11 New York City Restaurants to Visit This Spring

11 New York City Restaurants to Visit This Spring

Whether it’s glamorous fine dining, cocktails alongside world-class art, or chefs exploring international ingredients in innovative ways, New York City’s hot spots are all offering something special when it comes to creativity. As this list of T&C's new favorites proves, dining out in the Big Apple has never been more thrilling.

(Courtesy Par Ici)
Bad Roman

Perched in an enviable spot above Columbus Circle with floor-to-ceiling views of Central Park is Bad Roman, the latest eatery from the team behind perennial favorites Don Angie’s and Zou Zou’s. This playful take on Italian cooking features a contemporary and whimsical menu that draws inspiration from Italian cooking around the world—from the Tuscan countryside to Little Italy in New York. Some of the creative takes on the classics include roasted garlic babka, cappellini clams Casino, Osetra caviar gnocchi, whole roasted lobster and Calabrian campanelle, chicken Scarpariello rigatoni, and desserts like tiramisu ice cream cake, and sticky toffee panettone with ricotta ice cream. This, in addition to the buzzy room with bright orange banquettes, lush plantings hanging from the wood coffered ceilings, and the excellent soundtrack, make for a fun night out.

Caviar Kaspia

Caviar Kaspia, the perennial Parisian fashionista bôite, has opened a New York location at The Mark Hotel. With a stunning dining room designed by Jacques Grange, the restaurant offers an exceptional menu of signature dishes including the legendary signature baked potato with caviar, smoked salmon with blinis, tagliolini with king crab, and baba au vodka with citrus. While only open for a few months, this glamorous eatery has already become a favorite of Gotham’s jet set. "Caviar Kaspia assumes its authentic attachment to the international sphere of fashion and creatives. It was therefore a natural evolution for us to open at The Mark Hotel with whom we share the same values, philosophy, and clientele. It’s a match made in luxury heaven,” says Ramon Mac-Crohon, CEO of Caviar Kaspia. We couldn’t agree more.

(Courtesy Caviar Kaspia)
Cool World

On a prime corner overlooking McCarren Park in Greenpoint, Chef Quang Thái Nguyễn (ex-Wildair and Michelin-starred Cosme) and partners Noah Bernamoff, Julian Brizzi and Rachel Bailin (Grand Army Bar, Black Seed Bagels, Celestine, and Pebble Bar) have opened Cool World, one of Brooklyn’s hottest new restaurants.

While there are definitely homages to classic brasserie dishes, Nguyễn’s creative—and almost autobiographical—menu also draws inspiration from nostalgic dishes from his childhood in Louisiana and Texas, his Vietnamese heritage, and his experience working in award-winning kitchens throughout New York City.

Starters include house made pretzeled Parker House rolls; a crab chip tostada with cured salmon, golden beets, and trout roe; oysters Rockefeller with braised collards, breadcrumbs and bacon, and an outstanding take on the classic wedge which includes a black garlic ranch dressing, ample amounts of dill, smoked shiitakes, and savory granola. For mains, there are moules frites with nduja and miso, steak frites with umeboshi bordelaise and charred cippolinis, and a fried chicken sando on a pretzel bun with Crystal hot sauce, charred scallion mayo, and dill pickles.

For those who always save room for dessert, the chocolate tart is the way to go. Paired with an espresso martini, it's the perfect combination to end the night.

(Courtesy Cool World)
The Den at Azabu

Beloved Miami Michelin-starred omakase speakeasy The Den has opened its second location at the recently renovated and reopened Sushi Azabu in Tribeca. Like the original, The Den at Azabu is a hidden jewel box of a space with an eight-seat counter and 14-seat dining room. The minimalist and calming room, inspired by a Buddhist aesthetic, is the perfect backdrop for chef Toshihide Terado’s beautiful and unique take on traditional Edomae-style omakase. Seasonality drives most of the fish you see on the menu as Terado will only serve Japanese species that are at their best at any given point of the year. On a recent visit, diners were offered buri (Japanese amberjack), ankimo (monkfish liver), kegani (horsehair crab), shirako (cod milt), and sayori (Japanese halfbeak).

The Den Omakase ($320), served only at the counter, includes seasonal appetizers, a selection of nigiri, soup, and dessert at the end. In the dining room, guests can enjoy the Chef’s Omakase ($210) from Azabu upstairs, seasonal sashimi, a Toro tasting, yakimono (grilled dishes), chef’s choice nigiri, miso soup, and dessert. No matter which option you choose, a night out at The Den at Azabu feels like a magical trip to Tokyo.

(Courtesy Azabu)
Essential by Christophe

After establishing his culinary credentials at New York establishments like Le Cirque and Atelier Joël Robuchon, Christophe Bellanca has opened Essential by Christophe in a handsome townhouse on the Upper West Side. Unlike the more formal restaurants he cooked in for the last two decades, Bellanca’s French eatery has been stripped down to its most “essential” elements while maintaining his exquisite technique and some of the most artful plating in town.

Standout dishes include Hiramasa crudo with avocado, black radish, and fresh yuzu; scallops wrapped in Savoy cabbage with a black truffle emulsion; spiced roast duck with turnips and Satsuma mandarins; and a poached lobster with endive mikado and malabar pepper sauce. Must-have desserts include the vacherin glacé with clementine marmalade, citrus salad, orange blossom and kaffir lime sorbet, and a caramelized pineapple with warm bomba rice pudding and Armagnac raisin ice cream.

