Hirohisa is a two-month-old Japanese small-plates place from Hirohisa Hayashi, who worked similar turf at Hibino, a Chowhound hangout in Brooklyn. At his new restaurant, try seasonal dishes from Japan's northern coast like tender grilled sardines (pictured), à la carte or in omakase dinners.
Deniz rocks zucchini pancakes, feta-spinach phyllo rolls, and other Turkish savory dishes, but for some, what really sets the place apart is killer house-made baklava (pictured). "Perfect textures, wonderfully fresh walnuts, the taste of butter to reawaken your idea of what butter can be," one Chowhound writes.
Queens Chowhounds have followed Chef Michael Zampitelli for years, going back to La Tavernetta in Glendale and Forest Hills. Now he's resurfaced at three-week-old Osteria Italiana in Maspeth. Try great, inexpensive pastas, meatballs, and an old 'hound favorite: a strapping sandwich (pictured) of juicy grilled chicken and mozzarella with shallot vinaigrette.
At two-week-old Khe-Yo in Tribeca, a Laotian-born, Western-trained chef is bringing an upscale gloss to flavors from his homeland. Chowhounds (and Laotian expats) are buzzing about deftly balanced sour-spicy dishes like crunchy coconut rice balls with kaffir lime sausage and duck salad with lemongrass and chile.
An industrial quarter of Queens is the unlikely home of Bún-ker, which makes Vietnamese food with finesse and top-notch ingredients. Chowhounds recommend spring rolls (pictured) and banh xeo (crispy crêpes), among other dishes. Bún-ker's upmarket approach may sound familiar—its owners won fans some years back at Tigerland in Manhattan.
Homey, hearty Jamaican cooking—oxtail stew (pictured), jerk and curry chicken, and knockout sides like collards, cabbage, and rice and peas—have Chowhounds buzzing about Ren's Home 'R' Yard, a cute, cozy spot in Flatbush, Brooklyn.
Just as Keizo Shimamoto was about to bring his celebrated Tokyo ramen shop Bassanova to New York, the deal collapsed (though a Bassanova just opened in Chinatown without his participation). Rebounding swiftly, he hatched the Ramen Burger (pictured): a shoyu-seasoned beef patty in a fried-noodle "bun" that debuted to raves at Brooklyn's Smorgasburg. Find out where it'll turn up next on Shimamoto's blog.