Best New Restaurants In NYC February 2018

Comfort food in Park Slope, Chelsea Market's newest vendor and more

Simon & the Whale

Gabe Stulman made a name for himself with neighborhood restaurants in the Village, like Fedora and Joseph Leonard. Now, the restaurateur is bringing that idea to the Freehand hotel on 23rd Street. Matt Griffin's menu sounds like 2018's idea of modern American fare on a plate. There's ricotta-filled sunchoke casonsei (a cousin of agnolotti); a steak with beets, mushrooms and Bordelaise; and arctic char toast. Don't overlook the baked goods like black bread with seaweed butter from Zoe Kanan, an alum of Sadelle's and Milk Bar.


In Israel, Eyal Shani is a household name. The chef is now taking on New York with an outpost of his casual spot, Miznon, and it's already drawing massive lines in Chelsea Market. The menu is simple and clearly inspired by the city, with pita filling options including a Reuben and folded cheese burger. There's also the chef's famous whole-roasted cauliflower. 

Bar Annicka

This Greenpoint restaurant exclusively serves liquor made in New York State, including offerings from Kings County Distillery and Descendant Cider. To pair with it is a menu from a team of three chefs, one of whom is a vegan, so there's a fair share of veg-friendly options like celery root with apple, pickled carrot and nori. For the omnivorous, there's house-made sausage with white kimchi, and fried black rice with local squid and day boat scallops.  

MáLà Project, Bryant Park

For a weekday lunch that doesn't involve standing in line at a salad bar, head to the MáLà Project's new Midtown location. There are new, lunch-friendly dry-pot combos like chicken thighs with baby bamboo shoots or sliced lamb tossed with cauliflower and enoki mushrooms. Return for dinner, when the full MáLà experience will be available, including a selection of dim sum to start and family-sized dry pots that can feed up to four.

MeMe's Diner

Owners Bill Clark and Libby Willis are here to give you a side of cheeseballs with your gin martini and to start brunch off with a complimentary bowl of Lucky Charms before the eggs fried in chile oil are delivered to your table. Other items, like mac and cheese topped with crumbled Ruffles will make you feel right at home in this inclusivity-focused diner in Park Slope.