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The Best New Restaurants in Manhattan to Try This Fall 2019

It’s “back to school” in New York City, and with the start of another fall season, there are many exciting new arrivals to the Manhattan dining scene. From innovative natural wine bars to border-crossing creations from the minds behind top tables like Frenchette, Tokyo Record Bar and Llama Inn, these are the new addresses to know now and when planning meals out with friends and fellow foodies.

Contact Indagare to arrange a trip to New York City that includes reservations at the best new restaurants in Manhattan, accommodations at our favorite hotels and more.

Niche Niche

Niche Niche became the third concept from restaurateur Ariel Arce to grace the West Village, when it opened this spring on the corner of Macdougal and King. Billed as an intimate dinner party, rather than a restaurant, Niche Niche follows in the footsteps of its elder sister, Tokyo Record Bar, encouraging an immersive, communal eating experience, an internationally diverse menu and seriously good food. However, the focus and differential here is actually what’s in your glass, not on your plate. A wine-first experience, Niche Niche taps a different guest sommelier to host dinner each night, who is tasked with selecting a tasting menu of four wines—which can range from experimental natural varieties to heavyweight Bordeaux, Barolos and, of course, Champagnes (Arce’s personal area of expertise). Nothing is off-limits—from Spanish sherry to Miller High Life (the Champagne of beers, offered to diners upon entry). Hosts come from all corners of the wine world and can include local shop owners, magazine editors and chefs. Then, based on the wine selection, the Niche Niche kitchen creates a complementary menu for the evening. Informative without pretense, the hosted dining experience walks you through each stage of your meal (while still allowing enough personal space for you to enjoy it). For oenophiles of all levels looking to shake things up, Niche Niche is the next place to book. 43 Macdougal Street

Insider Tip: Can’t make one of the nightly seatings? The best of the Niche Niche wines and plates are also served à la carte in their cellar space at 10:00 P.M. 

Llama San

One of this month’s most anticipated openings, Llama San is the third restaurant from the team behind Williamsburg’s Peruvian hotspot Llama Inn. The new property in Greenwich Village offers an entirely new experience, serving Japanese-Peruvian “Nikkei” cuisine (for dinner only) prepared by Chef Erik Ramirez in a sleek, soothing space. Nikkei cuisine, which has been gaining visibility in recent years, celebrates the blend of cultures and ingredients that has occurred in Peru, one of the world’s most exciting food destinations, as a result of Japanese immigration. Top menu items at Llama San include duck nigiri, elevated ceviches and cocktails that combine classic bitters with sake and Japanese gin. 359 6th Avenue

Pastis

Blazing across Manhattan Instagram feeds this month is the reincarnation of Meatpacking’s celebrity-studded Pastis, brought back to life a few blocks from the old location by restaurateurs Keith McNally (Minetta Tavern, Balthazar, Morandi, and, of course, the original Pastis) and Stephen Starr (Le Coucou, Buddakan, Le Diplomate). Typical French brasserie décor (large antiqued mirrors, everywhere; tiled floors and walls; cozy leather booths) complement familiar menu items like croque madame, roasted chicken and steak-frites with a generous helping of béarnaise. Devotees of the original address (or Parisians) may consider the atmosphere to be somewhat contrived, but the food is good and the opening notable enough to warrant at least one visit, if only to decide what you think. Expect a loud bar crowd and long table waits for dinner, while brunch and lunch are quieter. 52 Gansevoort Street

The Jones

This month, a cheerful seafood-focused restaurant from Happy Cooking Hospitality (Simon & The Whale, Jeffrey’s Grocery, Fedora) opened in the space that had been previously occupied for 35 years by Great Jones Cafe (which closed in 2018). While both the menu and the décor of the new restaurant, The Jones, have a received a modern update, owner Gabriel Stulman is aiming to preserve the relaxed, cozy, neighborhood-centric atmosphere of its beloved predecessor. Currently open only on weekdays for breakfast and lunch, The Jones invites guests to savor fresh, crowd-pleasing dishes that cast a wide international net. All under one roof, you can order pan con tomate, a brown rice bowl with poached egg and salmon roe, lemon spaghetti with sardines, avocado toast and east coast oysters. With weekend hours, a dinner menu and liquor license coming soon, The Jones may become your new go-to spot. 54 Great Jones Street  

Bar Pisellino

Lovers of Italian café culture rejoice—Bar Pisellino has opened in the West Village to bring you a coffee and cocktails spot that might just trick you into believing that you’ve escaped to Venice for an hour or two. From the team behind I Sodi and Via Carota (which are just across the street), Bar Pisellino keeps things simple: order inside at the marble bar or sit at a tiny outdoor table; choose a classic beverage like the shakerato or the spritz, depending on the time of day (and your stress level); and select your snacks, which range from sweet to savory and are meant to complement the drinks (breakfast pastries, small panini, potato chips, arancini). The entire establishment is “dedicated to the Italian art of drinking”—and it is equally as inviting for a caffeine break on errand day as it is for observing the ritual of aperitivo. There are no reservations, so be prepared for a possible wait at peak times. 52 Grove Street

