Dig In! 11 Hot New Restaurants To Try This Spring

When it comes to going out in New York, we're all about having a neighborhood joint. We love the idea of knowing your bartender personally, and having a menu fully memorized. Yes, we dig a nearby spot where everybody knows your name (or at least your large skim cappuccino order)but with so many incredible new restaurants popping up around town, you're doing yourself a disservice by ordering that same ol' cacio y pepe every Friday night.
That's why we've put together this short list of incredible new spots that'll serve as the perfect break from your go-to order, and frankly, leave you dreaming of abandoning that roast-chicken-and-whatever routine once again. With inventive new finds like a clean-cut Danish outpost that feels like a veritable mini-vacation to the French bistro that's arguably serving the best entree in New York City right now, there's never been a better time to put that relationship with your regular restaurant on hold.
So, whether you're looking for the next great place to round your pals up at or the perfect sit-down for a business dinner, consider this your culinary "to do" list right before (oh yeah) learning how to cook.
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Sweet Chick

Though spring is poking through and al fresco dining is nearly in full swing, don't count out the tummy-filling eateries just yet. As clutch comfort food for the last dose of cold weather, the menu at this chicken-and-waffles spot reads like your childhood's wildest dreams. The gooey, cheesy macaroni is topped with crumbled Ritz crackers, the dessert menu has a cookie jar (!), and for those of us who were early adopters to vegetarianism, it even has crunchy, fried seitan substitutions. So, whether you’re ordering a crispy, spiced-to-perfection pairing of rosemary and mushroom chicken & waffles or dipping into a grape soda gin fizz (yup, that's a thing), this ever-inventive Brooklyn homage to southern-fried savories keeps it real. Well, for anyone who’s not watching their calories, that is.

Sweet Chick,164 Bedford Ave (at North 8th Street), Brooklyn; 347-725-4793.

Photo: Courtesy of Daniel Krieger Photography
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The Ellington

Though you might not find yourself in Morningside Heights every day, you should definitely make the trek uptown to what we're calling the "Park Slope of Manhattan" in order to try brand-new gastropub, The Ellington. The menu boasts unbeatable sausage spirals, not-your-average buffalo wings, and super tasty cocktails. The waitstaff is super friendly and reliable on recommendations and the no-dessert menu will leave you enough room to try many sides (the brussel sprouts are a must) and flatbreads (how about the fig and ricotta?). Once inside the quaint but open space, you'll almost forget you've got to find your way back home again.

The Ellington, 936 Amsterdam Avenue (at 106th Street); 212-222-4050.

Photo: Courtesy of The Ellington
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The word-splashed restaurant just off Canal Street brings Scandinavian cuisine to Manhattan in such an authentic way that it's akin to taking a culinary vacation, without having to painstakingly measure out 3-ounce bottles. Curious about exploring an array of Danish treats like a flight of herring, traditional cheeses paired with butter-fried rye bread or a Taste of Copenhagen that lets you try 'em all? Look no further. The clean-cut interiors are a a fresh take on the wood-and-steel decor that accidentally unifies most new downtown restaurants, and the all-white, impeccably modern feel just further reinforces their simplistic aesthetic. Whether you're tired of flatbread pizzas or simply want to try something new that's also decidedly fresh and locally sourced, this place will be your jam. Er, marmalade.

Aamanns-Copenhagen, 3 Laight Street (between Varick Street and 6th Avenue); 212-925-1313.

Photo: Courtesy of Aamanns/Copenhagen
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Digital pre-orders, dedicated followers, real-time status updates — no, we're not talking about One Direction's Twitter account. At BrisketTown, their wacky dinner hours (6:30 to "Sold Out") and online counter at IsThereMeatLeft.com mirror just how in demand their Texas-style 'cue is — because almost every day, the restaurant completely runs out.
The meat paradise does occasionally offer BBQ pre-orders (by the pound, naturally) which can be cashed in between 6 and 6:30pm, before the restaurant officially opens. But, if dinners at a geriatric hour or involving long waits aren't your thing, swing by in the morning to try the much-loved breakfast tacos, piled high with BrisketTown's award-winning smoked meats. It's the closest you'll get to a traditional Texas brekkie without having to hitch a ride to Austin.

BrisketTown,359 Bedford Ave (at South 4th Street), Brooklyn; 718-701-8909.

Photo: Courtesy of Matthew Kanbergs
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Before this throwback to traditional Italian dining opened in the old Rocco's space, the only places to experience Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone’s cooking were on the casual side at Parm, or with a decadent multi-course dinner at Torrisi. Now, you can get classic Italian goodies — and a peek at Zac Posen-designed uniforms! — with some serious old-school flavor in Carbone’s elegant Greenwich Village restaurant, meant to mimic what fine dining in the late ‘50s would have felt like.

We’ll give it to you straight — the entrees are budget-busting, but if you do have the cash flow to partake in their much-praised $50 Veal Parmesan, just be sure you’re headed to the right restaurant. Carbone up on 38th Street, a completely unaffiliated resto, definitely won’t be serving unbelievable lobster black tie pasta or game-changing linguini and clams (with house-dried oregano!) like the power duo behind this spot will. One thing’s for sure: getting a reservation at that uptown pasta haus will be much easier.

Carbone, 181 Thompson Street (Between Bleecker and Houston Streets); 212-254-3000.

