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New York’s restaurant scene has taken some flack lately (even from us), but this fall, a massive batch of restaurants is poised to open from proven chefs and restaurateurs in unconventional neighborhoods: We’re talking an April Bloomfield steakhouse on the Upper West Side and a Tom Colicchio restaurant in FiDi. And a wave of Japanese restaurants that’s been waiting to crest on New York’s shores will finally start its arrival with the opening of ramen cult favorite Ichiran and an outpost of udon specialists TsuruTonTan.
Meanwhile, one of the city’s most beloved restaurants, Union Square Cafe, will return to us all, just a few blocks away from its original home—with a newly added side project we’re excited about.
Hope you’re hungry for fall. Here’s what’s on the menu.
Union Square Cafe 2.0: Danny Meyer’s iconic Union Square Cafe has been out of commission for several months while the team moved the glassware, plates and that iconic neon sign a few blocks away to the restaurant’s new home, which has a larger kitchen, room for a dedicated bakery, a private dining room and an adjacent space called Daily Provisions that will sell coffee, breakfast, rotisserie chicken and salad, and ultimately transition into a dining room where chef Carmen Quagliata will offer a nightly tasting menu. Keeping in line with Union Square Hospitality’s approach to tipping, gratuity will be included in all of the bills.
TBA by Dan Kluger: Kluger, who helped put ABC Kitchen on the map of culinary powerhouses in New York City, has been working on his own project for more than two years. Finally, this fall, diners will be able to get a taste of his greenmarket-focused cooking downtown.
White Gold: April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman are headed uptown for their butcher shop and restaurant, a casual steakhouse where steaks and vegetables sides are order à la carte. There will also be hot dogs, charcuterie that’s made in-house and—since the restaurant is open in the mornings—breakfast sandwiches. In place of a Bloomfield signature burger, there will be her take on the bodega classic chopped cheese.
Italienne: Jared Sippel, who cooked at Colorado’s acclaimed Frasca Food and Wine and San Francisco’s Quince, moved to New York to work at Brooklyn Fare in Manhattan, but that restaurant never came to fruition. Now Sippel is opening his own restaurant focused on Northern Italy and Southern France. There’s a tasting menu-only dining room in the back and a more casual spot up front, which will serve an à la carte menu and small plates.
Nur: Israel-based chef and restaurateur Meir Adoni is teaming up with Gadi Peleg from Breads Bakery to open a modern Middle Eastern restaurant in prime Flatiron called Nur (meaning “light” in Hebrew and “flame” in Arabic) in October. The team promises to reinterpret street food from the region in a more refined way.
abcV: This vegetable focused restaurant from Jean-Georges Vongerichten had an elephant-esque gestation period (it was first teased in 2013 under another name). Now the team says it’s finally ready to make its debut. The 75-seat restaurant, right around the corner from ABC Kitchen, will serve vegan and vegetarian fare morning to night, as well as to-go. With any luck, it will be slightly easier to get into the mothership.
Fowler & Wells: The Financial District isn’t generally thought of as a dining destination, but that’s starting to change with the help of chefs like Tom Colicchio, who is opening a restaurant and bar in the refurbished 1883 building on Beekman Street. Colicchio and executive chef Bryan Hunt are taking inspiration from the fine dining restaurants from New York’s past—think beef Wellington and lobster thermidor made for the 21st century. The team is also operating The Bar Room, a cocktail bar at the base of the building’s nine-story atrium.
Augustine: King of the New York brasserie Keith McNally is opening an all-day restaurant in the Beekman downtown. The restaurateur has remained tight-lipped about the project, but the hotel’s website promises French classics made a touch lighter—think rotisserie and grillades. McNally’s a master of bringing France to New York, so expect a seriously French vibe.
Photo: Courtesy of Ichiran
Ichiran: In Japan, the ramen makers at Ichiran have a cult following. The restaurant specializes in tonkotsu, or a rich pork-based ramen with varying levels of chile oil added to the bowl, which can turn it red. The restaurant’s also known for its private dining carrels called ajishuchu, where phones are a no-no, so that all attention can be place on the bowl in front of you. And the team’s not taking any chance on ingredients, opening a 12,500-square-foot production facility right next door, ensuring the team can churn out 1,000 bowls of ramen a day.
