While you were visiting your parents back in Ohio (or California…or London…or Queens), we saw a number of restaurants come online during the holidays. In the spirit of a brand-new year, we think you should resolve to eat somewhere new this week — like one of these eight new spots.
Mission Chinese Food (171 East Broadway)
Danny Bowien opened the second iteration of his wacky Chinese-food lair on East Broadway last week following a quick revamp of a bi-level space that has, in recent years, been a bit of a rotating door for concepts like Rosette and LTO, a pop-up similar to City Grit. Sashay through the door under the large red awning and you’ll find yourself in the front bar, which opens to a lively red banquette-lined dining room with space for about seventy to seventy-five. It’s an upgrade from the cramped clubhouse-like lair that was the original Mission; Bowien was forced to close that address a year ago after realizing that it would be impossible to properly renovate it to deal with health department violations. The menu features about forty new items; on our early visit, we especially enjoyed the cocktail list, the Chonqing chicken wings, and the stir-fried celery. And the ma po tofu, which is a classic.
DF Mavens (37 St. Marks Place)
This dairy-free dessert-monger just opened its first brick-and-mortar on St. Marks Place, where it’s vending dairy-free ice cream, vegan cookies and smoothies, and homemade almond milk, all of which are made on-site. While you can find DF Mavens products in other shops, you’ll find a number of flavor exclusives here, including Almond Cookie Monster, Cashew Sea Salt, Banana Foster, and Acai Berry. All DF Mavens products are vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, do not contain preservatives or cholesterol, and are kosher.
Nighthawks (679 Greenwich Street, 646-329-6390)
This West Village Mediterranean restaurant pays homage to Edward Hopper’s famous painting via its façade and decor. As for the menu, look for dishes like baba ghanoush, fried liver cube, penne a la vodka, a braised lamb shank, and a burger. Brunch is more traditionally American, with french toast, pancakes, and omelettes.
Chika Mexicana (814 Nostrand Avenue, Brooklyn; 718-484-7006)
This long-anticipated Crown Heights Mexican restaurant opened its doors last week; its owners bill it as “Brook Mex,” or Brooklyn Mexican. The menu includes an array of tacos, burritos, and quesadillas stuffed with twists on familiar fillings, like grilled chicken with herbed cream, or eggplant, zucchini, and crunchy carrot.
BLVD LIC (4720 Center Boulevard, Queens; 718-440-8520)
This Long Island City wine bar is pouring a number of wines by the glass, including a selection of four tap wines, which will rotate throughout the year. Food comes online in a couple of weeks, and includes cheese, charcuterie, and spreads.
Morris Sandwich Shop (569 Lincoln Place, Brooklyn)
Michael Jacober, owner of Fork in the Road favorite Glady’s, opened this shrine to grilled cheese with partner Ben Latham, extending the business of the Morris Truck to a brick-and-mortar location. Look for sammies stuffed with chicken and wing sauce, Sichuan braised pork, or corned beef and raclette, or opt for the classic grilled cheese.
Barleycorn (23 Park Place, 212-933-0039)
From the owners of Rattle n Hum and Beer Authority comes this craft beer bar, which pours from a whopping seventy-two taps. The opening list pulls mostly from the U.S., though you’ll also find a handful of European beers, like Delirium Tremens and La Trappe Quadrupel. Pair your brew to something from the extensive menu, including a brick oven pizza, burger, fish and chips, or something from the raw bar.
Khemistry Bar (216 Malcolm X Boulevard)
Meet Bed-Stuy’s chemistry lab–themed gastropub, which opened with a party on New Year’s Eve. Owner and chef Shana Cooper-Silas is turning out a bill of fare rooted in locally grown ingredients; look for lemon-roasted chicken and shrimp and grits.