New York Restaurants April 2024: Where To Go

Food & Drink

Edible enlightenment from our eatery experts and colleagues Monie Begley, Richard Nalley and Randall Lane, as well as brothers Bob, Kip and Tim.

Café Boulud

100 East 63rd St. (Tel.: 212-772-2600)

After a two­-year closure and in a new location, this cafe, part of Daniel Boulud’s empire, is in its glory. Teal velvet banquettes with wood tables ring the room, and a large marble table is in the center, topped with a glorious floral bouquet. But here food is the star. Choose from four silos: La Tradition (French classics), La Saison (seasonal specialties), Le Potager (the garden) and Le Voyage (world cuisines). Dishes are masterfully overseen by executive chef Romain Paumier. From La Tradition, the foie gras au kumquat is dense and creamy and is easily followed by braised Angus ribs or strip steak. From La Saison, the St. Jacques au champagne is perfectly seared scallops in a swirl of champagne beurre blanc. Le Potager presents a rich mushroom soup with a chest­nut confit, black truffle and crème fraîche. LeVoyage: Pan­-roasted dorade with chili chutney and white miso is perfection. Pastry chef Katalina Diaz’s desserts are irresistible.


Café Carmellini

The Fifth Avenue Hotel, 1 West 28th St. (Tel.: 212-231-9400)

Celebrity chef Andrew Carmellini’s cafe is situated in a historic Beaux­-Arts building and new hotel tower, where he goes all out in a vaulted­-ceiling, tree­sculptured space that includes balconies and lots of Deco touches. Even something as simple as oysters has been reinvented here. Described as “à la Pomme,” a dollop of green apple sorbet with fresh horseradish says, “move over mignonette.” Winter citrus and beet carpaccio is also a home run. Squab is served pink and perfect in a croute thinner than a paper bag. Rabbit primavera is so fresh it nearly hops off the plate. The choco­late pear délice is a fabulous dessert, as is the flaming aged rum sticky toffee pudding.


Hoexter’s

174 East 82nd St. (Tel.: 212-288-1777)

Alexandra Shapiro, daughter of the owners of the original Hoexter’s Market, has a smash hit with this second iteration. The new brasserie is located in the family’s former Flex Mussels space and is very cozy and buzzy, with three unique rooms. The menu offers popular clas­sics with updates—with one exception: a sinful gorgonzola garlic bread served in a swath of gorgonzola cream bechamel that 40 years ago was on the menu, and is again. For appetizers, try the tuna crudo in a citrus pool, the caviar and potato chips, the rich French onion soup, the mortadella plate or the spicy calamari ar­rabbiata. The mains are easy raves: a gigantic pork Milanese, perfect steak frites, the lightest Faroe Island salmon in a beurre blanc sauce and a double smash cheeseburger with a spe­cial sauce. Be sure to have a side of the winter Caesar salad finely chopped with shaved Brus­sels sprouts, purple cauliflower and sprinkled with Parmesan. Desserts are wonderful; if you’re with a group, order them all.


Cathédrale

Moxy Hotel, 112 East 11th St. (Tel.: 212-888-1093)

Not your grandpa’s expense account hotel and restaurant, which didn’t feature hanging leather swings and a Skee-­Ball machine. The well­-heeled younger crowd comes for the wow­-factor, high-­glam dining room decor, featuring a soaring ceiling with a dramatic sculpture of spiky mesh, massive swag draper­ies and theatrical lighting. The generously portioned offerings from the Mediterranean-leaning menu are good, with highlights that include a meaty, smoky Hen of the Woods brochette, a memorable rotisserie chicken on a bed of chanterelles and fondant potatoes, and the $75 “Plats Royale” entrecôte au poivre.


Gus’s Chop House

215 Union St., Brooklyn (Tel.: 347-227-8421)

Situated on the Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill border, this unfussy restaurant’s sure­-handed way with everything from cocktail standards to sides worth the trip themselves to a range of sensational meat entrees elevates this self­declared “neighborhood restaurant” into all­-city contention. Ask the chef to put a meal together for you, and $105 will bring a feast that might include marjoram­-rubbed chicken à la plancha, pork porterhouse brined in brown sugar, and thyme­-inflected slices of hanger steak with a plethora of sides like comte creamed spinach and shallots, crispy roasted potatoes with rosemary and pine nut-sprinkled spring onion piquillo.


San Matteo New York

1716 Second Ave., at 89th St. (Tel.: 212-426-6943)

The talented, gracious Casella brothers, Fabio and Ciro, have opened a new ristorante and brought their award­-winning pizzas (dozens of choices) with them. The new location seats about 60, has a busy bar and an open kitchen. The menu is influenced by the brothers’ native Salerno region. Begin with exquisitely grilled octopus served with a garlic aioli, or the layered Parmigiana di melanzane—thin slices of eggplant and homemade mozzarella. The arancini rice balls are stuffed with salami and mozzarella, giving them more taste than the usual. For mid-courses there are pastas, such as candele alla Genovese with a rich, divine ragu sauce; linguine e vongole in a delicate broth with the teeniest of clams; or panuozzi (sandwiches), padellini (dishes cooked in a small pot) or an array of cal­zones. Each main dish is perfectly done. For example, rolled, grilled skirt steak filled with parsley, garlic and Parmigiano Reggiano; chicken Matteo in a luscious lemony sauce; and the hearty grilled salmon. Finish with a plate of cannoli and a steaming espresso.

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