Eight of the best new eats in New York City for 2022

From home cooking inspired by America’s early Shakers to Filipino-Japanese fusion and brand new speakeasies, here’s Lucy Thackray’s pick of the hottest new places to bag a table in the Big Apple this summer

<p>Zou Zou’s has ‘power lunch’ written all over it</p>

Zou Zou’s has ‘power lunch’ written all over it

Le Gratin NYC, Financial District

Le Gratin is an introduction to the traditional, rustic bistros of the chef’s childhood

Known for his NYC restaurant Daniel, London’s long-running Bar Boulud (which closed last summer) and flashy numbers in Singapore and Dubai, Daniel Boulud has now brought his magic touch to the city’s Beekman Hotel. Reflecting the burnished golds and dark woods of its hotel home, Le Gratin is an introduction to the Lyonnaise bouchons (traditional, rustic bistros) of the chef’s childhood. Named for the dish of thinly-sliced potatoes bathed in cream, it’s indulgent in all the best ways: expect chunky terrine with pickles, steak tartare and moules frites. And do try that bubbling-hot gratin – it’s based on Boulud’s mother’s recipe.

legratinnyc.com

L’Abeille, Tribeca

L’Abeille is one for the fine diners

April opening L’Abeille is one for the fine diners, lovers of dainty presentation, and fans of French and Japanese culinary flair. There are trad French-luxe flavours to go with the name (champagne, caviar, lavender), meaning “the bee”, but the love of seafood, hints of miso and seaweed and a molecular level of perfectionism channels Japan – that’s Osaka-born chef Mitsunobu Nagae’s heritage coming through. Scoops of foie gras creme brulee come in half a ceramic eggshell, topped with a sweet onion sorbet; nuggets of lobster are made earthy with a pea purée and tender morel mushrooms. Desserts are light and clean-tasting – a palate-cleanser of strawberries, lychee, shiso and rose vanishes in a bite. This is your special occasion spot – an eight-course tasting menu costs $185 (£150), with an added $115 (£94) for wine pairings.

labeille.nyc

The Commerce Inn, West Village

The Commerce Inn is perpetually booked up

This Shaker-influenced, “early American” bistro is perpetually booked up, courtesy of its creators’ previous success with Via Carota and Buvette. Walking in, you’re greeted by an olde-worlde tavern vibe with minimalist Shaker furniture; on the menu is bone marrow on thick, rustic bread heaped with chicken-of-the-woods mushrooms, and jugged rabbit with mulled wine and shallots. The wine list champions American producers from local regions such as the Finger Lakes area outside Syracuse, NY. The hearty, offbeat food may not be for everyone, but it’s certainly an original.

thecommerceinn.com

Vinyl Steakhouse, Flatiron

Head to Vinyl for decent food and feelgood tunes

Trimmed with shelf upon shelf of neatly stacked vinyl, May opening Vinyl Steakhouse serves juicy slabs of beef, crabcakes and salads while spinning feelgood tunes. The hands-on couple who own it – Kevin and Sofia Flannery – will likely come over to chat as you tuck into dry-aged Porterhouse steak, juicy crab cakes, mac’n’cheese and corn in bone-marrow butter. Cocktails are a big part of the focus, too – peruse the mezcal-based Smoke in the Rain and the olive-oil-infused Martini and make your choice. On the dessert front, chef Alex Lord-Flynn’s cherry turnovers – from his grandmother’s recipe – are the big must-try.

vinylsteakhouse.com

Zou Zou’s, Hudson Yards

A tempting platter of dips at Zou Zou’s

Zou Zou’s has “power lunch” written all over it: as well as being in the so-now Hudson Yards district, it has wow-factor high ceilings, big windows letting in the light and instantly zesty interiors. Globe light fixtures like rings of giant pearls dangle above hot terracotta banquettes; Moorish-style tiles pave the way to your table; and tendrils of greenery frame a glam, jade-tiled cocktail bar on one side. A female-led team of chefs, helmed by Madeline Sperling, conjures up richly-presented platters of fresh dips with flame-licked flatbreads, long skewers of chicken, lamb or lobster, and zingy fattoush salads with plenty of vegetable-based sides for the meat-free folks.

zouzousnyc.com

Clover Hill, Brooklyn

Clover Hill first opened in 2019 before it was hit by Covid closures

Though it flung open its doors in February, this is not Clover Hill’s first rodeo. It first opened in December 2019 before being tanked by the Covid shutdown. Intimate and homey with its 34 tables and worn-in, wood-pannelled dining room, its executive chef is Charlie Mitchell, previously of Eleven Madison Park, who has envisioned a seven-course tasting menu ($135/£113) and casual lunchtime line-up influenced by French cooking techniques and lavish ingredients – caviar, wagyu beef, bluefin tuna. “I want it to feel bountiful and delicious,” Mitchell told Resy. “We’re using products that you might find at the two or three-Michelin-starred restaurants in the city, but we’re doing it our way in this little brick-and-mortar spot in Brooklyn Heights.”

cloverhillbk.com

Saint, East Village

New York loves a speakeasy, and this ‘new American’ joint has one hidden in its basement

New York loves a speakeasy, and this “new American” joint has one hidden in its basement, along with a ludicrously romantic, ivy-shrouded secret garden behind its main dining room. Exposed brick butts up against glimmering gold fringed chandeliers and polished mirrors in fashionista-feel interiors. Serving steak-and-eggs style brunch at weekends, its menu the rest of the week traverses steak tartare, lobster gratin, and huge gleaming towers of fresh seafood. DJ sets and craft cocktails until late away downstairs. Oh, and the shell-pink Swansong cocktail comes in a delicate swan-shaped glass – why wouldn’t you?

saintny.com

Gugu Room, Lower East Side

Filipino-Japanese izakaya Gugu Room sizzles up dishes made for sharing

A Filipino-Japanese izakaya in one of Manhattan’s most on-trend neighbourhoods, Gugu Room sizzles up dishes that are made for sharing. Bicker over who gets the last saucy rock shrimp, chicken karage chunk and truffle mushroom sisig, or load up small or large robata platters with a selection of sticky skewers. Sake, shochu, yuzu and even wasabi pep up a creative selection of cocktails, which you’ll sip in a low-lit, russet-coloured room with a black-and-gold tiled cocktail bar at its centre. It’s a meaty menu with plenty of offal (pork intestine, pig’s ear) – but veggies will enjoy the tofu kare-kare and blistered shishito peppers.

guguroomnyc.com

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