Wayan

The first solo venture from Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s son Cedric, in partnership with his wife, Ochi, opened in February to bring French-influenced Indonesian cuisine to Nolita. Wayan is warm and inviting, with Southeast Asian design touches like carved teak wood panels, flickering amber candles in brass votives and shelves filled with spices and leafy plants. Top menu items include classic satay skewers and sashimis; lemongrass coconut chicken with bok choi; soy-glazed pork ribs; and Javanese oxtail soup. 20 Spring Street

Rezdôra

This summer Flatiron newcomer celebrates the cuisine of Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, which sits between Tuscany and the northern areas of Lombardy and the Veneto—making it one of Italy’s richest food centers (we can thank Emilia-Romagna for bolognese, parmesan cheese and prosciutto di parma). Rezdôra serves traditional food in a simple but fresh setting. The branding, tableware and Art-Deco light fixtures say, “you’re in New York,” but the hefty servings of pasta wafting up from the tables beg otherwise. And pasta, to be sure, is the number one reason to seek a (highly coveted) reservation here: Rezdôra offers a regional pasta tasting of their best house-made varieties for $90, with an optional wine pairing for $55. 27 East 20th Street

Babs

This upscale, intimate European restaurant opened in Greenwich Village this summer with a stylish front bar and well-lit 55-seat dining room, bedecked in forest-green velvet banquettes and bright brass light fixtures. The menu highlights charcoal-grilled meats and fish with Basque and Austrian influences, alongside a raw bar and small plates. With an aura that makes you feel as if you’ve stumbled upon a hidden gem from another era, Babs is your next place to try for a date night or special occasion. Be sure to order a cocktail—they come charmingly served on their own individual silver trays. 72 Macdougal Street 

Insider Tip: Critics have raved about the lobster here, but know that it comes with a heavy serving of cilantro-butter sauce, which may be a turn-off for some.

Mercado Little Spain

The most interesting dining spot in the Hudson Yards complex, Mercado Little Spain is the Iberian answer to Eataly, created by chef and restaurant magnate José Andrés. Mercado Little Spain brings the tapas culture of Spain’s many different regions—from the pintxos of San Sebastián to the drool-worthy patatas bravas of Barcelona—to life in lower Manhattan, with two sit-down restaurants (Leña and Mar), a Spanish diner and several bars offering treats that you can nibble and sip on the go. The locale lends itself equally for dinner with friends and family, a fun date or a quick solo lunch. The personal-sized paellas and reasonably-priced Riojas are just a few of the reasons you’ll keep coming back here—plus, the number of seats offered makes Mercado Little Spain one of the easiest reservations on this list to secure. 10 Hudson Yards

Insider Tip: Lovers of Spanish cooking can also purchase regional ingredients like paella rice, saffron, black squid ink stock and more in the Mercado shop for use at home.

The Fulton at Pier 17

A highly anticipated addition to Manhattan’s coolest new riverside hangout, The Fulton at Pier 17 is the first seafood restaurant created by Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten—fittingly, in the heart of the Seaport. The menu and décor draw heavily on the neighborhood’s history and waterfront location, with an industrial aesthetic nodding to the old fish market and the freshest catches headlining as the must-order items. Equally suited for a pleasant Sunday brunch or a big Thursday night dinner, with impressive views, The Fulton is a must-add to your shortlist for all occasions. 89 South Street

Related: 3 Reasons to Visit the South Street Seaport, NYC’s Coolest New Neighborhood

COMING SOON

Due to open by the end of year (or sooner), these four restaurants are the ones to look out for:

Kindred

The team behind the small but mighty East Village natural wine bar and restaurant Ruffian is expanding their brand into a larger space next door this October. The new restaurant, Kindred, will be more focused on the flavors and grapes of the Adriatic (Croatia, Slovenia and Italy), with a special emphasis on orange wines, small vegetable plates, handmade pastas and a few large dishes like the “Whole Hen” and “Whole Fish,” prepared by Chef Josh Ochoa and Chef Amy Mattulina (Maialino and Charlie Bird). The new space promises to give a greater number of New Yorkers the opportunity to taste and learn from the Ruffian team’s well-respected, boundary-pushing wine list and delicious food, with the same intimacy and warmth that was cultivated in the original bar. 342 East Sixth Street

Le Veau d’Or

Upper East Side institution Le Veau d’Or, which first opened in 1937, is set to receive a new lease on life after it was sold earlier this year by the Treboux family, who had owned it since 1985. This fall, it will reopen under the direction of Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr, the owners of Frenchette—which was arguably the hottest table to book in 2018. While the restaurant will remain a French bistro, it is said that the décor and menu will be updated. 129 East 60th Street

The Riddler

Popular San Francisco Champagne bar The Riddler is coming east—to Greenwich Village—this October, now with an expanded menu and raw bar. Playful, cheeky and inviting, The Riddler will be a welcome addition to the traditionally male-dominated New York restaurant scene: the San Francisco property is owned, managed and backed entirely by women, and the New York location is expected to follow suit. 51 Bank Street

Dhamaka

The team behind the popular Long Island City Indian restaurant Adda is working to open a new restaurant in the renovated Essex Street Market food hall on the Lower East Side. Dhamaka will focus on typical Indian home cooking from top culinary regions all over the subcontinent. 88 Essex Street

Contact Indagare to arrange a trip to New York City that includes reservations at the best new restaurants in Manhattan, accommodations at our favorite hotels and more.

Related: Arts & Culture Preview 2019: Who to Know And What To See This Season

– Elizabeth Harvey on September 18, 2019

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