The owner of Tanoshi, an uptown sushi spot whose surprisingly good bargain omakase won over Chowhounds in spring, switched things up when he took over the neighboring storefront. Tanoshi Bento, as you'd expect, specializes in combo meals of fresh, home-style Japanese cooking. Delicately battered tempura (pictured) and juicy kara-age chicken are two standouts.
Marani leads from strength with winning vegetarian-friendly starters like walnut-dressed greens and beans. But carnivores are also well fed with kebabs, garlicky chicken tabaka, and tarragon-scented lamb chakapuli. Marani is glatt kosher—the first Georgian restaurant of its kind in New York—so some familiar favorites like cheese-filled breads come from a separate dairy kitchen.
The meat's as good as advertised at American Cut, yet it's almost upstaged by the bread—a dinner-spoiling "everything" biscuit with cream cheese butter that Chowhounds can't stop talking about. We said almost upstaged: Iron Chef Marc Forgione's three-month-old Tribeca steakhouse showcases an NYC Cut—bone-in rib-eye rubbed with pastrami spices—that's tender, deeply seasoned, and beautifully charred.
Two food-fair favorites that draw crowds with Indian flavors have just gone brick-and-mortar, and Chowhounds are settling in happily. Bombay Sandwich Co., which opened a month ago in Midtown, serves lively vegetarian combos of curries, dals, and salads that one 'hound calls "a fully organized riot of tastes." Sandwiches and wraps filled with chickpeas, potato, cheese, chutneys, and more round out the menu. And in Brooklyn, three-week-old Dosa Royale brings promising South Indian cooking—curries, thali platters, and naturally its signature dosas—to Carroll Gardens, along with tropical-accented cocktails with flavors of tamarind and calamansi.
In a little Middle Eastern neighborhood that's gotten scant attention from Chowhounds, Arth Aljanatain cooks Yemeni food that deserves to be talked about. Its chicken and rice is homey and right on target, with excellent chicken and even better rice—"a sheened fluffy miracle of moistness," Chowhound Jim Leff writes. "Don't expect finesse ... but there's a lot of love in the food."
Fans of Midtown's Café China may recognize its signature ’30s décor at China Blue, its three-week-old sister restaurant in Tribeca. What's different at the new place is the food—Shanghai style, not Sichuan. Expect well-executed regional standards like silky drunken chicken, tender West Lake vinegar fish, and rich, slow-braised dongpo pork (pictured) with excellent lotus buns.
Not much gets past the true Chowhound. She'll drill down through a menu of Southern-style seafood to unearth a handful of Burmese rarities, take a chance on a new sushi spot marked only by a paper sign to sniff out an all-city contender, or venture into a pizza-and-pasta joint that looks like a thousand others and uncover the secret lab of a mac-and-cheese wizard. Here's an alphabetical list of intrepid New York 'hounds' most rewarding discoveries of 2013. READ MORE
On New York's restaurant scene, it was a year of triumphant second acts. WD-50's Wylie Dufresne, M. Wells' Hugue Dufour, and Mission Chinese Food's Danny Bowien, among others, followed up past successes with winning sequels. But talented newcomers also stepped into the spotlight—including a French-trained chef rethinking Chinese-American flavors and a sushi understudy who's emerged as a rising star. Here, in alphabetical order, are some of the openings that Chowhounds cheered loudest in 2013. READ MORE