Restaurant recommendations, new openings, and highlights from the NY Chowhound community.
If Chowhounds find the home-style Malaysian cooking at Aux Epices reassuringly familiar, it may be because this inviting spot is a reincarnation of the much-missed Franklin Station Cafe. Seafood laksa features complex, gently spiced coconut broth; rojak and lamb rendang are also good bets.
Karam's a longtime Lebanese go-to spot in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, for chicken shawarma and more. But there's another don't-miss dish, Chowhounds report: succulent, nicely spiced sujok sausages of lamb and beef, generously stuffed into pitas with tangy pickled vegetables.
At Taverna Kyclades, keep it simple. Seafood from the grill is the specialty at the new East Village branch of a Chowhound destination in Astoria, Queens. Smart orders include octopus and sea bass, done to a turn.
Smorgasburg's an urban grazing wonderland or a cash-sucking hipster magnet, depending on whom you ask. But Chowhounds who prowl these food bazaars have unearthed a gem in Bolivian Llama Party. Its well-stuffed chola sandwiches of pork or brisket balance meaty richness with pickled-vegetable tang.
There's intrigue at the Palace. The hotel's latest dining makeover began with Pomme Palais, a bakery-café opened last month by Michel Richard (LA's Citrus, DC's Citronelle). Éclairs and St. Honoré's cake are on target, and Chowhounds await Richard's follow-up, an ambitious restaurant called Villard.
At Mad. Sq. Eats, Chowhounds are talking tacos. New to the twice-a-year outdoor feed (through October 25) is the BrisketTown crew, rebranded TacoTown and tucking 'hound-certified barbecued brisket or pork, or even Brussels sprouts, into tortillas with fixings like salsa verde and onion relish.
Toro, whose eclectic tapas have conquered Boston, landed two weeks ago in Manhattan. Locals are buying in: smart orders include blowfish tail with Moroccan spices; grilled corn with cayenne, lime, and Cotija cheese; and an irresistible off-menu bite of sea urchin on a spoon.
Chinese but not too Chinese, as one Chowhound puts it—even adventurous eaters may need an upscale, gringo-friendly restaurant when the parents are in town. Presentable yet 'hound-worthy options include the refined, tea-focused Radiance and RedFarm, home to a 'hound-endorsed dumpling master.
Sidewalk tamale vendors long ago colonized uptown turf from the 70s to City College. The latest Chowhound sighting is at Columbus and 72nd in the morning. Check out tasty tamales with cheese or chicken and red or green sauce.
"What a boring, stale list," one Chowhound scoffed, assessing Michelin's latest pantheon of New York restaurants—yet as usual it's given 'hounds plenty to chew over. In: one-star debutantes Aska and Carbone, among others. Left out: Acme, Louro, Sushi Yasuda. Outraged? Amused? Join the conversation.