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NYC Fall Preview: New Restaurants, Festivals and More

By James Mulcahy
August 27, 2013

The sun may be setting on beach-filled days, but don't despair. While Labor Day weekend marks the end of the summer, it also signals the beginning of the most exciting time for eating and drinking in the Big Apple. Everyone is rested up from their summer holidays and ready with big openings and epic festivals. Read on to see the things that should be on your radar for the coming months.

  • NYC Notable Chefs

    Notable NYC-based names wait for the August doldrums to pass before making splashy debuts, and once the Jitney drops off its last summertime passenger, the race begins. Akhtar Nawab (formerly of La Esquina) is retooling the menu at the Abe & Arthur's space in the Meatpacking District, which will soon relaunch as Latin-themed La Cenita (409 W. 14th St.). That joint is sure to lure over partyers, while more subdued crowds can head around the block to the new location of Bubby's, which will dish out farm-to-table fare, as they've been doing in TriBeCa before that catchphrase was even invented (73 Gansevoort St.).

    John Fraser is headed Downtown with a new restaurant in the Standard East Village Hotel (date and name still to be announced), and Michael White, who recently opened The Butterfly in TriBeCa, heads north with Ristorante Morini. The concept is like White's NoLita-based Osteria (pictured), but fancied up for the UES crowds. That one should be open by November (1167 Madison Ave.).

  • An Epic One-Stop-Shop

    Gotham West Market is set to be the ultimate foodie destination when it opens this October, mainly because they'll have, well, everything. Culinary big guns will be moving into this spankin'-new day-and-night market, which will be located on the ground floor of a residential building, on the far western end of Midtown. There is so much happening that a bulleted list is the only way to go:

    • Ramen: Ivan Orkin will open the Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop, one of his first noodle joints to debut outside of Japan.
    • Tapas: Tertulia chef Seamus Mullen is coming Uptown to serve small bites at El Colmado, a Spanish-style tapas bar.
    • Meat: The Cannibal will take its butcher block to this side of town to carve up a selection of charcuterie and small plates.
    • Coffee: The venue will house the 12th location of Blue Bottle Coffee
    • Other Goodies: Classic American fare will be on offer at AvroKo's Roadside, Caroline Fidanza of Saltie will turn out soups and salads, and Court Street Grocers will slap together some killer sandwiches.

    600 11th Ave.

  • As Seen On TV

    You may know them as judges and contestants on your favorite food-TV shows, but these famous chefs opening new venues this fall are also known as the workhorses of the NYC restaurant world. Marc Forgione just partnered with a former chef to open Laotian restaurant Khe-Yo in the former Duane Park space, but he's got more coming. American Cut, the steakhouse he runs with LDV Hospitality in Atlantic City, will serve up slabs of meat when the NYC outpost opens in September at 363 Greenwich Street. Marc Murphy is aiming for an October opening with Kingside, a new "modern American Bistro" slated for The Viceroy New York (120 W. 57th St.), and diners who fell in love with Amanda Freitag at The Harrison will get to visit her solo restaurant in Chelsea's Empire diner space (210 10th Ave.).

  • Out-of-Town Imports 

    Michel Richard has restaurants in LA, DC and Vegas, and this fall he'll debut two new eateries at the Palace Hotel in Midtown East. Pomme Palais, which is opening soon, will be a bakery and cafe, but his Villard Michel Richard, in the former Gilt Space, is the one we're excited about. It will have two dining rooms, one for the chef's menu and another for standard à la carte bistro cuisine.

    Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonette are coming from the other side of the Acela line, bringing in a branch of Boston tapas joint Toro (85 10th Ave.). There's also Montauk's Todd Mitgang (South Edison) opening Bo's (6 W. 24th St.), which will offer fare inspired by NOLA starting in mid-September, and Ivan Orkin, who perfected his craft in Japan, will be opening Ivan Ramen (25 Clinton St.), a LES venue with noodles and other Japanese-inspired fare.

  • New York City Food and Wine Festival

    In October, the biggest event of the season returns to NYC from October 17-20, and this time they're shaking things up by moving it Uptown. Though the festival is citywide, the biggest gatherings will happen on Piers 92 and 94 in Midtown West. Plenty of the most popular events are back for another go-round, including Burger Bash and Bobby Flay's Tacos and Tequila, but there are some must-try new options that you should add to your agenda.

    On Friday, October 1, Food and Wine will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its Best New Chef award with a walk-around tasting featuring many of the previous winners. If you manage to escape that without a hangover, then on Saturday you have to check out The Ultimate Tailgate, a walk-around featuring football-friendly food and hosted by Mario Batali and Joe Namath. There are over 100 events - get the full festival lineup and buy tickets here.

  • Expansion Plans

    Eddie Schoenfeld is set to light up the Upper West Side with the second city location of his popular West Village Chinese joint RedFarm. He's taken over the space that used to house Fatty Crab (2170 Broadway), and this surefire hit will serve a menu that's largely the same as it's Downtown sister in a much larger venue. Oh, and speaking of that Downtown location, it's gearing up to debut a basement cocktail bar. Now you'll have somewhere to wait for your table upstairs.

    Jo-Anne Makovitsky and Marco Moreira are also expanding their group of restaurants around Union Square with the addition of Botequim, a stand-alone eatery in the space below their just-opened The Fourth (they also run 15 East and Tocqueville). It will serve Brazilian-inspired fare from an open kitchen (132 Fourth Ave.). Over in Midtown, carnivores should take note that Empire Steakhouse will open a massive second location of their meatery in a new building at 237 West 54th Street.

  • Reboots

    DB Bistro has been closed for a few weeks, but in mid-September the famous DB burger will return in a spruced-up space that will include an expanded cocktail bar area. On the Upper West Side, Bill Telepan is also giving his namesake eatery a makeover. The American restaurant closed this week and will reopen on September 6 with its new look.

    Old-school French restaurant Le Bilboquet closed in December, but the owners found a new space that's a whopping four times larger than the other one. After a 30-year run, a lot of fans are anxious to have them back when they open on September at 20 East 60th Street.

  • Other Shindigs

    Of course the NYCWFF isn't the only festival to highlight the city's suh-weet culinary offerings. Here are a few other options that should be on your radar:

    Taste of Williamsburg: On September 22, this outdoor event will take over East River State Park with grub from neighborhood favorites like Pies 'n' Thighs and the Brooklyn Star. Tickets start at $25 and are on sale now.

    Oyster Frenzy: On Saturday, September 28, the Grand Central Oyster Bar will host its annual oyster frenzy from noon-4 PM. This bivalve bacchanal includes a shuck-off for the pros, a slurp-off for the public and plenty of saline-soaked suckers to go around. Admission is free.

    Greenwich Wine and Food Festival: If you want to skip town for a day trip, this Connecticut food fest (pictured) takes place over three days from October 3-5. Duff Goldman and Sara Moulton will make appearances at events ranging from a kick-off gala to a grand tasting. Get schedule info and tickets here.

    Joy of Sake: The annual sake tasting returns to NYC this year with 384 labels to try, 223 of which are not available in the United States. The event is hosted at The Altman Building in Chelsea - tickets are $95 in advance and $110 at the door. Info here

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