallops with slices of raw shipka peppers, citrus salt, and olive oil. It may seem very simple visually, but the flavors are deceptively complex. 

That’s what we want Jaffa to be. Even if you’re just here for a drink or a quick snack, we want it to be something special.

Ashley Santoro

From the beginning, we wanted the beverage program to echo the regional flavors of Jaffa (the city) in a playful way. Right now, our menu highlights the bright citrus Jaffa is known for. The Iced Tea of Galilee with Meyer lemon and The Fizzy Bubbelech with blood orange are some of our most popular picks. We knew we needed to balance those tangy drinks with some mineral or salty components though, so we created the Aunt Debbie—a za'atar-spiced martini with olive leaf gin. As we transition to the colder months, we'll start incorporating more orchard fruit and savory spice notes. Our goal is to use our beverage program to bring friends together through shareable large format cocktails and coy Israeli adaptations of classic drinks (think tehina espresso martini).

Teddy Wolff/Jaffa
Teddy Wolff/Jaffa

Anto, Executive Chef Luke Yoon, Wine Director Joo Lee, VP of Operations at QB Hospitality Jefferson Cho
243 East 58th Street, New York, NY 10022

Restaurateur and QB Hospitality founder/owner Tony Park from Bib Gourmand Antoya is backthis time in the form of Anto, a high-end Korean BBQ dining experience. Enlisting the help of all-star talent chef Luke Yoon (who has worked in the kitchens of Three MICHELIN Star Masa, Two MICHELIN Star Aquavit, and One MICHELIN Star Jeju Noodle Bar) and wine director Joo Lee (previously of Two MICHELIN Star Saison and Three MICHELIN Star Eleven Madison Park), Anto tells the history and culture of Korean through quality ingredients and mesmerizing interiors.

Jefferson Cho

Anto is more than just a restaurant to Tony, it’s his family’s namesake. It’s short for his son, Antonio, but "An" in Korean also means finding peace in your homeland. It’s meant to bring the authenticity of Korean cuisine and culture. In such a fast paced world, we wanted to bring cuisine that focuses on time - whether it’s curing, aging, or fermentation. We want Anto to be an immersive experience and to responsibly showcase the essence of Korean cuisine.

Luke Yoon

At Anto, I hope to create our own, new interpretation of Korean cuisine that’s inspired by New York City. In my opinion, Manhattan is the culinary capital of the world. It has the most diversity when it comes to the types of cuisines available to us. I want to take inspiration from each of those cuisines, combine it with my training in various Korean and American kitchens, and infuse it into the food at Anto. We are a Korean steakhouse though, so premium American Wagyu cuts and Anto Galbi will always be a staple on the menu. But the rest of the menu, that’s our playground. That’s where we can be creative and have fun.

Take the Charred Onion Cheong, for example: it’s made in-house, and the syrup is from naturally macerated fruits or vegetables with high sugar content. During the process, we extract the natural sugar from the onion, which has a gentle and pleasant sweetness compared to white cane sugar or refined table sugars. This preparation method is a good example of how Korean food preparation is deliberate, thoughtful and time-intensive; a contrast to the fast-paced nature of New York City. The Freshwater Eel is another dish that comes to mind. There's this Korean medical encyclopedia called Donguibogam, Principles and Practice of Eastern Medicine, and it was compiled by a royal court physician in 1613 who specialized in Eastern acupuncture and natural medicine. The book presents healthy combinations of food items that pair well together. Freshwater eel paired with blackberries is one of those. Freshwater eel contains natural, healthy fat, and it cools the body down while regulating hormones; while blackberries have an abundance of antioxidants that warm the body and balances everything out. In this Freshwater Eel dish, I use an activated Korean wild yeast (Blackberry Nuruk) to pair with it, which tenderizes the eel and accentuates out a delicious natural umami. And if you need a must-have item from the restaurant, our Anto kimchi is the answer. It just goes with everything!

