Welcome to the Hit List, our weekly rundown of what’s what in the world of New York City bars and restaurants. From the mighty Zuma to the newly-accoladed Huertas, here are the places we’re recommending this week. Doing like Brady does and under-inflating this guy. 2 New, 6 Returning
Because Zumazumazuma. Zuma zoomed onto the scene this week and is, per their phone lines, fully booked through the weekendz. NB, there’s plenty of room in the lounge for grazing. It’s an international Asian-chic import, one you’re familiar with if you’ve spent time in Miami. // Midtown. (212) 544-9862 for reservations.
Because here’s one that tip-toed into the fray in late 2014, but now you’re going to start hearing about it. The chef, Ian Alvarez, comes from the likes of Momofuku, where clearly he picked up a few tricks around flavor and texture. Self-described as a “French/Japanese tavern,” meaning, in the parlace of the East Village, “cool joint.” // East Village. Book Now at Bara
Because Lady Gaga was there last Saturday night. But, also, this is a departure for the Torrisi Brothers in a good way. Coastal seafood means blue crab spaghetti and guanciale e pepe, which is one of a handful of rather innovative rice dishes. // Meatpacking. Call (212) 254-3000 and beg for reservations.
4/THE POLO BAR 3
Because, to review, you couldn’t be more IN viz Ralph Lauren’s new clubhouse below 55th Street. It’s heavy, HEAVY, on the mahogany-equestrian vibe, but that’s cool with you. Nelly Moudime, longtime maître at joints like Minetta Tavern runs the show upfront. // Midtown. Call (212) 207-8562 for reservations.
5/MISSION CHINESE 3
Because Danny Bowien’s new assumed flagship deep down in the bowels of Chinatown plays. It’s Chinese on paper, but way outside the box. Returning to the Hit List. // Chinatown. No reservations and long waits in the main dining room, but plenty of space for walk-ins at the bar.
6/KANG HO DONG BAEKJEONG 2
Because, when this Seoul-based Korean barbecue chain opened in Los Angeles, Jonathan Gold called it, “the barbecue restaurant that Koreatown didn’t know it needed.” That’s probably the case in NYC as well, so here we are. Anthony Bourdain has been in, obvs. Talking point: Baekjeong translates to “butcher” in Korean. // Koreatown. (212) 966-9839. Walk-in only.
Because we have critical consensus here: place is super solid. Justin Smillie’s Italian brasserie really plays. Careful now as it shifts into mainstream hotness and tables get even more scarce. // Park Avenue South Corridor. Book Now at Upland
Because now Travel + Leisure says it’s one of the best new restaurants in the world. They were “seduced” by its Basque food, so maybe time to stop in for another visit. // East Village. Book Now at Huertas
9/SURPRISE RESY PROTIP
At GG’s, did you know they’ve got Grandma SLICES after 10:30? We didn’t. So, there you go.
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