Lalo: Regulars at El Rey have missed Gerardo Gonzalez, the chef whose inventive vegetable cooking made the tiny café a popular dinner destination. He left in April to start his own project, which makes its debut this fall in what was once the Chinatown karaoke bar Winnie’s. Gonzalez calls the food at his new spot “hippie Chicano” in an interview with Grub Street. Expect everything from a smoked sable scramble to mofongo to house-made tortillas with carnitas.
Harvey: Adam Leonti, whose name diners might recognize from Vetri in Philadelphia and locally from his project, Brooklyn Bread Lab, is opening his first solo restaurant in The Williamsburg Hotel. Of course, there will be lots of breads, pastas and grains worked into dishes like taleggio ravioli in vincotto with porcini dust and saffron risotto with hearts of palm and sunchokes.
Empellón: Alex Stupak has always been a downtown chef—he owns three restaurants south of 14th Street—but he’s headed to Midtown for his biggest project to date. Earlier this year, Stupak told us, "It’s aiming to be our mothership, so to speak." He’s promised that it will be a bit more refined than his Downtown spots, but he doesn’t envision it to be fine dining.
Harold’s Meat + Three: Harold Moore, who once helmed the much-missed Commerce, returns to the kitchen with his Southern-inspired meat and three spot. He’s updating the concept and cooking mains over a wood-fire grill to order, Grub Street reports. Expect crab au gratin and beer-can chicken. There will also be rice six ways, potatoes seven ways and a salad bar to round things out.
Ample Hills Creamery at DeKalb Market Hall | Photo: Miachel Breton
Made Nice: Daniel Humm and Will Guidara, the gents behind Eleven Madison Park and The NoMad are getting into the casual dining scene with this spot. Prices for dishes, which will change with the seasons, will top out around $15. There will also be a host of house-made sodas.
A/D/O: Claus Meyer, the Danish restaurateur who helped found Noma, didn’t come to New York to open one small restaurant. He’s already opened Agern and the Great Northern Food Hall in Grand Central. Next up is a restaurant in design incubator in Greenpoint with Aska’s Fredrik Berselius, Grub Street reports. Once open, the space will function as a café during the day and a casual restaurant in the evening.
Leuca: Andrew Carmellini’s newest restaurant plans to channel coastal southern Italy at Williamsburg’s very modern-looking William Vale Hotel. The menu’s still under wraps, but the kitchen has a wood-fired oven, so expect the dishes to have a modern rustic feel to them.
DeKalb Market Hall: Foragers Market founder Anna Castellani is aiming to make this Downtown Brooklyn market feel a bit like the Brooklyn take on L.A.’s hit Grand Central Market. That means there’s a mix of classic New York vendors, including the first-ever Brooklyn outpost of Katz’s deli, alongside newer favorites like Ample Hills ice cream and Vietnamese spot Bun-Ker. The market will be home to 40 vendors, so there should be something for everyone.
TBA by Seamus Mullen: Brooklyn Heights has long struggled as a restaurant neighborhood, but Tertulia’s Seamus Mullen may be able to help that once he opens his restaurant at the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge late this fall, Grub Street reports. No word on the concept, but the food will have Mullen’s classic Spanish inflection.
Illustration: Pizza Fingers
Tim Ho Wan: Dinner at Michelin-starred restaurants often requires months of savings, but there are a few exceptions, including Tim Ho Wan, a Hong Kong-based dim sum chain. The team, led by chef Mak Kwai Pui, is opening in the East Village with some of their signature dishes like rice with Chinese sausage wrapped in lotus leaves and shrimp dumplings. There’s no word yet on exact prices, but a meal here shouldn’t break the bank.
TsuruTonTan Udon Noodle Brasserie: A wave of Japanese-based restaurants is in the process of cresting upon Manhattan right now. Riding that wave is udon specialist TsuruTonTan who has taken up residence in what was the longtime home of Union Square Cafe. The team will serve 35 different udon dishes at any given time, but they will rotate the options regularly including soups, curries and noodles tossed with caviar.
Chinese Tuxedo: While a handful of chefs and restaurateurs around the city are modernizing a number of China’s numerous cuisines, Manhattan’s Chinatown has largely been left out of that movement. Enter Eddy Buckingham (who in another life was Justin Timberlake’s personal mixologist) and Jeff Lam, who will open a modern, two-story Cantonese restaurant in what was once an opera house on Doyers Street.
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