In addition to the elegant dining room, there is a chic bar upfront where guests looking for a quick bite can enjoy one of the many signature cocktails and a bar menu that includes deviled eggs, carrot salad, and a delicious burger.

(Liz Clayman)
Five Acres

The Midwest comes to midtown at Five Acres, chef Greg Baxtrom’s new restaurant at Rockefeller Center. Named after his family’s farm outside of Chicago, the restaurant’s menu focuses on the same seasonally driven cuisine he became so well known for at the Brooklyn favorite Olmstead.

Among the standout dishes are smoked oysters Vanderbilt with smoked creme fraiche and Japanese vinegar, delicata squash with shaved Asian pear, crispy prosciutto, and whipped ricotta, surf and turf crab cake with Peekytoe crab, bone marrow aioli, and hearts of palm, and a lamb “Gyro” with warm potato pita and herbs, pickled bird beak peppers, and consommé for dipping. For dessert, try s'mores to share with toasted marshmallow, chocolate cream, cinnamon graham crackers, and brown butter crumble. The beverage program offers a wine list that highlights regenerative and sustainable wine producers using indigenous grapes and natural fermentation, and cocktails that emphasize seasonality.

(Courtesy Five Acres)

Hawksmoor, the British steakhouse located inside the landmark United Charities Building on the corner of East 22nd Street and Park Avenue South, boasts one of New York’s most beautiful dining rooms. And enjoying its recently introduced Sunday roast in a room with 26-foot-high ceilings, stained glass windows, and magnificent archways is an excellent and transportive alternative to the run-of-the-mill brunch.

Hawksmoor’s Sunday Roast is as traditional as they come. Served from noon to 3pm every Sunday, the meal includes dry-aged slow-roasted rump, roasted cabbage, buttered Brussels sprouts and carrots, monumental Yorkshire puddings, crispy beef dripping potatoes, roasted garlic, roasted shallots, and bone marrow and onion gravy. Pair all of this with one of the signature Bloody Marys, and you have everything you need for the week’s end meal.

(Courtesy Hawksmoor)
Holiday Bar

If you're looking to find Manhattan's bright young things after dark, you'd be wise to point your search toward the corner of Sixth Avenue and Downing Street. That's where Holiday Bar, the latest venture from Grand Tour Hospitality, is attracting clamoring crowds; but there's not only there for the scene. The major draw—well, in addition to the pitch-perfect decor and art collection, including pieces by Alex Katz—is a menu from chefs Marc Howard and Dina Fan that features an impressive raw bar, addictive snacks (don't miss the spicy cucumbers or crispy rice), and a well curated selection of entrees including lobster pasta and a jerk-spiced burger. What we can't stop thinking about, however, is the spicy beef salad. Sure, it might not have the Instagram cache of the fried chicken salad, but it's spicy, savory, crunchy, and absolutely one of our favorite new dishes in town.

(Courtesy Holiday Bar)
Isle of Us

Wellness, sustainability, and design come together at a new marketplace and café on the Upper East Side. Founded on the principles of health and conscious living, Isle of Us offers wholesome and nourishing made-to-order and prepared foods, along with a rotating selection of house made pantry provisions, as well as home goods curated from brands with shared values. The all-day menu by chef Matt Aita (previously at Little Beet Table and Jean-Georges) includes breakfast bowls, an array of sandwiches, and a host of inventive salad and vegetable side dishes. The playful dining room by Nicholas Obied features marigold leather banquettes, bronze countertops, colorful tilework, and other custom details. Worth noting are the restaurant’s efforts to reduce its environmental impact including, sourcing hyper-local ingredients whenever possible, adhering to an active recycling and commercial composting program, maximizing all ingredients in food production to minimize waste, and reducing the use of plastic in front and back of house operations.

(Courtesy Isle of Us)
Jac’s on Bond

Named after Jack Champlin, a well-liked neighbor and the unofficial mayor of Bond Street, Jac’s on Bond is the newest cocktail lounge from the team behind popular night spots Pebble Bar and Ray’s. Located in a landmark 1831 townhouse, the sexy GACHOT-designed space aims to be a neighborhood place where friends and locals can meet for a drink, have a bite from the bar menu created by Michelin-starred chefs Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske (Wildair, Contra), and play a game of pool. Given its close proximity to both The Public Theater and La Mama, the perfect pre or post-show visit might include the Caprese Martini (olive oil, tomato and basil-infused Grey Goose vodka, Lustau Blanco, balsamic vinegar), crab dip, truffle artichoke tart, or a plate of jamon.

(William Jess Laird)
Par Ici Cafe

Located in Tribeca's new Hotel Barrière Fouquet's New York, Par Ici Cafe serves local, organic, and mostly vegetarian fare for breakfast and lunch in its scenic courtyard space, topped with a retractable roof. Breakfast musts include orange brioche French toast, can't-miss croissants, and an omelet with Gruyere and herbs, and lunch offerings skew Mediterranean, with roasted harissa carrots, fattoush salad, and a spicy feta dip. (Indulge in some international culinary travel, however, and order churros for dessert.)

(Courtesy Par Ici)

The weather's heating up, and so is NYC's dining scene. Which of this excellent eateries will you try first?