New York City’s perennial fascination with new dining options is met by a constant―even legendary―stream of openings. Here we celebrate a few of the newest taco joints, bistros and omakases worth trying this summer.
The new wood-fired Mexican restaurant—pronounced “oh-shoh-moh-coh”—opened earlier this month, offering outdoor seating, ceviche, cocktails, and a list of $14 Mexican-inspired cocktails (like the Teo Teo made of dark rum, pepita orgeat and lime) from MIT biologist grad-turned-bartender Eben Klemm. Justin Bazdarich of Bib Gourmand-designated Speedy Romeo and his business partner Chris Walton tapped Matt Conroy (of shuttered Empellón Cocina) as chef de cuisine. Menu highlights include a vegetarian beet “chorizo” taco with crispy potato, avocado and salsa alas brazas as well as tyaluda, a traditional Oaxacan dish, served with lardo, house string cheese, refried beans and salsa de pipichtacoa.
128 Greenpoint Ave., (646) 688-4180
Grace and Jack Lamb of one-Michelin-starred sushi spot Jewel Bako have debuted a new eatery next door in the space formerly occupied by the couple’s French-Spanish tapas bar, Degustation. Ukiyo offers a five- ($75) and eight-course ($125) tasting menu along with à la carte items ranging from Dutch cheese to ceviche with grilled corn and shishito pepper to wagyu beef tataki with horseradish, allium and ponzu. Menu highlights also include a foie gras cocktail with pickled cherries, sakura blossoms, toasted buckwheat and cherry meringue, and smoked eel toast, crème fraîche and avocado cream.
239 E. 5th St., (212) 979-1012
The new Neapolitan pizzeria opened early this June from chef and owner Simone Falco in stride with other notable pizza openings, including the Lower East Side’s Una Pizza Napoletana and Williamsburg food hall North 3rd Street Market;s revival of Di Fara. Each personalized pizza at SIMÒ is $10 or under, and made of exclusively Italian-imported ingredients such as Gaeta olives, spicy sopressata and San Marzano tomatoes. Falco plans to open a second location in downtown Brooklyn this winter and a third in Chelsea next year.
90-92 Gansevoort St., (212) 462-2703
Manhattan welcomed this new Japanese restaurant in early May from El Bulli-trained chef Chikara Yamada, who has a restaurant of the same name in Tokyo. Unlike New York’s other high-end omakases that specialize in sushi, the menu here focuses on kushiage, deep-fried Japanese skewers. The $180-per-person menu begins with a rosewater and sake martini before diving into dishes such as oyster bacon or tenderloin wasabi.
249 East 49th St., (646) 952-0364
Chef Harold Moore, of Michelin-recognized restaurant Harold’s Meat + Three, opened this new all-day bistro last month. The menu features quenelles de brochet (pike mousse with Champagne sauce in a spring herb broth), rabbit-and sweet pea-stuffed tortellini carbonara, and gigot d’agneau (a whole leg of roasted, pré-salé lamb served with vegetables and potato gratin, which requires guests to give a 24-hour notice). Co-owner Julia Grossman is in charge of the drinks menu (featuring traditional French wines and liqueurs) and desserts (including carrot cake madeleines).
99 Bank St., (212) 858-6600
Restaurateur Danny Meyer has gotten into the taco business with the opening of his new Tacocina in Williamsburg’s Domino Park replete with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline. Running culinary operations is Barbara Garcia, the former sous chef at Meyer’s Union Square Café and two-Michelin-starred The Modern. The menu features tacos with beef and salsa negra, shrimp and chayote tartare, and mushroom and elote sauce, alongside snacks like cheese chicharrones, Mexican shrimp cocktail and ice cream sandwiches for dessert.
25 River St., (646) 783-6825
This French-Algerian restaurant takes its name from the French grandmother (Maman) and Algerian grandfather (Mimi) of long-time New York City chef and owner Jacques Ouari, most notably of the Upper East Side mainstay bistro Jacques Brasserie. Opened this spring in the space formerly occupied by Jacques 1534, the NoLita eatery features an extensive menu of French-Algerian dishes, including shrimp and chicken lemhajeb—a thin, homemade filo-layered tart filled with chicken, tomato and goat cheese—alongside plenty of bistro classics like French onion soup and steak tartare.
20 Prince St. (212) 966-8886
Co-founder and Creative Director Samantha Wasser, of by CHLOE. and The Sosta, opened this fast-casual eatery late last month in partnership with chef and Top Chef Canada host Eden Grinshpan. The broadly Middle Eastern menu (featuring salads, pitas, bowls and mezes recommended with freshly-baked flatbreads) offers Instagram-worthy versions of your favorite street cart food. Dishes include beet hummus bowls with crispy eggplant, and sumac fattoush with basil, mint, baby kale, Persian cucumbers, fennel, and watermelon radish in a honey lemon sumac vinaigrette. There are also specialty items like halva toast, honey rose pancakes and orange blossom yogurt. For those with food allergies, the menu includes a detailed, nut-specific allergen key.
227 Mulberry St., (212) 674-8002
This past weekend, chef Alvin Cailan of the West Coast’s EggSlut fame offered a preview of his upcoming restaurant with a fried chicken feast and $10 bottles of rosé. Set inside the Nolitan Hotel, the grand opening date is slated for July 13; Cailian and his team of second generation chefs aim to provide twists on American classics, including double patty burgers, fried chicken and chocolate cake. Can't wait for the grand opening? A soft opening will run from June 28 to July 1 and July 5 to July 8.
30 Kenmare St.
After closing its doors in 2012, this Tulum offshoot from Mexican-born chef Hugo Orozco Carillo (of Midtown’s Vida Verde) re-opened for business in late May. La Slowteria’s origins as an open-aired space made of six adjoined beach cabanas—with Orozco buying fruits and vegetables on his walk to work and fishermen delivering seafood straight to its door—is still alive in this iteration. The Brooklyn comeback serves Long Island squid tacos and lamb barbacoa taquitos. Wash it all down with a mezcal or tequila from the extensive list.
548 Court St., (917) 909-1231
Hero image by Peter Garritano.