Photo: Courtesy of Daniel Krieger
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The Marrow
Harold Dieterle, the first-ever winner of Top Chef, has done plenty to prove himself as one of the budding New York greats with Perilla and Kin Shop. His newest and most ambitious restaurant, The Marrow, got its first big wave of support for the intriguing German-Italian split menu, but with a Ginger Stout Cake that was recently called out by New York Magazine for being the best in the city, it’s reached must-visit status.

Go for a one-two punch of in-the-know eats by ordering the Juniper-braised Lamb Neck — as the veritable "next big thing" when it comes to entrees, The Marrow's take on the succulent, underrated cut is rich, not to mention massively filling. Don’t be surprised if you see Bobby Flay or another notable food celebrity parked in its plush red-and-white banquettes, either. This corner spot is a crowdpleaser that's perfect for a night out with your most adventurous foodie friends. Who, hopefully, love bone marrow as much as you do.

The Marrow, 99 Bank Street (at Greenwich Street); 212-428-6000.

Photo: Courtesy of The Marrow
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The General

The General is a new game-changer in the space of modern Asian food. Though it's been a favorite for the past few months, with new additions like that cereal donut (aka sugar crack), it's definitely one to keep in mind when making reservations this spring. The hamachi is to die for, the sushi is super fresh, and the drinks are light but potent. The light and experimental fare is perfect for a hot spring or summer night. And the best part is that you can crawl right downstairs when you're done eating to dance those (minimal) calories off at Finale.

The General, 199 Bowery (at Spring Street); 212-271-7101.

Photo: Courtesy of The General
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Everything at this Flatiron restaurant is a testament to old-world Americana, but even with Civil War bullets embedded in the walls and other historical curiosities — like that can't-miss century-old flag hanging on the wall — it's the updated take on traditional dishes that drives its concept of tried-and-true patriotism home. Instead of sticking straight to the classics, Harding's' riff off meat and potatoes comes as short ribs laid atop the creamiest-ever pureed potatoes, and its pumpkin pie is served as an appetizing soup. If you're expecting apple pie to be its go-to dessert, too, the moonshine ice cream-soaked Griddle Cake, doused with raw maple syrup, is actually where it's at. And terms of that post-dinner pancake: even if you're crowding around its massive center bar for a post-work drink, don't leave without at least one bite of it.

Harding's, 32 East 21st Street (between Broadway and Park Avenue South); 212-600-2105.

Photo: Courtesy of Daniel Krieger
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Salvation Taco

Chef April Bloomfield's take on meat is always one that can be trusted — she's the co-founder of The Spotted Pig and The Breslin, after all — but at this Mexican outpost inside the Pod39 Hotel, she takes a step outside her comfort zone and shines. With a mash-up menu that matches horchata-based cocktails with korean-influenced Pozole and a Moroccan Lamb Taco hugged by mini-rounds of naan, each dish is surprising in a delightful, delicious way. With margaritas that'll ruin your early-morning plans, large platters of shortribs, fried fish and lamb shoulder that come family-style for easy sharing and weekly ping-pong tournaments, it's pretty much the clutch location for a third date. We don't want to say their Churros with Mexican Chocolate will seal the deal, but, well, if your tennis skills are more Cher Horowitz than Serena Williams, you'll have something to fall back on.
Salvation Taco,145 East 39th Street at Pod 39 Hotel (between Lexington and 3rd Avenues); 212-865-5800.

Photo: Courtesy of Salvation Taco
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The Pines

If you're the type who's already balking at the idea of trekking so far out into Brooklyn, allow us to break down this hot spot's finer points. There's a garden in back with full-on "our friends invited us over for day drinking" vibes, a chef who honed his craft at Roberta's, and a freewheeling demeanor that's as blissfully chilled out as the summer camp they're named after. Oh, and its straightforward, delicious dishes are probably some of the best in the borough. From the Jicama, served as shavings atop sea urchin and smoked jowl to its Cappellacci, a type of small pasta dumplings with oxtail, satsuma and black truffle, everything here is a little offbeat, but perfect that way. You don't want to be the only one getting off the proverbial bus without a suntan and a fresh friendship bracelet, so park it here one Saturday afternoon for The Pines' uncommon and innovative brunch (buckwheat waffles with smoked bluefish, anyone?!) and aim to keep the party going 'til dinnertime.

The Pines, 284 3rd Avenue (between President and Carroll Streets), Brooklyn;718-596-6560.

Photo: Courtesy of Noah Devereauz
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After striking gold with neighborhood gems like Jeffrey's Grocery, Perla and Joseph Leonard, restaurateur Gabe Stulman brings his trademark West Village charm above 14th Street for the first time with this inventive French-American bistro. Former Momofuku maestro Tien Ho heads up the kitchen, which turns out fine French-tinged delights like Lamb Testaroli with long, silky sheets of pasta, Cassoulet and Veal Blanquette, without the requisite stuffiness. It still has that traditional downtown flair — wooden accents,newspapers dangling off the wall and badass artwork you wish was above your couch instead — but here, beyond those black-paned windows, is an unfinished backyard, soon to be the best summertime spot in town. Order a tequila-based Thass It!, and you just might be temped to tuck its floral garnish behind your ear in preparation.

Montmartre, 158 Eighth Avenue (between 17th and 18th Streets);646-596-8838.

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