Joo Lee

The approach to the wine program at Anto is simple: what pairs deliciously with Korean food? Historically, it can be challenging pairing wines with food from a region where winemaking did not coexist with the evolution of its cuisine. I want to show people that Korean food shouldn’t be limited to soju and beer, and to keep an open mind to what to drink with their Korean dining experience. That’s why I hope to introduce more open mindedness about drinking wine with Asian food. I have a long history of pairing wines with asian flavors in fine dining, and I want to share that passion through the wine list here at Anto.

The way our menu is right now, it’s incredibly versatile with wine. The first couple of courses with caviar, raw foods, and small bites are perfect when paired with Champagne and high toned white wines. When it comes to the grilled meats, red wines from  Burgundy and Northern Rhône offer a great balance between their brightness and aromatics that contrast and compliment our food incredibly well. 

Right now, our wine list is predominantly focused on more nuanced wines that emphasize terroir, and a sense of place from which they are from. With nearly 1,000 selections though, it can sometimes be intimidating to guests. But that’s what we are here for. I believe that there is a wine for everyone out there, and that our wine program’s wide array of wines can suit anyone’s preferences.

Photo: Courtesy of Anto
Photo: Courtesy of Anto

The Noortwyck, Chef/Co-Owner Andrew Quinn and Wine Director/Co-Owner Cedric Nicaise
289 Bleecker Street,New York, NY 10014


Eleven Madison Park alums chef Andrew Quinn and wine director Cedric Nicaise team up once again at The Noortwyck to bring a timeless and approachable menu to the West Village. Whether it’s date night, a special anniversary, or just a casual night out by yourself, this intimate neighborhood restaurant is the perfect spot for any occasion.

Andrew Quinn

We wanted The Noortwyck to be this warm and welcoming neighborhood restaurant with a menu that’s driven by locality and seasonality, and a wine list that is accessible and has something for every palate. I knew that to fill up the seats, especially starting out with a new restaurant with no reputation, we’d have to offer dishes that would attract people. That’s why it had to be an à la carte menu with a good amount of options like kale salad and roast chicken in each course. But just because you’re eating those things doesn’t mean that it can’t be the best kale salad or roast chicken you’ve ever eaten. The rest of the menu is balanced out with creative dishes that some of our less adventurous eaters might foray into once we have earned their trust.

One of those dishes is the barbecue dry aged duck. Every great chef I have worked for has always had their own signature duck dish. At Eleven Madison Park, it was Daniel Humm’s dry-aged duck. At Claude Bosi in London, it was the grilled duck over charcoal. I took inspiration from these two techniques and merged them into the barbecue dry-aged duck that we serve here. Another dish has to be our mille-feuille dessert, courtesy of our insanely talented pastry chef, Ileene Cho. I have a very sweet tooth, so the pastry program is very important to me. We wanted to make a statement dessert that could potentially become a signature dish. I always loved the classic English flavor combination of banana and toffee (banoffee), and chef Ileene just knocked it out of the park with the banana and stout caramel mille-feuille.

The menu is why the dining experience at the Noortwyck can be built in so many different ways. Two people can come and dine on caviar, truffles, foie gras, hand-made pasta, dry-aged duck, and have access to a world-class wine list, all while spending less than $75 a head. If it’s a big celebration, you can go all out and get a really special bottle of wine along with the côte de boeuf that is wrapped in bourbon and dry-aged in-house for 90 days. Or you could belly up to the bar solo on your way home from work and grab a quick glass of wine and bowl of pasta and be out in thirty minutes. It’s this idea of accessible luxury that I think is something we offer that you can’t find anywhere else in New York. Our goal is to push this envelope further and become known for our quality, from the welcome at the door to the last bites of dessert.

Cedric Nicaise

Our food tends to be very wine-friendly, that’s why when we opened, we wanted to make sure that the wine list represented the restaurant philosophy - great value options available at all price points, all served with attention to detail. To us, wine and food are the perfect compliments to each other, we want it to be part of the experience of dining at The Noortwyck.

Right now, the wine program has a focus on classic wine regions, with some very natural pairings. One of those is the Red Burgundy with the whole roasted chicken (stuffed with brioche and severed with a classic sauce called Albufera), a guest favorite. Another pairing I love right now is the Vermentino with our linguine and clams. As for the cocktail program, we’re more so focused on seasonal flavors. Over the summer, we served quite a bit of Italian white wines, things like Grillo from Sicily to Verdicchio from the Adriatic coast. In the fall, we will slowly transition to more red wines like Burgundy and the Northern Rhone.

