One of the best parts of being so close to the New York restaurant world consists of watching greatness blossom. Here is a short list of restaurants whose chefs, I believe, will be the David Changs and Michael Whites of tomorrow.
A sprawling, citadel-like space in the farthest reaches of Brooklyn, this bushwick pizzeria has grown into one of the most adventurous and exciting restaurants in New York City.
What started out a loving tribute to Italian-American food from two talented young line cooks has morphed under their genius into a true culinary destination, a French Laundry for the Sunday Gravy set. No reservations.
It's best known for its pastrami, but the really interesting thing for me are the original takes on Jewish food -- from a smoked chicken with rye gnocchi to a veal-laded kasha varnishkes.
It's rare that a sequel surpasses the original, but Alimentari is the Road Warrior of restaurants, an expanded and improved tribute to rustic italian food that is bigger, better, and more ambitious than its original. The salumi by itself is worth coming for, but stay for the porchetta and short ribs.
This high-concept take on Mexican food from Alex Stupak was the last thing anyone expected from the former wd-50 dessert whiz. But it was a hit from the moment it opened, owing to its original, ultra-tight, and utterly awesome take on one of the least explored, but most loved ethnic cuisines.
A collaboration between the city's most succesful and stylish new restaurateur, Gabe Stulman, and arguably the most talented young chef in town, Perla manages to be both uninhibitedly meat and also somehow romantic. It's a place you can take a girl on a date and still eat beef tongue and tripe pasta. It can be a little loud but who cares. A must-visit for New Yorkers interested in modern Italian food.
Two gifted young Manhattan line cooks move to Brooklyn, start a tiny, superb restaurant and immediately outshine their former bosses: who could resist that story?
Chef Hooni Kim is bringing an all-new taste experience to New Yorkers whose experience of Korean food was mostly limited to 32nd street, and he does his thing best at this cool, understated Flatiron restaurant.
The "New Scandinavian Cooking" was pretty much a bust in New York, with the exception of this very fine restaurant, which is just adventurous enough to be interesting, but not so much so as to freak anybody out. A great date restaurant.
A very fine example of the "lardcore" or modern southern restaurant; certainly the most refined. It shares with its brooklyn sibling, Char No. 4, an extensive bourbon selection.