The Best New NYC Sleeps and Eats
Fall in New York brings crisp days, sweaters…and a flurry of don’t-miss openings, from cozy neighborhood boîtes to award-bait Broadway shows to white-hot new hotels. Emma Sloley gives you the hit list of the 10 best
The Ludlow Hotel
This 184-room haven on one of the Lower East Side’s most popular streets — legendary deli Katz’s is on the corner – is the latest in hotelier Sean MacPherson’s Manhattan mini-empire. We’re already smitten with the guestrooms, with their industrial bones and quirky-luxe details like hand-carved Indo-Portuguese wooden beds, Moroccan-inspired brass lamps and handmade silk rugs. Now we’re ready to make Dirty French, the property’s newly minted restaurant, our second home. Helmed by Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi and Jeff Zalaznick (the team behind cult restaurants Torrisi, Parm and Carbone), the future hot spot features classic bistro cuisine. Expect just-shucked oysters and that of-the-moment restaurant staple, the rotisserie, along with dishes influenced by Moroccan street food and New Orleans–inspired Cajun fare. Oh, and celebrities. Lots and lots of celebrities. The best part? The hotel’s wallet-friendly price tag.
Aldo Sohm Wine Bar
’Tis the season for bold-faced names to unleash irresistible new reasons to book a Big Apple trip. In this case it’s rock star (and Michelin-starred) chef Eric Ripert handing the reins to his award-winning sommelier, Aldo Sohm, to oversee a spin-off of fine dining temple Le Bernardin. The wine bar, which opened in early September, features the kind of stellar vintages you might expect but with price tags you might not (glasses start at $12), along with a menu heavy on charcuterie and classics like truffle pasta. Midtown just got a whole lot more delicious.
Globetrotting chef Jody Williams created a cult neighborhood following with her beloved French gem Buvette, and now she’s giving fans another reason to hotfoot it to the West Village. Williams and partner Rita Sodi — of I Sodi fame — are joining forces on Via Carota (“Carrot Street,” named for a Tuscan village lane Sodi once lived on), which will dish up rustic Italian fare such as hand-stretched focaccias, fried zucchini blossoms and comfort foods like classic grilled chicken. The space is roomier than Buvette or I Sodi, so we’re looking forward to spreading out and soaking up the convivial Euro-bistro vibe for which both chefs are known.
The Martha Washington
The latest addition to the fast-gentrifying NoMad neighborhood, this 1903 landmark was once a females-only hotel. Its latest incarnation welcomes the fellas and adds a contemporary, fuss-free look in a black-and-white palette with vibrant splashes of yellow and purple. But the real draw is Marta, Danny Meyer’s Roman-style pizzeria restaurant in the hotel’s lobby, which is already the subject of breathless hype in New York food circles. If you don’t feel like joining the preen scene in the lobby, have your slice delivered via room service.
As Yet Unnamed Restaurant at the Smyth Hotel
If you have the kind of Midas touch for cult eating establishments that restaurateur Andrew Carmellini possesses — Locanda Verde and the Dutch are just two notches on his belt — any rumor of a new opening sets off foodie fever. To wit: The recent revamping of the former Plein Sud space in Tribeca’s sexy, design-driven Smyth Hotel is said to be evolving into the latest home for this maestro’s culinary stylings. Will it be highbrow Italian, as at celebrity magnet Locanda Verde? New American like the Dutch? Pasta-crazy like newly minted Bowery hot spot Bar Primi? Or something else entirely? We watch. We wait.
Spa Castle Manhattan
As any New Yorker knows, escapism can be in short supply at the center of the universe. To the rescue: Spa Castle, the whimsical wellness brand with outposts in Queens and Texas. The group will open a three-story Manhattan mega-spa this fall on the Upper East Side, and chances are it will be as brilliantly over the top as its predecessors. Think “Sauna Valley,” a 24-hour relaxation zone containing a gold-plated pyramid, Himalayan Salt Room and infrared lounging area, among other wonders. Unlike more purist-minded establishments, this one also encourages the imbibing of cocktails and caffeinated drinks, along with offering a poolside ice cream bar. Now, that’s our kind of spa.
Fans of kitsch lamenting the shuttering of short-lived Golden Cadillac, the 1970s-themed bar on the LES, can start prepping for its sure-to-be-fabulous successor, set to open sometime in September. Owners James Tune, Don Lee and Greg Boehm of Cocktail Kingdom, along with Cali mixologist Erick Castro, will turn the corner space into another retro-inspired bar, this one serving actual boilermakers (a heart-starter comprising of a shot of whiskey chased by a beer), along with various cocktails. Staying with the Americana theme, the menu will be hamburger-heavy — just the thing to pair with those calorific beverages.
Mexico’s most celebrated chef, Enrique Olvera, has been dazzling diners at his mold-breaking Mexico City restaurant Pujol for years. Now the standard-bearer for innovative Mexican cuisine has his sights set on New York, with a new restaurant in the Flatiron district. Expect the kind of culinary wizardry — namely, applying modern techniques to ancient flavors — for which Olvera has become famous. It’s rumored there will be a Mexican riff on clam chowder spiked with cactus and mezcal, along with a version of Pujol’s rich, transporting molé. Olvera even promises that Cosme will offer perennial favorites like guacamole, margaritas and tacos — but something tells us they won’t be your abuela’s tacos.
Brooklyn is a full-fledged foodie destination in its own right, and several of its chefs got their start at Smorgasburg, the famous outdoor food fair run by the creators of the Brooklyn Flea. Now buzzy young culinary folks have a year-round home in the form of Berg’n, in burgeoning Crown Heights. The 9,000-square-foot behemoth revolutionizes the concept of the beer hall, with a curated selection of brews complemented by stands from cult vendors like Asia Dog, Pizza Moto and Ramen Burger. The cavernous industrial-chic space is open from morning coffee until late night drinks, with long communal tables, Danish-style blond wood chairs and doors that open to create an indoor-outdoor space.
Autumn is shaping up to be a stellar season for theater in New York. On our radar: This Is Our Youth, the 1996 Kenneth Lonergan play that explores growing up during the Reagan-era materialism of the 1980s, will be reprised on Broadway with young stars Tavi Gevinson, Michael Cera and Kieran Culkin; Love Letters, the A.R. Gurney classic in which a couple sit and read letters penned over the course of 50 years, will have a rotating cast of celebrities including Mia Farrow and Martin Sheen; The Last Ship, an original musical written and performed by Sting about the dying shipbuilding industry, hits the Neil Simon Theater; and an adaptation of Jonathan Lethem’s acclaimed Fortress of Solitude will have a run at downtown institution the Public Theater.
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