Photo: Courtesy of The Noortwyck
Photo: Courtesy of The Noortwyck

And in case you missed our last roundup of delicious, new openings, the below restaurants will have you coming back for more.

Sushi Ichimura, co-owners Rahul Saito and Eiji Ichimura
412 Greenwich Street, New York, NY, 10013

With One Star l’abeille and upcoming sister restaurant l’abeille à côté under their belt, Kuma Hospitality Group is upping the ante with their newest project. The best part? It’s right next door. Earning Two MICHELIN Stars at David Bouley’s Ichimura at Brushstroke and Uchū Sushi Bar respectively, Sushi Ichimura marks legendary sushi chef Eiji Ichimura’s delicious return to the Big Apple. This intimate 10-seat sushi counter offers guests the opportunity to experience Edomae-style omakase in its highest form.

Rahul Saito

The idea behind Sushi Ichimura was to provide chef an impressive stage for his “last dance” in New York. It’s a space that's relaxed yet elevated, where guests can truly immerse themselves in the tranquil and elegant ambiance of the restaurant and chef’s mastery. We want it to be a place that showcases chef’s evolution and present the culmination of his 40 years serving sushi in New York. We hope to introduce them to a newly elevated and world class Omakase experience they've not seen from him before.

The menu features approximately 20 courses, consisting of seasonal appetizers, or otsumami, including chef’s signature house-made mochi rice cracker filled with Hokkaido bafun uni and Kaviari caviar, followed by over 12 courses of delicately aged nigiri and temaki; and finished with seasonal desserts like Japanese-style tea desserts (manju buns, yokan) served with rare teas. It’s a story of chef’s culinary journey and his mastery in aging fish.

The design mirrors and respects chef's gracious and reserved demeanor. Our designer, Marta Carvalho, expertly created a well-balanced space that is both serene, yet reflective of chef's hospitable personality.  Earth tones and natural wood boards are complemented by plush fabrics and minimalist décor that references classic Japanese designs. We hope the dining room décor and music will set a comfortable stage for our guests to enjoy chef Ichimura’s master “dance” as he produces exceptional sushi piece after piece.

Eiji Ichimura

Sushi Ichimura is one of the most detail-oriented restaurants I have worked at so far. The décor, plateware, and every piece of equipment has been handpicked by the whole team in Japan. We even had Shiro Tsujimura, one of Japan’s most prominent contemporary ceramic artists and a living national treasure, hand make some ceramic plates for us that are over 200-years-old. A focal point in the dining room is an original, 400-year-old gold leaf covered screen from the 16th century depicting the famous “Tale of Genji”. It’s something you would find in a museum.

We were extremely thoughtful in ways we could take our ‘aging’ focus and incorporate it into the cuisine, but also make it a larger theme within the restaurant. The food is, of course, the focal point, but I’m also excited to watch guests enjoy the visual, artistically-driven experiences that cannot be found elsewhere. It is this type of attention to detail that distinguishes Sushi Ichimura among other omakases.

Evan Sung/Sushi Ichimura
Evan Sung/Sushi Ichimura

Libertine - Executive Chef and Partner Max Mackinnon and Owner Cody Pruitt
684 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10014

Fresh off a grand opening at the beginning of June, Libertine is chef/partner Max Mackinnon’s newest culinary expedition. Previously of One Star Rose’s Luxury, chef Mackinnon’s French bistro offers diners a taste of the greenmarket-guided cooking found across the French countryside. Add to that an all-natural French wine list and cocktails made with small batch French spirits, and it’s no surprise this French bistro is one of Greenwich Street’s hottest tables.

