10 Spring Openings You Need to Know in NYC

By Kelly Dobkin  |  April 23, 2014
Credit: The Gorbals BK

There's no shortage of major restaurant openings this spring and early summer in NYC. From transplanted hit restaurants to new exciting concepts from big-name chefs like Jean-Georges, David Waltuck and Keith McNally, check out the 10 restaurants to watch for in the coming months.

  • The Gorbals

    The NYC outpost of the popular LA restaurant from Knife Fight star Ilan Hall is opening soon in Williamsburg in Space Ninety 8, the new Urban Outfitters megaplex on North Sixth. Hall told us back in October, "It will be similar, it will have the same soul as [the LA outpost], but it's New York." Hall, who lived in Williamsburg six years ago, tells us the menu will have many of the classic Gorbals favorites (gribenes sandwich, bacon-wrapped matzo balls) and a bunch of new items based on local seasonal seafood and produce. "Monkfish cheeks will be an item. We’re doing some lamb dishes and sweetbread dishes, " Hall tells us. The space's two bars are currently soft open (including the one on the roof) until the restaurant gets its grill certification and can open fully.

    Projected opening: Early to mid-May

    Details: 98 N. Sixth Street

  • The Meat Hook Sandwich Shop

    The highly anticipated sandwich spinoff of Brooklyn butchery mecca The Meat Hook (founded by Tom Mylan, Brent Young and Ben Turley) is gearing up to open up as early as the first week of May. "We're still working on the menu, and it's going to change pretty frequently," Young tells us. But the plan is to offer a small menu of 5-6 sandwiches a day plus sides and soups. "We're already getting the best meat you can buy, and we're producing all of the best sandwich meats (pastrami, roast beef, ham, etc.) at the Meat Hook, but we're not able to sell sandwiches," says Young. The team hopes to fill the sandwich/lunch void in the neighborhood with their high-quality offerings. Also expect some killer breakfast creations down the road: "We're right next to Gimme Coffee and we make the best breakfast sandwiches as well. We'll have a bacon, egg and cheese, a pork roll sandwich, a scrapple sandwich and more. "

    Projected opening: May 5

    Details: 495 Lorimer St.

  • El Vez

    Stephen Starr is bringing his Philly-based Mexican concept (and chef David LaForce) to NYC's booming new restaurant zone, Battery Park City. The menu will be different from Philly, thanks to input from their director of culinary operations for Mexican concepts, Dionicio Jiminez. "We have some very authentic things that we’re putting on the menu that are inspired by where Dionicio grew up in Puebla, " Starr tells us.

    Projected opening: "As soon as April 25"

    Details: 259 Vesey St.; 212-233-2500

  • Cherche Midi

    Coming soon to the former Pulino's space, this all-new French concept from Keith McNally, Balthazar chef Shane McBride and Minetta Tavern sous Daniel Parilla was originally expected to open in March but has been delayed until late spring. Pulino's is the first restaurant that Keith McNally has had to close, and he tells us of the new concept: "It will be a rather intimate, French restaurant. Perhaps the kind you might happily stumble on by chance in the French countryside.  Of course the Bowery and Houston isn't exactly the Dordoigne, but this is how I see the place."

    Projected opening: Late May/early June

    Details: 282 Bowery

  • Credit: Noah Fecks

    Bar Primi

    Also opening on Bowery is Andrew Carmellini's Bar Primi, in the former Peels space. Described as a "casual pasta shop," the project is a joint venture with Luke Ostrom and Josh Pickard with Taavo Somer doing the interior design on the bi-level space, according to a rep.

    Projected opening: Late May/early June

    Details: 325 Bowery

  • ABC Home Grown

    Jean-Georges will open his third eatery within the ABC Carpet and Home complex on East 19th Street, but this time, he's going veggie. This vegetarian-focused concept will open in the former Le Pain Quotidien space and the food will be globally inspired. [via NY Post]

    Projected opening: Late May

    Details: 38 E. 19th St.

  • Batard

    Drew Nieporent is retooling the former Corton space (previously his Montrachet) into Bâtard, a decidedly less fussy affair than Corton, with chef Markus Glocker and his new partner John Winterman. "I’m excited by it, Nieporent tells us. "This space has so much history for me between Montrachet and Corton; I've been here 29 years." The menu will be less French and more inspired by the cuisines of Europe, particularly Austria. "There’s a flurry of pizza, tacos, fried chicken in the area, so we sort of stand out and we’re going to try set the bar a little bit higher." Glen Coben is working on the design of the new space.

    Projected opening: End of May

    Details: 239 W. Broadway

  • Cosme

    Mexico City star chef Enrique Olvera (Pujol) is coming stateside to open Cosme in Flatiron in NYC this spring. While details are still scarce, Olvera tells Food & Wine that Cosme will serve "typical Mexican food that I love."  [F&W]

    Projected opening: "Spring" - exact date unknown

    Details: 35 E. 21st St.

  • Dirty French

    This French-inspired project from the Torrisi crew - Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi and Jeff Zalaznick - will open in the new Ludlow Hotel at some point this summer. While little is known yet about the cuisine, a press statement describes the offerings as "rebooted, provocative Gallic classics and embody the 'distinctly New York style and swagger'" of the group's food.

    Projected opening: Summer

    Details: 180 Ludlow St.

  • Elan

    David Waltuck (former co-owner and chef of Tribeca pioneer Chanterelle) and George Stinson (former GM of Chanterelle) are behind this Gramercy project whose menu focuses on classic technique with a "French accent." While not much is known at present, George will run front-of-the-house while David will run the kitchen, which will be open for dinner initially, with lunch and weekend brunch to follow. 

    Projected opening: Early June

    Details: 43 E. 20th St.