January 11, 2018 at 6:11 pm
post by Emily Wilson


Maybe you’ve got a New Year’s resolution. Maybe it’s to eat out more. Or, maybe, it’s to eat out less — which in that case, perhaps you should reconsider. While New Yorkers are still hibernating and before the mad rush of Valentine’s Day, now’s the time to take advantage of worthy new openings and bona fide comebacks. The first New York Hit List of the new year is here. Start off on the right foot, and get going.

1/Fausto
2/Juku
3/DaDong
4/Scampi
5/Henry at Life Hotel
6/Reynard
7/Evelina
8/The Loyal
9/Sorbillo
10/The Lobster Club

1/Fausto
Because Fausto’s opening marks the Brooklyn debut of wine expert Joe Campanale and chef Erin Shambura (of Del Posto, Lupa, and, most recently, L’Artusi), as well as a new purpose for the old Franny’s space on Flatbush Ave. The famous wood-burning oven has been left intact, yet here the kitchen’s specialty is not pizza, it’s pasta. // Prospect Heights. Book now on Resy.

2/Juku
Because the chef that put Williamsburg’s 1 OR 8 on the map broke out on his own, and in no small measure. Juku is his ambitious two-in-one izakaya and omakase joint— pick your poison. // Chinatown. Book now on Resy.

3/DaDong
Because this high-end, Michelin-starred Peking duck chain has landed in Bryant Park by way of Beijing. Chef-owner Dong Zhenxiang commissioned an Indiana farm to raise a particular breed of duck, and has outfitted the kitchen with special ovens from China, to ensure that your $98-per-bird is well-spent. // Midtown. (212) 355-9600.

4/Scampi
Because PJ Calapa, former executive chef at Ai Fiori and partner in The Spaniard, is behind this buzzy Southern Italian stunner, which boasts a different scampi-inspired dish each month. // Flatiron. Book now on Resy.

5/Henry at Life Hotel
Because Stephen Hanson is back. The former BR Guest Hospitality mogul came out of retirement to open Life Hotel, and figured why not throw in a crowd-pleasing restaurant, too? // NoMad. Book now on Resy.

6/Reynard
Because new chef Christina Lecki has revitalized this piece of the Andrew Tarlow empire. The veteran chef (and April Bloomfield alum), scrapped and rebuilt menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and guests — beyond those staying at the Wythe Hotel — are lining up to try them. // Williamsburg. Book now on Resy.

7/Evelina
Because this Fort Greene newcomer is the latest addition to the playlist of Greatest Neighborhood Hits, with its laid-back vibe, modern bistro aesthetic, and seasonal menu of Italian-esque plates, like delicata squash tempura with spicy honey and pecorino cheese. // Fort Greene. Book now on Resy.

8/The Loyal
Because we all know John Fraser is a sorcerer when it comes to vegetables, but how does he fare with more carnivorous delights? That’s where The Loyal comes in – and excels. // Greenwich Village. (212) 488-5800. (Bar Room coming soon to Resy.)

9/Sorbillo
Because many deem Sorbillo the definitive choice for Naples’ finest Neapolitan pies, and now the Italian import is competing in the New York arena. How do they measure up? Go and decide for yourself. // Bowery. (646) 476-8049.

10/The Lobster Club
Because for those still enamored with the three-tiered Major Food Group opening of last year — the third installment has settled in. If not for the food — alone worthy of a trip — go for the bright and bold (read: gorgeous) Picasso-inspired space, designed by luxury fashion architect Peter Marino. // Midtown East. (212) 375-9001.


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