Cody Pruitt

I believe that the concept of a “bistro” has gotten lost or [somewhat] diluted in the American dining vernacular, and Libertine is my effort to remedy this. A Libertine is someone who eschews or outright rejects social norms in favor of living life on their own terms, specifically in a hedonistic fashion—something which I think speaks to our style and goals: rejecting the American-French cuisine tropes and celebrating a more debauched and excessive side of true French dining. Instead of a steakhouse with a French accent, or a casual restaurant that calls themselves French while serving canned escargot alongside burgers and pasta, we aim to highlight the lesser-known but equally important regional cooking of “cuisine du marche”. Our version of this highlights northeastern American produce through a distinctly French lens, aiming for “elevated French grandmother cooking”. We also have an extensive, dogmatic, and 100% French natural wine list and a spirits and cocktail program that celebrates French drinking traditions and artisanal producers.

The design and music go hand-in-hand with the food and drink offerings at Libertine - they are all innately French, and true to the bistros that have inspired us. The space is framed by French windows that open up to the street, just as they do in bistros throughout France. The decor is influenced by “real” French bistros; items like globe pendants, Serge Gainsbourg memorabilia, and vintage spirits-brand ashtrays are all things that I’ve found in my frequenting of bistros throughout France and have cobbled together back home. The music is a mix of French “yé-yé” songs, French hip hop, and French disco.

And that’s the idea behind Libertine. It was this sort-of cure for the modern American version of the French bistro, serving whimsical riffs on forgotten and lesser-known French dishes while being true to the bistros that have inspired us.

Max Mackinnon

We wanted to bring something unique and special to the West Village. To do that, we drew inspiration from the kind of classic country cooking that you would find at bistros in small towns across France, with classics like oeufs mayo, tartare, and saucisse purée, alongside a couple of the dishes that are more unique to Libertine, like the duck or the lamb à la moutarde. It is a style of cooking that as become underrepresented in New York City, and it is something that both Cody and I love. Whether the idea for a dish started with a specific ingredient, a sauce, or technique we wanted to highlight, our goal was to make the dish our own and make it unique to Libertine. One of my favorite dishes right now is actually the chicken we are serving. We weren't planning on having chicken on the menu, but we are getting these really special chickens and maitake mushrooms that are both simply roasted. The sauce for the dish is a classic sauce vin jaune, one of my favorites. I love the wines from the Jura, and this wine gives a truly unique flavor that I think is perfect with chicken and mushrooms.

We are so excited about what we've built, and we want to share it with the neighborhood, the city, and with people who are traveling here from out of town. We hope to give people a reason to come see what we are doing, and they leave with a real sense of what a true bistro can be.

Evan Sung/Libertine
Evan Sung/Libertine

Essential by Christophe - Christophe Bellanca
103 W 77th, New York, NY
646 - 478 - 7928

Responsible for taking the reins at L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon in (Two Star) Miami and New York, Essential by Christophe is chef Christophe Bellanca latest addition to his culinary resume. Behind a set of heavy iron doors, this classic townhouse spot promises simple yet elegant dishes and French techniques married with Asian flavors.

This has been a concept I have been wanting to do for many years, but New York City might be one of the hardest places in the world to build a restaurant. Opening a restaurant can be a stressful and difficult endeavor, with high turnover and toxic situations. From finding the right contractor to navigating all the regulatory requirements within the city, I faced more hurdles and impediments than I ever imagined. But I take pride, and hope, that we have created an environment where people are happy to come to work. I think a positive work environment shows in the quality of food that is served. Almost all of my team (both front and back of house) has been with me since day one, and I’m really proud and thankful for them and what we’ve created.

I have been lucky enough to learn from some of the greatest minds in the restaurant business, particularly chefs Robuchon and [Anne-Sophie] Pic. You can’t help but learn certain techniques and tricks from working under such great minds, and, of course, the discipline and rigor it takes to execute a high quality restaurant. But I wanted to take my favorite parts of elevated dining and remove everything I felt wasn't needed. I wanted to make my food unique, but also something that honors them. To accomplish that, I’ve learned to make a dish feel simple even if it’s quite the opposite. I’m not interested in a dish feeling like a big theatrical moment, I want it to be clean and I want the diner to appreciate the food, not the theater behind it. I want them to know what they are eating.

