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New York Restaurants and Bars

The Best New York Restaurants and Bars to Visit this Spring

In honor of New York Art Week, we’ve compiled a selection of our favorite restaurants and bars throughout the city—from taquerias to posh plant-forward concepts.

New York Art Week is in full swing, with art enthusiasts traversing the city’s top galleries and exhibition spaces until May 19. For those in town and visiting fairs in neighborhoods like Tribeca, the Upper East Side, and Boerum Hill, we’ve curated an expansive list of our favorite restaurants and bars to visit. Below, luxurious fried chicken concepts, Tabac-inspired wine bars, and taquerias all make appearances.

Esse Taco

New York Restaurants and Bars

Esse Taco. Photo by Natalie Black.

At Esse Taco, tortillas are made in house and slathered with pineapple butter while still warm. Chicken thighs are marinated in citrus. Ribeye and al pastor are cut into quarter-inch-thick slices on an electric deli slicer. Located on a particularly popular stretch of North Brooklyn, this taqueria is the newest project from chef Enrique Olvera—the culinary juggernaut behind Pujol in Mexico City and Cosme in Manhattan, both of which are World’s 50 Best honorees. Esse Taco reimagines the infamous corn husk meringue from Cosme in sundae form, combining equal parts corn mousse and vanilla ice cream in a small, dainty cup. Diners huddle over gleaming silver barrels while sipping mezcal margaritas, agua frescas, and micheladas. Its recent opening has been a buzzy affair, and for good reason—these are some of the best tacos to be found in the city.

Whitewaller recommends: Trying the ribeye tacos and the corn husk meringue sundae.

COQODAQ

New York Restaurants and Bars

COQODAQ. Photo by Jason Varney for Rockwell Group.

COTE Korean Steakhouse has long been lauded as one of New York’s premier dining destinations, garnering a Michelin Star and numerous accolades from the James Beard Foundation. Now, diners are invited to try restaurateur Simon Kim’s take on Korean fried chicken in the buzzy, cavernous space that is COQODAQ. The restaurant seats 190 people and spans nearly 8,000 square feet; hand soaps come from luxury brands like LOEWE, and the chicken on everyone’s plate was fed vegetable scraps from Michelin-starred restaurants like Le Bernardin. COQODAQ boasts the largest list of champagne in America, which is to be paired with the Bucket List—the restaurant’s multicourse set menu which includes chicken consommé, two buckets of crispy, crunchy fried chicken, and an array of refreshing ban-chan and dipping sauces. Patrons should be sure to order a 24K nugget, topped with a generous amount of Golden Daurenki caviar, and try one of the many imaginative cocktails on the menu: The Egg features an egg-shaped lychee ice cube that transforms a vodka-soda into a sweeter, frothier beverage as it dissolves, while the Street Waffle’s combination of bourbon and maple syrup makes the perfect pairing for fried chicken.

Whitewaller recommends: Ordering the Bucket List, a 24K nugget topped with caviar, and a glass (or two) of champagne.

Beefbar

New York Restaurants and Bars

Beefbar. Photo by Francis Amiand.

This sophisticated, splashy Monte Carlo concept has officially arrived in Tribeca, taking hold of the neighborhood’s former Nobu location. Beefbar is one of just seven restaurants in New York to be part of the Kobe Association, allowing Executive Chefs Thierry Paludetto and Peter Jin to serve the finest cuts of beef available. French-inspired croque sandos, wagyu bolognese topped with 101-month-aged parmigiano reggiano, and burgers with steak au poivre aioli are all options for indulgence; pescaratians may choose to partake in the brightly acidic passionfruit tiradito or umami Caesar salad. With an airy, opulent dining room dreamed up by the French interior design firm Humbert & Poyet, this new addition to the neighborhood is certainly not to be missed.

Whitewaller recommends: Having a cocktail and a croque sando.

abcV at The Mark

New York Restaurants and Bars

abcV at The Mark. Courtesy of The Mark.

This spring and summer, the beloved plant-forward concept from Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten is taking residence at The Mark Hotel on the Upper East Side. Hosted in the property’s charming outdoor space on 77th and Madison Avenue, abcV is serving the hyper-seasonal offerings for which it is renowned. Smoothies are made with pine pollen, sea buckthorn, and Tahitian vanilla bean; white asparagus is served atop a bed of whipped sunchoke and Meyer lemon. Organic ingredients are sourced locally and globally from small and family farms, yielding high-vibrational dishes to be enjoyed alongside tonics and cocktails. The space is intimate yet airy, with bright white wood-paneled walls and accents of pink and green highlighted by lush amaranth cascading from the ceiling.

