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Restaurant recommendations, new openings, and highlights from the NY Chowhound community.

When Life Gives You Day-Old Bagels, Make Bread Pudding

Whenever Norma's has leftover bagels, they don't go to waste. This cozy café in Ridgewood, Queens—a Chowhound haunt for cookies and cupcakes—repurposes them in killer bread pudding with savory add-ons like mushrooms, cheese, bacon, and sausage. But call ahead—no day-old bagels, no bread pudding.

Hands-On Cajun-Asian Seafood at the Boil

Chowhounds are elbow-deep in rich, spicy seafood at The Boil, which brought the Gulf Coast–by-way-of-California Cajun-Asian crab shack to Manhattan early this year. A hot mess of crawfish, shrimp, lobster, or other marine critters comes seasoned and boiled in plastic bags. Bibs and gloves are offered. You should use them.

Early Report: Basque Bites at Donostia in the East Village

The tiny kitchen at three-week-old Donostia manages to turn out a long lineup of Basque-style pintxos—cheeses, meats, vegetables, fresh and cured seafood, and more. Sealing the deal for Chowhound mitchleeny: a deep list of sherries, vermouths, beer, wine, and cider.

Fresh Lamb Intel from Middle Eastern Brooklyn

Cobble Hill's Yemen Café branched out last year in Bay Ridge, bringing superbly done lamb—grilled, slow-roasted, or in soup—that Chowhound foodwhisperer considers the best around. For a neighborhood that just lost a Yemeni go-to spot this summer, that's delicious consolation.

Early Report: At the Simone, Echoes of an Era Worth Revisiting

The Simone might be just what the Upper East Side needed. This month-old restaurant showcases assured New American cooking in an upscale setting that transports Chowhound dzop to an earlier era of fine dining at the likes of An American Place. Spot-on scallops (pictured) show what Chef Chip Smith is up to: delivering depth from demi-glace and textural contrast from perfectly braised vegetables and toasted walnuts.

Crazy-Good Donut Craft at Dough Loco

In the donut world, there's no standing still. Among Dough Loco's ever-changing offerings, Chowhounds go for light, fluffy yeast donuts in maple-miso and pineapple–brown butter flavors. At Italian small-plate specialist Sorella, 'hounds' go-to donuts are donut holes, made to order with a sweet and agreeably salty glaze.

Italian Bites and Sips at Tribeca’s Terra

In Terra, downtown Chowhounds have a newish casual Italian hangout for small plates (and a few large ones) with wine. On a menu from Manhattan restaurant veteran Roberto Passon, early standouts include a truffled pasta special and airy clouds of goat cheese in tomato sauce.

Early Report: Modern Greek at Midtown’s Snack EOS

Greek standards with a twist are on the menu at Snack EOS, the two-week-old Hell's Kitchen spin-off of Village favorite Snack Taverna. Lamb turns up in sliders, and saganaki comes with figs at a spot that one Chowhound calls "delicious and still kind of under the radar."

Grilled Cheese, from Pasture to Park Slope

What kind of grilled cheese sandwiches could you make if you owned a dairy farm? Pretty awesome ones, if three-month-old Meltkraft is any indication. Try the meat- and macaroni-fortified Valley Thunder (pictured) with cheddar from New Jersey's Valley Shepherd Creamery—plus coffee, charcuterie, craft-beer flights, and amazing brownies.

Early Report: Chicken à la Montreal at Rôtisserie Georgette

Spit-roasted chicken, Montreal-style, is the specialty at month-old Rôtisserie Georgette on the Upper East Side. One Chowhound-worthy splurge is a bird for two, stuffed with wild mushrooms and served with foie gras. Another, available for groups of six, is a whole baby pig with bacon-onion marmalade and red wine jus.