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Tim Ho Wan: The world's cheapest Michelin restaurant is serving its signature dumplings and Chinese barbecue pork buns, all of which are less than $6, in the East Village. If you go, brace yourself for long lines.
All Hands: Losing Northern Spy Food Co. earlier this year was a tough blow for the city. Thankfully, the restaurant's chef, Pete Lipson, is back in the kitchen, this time at a fish-focused restaurant in Williamsburg (only a few blocks from the very buzzy Sunday in Brooklyn). He's cooking hake and pork belly skewers, albacore tuna pastrami, and crab and scallion croquettes.
4 Charles Prime Rib: Brendan Sodikoff of Au Cheval fame in Chicago has made the trek to the West Village to open his first New York restaurant. Despite rumors the legendary Au Cheval burger might appear on the menu, the team assures that the diner-style burger here is different. For those craving a steak, there are several meaty options, plus classic steakhouse accoutrements like shrimp cocktail and oysters.
Pretty Southern: Top Chef alum Sam Talbot is drawing on his South Carolina roots at this cozy Greenpoint newcomer where he's serving fried chicken, mac and cheese, coconut milk grits and a dessert called the piescuit, a cross between a pie and biscuit, as well as a banana graham cracker pudding. Most of the menu can be prepared gluten and dairy free.
Tavo: Julieta Ballesteros, of La Loteria and Crema, is cooking a Latin-leaning menu at this new West Village spot. The menu hops from empanadas with sweet potato and Gruyère to "Cuban lasagna" with pulled pork, plantains and rice to chow fun made with huitlacoche and Asian vegetables.
YakiYan: Taipei-based chain YakiYan is bringing a high-end version of yakiniku, a Japanese tradition of grilling over live coals, to San Gabriel Valley. The menu here is omakase-style, so you won't be placing your own order, but look out for an uni-topped chawanmushi and well-marbled cuts of beef.
Drago Ristorante: The Drago brothers, who long ran the Drago restaurant in Santa Monica, opened their latest restaurant in an unusual location, the Petersen Automotive Museum. But the move is less strange than it sounds, when you consider the growing group of solid museum restaurants around the country. On the menu, there are wood-fire pizzas and house-made pastas like large rigatoni with porcini mushrooms and blue cheese.
Lucia's: Pies at this Berkeley newcomer—dotted with toppings like soppressata, maple and ghost peppers—are singed in a Stefano Ferrara oven shipped over from Naples. There's an entire section dedicated to white pizzas, like the spudsy pancetta made with potatoes and smoked mozzarella. For dessert, there's buffalo's-milk gelato soft-serve.
Carbon Arc: Gilbert Langlois's latest updates takeout and Netflix with food that's served on a tray and brought into a movie showing at the Davis Theater. Options range from salads to sliders like a kahuna burger made with BBQ pineapple and shaved ham on a Hawaiian roll and fries with a tom yum mayo to tacos with Korean brisket.
Photo: Courtesy of Sfoglina
Sfoglina: Fabio and Maria Trabocchi, the duo behind some of the city's best restaurants, have added a fourth to their roster. Sfoglina is a bit more affordable than Fiola Mare, with pastas like the seasonal radiatori with spicy nduja and prawns, and Roman tonnarelli with sheep's-milk cheese, pepper, walnuts and tarragon, hovering in the mid-to-low $20s. For the folks who don't appreciate pasta, there are a few meat and fish mains.
Farmers & Distillers: Calling all history buffs, the Founding Farmers team has combined a distillery and restaurant under one roof, making whiskey and gin, and serving it with food that George Washington might have encountered throughout the centuries (yes, it's a bit out there). The menu ranges from oysters to dumplings to ahi tuna poke. Tours of the distillery begin in February.
Tredici Enoteca: The new restaurant in the St. Gregory Hotel has a Mediterranean flair with dishes like Israeli couscous with avocado, tomato, almonds and burrata, and lamb chops with mint aioli. Don't shy away from the bar seating; the high chairs have plush backs and armrests, so you can settle in for a full meal.
Killen’s STQ: Ronnie Killen's newest project has been bustling with fans of his legendary barbecue and steak. This restaurant pulls from elements of both with dishes, like pecan-smoked pork belly and a smoked beef fillet with bonito flakes, served with consommé.
Bird & Bone: The newest restaurant by Richard Hales is bringing Southern classics to South Beach. Aside from a featured "Bone" and "Bird of the Day," the menu features staples like Nashville Hot Chicken (Tennessee's variant of fried chicken) and deviled ham to more unconventional riffs like lamb ribs with white barbecue sauce.
Cake Thai Kitchen: A larger outpost of the original Cake Thai Kitchen on Biscayne Boulevard, this spot has revamped the menu to incorporate larger presentations of classic Thai dishes, including papaya salad, tom kha chicken soup and egg noodles stir-fried with pork fat and crispy duck, all by a chef who goes by the name Cake.
Otus Supply: A restaurant, bar and music venue rolled into one, Otus Supply has a 10,000-square-foot kitchen helmed by chef Myles McVay. A selection of small and large plates inspired by regional ingredients of the Great Lakes includes Jerusalem artichokes with bagna cauda, dry-aged beef tartare and pizzas.