That’s why the menu starts with what is available locally and what is in season. I'm always trying to honor and celebrate the high quality of ingredients that I have. From there, I make sure that I have enough types of dishes where there is something for everyone. Once I have a general composition of the menu, I go dish to dish and start thinking of ways to highlight the quality of product that I am using and a sauce that will enhance the flavors.

That’s also why the space matches with the style of food we do. I worked very closely with our designer, Caroline Egasse, and we knew we wanted the space to feel clean, open and not too stuffy. So we did away with tablecloths and chose oversized tables so that people would feel comfortable. Much like the food, we wanted the space to feel simple initially, but as you sit and look around, you notice all the accents. And while I would love to play Bruce Springsteen, one of my idols, all night long, it just didn’t quite fit the mood. The patrons and flow of service should be the heartbeat of the restaurant, not the playlist. So we opted for music that blends into the noise of the dining room without being too cliché or too distracting (I did manage to sneak in a few Bruce songs though).

Whether it’s a great burger at the bar on a Tuesday or a great long meal with family and friends on a Friday, I wanted Essential to be for everyone on any night. I wanted to create a space that was comfortable and inviting. I wanted to focus on creating food that felt simple even though it is far from it. Essential, I hope, is the execution of all this.

Liz Clayman/Essential by Christophe
Liz Clayman/Essential by Christophe

Slava - Chef Pavlo “Pasha” Servetnyk
77 West Houston Street, NY, NY 10012

Pavlo “Pasha” Servetnyk is more than just a chef. Yes, the talented culinary figure held internships at Three Star (and Green Star) El Celler de Can Roca and worked at La Mercerie. But Servetnyk also opened five Breadman Pizzerias in his native Ukraine, and transformed the biggest pizzeria into a bakery and distributed 500,000 loaves of bread to starving residents of Kherson for free. The same can be said about Slava. Yes, the menu features classic Ukrainian dishes, but it's so much more than that. The kitchen staff is entirely made up of recent Ukrainian emigres. 20% of all proceeds from the Clarified Borscht Cocktail are donated to Revived Soldiers Ukraine. Even the walls are decorated with paintings by Ukrainian artist Kateryna Lisova. And that’s exactly what Slava is. A celebration of Ukrainian cuisine and culture.

The idea behind Slava was to create a chic cocktail bar with modernized-Ukrainian food. We wanted to showcase the amazing culture and food to non-Ukrainian people.

That’s why we wanted to create classic Ukrainian dishes with a modern twist. Take the traditional Chicken Kyiv, for example. We turned it into a Chicken Kyiv sandwich, where it’s more understandable, but also an innovative presentation of Ukrainian cuisine. Another is Borscht, the classic Ukrainian dish. Our beverage program has turned it into a clarified cocktail. We are also planning on reworking the menu with every season based on seasonal vegetables, mushrooms, and fruits. 

But with the war in Ukraine, we have an elevated importance to the employees and guests. Almost every employee at Slava is from Ukraine and moved to New York within the last year. The name, Slava, actually pays homage to Nazar Hrab’s (partner of Slava) mother, named Yaroslava; and also “Slava Ukraini”, which means glory to Ukraine. We aim to create a sense of community, belonging, and safety to the Ukrainian people of New York.

Slava NYC
Slava NYC

Greywind - Dan Kluger
451 Tenth Ave, New York City, NY 10018

From James Beard Awards to grandma-style pizza’s at Loring Place, chef Dan Kluger’s name is synonymous with seasonal and creative cooking. At Greywind, the native New Yorker is expanding on his signature style with a vegetable forward dining experience with an emphasis on rotisserie cooking.

With Greywind, we wanted to create an elevated dining experience with a menu that still follows our philosophy of highlighting seasonality but with more complex plating and strong attention to detail. Whereas Loring Place is a very simple, modern design with a menu that is meant to be served family style, Greywind incorporates more design elements to help achieve the Hudson Valley home aesthetic, and the dishes here are instead intended to be enjoyed with multiple courses served individually.

