30 Under 30 NYC 2016: The Restaurants

You've met the honorees, now catch them in action
June 27, 2016
by Zagat Staff

Now that you've gotten to know our 2016 list of NYC's brightest restaurant industry up-and-comers, here's where to find them in action.

Flip Sigi
Fast Food · West Village · $

A chef-owner who first made his chops at Jean-Georges and The French Laundry is behind this Filipino eatery in the West Village that offers a playful modern menu (burritos, sandwiches, buns). The small space also has a bar for beer, wine and punch.
Bar · West 50s · $$

This Hell’s Kitchen watering hole goes for deep cuts on its rotation of 20 draft beers, showcasing atypical brewers and styles, while also offering housemade cocktails on tap, a few hearty sandwiches and lots of notch-above bar bites. Brick walls and tiled floors lend it a handsome feel.
Cafe Boulud
French · East 70s · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

A “timeless” Daniel Boulud “success story” , this “classy” UES “mainstay” impresses with “invariably artful” French fare served by an “expert staff” in “subdued” , “grown-up” surroundings; “1%ers” say the “high standards” are “worth every nickel” , though the prix fixe lunch remains “a relative bargain.”
The Cecil Steakhouse
Steakhouse · Harlem · $$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.1

A “happening” place with an “outstanding, inventive” menu, this Harlem “hit” puts together “foodie” -approved Afro-Asian-American dishes highlighting “flavor combinations that are hard to find elsewhere” ; “noisy” digs and “Downtown” prices aside, it’s “great for groups” and also has an “exceptionally good” weekend brunch.
The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog
Cocktail Bar · Financial District · $$$
Food 4.1 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.0

While this Irish-inspired FiDi duplex has a “well-deserved” rep as a “cocktail mecca” with a “Bible” of “enviable” craft drinks, its “well-prepared” pub fare is “not just an afterthought” ; manned by an “excellent” staff, the saloonish digs “get busy quickly” and “just need more elbow room” when it hops.
Dominique Ansel Bakery
Bakery · SoHo · $
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.5 · Service 3.5

Pastry chef “extraordinaire” Dominique Ansel and his “cult-status” Cronuts draw “crazy morning lines” to this SoHo “fantasy land of desserts” where you’ll also find other “transcendent innovations” plus “exceptional” French classics too; the counter crew can be “slow” and the “small” space gets “super-packed” , but if you head to the back garden, “it's like leaving the city.”
Dominique Ansel Kitchen
Bakery · West Village · $
Food 4.4 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.0

Pastry star Dominique Ansel “goes beyond the Cronut” at this “small but mighty” West Village bakery, which “delivers a big payoff” with “exceptional” French pastries and savory noshes made to order “with Instagram in mind” ; there’s also a walk-up window for ice cream and a second floor space called U.P. for themed dessert tasting menus.
Dessert · Chinatown · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.5 · Service 4.0

You'll "smell the aroma" of Hong Kong egg waffles when you enter this "cool" Chinatown shop selling "crispy, fluffy" cones packed with ice cream and "creative" toppings (or with savory fillings); the "small" setup can get "busy" , but fans appreciate the "unique" goods and "friendly" counter crew.
Frankel's Delicatessen & Appetizing
Greenpoint · $
Food 4.0 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.0

Two brothers are behind this modern Greenpoint deli devoted to top-tier bagels with smoked salmon and egg-and-cheese combos. The counter also dishes up hot brisket and pastrami on rye, among other Jewish specialties, in a polished space with white subway tiles and colorfully stocked shelves.
il Buco
Italian · NoHo · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.3

“Marvelous” “cucina rustica” pairs with a “well-crafted” wine list in “intimate farmhouse-inspired” surrounds that’ll “transport” you to a “Tuscan home” at this NoHo Med-Italian; if it gets “loud” , the downstairs wine cellar is a “beautiful” alternative, though it’s “not cheap” no matter where you sit.
il Buco Alimentari & Vineria
Italian · NoHo · $$$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.0

“Unpretentious” but with a “pure NY vibe” , this Il Buco spin-off is a “go-to” for “simple yet refined” Italian-Med fare – “especially the pastas” and “ridiculously good” short ribs – in a “homey” NoHo setup with a front market area/coffee bar; communal seats and somewhat “pricey” tabs aside, it’s “comfortable” for just about “every occasion.”
Brunch · Gowanus · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.0

