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New and Very Noteworthy

Our critics’ favorite new restaurants.

103 W. 77th St., nr. Columbus Ave.; 212-362-3800
Sure, the name is a little precious, and the front door looks out onto the gloomy expanse of a darkened Upper West Side basketball court. But John Fraser’s sleek, gourmet interpretations of Greenmarket standards (leg of lamb dabbed with yogurt, pork belly simmered in sherry and shallots) make this little restaurant that rare thing in this era of gourmet franchises and globe-trotting chefs: a neighborhood joint, run by a world-class cook working at the top of his game.

36 W. 52nd St., nr. Fifth Ave.; 212-582-6900
Anthos means blossom, but it ought to mean anthem, embracing as it does the fierce passion of chef-partner Michael Psilakis for the Greek kitchen: his bravura of crudo, raw shrimp “cooked” in a thrilling tomato elixir, crab finding its soul mate in sea urchin. Yes, such manic creativity can boil over, and it sometimes does. But then a transcendent uni-touched seafood risotto appears, and excesses are forgiven.

38 Eighth Ave., nr. Jane St.; 212-366-6633
With its loose and lively air and 2 a.m. closing time, Dell’anima makes you feel welcome to stop in anytime for a cocktail, an obscure but rewarding bottle of wine, a few tasty snacks, or a full-fledged meal. And you should: The crackerjack kitchen turns out first-rate pastas like pizzoccheri with Brussels sprouts and Fontina, a vibrantly seasoned chicken al diavolo, and a winter-beating bowl of braised wild boar with polenta and mascarpone—the kind of elegantly simple fare you find yourself craving at all hours.

111 E. 29th Street., nr. Park Ave. S.; 212-685-5585
They say you can take the measure of a chef by how well he can cook something simple like an omelette. But why not apply the theory to something even simpler like a sandwich? By that standard alone—setting aside for the moment his grander achievements—Ryan Skeen is a culinary wizard. His tête de cochon on toast is like a mad-genius cross between a bánh mì and a BLT, his new grilled cheese (see page 69) redefines the category, and his burger is the greatest thing to happen to ground meat since the Kraft Single.


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Other Best Of Guides

So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).