In 2023 we saw some of the swankiest restaurant and bar openings, with this January already bringing us some of the most exciting places to try. We present you with a list of new NYC places you might have missed, and exciting new openings everyone is talking about.
The Golden Swan has ushered in a new era for a well-known West Village townhouse on West 11th street. The historic two-story building used to house the infamous Spotted Pig. Leaving the past behind, the renewed space has been completely gutted and taken over by Neighborhood Projects and their founder Matthew Abramcyk, known for Tiny’s and Smith & Mills. The new restaurant has brightened up the space with elegant seating, white tablecloths, and an impressive Moroccan tile backsplash. The real star of The Golden Swan is the menu. Dining here is a timeless experience. They serve a weekend brunch, a la carte bar menu and dinner. The French-Mediterranean dishes are all carefully prepared by Chef Doug Brixton, who came in with an impressive resume. Trained under Daniel Boulud and having worked at Michelin-starred Bâtard, Chef Brixton, knows what it takes to satisfy a foodie. At The Golden Swan he provides his own take on French classics. Must-try dishes are the steak tartare, bacon wrapped venison, foie gras mousse and Carnaroli risotto.
BWArchitects redesigned the space with opulence in mind, so make sure to take in ambiance. We especially love the velvet banquettes and gold curtains. If you prefer a more relaxed meal, try dropping by the first floor Wallace Room where you can enjoy specialty cocktails and take in the intimate window-wrapped space. To impress a date, make a reservation for the Dining Room. Come alone, come with a date, this is a place you will want to experience.
The Golden Swan, 314 W 11th St (betw Greenwich/Hudson St), West Village
Any place that serves truffle lasagna piques interest, and since its opening Cafe Carmellini has received rave reviews on food, ambiance and service. Located inside the new Fifth Avenue Hotel, Cafe Carmellini reflects the building’s gilded age exuberance. The historic building is an original McKim, Mead & White design for a bank. To hospitality fans the 30-year veteran Chef Carmellini needs no introduction. He is behind some of our favorite spots in the city like The Dutch, Lafayette and Bar Primi. Do not let the word Cafe fool you, though, this is the kind of place you want to dress up for and take in the experience. Upon walking in, notice both the small and grandiose details designed by Martin Brudnizkiliki. There are big trees sprouting from large blue velvet banquettes, balconies overlooking the room and glass-etched peacocks to delight as you await your meal.
Lovers of both Italian and French food are invited to experience the two cuisines in one meal. Marrying his Tuscan family roots with his French resume, Chef Carmellini has created the most delectable menu. From start to finish you can enjoy dishes like Oysters à la Pomme, move on to Cannelloni of Lobster & Golden Osetra, then go for something completely different with Venison Medallions Grand Veneur, and finish the meal with a refreshing Grapefruit Sorbetto. The service caters to your every whim without making you feel rushed. When you think you might have had enough, they suggest yet another spoonful of something delicious. One thing is for certain, openings like this signal that fine dining is back! As far as fine dining goes, prices here are on the lower end, so come here to indulge with your favorite person or friends. The Fifth Avenue Hotel adds further pizazz to New York’s NoMad neighborhood, and we will certainly be back for more.
Café Carmellini at the Fifth Avenue Hotel, 250 5th Ave (betw 28th/29th St), NoMad
With the 25th anniversary of the Sopranos behind us, now is the perfect time to try the newly opened bar by Michael Imeriolli. Scarlet, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, is a beautiful and straightforward bar and lounge with a speakeasy vibe, minus the gimmicks. The actor and his wife, Victoria Imperioli, wanted to create a neighbrhood place that is a part of the community. The couple teamed up with restaurateur Jeremy Wladis, who is well-known for his Upper West Side hospitality.
The interior, designed by Victoria Imperioli, certainly exudes a powerful mood. The 1920s style bar is dressed up in sleek interiors with most of it being covered in rich deep red tones and gold accents. The plush lounge style seating allows patrons to feel comfortable. Michael Imeriolli promises that this is not a place for tight crowds. The drink menu, curated by head bartender Matt Burkhardt, includes classics like the French 75 and Manhattan, and even non-alcoholic mocktails. In the near future Scarlet lounge will host entertainment nights, which is no surprise as Michael Imeriolli is known for his live stage performances. We almost wish we lived on the Upper West Side so we can Scarlet our go-to neighborhood spot.
Scarlet Lounge, 468 Amsterdam Avenue (betw 82nd/83rd), Upper West Side
The team behind Maison Premiere in Brooklyn has expanded, this time on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Tigre might have similarities to Maison Premier but maintains an ambiance all its own. Once you get past the graffiti-filled door you step into a sleek 1980’s style interior. The entrance and space feel like a speakeasy, and certainly look the part. This bar is right out of a movie. To match the vibe Bar Director William Elliott pulled ideas from “Playboy’s Host & Bar Book,” resulting in drinks like Rolls Royce, Cigarette Martini and Mister Softee. Maison Premier has always been known for their martinis so it only makes sense that Tigre reflects that. The menu provides a “Martinis by Ratio” option, which allows you to create a martini according to your precise preferences.
The interior is designed by Studio Tre and highlights 80s-style shapes and curves. There is an oval eight person bar, deco-ish geometric lighting, tiger embroidered banquettes, a mirrored ceiling and dark wood paneling. Co-founders Joshua Boissy and Krystof Zizka continue to receive accolades for their New Orleans-style at Maison Premiere, Tigre should be no different. Come here with someone who enjoys an interesting cocktail in a debonair setting, and make sure to order the Cigarette Martini.
Tigre , 105 Rivington St (betw Ludlow and Essex), Lower East Side
Hotel bars and restaurants are the new clubs, and Hotel Chelsea is back to being the life of the party! Since its refined renovation and opening the hotel has New Yorkers flocking in for their culinary and entertainment offerings like El Quijoto, Lobby Bar, the newly-opened Café Chelsea, and even a new rooftop spa. Café Chelsea is a French-American bistro that delivers on ambiance and unique dishes, like Ravioles du Dauphiné. Executive Chef Derek Boccagno certainly showcases his love of French food. We recommend the Tartare de Boeuf, Croque-Monsieur and Chocolate Souffle.
Café Chelsea occupies what used to be The Capitol Fishing Tackle Shop, America’s oldest tackle shop. The shop opened its doors in 1897, and while it did close at this location they relocated to Freeport Long Island. The new restaurant consists of an expansive bar, banquette seating, a grand room, and a private dining space called the “The Wine Room.”
While prices here can be a bit high, the decor, service and ambiance makes up for it. The best thing about Café Chelsea is that it is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you seek an impressive place for a breakfast meeting, Café Chelsea is it. Come here to see the Hotel Chelsea revival and with someone who enjoys the see-and-be-seen crowd.
Café Chelsea, 218 West 23rd St (betw 7th / 8th Ave), Chelsea