To do that, we always strive to use seasonal, local ingredients when possible. We wanted to dive deeper into the ingredients, and at times treat the same ingredients a few different ways within a dish. One ingredient we’re particularly excited about is the rotisserie oven in the kitchen, and how to figure out the creative ways we can use it. For example, we have a more classic rotisserie chicken, but we are also cooking ingredients like cauliflower on the rotisseries as well. We also have an adjacent bakery (The Bakery at Greywind) and it’s been exciting to look at items from the bakery that we can use on the Greywind menu as well. My favorite dish? It’s really hard for me to choose just one, but it would definitely be the Greywind ice cream sundae. It’s a deconstructed sundae with housemade “toppings” served in a waffle cone bowl.

We are more than just one restaurant. We have a separate cocktail bar, Spygold, located underneath Greywind. We have an adjacent bakery own during the day that transforms into a chef's counter experience at night. But most importantly, we have the ability to create an above and beyond dining experience that offers something for everyone.

Jonathan Pilkington/Greywind
Jonathan Pilkington/Greywind

NARO, Junghyun and Ellia Park
610 5th Ave, Rockefeller Center, Rink Level, NY, NY 10020

Two Star Atomix and local favorite Atoboy are sensational and highlight the strength of the partnership between husband and wife duo Junghyun and Ellia Park. Their newest project nestled inside Rockefeller Center, NARO, is a mix of Atomix’s refined elegance and Atoboy’s casual atmosphere.

Stemming from the Korean phrase “through me”, NARO is named after Korea’s first-ever space launch. The idea was to create a platform for furthering the development and evolution of Korean culinary science. If Atoboy and Atomix are our Korean heritage and past experiences reinterpreted, then NARO is a place where the traditional Korean flavors and techniques are expressed in their purest form. It's a place where guests can fully immerse themselves in a contemporary Korean culinary experience, from food and beverage to the decor.

We wanted the design to incorporate Korea’s traditional beauty in intentional subtlety within the ever-so-symbolic Rockefeller Center. So while you’ll find several textile designs reminiscent of Korean traditional patterns, there are also copper accents that bring about a more contemporary flair. For the beverage list, we tried to feature cocktails with names derived from the different seasons in Korea and Korean liquors—sools—like soju as the base.

Korean food is often associated with the beloved barbecue culture or the “new Korean” movement, but we find it important to know its origins. With NARO, it's our hope to strengthen the uniqueness that only exists within Hansik (traditional Korean cuisine) so that it will be remembered for many future generations to come. Overseen by executive chef Nate Kuester, NARO’s menu centers on the subtle and delicate flavors of Hansik. We were mindful of showcasing the vegetable-forward dishes of Korea’s past with ingredients like seasonal produce with Korean roots and dehydrated “namuls” (Korean vegetables that are often foraged).

Tangpyeongchae, one of the vegetarian dishes on the menu, is my favorite dish. It's a dish that's not only delicious, but also one with historical significance. It is named after a policy set forth by a Joseon dynasty king who wanted to set a pact to bring unity among four differing parties. Tangpyeong translates to “harmony” and “meditation,” and just as this policy was to diminish political factionalism, the dish represents differing ingredients, each with unique texture and flavor profiles, coming together in one dish harmoniously. Our iteration features cheongpo muk (mung bean sprout jelly), chive namul, egg jidan (omelet), red pepper, and asparagus all dressed with choganjang (soy sauce and vinegar mixture).

We hope for guests to have open minds to understand the different purposes in which NARO is set to accomplish. It’s historic, symbolic, and most importantly a challenge. It’s a timely opportunity to express our food in its most authentic form. 

And for those wanting something a little different, be sure to stop by SEOUL SALON in Midtown, NYC; another recent addition from Junghyun and Ellia Park.

Charissa Fay/Naro
Charissa Fay/Naro

Raf’s, owner Jen & Nicole Vitagliano and chefs Mary Attea and Camari Mick
290 Elizabeth Street,New York, NY 10012

From the all female-led kitchen team of The Musket Room comes another delicious additionRaf’s. Aimed to create more opportunities for their staff and ingratiate themselves with the neighborhood, the bakery, cafe, restaurant, and bar combo serve tasty dishes from the regional cuisine connecting France and Italy.

