Fall's Biggest Restaurant Openings in NYC

Forget fashion and football: food is the fall phenomenon that all New Yorkers can agree on. This season usually sees the biggest restaurant openings of the year, and 2010 is no exception. Here are the top 10 New York restaurant openings to look out for--time to start making those reservations. (Photo: The Empire Diner becomes the Highliner, while an unrelated union brew-ha-ha takes place out front).

Updated: September 22, 2010

New York Fall Restaurant Preview


Lincoln

142 W 65th St, New York, NY 10023

Lincoln is undoubtedly the biggest opening of the year, what with a star chef like Jonathan Benno (former chef de cuisine of nearby Per Se), millions poured into the design, and the backing of a Lincoln Center newly restored to the tune of $1.2 billion. But can it beat Marea (just a few blocks away) at Italian fine dining? (Opening late September.)


Andrew Carmellini's New Restaurant

131 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

It doesn't yet have a name, but it does have a name in Andrew Carmellini, whose Locanda Verde has been one of the hottest restaurants of 2010. Bucking the high-end Italian trend he was a big proponent of, Carmellini is going American and casual with this Soho restaurant. (Opening November.)


Red Rooster

310 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10027

Born in Ethiopia and raised in Sweden, he's earned three stars from the Times, a "Best Chef" award from James Beard, and cooked for Barack Obama; now Marcus Samuelsson is opening an ambitious, probably neighborhood-changing soul food restaurant compound in Harlem with an attached cafe and a speakeasy bar below. (Opening October.)


Osteria Morini

218 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

Since he opened the city's top Italian restaurant, Marea, everyone's been waiting on Michael White's next move, and here it is: a casual Italian venture in Soho, focusing on the meat-heavy cuisine of Emilia-Romagna and bringing top-notch cooking to an area more known for tacos and late-night partying. (Opening late September.)


The Highliner

210 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011

When a neighborhood institution like Chelsea's Empire Diner closes, it's always sad, but luckily the art-deco diner will remain, and the team behind the Coffee Shop empire will de-grease the menu a bit and keep the place open way late for apres-clubbing eats. (Opening late September.)


Fedora Restaurant

239 W 4TH St, New York, NY 10014

The original Fedora wasn't just a neighborhood favorite, it was a New York institution, so a lot is expected of new owner Gabe Stulman, who's planning an all-new restaurant here of the same name. An impressive resume (The Little Owl, Joseph Leonard) gives the West Village high hopes for this newcomer. (Opening November.)


Fish Tag

222 W 79th St, New York, NY 10024

The Upper West Side is getting a serious seafood spot this fall from Michael Psilakis, with both an icy raw bar and a mercurial young chef in Ryan Skeen. This is Psilakis' fourth shot at making this space work, but with a unique concept (gimmick?)--the fish will be served whole with the tag still attached--and serious talent in the kitchen, this could be a keeper. (Opening October.)


Spritzenhaus

33 Nassau Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222

The owner of Spitzer's Corner is opening this 6,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor gastro-pub and beer garden in Brooklyn. Fancy German and Belgian beers should pair well with European-style gastro-fare, and this could be a real game-changer for up-and-coming, but still barren, Greenpoint. (Opening October.)


Mehtaphor

130 Duane St, New York, NY 10013

After charming the pants off of the East Village with Graffiti, Jehangir Mehta has scored bigger digs with this playful (if unfortunately named) Tribeca restaurant. The place will no doubt be a neighborhood hangout--with a communal table wired for laptop surfing--and the food--think beef tartare with guacamole ice cream?is sure to draw diners from far-flung 'hoods. (Opening September.)


Hill Country Chicken

1123 Broadway, New York, NY 10010

The fried chicken thing may have reached its zenith earlier this year, but this is Hill Country we're talking about. There'll be just two kinds of chicken and plenty of Southern sides to match, plus milkshakes, all served cafeteria-style in typical Hill Country fashion. (Opening September.)