Cool New Restaurants Opening This Fall in NYC

Cool New Restaurants Opening This Fall in NYC

Courtesy Avena


This fall it’s all about hidden gems. Exciting food is happening down a subway staircase from the street, on the third floor of an office building, down a SoHo alleyway, and within a food court on the Lower East Side. From Japanese to Korean, Indian and Italian, as you plan your fall vacation to NYC, add these new restaurants to your must-try list. 





Executive Chef Roberto Deiaco and his wife Giselle are adding to the Avena collection and returning to the Upper East Side. Located in a Louis Candela designed townhouse off Madison Avenue, Avena will be a short walk from Central Park and serve modern Northern Italian fare. The feast begins with the bread basket and its addictive carta di musica, a tissue-thin flatbread brushed with butter and sprinkled with salt and rosemary to represent musical notes. Those familiar with the chef’s talents know that fresh pasta reigns supreme, and the ravioli filled with creamy ricotta and quail egg yolk doesn’t disappoint. For the carnivore crowd, Colorado lamb loin with Castelvetrano olive crust is worthy of a standing ovation. Avena’s cream walls, crimson banquettes, and low lighting will wrap you in a romantic glow while enjoying top-notch Italian cuisine made with the freshest of seasonal and local ingredients.


Dhamaka (88 Essex St.)

Owner Roni Mazumdar and Executive Chef Chintan Pandya of Rahi and Adda Indian Canteen are bringing a bold new Indian restaurant to the newly developed Essex Street Market on the corner of Delancey and Essex Streets. Dhamaka, which means “burst of emotions” in Hindi, will focus on regional Indian home cooking. Dhamaka will be open for lunch and dinner with the possible addition of breakfast. The casual 60-seat restaurant also includes a 10-seat bar, and the decor will be vibrant with “industrial-chic” accents. While market-goers will be able to access the restaurant from inside, it will also have its own street entrance.  


Red Peony 

After her success in Flushing, Connie Zhang decided to bring the same high standard and quality of Chinese cuisine to Manhattan. Red Peony is a 75-seat contemporary Chinese restaurant in Midtown, specializing in elegant Shanghai cuisine (also known as Benbang cuisine) with selections of versatile Sichuan and Cantonese dishes.The menu includes many Shanghainese home-style dishes such as Shanghai spring rolls, smoked fish, and Shanghai bean curd. Be sure to try signature dishes like steamed pork bun (one of the most popular Shanghai-style dumplings), Peking duck (the all-time favorite Chinese dish) and king crab (a best-seller at Royal Queen) in Flushing, Queens. 



Courtesy Red Peony





Piccola Cucina Uptown (106 East 60th St.)

Piccola Cucina Uptown is the sixth Sicilian Osteria opened by Chef Philip Guardione since his arrival in New York in 2008. The food he serves brings out the flavors of the Mediterranean in a unique way thanks to a mix of ancient (and extremely secret) recipes by his grandmother, and his personal and exciting re-invention of Sicilian flavors. A pasta- making station is positioned in the front window of the rustic 74-seat restaurant with a fan for drying the freshly made noodles, a display of rolling pins adorns a burlap covered wall, and imported jarred products line the shelves of cabinets that house flour and grains. The all-day menu includes a variety of antipasto, salads, pastas, and specialty entrees including Focaccia Di Recco, a mouthwatering cheese filled flatbread rarely made in New York City. There’s a full bar from cocktails, wine and beer, and pasta-making classes in the future.


The New York Pizza Festival (October 5-6, Crescent Ave., Bronx, noon–5 pm)

The first-ever pizza festival on U.S. soil returns for its second year this October bringing together a collection of some of the best pizzerias across America — from New York, Connecticut, Chicago, Las Vegas and many other cities, including a special consortium of pizzerias from Naples, Italy. The New York Pizza Festival is sponsored and hosted by Orlando Food Sales, Caputo Flour Mill, CIAO Tomato Factory, and co-hosted by the Belmont Business Improvement District, the official organization representing the businesses of Little Italy in the Bronx.


Courtesy Brick + Wood Pizza (New York PIzza Festival)




Ahgassi (315 Fifth Avenue at 32nd St.)

Ahgassi, which translates to “young lady” in Korean, is a popular Korean barbeque restaurant in Los Angeles that partners Bobby Kwak, Joseph Ko and Chef Michael Sim (Baekjeong KBBQ) are bringing to New York City this fall. While grilled meats of all kinds are on the menu, Ahgassi is widely known for cooking beef intestines and other offals, which will be featured items, as will be cuts from nose to tail. The 74-seat restaurant is located on the third floor of a building located in K-town and is stylishly designed with grill-topped tables.


Toko (49 W. 32nd St.)

Don't search for Toko by walking down the street; this new Sushi and Japanese food omakase restaurant is actually below ground. To get to the restaurant, one must descend into the Southeast corner of the subway station at West 32nd Street and Broadway (no Metrocard needed). The brainchild of Bobby Kwak andJoseph Ko (Baekjeong KBBQ and soon to open Ahgassi), Toko has two chefs at the helm: Sushi Chef Jordan Harris formerly of Shuko, and Nami Song of Bouley, who will be in charge of the hot kitchen. The 1,500 square foot space has an 18-seat counter, and a private room seating eight guests.



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