The 20 Best New Restaurants in NYC, 2013 Edition
Restaurants open at a breakneck pace here in New York City, and they trot out food from just about every corner of our planet (and sometimes many corners of our planet on one menu). In the last 12 months, we've seen a spate of Isaan spots, a Laotian joint, mash-ups of Jewish and Japanese cuisines and Korean and Italian fare, a distinguished sushi restaurant, and inventive concepts from young chefs now free to flex their creative muscles. We've combed through our memories of meals at this year's crop of new entrants to assemble our list of the 20 best spots that have opened since January. We present them here in alphabetical order; we hope you'll weigh in on what you agree with -- and what we missed -- in the comments.
Bradley Hawks Fritzl's Lunch Box
Betony, 41 West 57th Street
Eleven Madison Park expats Bryce Shuman and Eamon Rockey teamed up for this sleek midtown effort, wooing crowds with refined, elegant fare and a well-edited yet comprehensive drink list. Luxe fine dining mainstays meet some quirk here -- Shuman has a lobster roll and a tuna melt on the list.
Bunker, 46-63 Metropolitan Avenue, Queens
What started as a quick fix to a Hurricane Sandy-threatened fish wholesale business became a Vietnamese restaurant capable of pulling people from all over the city to a fairly inaccessible (by public transit, at least) part of Ridgewood. It's worth the trek, especially in a city light on Vietnamese options.
Charlie Bird, 5 King Street
Charlie Bird via Facebook
Northern Italian food comes with a stellar wine list at this Soho spot from Robert Bohr and Ryan Hardy. Hardy's work with seafood and pasta is especially on point, and you'll want to order scallops if they're on the menu.
Contra, 138 Orchard Street
Young chefs Jeremiah Stone and Fabian van Hauske modeled their Lower East Side restaurant on Parisian neo-bistros: The $55 five-course prix fixe changes nightly. Innovative dishes channel touchstones of the New York City dining experience.
Estela, 47 East Houston Street
Igancio Mattos teamed up with Thomas Carter and Mark Connell for his first endeavor after his dramatic exit from Isa, and the move has clearly freed him -- the chef turns out a list of small plates sporting his signature quirk.