NEW & NOTEWORTHY | THE SEASON’S HOTTEST OPENINGS / by Brackett Bilodeau

The official roundup is here. Check out where to eat, drink, and be seen this winter.


CHEFS CLUB BY FOOD & WINE
275 Mulberry Street at Jersey Street
The heart of NoLIta is abuzz with culinary creativity in the form of a revolutionary project fueled by Food & Wine, curated by resident Chef and Culinary Director Didier Elena along with Food & Wine’s highly lauded Best New Chefs. Each featured chef will incorporate rotating signature dishes into the menu and will also personally host exclusive tastings in an intimate studio. An innovative concept and the first of its kind to launch in New York City, Chefs Club’s inaugural visiting chef roster includes Erik Anderson of upcoming Brut in Minneapolis, Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson of Frasca in Boulder, Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta, and Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon in Portland. Luxury Attaché’s interview series with the gang is not to be missed; check out the first two posts here and here.

SANTINA
820 Washington Street at Gansevoort Street
Major Food Group’s High Line stunner opened its doors last month, bringing a summery vibe to the bleak winter we’ve all endured. Santina, named for Mario Carbone’s grandmother, keeps it coastal with an array of dishes and craft cocktails vibrant in both color and flavor - perfect for those cold weather blues.

ESPOLETA/SRO
334 Bowery between East 2nd and 3rd Streets
Giulio Adriani’s former Forcella space underwent an unexpected renovation late last season and is now back and better than ever. Espoleta, meaning “wishbone” in Spanish (mirroring Forcella’s Italian translation), boasts tapas-style fare with a Mexican twist, the brainchild of consulting chef Sue Torres. Did we mention the hidden pizza speakeasy? Yeah, that’s a thing.

TIJUANA PICNIC
151 Essex Street between Stanton and Rivington Streets
Behold the latest bi-level beauty to grace Essex, brought forth by the team behind Indochine and ACME. Tijuana Picnic’s retro vibe and inventive Asian-influenced Mexican fare join together behind closed (and cleverly hidden) doors. Enter the main floor, a backlit dining area surrounded by spacious booths with a runway of communal tables as a centerpiece leading to a small bar in the back; save a little room for a post-dinner cocktail at the downstairs lounge. Also, shark skewers. Need we say more?

ZUMA
261 Madison Avenue between 38th and 39th Streets
Zuma co-founder and creator Rainer Becker brings his signature modern Japanese cuisine to Madison Avenue in a breathtaking structure by Noriyoshi Muramatsu of Studio Glitt. The city’s first location is comprised of three unique kitchens, each of which highlight Zuma’s renowned flavors and presentation through a variety of mediums. Officially open to the public as of last month, this one’s not to be missed. See why they were voted our number one spicy tuna roll in the city via Haute Living.

THE POLO BAR
1 East 55th Street at Fifth Avenue
An equestrian’s dream come true: Ralph Lauren’s Polo Bar has officially opened its doors. RL’s latest venture has all the details covered, down to the player-engraved tumblers and mallet-shaped swizzle sticks. Amidst the pony paraphernalia and rich leather banquettes, The Polo Bar’s classic dishes shine - we’re talking corned beef and a burger well worth the wait for the table.

CAFÉ CLOVER
10 Downing Street between Sixth Avenue and Bedford Street
Partners and nightlife gurus David Rabin and Kyle Hotchkiss Carone have opened the doors to Café Clover, a bright American spot with health-driven fare and a seasonal cocktail program helmed by JIMMY/The Skylark vet and master mixologist Johnny Swet.

HAPPY ENDING
302 Broome Street between Forsyth and Eldridge Streets
Gallerist Max Levai and restaurateur Oliver Stumm took over this former dive spot and turned it into a retro French bistro. They’ve thrown in Michelin starred chef Francis Gabarrus, a killer cocktail program, and a few neon flamingos for good measure - ladies and gentlemen, we think we’ve got a winner. Don't miss the lounge downstairs.