“Particularly great for groups” , this Gowanus Korean BBQ spot is furnished with communal tables for “awesome” grill-your-own spreads washed down with “outstanding cocktails” and “handcrafted soju” ; the mood is “low-key hip” , and post-meal the private karaoke rooms are “a hoot.”
Japanese · Fort Greene · $$$

Hidden behind a door at Walter’s in Fort Greene, this elegant Japanese izakaya serves eclectic contemporary bites to go with sake, whiskey and beautifully presented cocktails. The setting is dark and softly lit, with vinyl records adding to the speakeasy mood.
Katz's Delicatessen
Lower East Side · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.0 · Service 3.5

A “legendary” LES landmark since 1888 (with its first offshoot in Brooklyn’s DeKalb Market Hall), this “bucket lister” remains the “gold standard” for “sky-high” pastrami sandwiches and other “real-deal” Jewish deli eats; the “crowded, hectic” space is “nothing to talk about” , but for a “classic NYC” experience it still has many joining 'When Harry Met Sally' fans in shouting “yes, yes, yes!”
La Sirena
Italian · Chelsea · $$$
Food 4.1 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.0

A “hit” from the Batali-Bastianich team, this “high-end” hot spot in Chelsea’s Maritime Hotel delivers a “refined Italian” menu led by “first-rate” pastas; the “gorgeous” layout includes a sprawling patio and “huge, airy bar” that mixes “ambitious” cocktails and hosts a “happening” scene.
Loosie's Kitchen & Cafe
Soul Food · Williamsburg · $$$

French · Greenwich Village · $$$
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.5 · Service 4.0

A young team takes on traditional Gallic fare at this tiny Greenwich Village French delivering modern interpretations of high-end classics. There’s both bar and banquette seating, with mod pendant lights and marble surfaces accenting the charming space.
Momofuku Ko
American · East Village · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.5

A “phenomenal experience” for an “open-minded foodie” , David Chang’s East Village “event” provides a “fascinating tour” of Asian-inspired American cuisine via “extraordinary” tasting menus crafted at a sleekly “comfortable” chef’s counter; the “steep” price tag is considered “well worth” it, so reservations are still as “tough” as “getting past heaven’s gates.”
Vegan · Greenwich Village · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.1

Chef John Fraser (Dovetail, Narcissa) uses a “global palate of flavors and techniques” to craft “delicious, interesting” vegetarian cuisine at this “grown-up” Greenwich Villager; a “fresh” modern space and “conscientious” team boost the “class” factor – “too bad it's already an impossible reservation.”
Korean · East Village · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.0

Specializing in “out-of-the-box” Korean fare, this East Villager matches “excellent renditions” of “modern” dishes (the “honey butter chips are a must” ) with “high-quality sojus” ; the “pint-sized” space is “tight” , but once you “cram yourself in” the food “speaks for itself.”
American · Prospect Heights · $$$

A chef with an all-star history (Per Se, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Chicago’s Alinea) has teamed up with a farmer to open this Prospect Heights American drawing from super-local sources, including its own backyard garden. The woodsy interior brings nature inside with the beginnings of a live green wall, and has a chef’s counter for watching the action.
Quality Eats
Steakhouse · West Village · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.4

These “accessible” Quality Meats spin-offs court a “young crowd” with “lesser-known” but “still delicious” cuts of meat, plus “inventive” starters and sides; “chill” settings with whimsical details further the “great buzz.”
Tanoshi Sushi Sake Bar
Japanese · East 70s · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.0 · Service 4.1

Known for “fantastic” omakase-only meals at “bang-for-the-buck” prices, this “hole-in-the-wall” Yorkville Japanese racks up the “wows” with an “excellent assortment of fish and preparations” ; yes, the “no-frills” seating is “tight” , but the BYO policy is a “nice bonus.”
American · Meatpacking District · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.1

Danny Meyer’s “sophisticated” New American in the Whitney Museum offers an “interesting” menu of “well-crafted” “farm-to-fork” bites in “arty” presentations befitting the location; the “airy” windowed space has an “unhurried” atmosphere, while outdoor seats make you feel part of the Meatpacking “scene.”