The initial idea behind Raf's began with a 1939 historic tax photo that read “Italian & French Bakery.” We drew inspiration from that and wanted to create a playful, yet indulgent menu that weaves in influences from both countries. Unlike at Musket Room where our menu evolves seasonally, Raf's focuses on a more set menu with a focus on regional cuisine that connects France and Italy. The goal was to create a menu that remains fairly consistent so that we can be a restaurant where people can return to find comfort and familiarity. We want to have items that will always be available that our guests can always count on having.

Our Half Roasted Chicken with Pan Bread and Salsa Verde that has become a staple on the Musket Room menu will only be made better in our wood fired hearth at Raf’s. We’ll be moving all of our bread production over to Raf’s, so our “Bread and Spreads”, the sourdough boule that we’re known for at Musket Room, will make an appearance; along with a much more extensive bread program.

Given that the original bakery owners were Sicilian immigrants, there are many nods to Sicily. We will be sourcing Sicilian pistachios, using Sicilian olive oil from the vineyards of Arianna Occhipinti, tuna bottarga - an ingredient used often in Sicilian cuisine, and more. The Sfincione is another nod to the Sicilian immigrants who built the brick ovens in the back. It’s one way of honoring them, and it’s the team’s favorite dish from the new menu.

The Musket Room’s global approach was a manifestation of our backgrounds and travels throughout the world. At Raf's, we wanted to create another space where people feel excited to dine with us and can share in the warmth and hospitality, but also something that looks like it could have been there forever. We want it to be a place where guests can interact with at all parts of the day. It’s where you go for your morning coffee, enjoy a long leisurely lunch, an aperitif on the way home, and where you celebrate. It’s where you go to co-mingle with many different types of people, where local artists rub elbows with tourists. We hope to be accessible to anyone and everyone.

Gentl & Hyers
Gentl & Hyers

Koloman, chef Markus Glocker
16 West 29th Street, New York, NY 10001

From Augustine and Bâtard to working for Gordon Ramsay, chef Markus Glocker has more than twenty years of experience in the culinary world. Combined with his love for French cuisine and a business plan that was 8 years in the making, and you get Kolomanflavorful French and Viennese classics infused with New York energy and modern sophistication.

The starting point, for me, was childhood memories to be quite frank. On the Sunday after church, my dad would take us to the local restaurant and order Tafelspitz (boiled beef, a classic in Austria). We’d take the leftovers home and add onions on top of the “gelified” broth and put it on a piece of bread. That’s the way I think about the food here—how to recreate classics but make it slightly different.

Take the Salmon en Croûte, for example, which also happens to be my favorite dish. It’s a classic French dish, but I wanted to make it slightly different. So we used bread that is flown over from Italy twice a month as the crust for the fish. We took the moisture out of the fish by curing it with salt to slow down the cooking process. This allowed the bread to have a beautiful crisp while the fish remained medium rare.

One ingredient we are trying to highlight are oysters. We use Fin de la Baeie oysters from Massachusetts for our oyster presentation, and then use a special white asparagus vinegar from Austria to highlight the mignonette in a different way. It’s a very unique and high end vinegar that comes in spray form, so if you spray it on the oysters it’ll give you this beautiful acidic mignonette and asparagus flavor without being too overpowering. We serve it on the table for people to spread it directly themselves, and it’s a cool and fun way for people to enjoy a very unique product.

The hardest part, for me, was actually figuring out what the name would be. I had the business plan, I knew what I wanted to do food wise, wine wise, concept wise, everything was finished. The only thing I didn’t have was the name. A name that tied all those aspects together. When I heard the name Koloman Moser, I knew that was it. He was part of the Viennese Secession, so it’s the right time and era, but I also always loved his work. We have 52 original design light fixtures from Moser throughout the restaurant, and it just gives the space beautiful lighting and glow. We actually had Moser’s great, great, grandson reach out and congratulate us, and it’s just unbelievable.