Whitewaller recommends: Drinking a smoothie and ordering the crunchy lettuce salad served with green peppercorn ranch, charred spring onions and ramps, and snap peas.

Crown Shy

New York Restaurants and Bars

Courtesy of Crown Shy.

Inspired by Chef James Kent’s upbringing in downtown New York and his experience leading the city’s most celebrated kitchens, Crown Shy offers seasonal dishes refined by fine-dining techniques. 16-foot ceilings pair with an open kitchen to yield a dining room which feels airy and expansive. Guests may watch the chefs as they work, creating dishes like the stand-out gnocchi coated in a delicate pea sauce and topped with black pepper and mint. Also not to be missed is the hamachi, which comes swimming in a bright, acidic oil alongside seasonal strawberries and lemon balm, and the sticky toffee pudding for two. Afterwards, diners should be sure to take the elevator up to the 64th floor of 70 Pine and have a drink at Overstory—a contemporary cocktail bar featuring a wraparound terrace with 360-degree views of New York City.

Whitewaller recommends: Ordering several small plates and then heading up to Overstory for a cocktail.

The Golden Swan

New York Restaurants and Bars

The Golden Swan. Photo by Max Goldman.

Last summer, serial restaurateur Matthew Abramcyk teamed up with former Bâtard Executive Chef Doug Brixton to open The Golden Swan—a French-Mediterranean dining concept located in an iconic two-story townhouse in the West Village. Drinks are innovative and thoughtful, from amaro spritzes to tequila-guava concoctions, and the food is pristine yet wide-ranging. Diners may order Spanish gildas, a light cucumber-avocado soup, or the Brixton burger—an immensely popular dish which comprises three cuts of beef and is served alongside duck-fat fries.

Whitewaller recommends: Ordering caviar service, a burger, and a martini.

The Nines

New York Restaurants and Bars

The Nines. Photo by Liz Clayman.

This piano bar has cemented itself as a downtown New York hotspot, named for its request that patrons dress to the nines. Replete with red velvet, thick curtains, glittering chandeliers, leopard-print carpet, and warm light, The Nines offers an elegant locale with an Old Hollywood feel. Guests may order classic cocktails, such as gimlets and Gibsons, or opt for more innovative numbers like El Guapo, which combines mezcal, lime, cucumber, and hot sauce; the wine list is abundant and luxe. For those who come hungry, the food ranges from seafood towers to caviar-topped baked potatoes to foie gras, served with brioche, mâche, and rhubarb and strawberry jam.

Whitewaller recommends: Drinking a martini and staying for the piano performance.

Le Dive

New York Restaurants and Bars

Le Dive. Photo by Teddy Wolff.

Despite opening just a year ago, Le Dive has the feel of an old-school French bistro. This Tabac-inspired natural wine bar is intimate thanks to the small number of tables inside, but sprawling outdoor seating crops up in the street during warmer months. Skin contact, sparkling, and chilled red wine are to be found on the menu, while dishes keep it classic. Radishes and butter are served with a warm baguette; mussels come in a deep dish of vadouvan curry and crispy shallots.

Whitewaller recommends: Having a glass of natural wine at one of the tables outside.

Jean’s

New York Restaurants and Bars

Jean’s. Photo by Maegan Gindi.

There are many clubs in New York which happen to serve food, but Jean’s is perhaps the city’s first clubstaurant to sincerely excel in both efforts. Located in the former Butter space, Jean’s serves American and European classics that are unpretentious but refined. Fresh produce comes directly from co-owner Max Chodorow’s farm in Pennsylvania. The dining room is full of mirrors and the leather booths are blood red, lending a sultry air to the dining experience. A top-tier burger is topped with cheddar fondue; the chocolate chip cookie takes up the entire plate and is served with a glass of bourbon milk. Drinks range from chili oil martinis to Spanish sparkling wine, with a guava-mezcal margarita starring as the standout. After dinner, guests can head downstairs to the club—a celebratory, buzzy space with disco balls galore.

Whitewaller recommends: Eating a burger and having a cocktail before heading down to the club.

Scarpetta

New York Restaurants and Bars

Scarpetta.

A mainstay of Italian dining in New York, Scarpetta opened in 2008 to an array of esteemed nominations and reviews. Today, pasta is still made in-house and ingredients continue to be sourced locally. The deceptively simple spaghetti pomodoro is a true classic, featured alongside seasonal dishes like pea and ricotta mezzaluna and razor clams served atop green sorrel, fennel, and Calabrian chili. Located in the James Hotel in NoMad, the space is airy, warm, and high-end.

Whitewaller recommends: Ordering the spaghetti pomodoro with basil and having a glass of wine.

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Minjung Kim

THE SPRING ARTIST ISSUE
2023

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