I want Koloman to be a different dining experience. It’s loud. It’s buzzing. There’s a lot going on. But more importantly, I wanted to create a restaurant where people can come together and hopefully talk to each other again without being on their phones and just enjoy the experience, because that’s what Koloman is. It’s elegant, fun, unpretentious, and accessible.

Gary He/Koloman
Gary He/Koloman

Bad Roman, Michael Stillman, CEO & founder of Quality Branded
10 Columbus Circle, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10019

Fans of Italian food rejoice, because another delicious addition from Quality Branded (the restaurant group behind One Star Don Angie) is comingthis time in the form of Bad Roman. Instead of the Italian-American classics that Don Angie is known for, Bad Roman features a modern and playful take on Italian-centric classics.

All of our New York City fine dining restaurants are very different, with different Chefs, distinct concepts, and most importantly, food. Don Angie is an intimate West Village charmer and partnership with Chefs Scott Tacinelli and Angie Rito. It’s a haven for modern Italian American dishes, and Scott and Angie are really great at introducing their audience to niche ingredients and unique preparations of classic dishes. Bad Roman is more in line with Zou Zou's, our Middle Eastern restaurant. Chef Nick Gaube along with the front of house team have focused on a much broader vision of the Italian cuisine at Bad Roman, with a goal of making the overall restaurant a unique destination experience for a much broader audience.

We wanted to provide an initial menu section that is implicitly shareable, things that are expeditious from the kitchen, so nobody goes too long without food on the table – even if they’re still looking over the rest of the menu. The roasted garlic babka is also our little nod to the Upper West Side, since babka is such an iconic piece of that neighborhood and we’re so close in Columbus Circle. We thought it was a fun, savory riff on the classic Jewish bread, and a great way to start a meal. We’re also very excited about our pasta program. Everything is made in-house and I’m really proud of our abilities in terms of the variety in pasta shapes and types (extruded, filled, and handmade) given the scale of the restaurant. My favorite dish though, would have to be the pork shoulder. It’s been flying under the radar but it’s such an umami bomb with the anchovy butter.

The idea was to give guests from all over something new, relevant, and truly celebratory to get excited about in this post-Covid world. To make a super entertaining, unique, unexpected experience that is still something that a lot of people will want to come back to again and again. We want to be so over the top that you can't help but smile, maybe laugh, and definitely enjoy your company and your night out.

Christian Harder
Christian Harder

Beauty & the Butcher, Chef Jeremy Ford
6915 Red Road, Coral Gables, FL 33143

There’s a reason why Chef Jeremy Ford is no stranger to the spotlight. The Jacksonville native is the culinary genius behind Miami's Stubborn Seed, a favorite for A-List celebrities like A$AP Rocky and Rihanna. Awarded with One Star, chef Ford is looking to expand his collection with his newest projectBeauty & the Butcher, where his culinary prowess is put on full display.

We don’t want Beauty & the Butcher to be a copycat version of Stubborn Seed; we want it to be its own restaurant. There are some crossover dishes that we brought from the Stubborn Seed menu (like the slow-cooked Truffle Organic Chicken, Ricotta Gnudi with Gratitude Garden Mushrooms and the Papas Bravas Soppressata), but we approached this restaurant in a whole different manner. The food is more shareable. It’s still elevated but approachable. It's a celebration of seasonality and local produce with a focus on a dry aging program.

The starting point for the menu actually began with having fun with spices. We’re using a lot of different varieties of global spices – everything from Ethiopian to Indian and Colombian spices, inspired by our Colombian Chef de Cuisine Juan Viera’s heritage. We started building dishes around spices and always knew that dry aging would be a focus with our menu as well so we created from there. Our Jerk Charred Heirloom Carrots feature Haitian spices and flavors, and the Local Lettuces salad has a house made yogurt and turmeric vinaigrette. My favorite is the Foie Gras & Winter Truffle Tart with green apple and pine nuts. It’s insane.

Everything here is about collaboration. When you come to eat here, you are really getting a taste of all of our staff’s labor of love. Our kitchen team brings inspiration from their cultures and diverse backgrounds. Beauty & the Butcher lets their voices and cultures speak through the food.

Michael Pisarri
Michael Pisarri

Hero image: Courtesy of Moono

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