Welcome to Where to Eat, the new restaurant newsletter from The New York Times, with my recommendations! Chances are you don’t know me yet. I am Nikita Richardson, an editor for the Food section. When people ask me why I got into food reporting – I was formerly an editor for New York magazine’s Grub Street and editor of Bon Appétit – my answer is simple: I love to eat and I love to make an event in its own right when I do.
It’s a huge privilege to live close to so many amazing dining options. So I want to offer a service to Times readers who just need to know where to eat. Like now.
Each week in this newsletter, we’ll go through the wide range of restaurants in New York and the metro area – indoors, outdoors, curbside, takeout, in your car. We’ll dive deep into dishes you might find familiar or unfamiliar. And along the way, we’ll answer New York’s toughest culinary questions, like, “Where can a steakhouse lover and a vegan eat together happily?” or “Where should you grab a bite or a drink when your Plan A restaurant has a two-hour wait?” (Tip: Always have a Plan B restaurant.)
I’m thrilled to be on this trip and hope you’re just as excited to join me. Email me at [email protected] with your most pressing restaurant questions or even just to share polite feedback, and you might see an answer in a future newsletter. Let’s eat!
What new places are open on Mondays?
If the Food section here at The Times had an FAQ, “Where should I eat on Mondays?” would be near the top of this list. Here are a dozen new restaurants from bakers, children of the pandemic, who have made themselves available for our dietary needs as so many sit-down restaurants understandably take a well-deserved break at the start of the week.
I think about Wauan intriguing new Southeast Asian restaurant on the Upper West Side, and Rolo’s in Ridgewood, Queens, where the dream of Monday night banana daiquiris and short rib carbonara is alive and well. My mental inventory also includes Cha Kee in Manhattan’s Chinatown. As my colleague Pete Wells wrote in a recent review, Chef Akiko Thurnauer’s menu “travels freely through China” and returns with flaky pastries inspired by Hong Kong’s curry puffs and chicken blackened and simmered afloat in a curry rich in turmeric. And if I need an excellent aguachile on a Monday, I’ll probably turn to Mariscos El Submarino in Jackson Heights, Queens.
There is also Soothr Thai Noodle Bar in the East Village, another Pete Wells Critic’s Pick, which is perfect if you like a little wallpaper escape with your ba mii pu. Adjacent to Hudson Yards Ci Siamo, which Pete has hailed as the best Union Square Hospitality project in some time, offers its buffalo butter tagliatelle and classic Italian cocktails on Mondays. (Also open is nearby Chez Zou Zouthe new Mediterranean restaurant from the Quality Branded catering group; Lodi, Ignacio Mattos’ Italian restaurant at Rockefeller Center, which now serves dinner; and Andrew Carmelini Carne Mare.)
If you have tremendous foresight and incredible luck, Finalist at Park Slope, Brooklyn, the bakery’s sister restaurant Winner, has three sessions every Monday (5 p.m., 6.30 p.m., 8.15 p.m.). Small-bite lovers should look no further than the Spanish Seafood Spot El Pinguino in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, for a Monday night treat. And for a special occasion, you can expect Gauge and toll in Downtown Brooklyn will be there for you and your loved ones.
I hope you’ll save this newsletter for future Mondays, and I’d love to know your favorite places to dine when cooking dinner at the start of the week just isn’t the right fit. Just contact us at [email protected], and you might see an answer here. Thanks for reading Where to Eat, and see you next week.
In other news…
On April 8, join me for a virtual subscriber-only event with The Times’ Priya Krishna and comedian Desus Nice to talk about where to eat in New York City.
Leland Food and Beverage House in Prospect Heights is now home to a branch of Leland Baking House, producing vegan versions of cinnamon rolls and other baked goods.
Domenico DeMarco, owner of Pizza Fara in Midwood, Brooklyn, and a link between “southern Italian cuisine” and “local New York culture”, died last week at age 85.
Pete Wells reviewed Casa Danifrom chef Dani García, who seems to have abandoned molecular gastronomy for the divine pleasures of down-to-earth Spanish cuisine.
Openings: Jersey City is now home to the waterfront restaurant Terra and Mare; the indonesian pop-up Kakilima will host multi-course dinners in April and May at Abigail’s Kitchen in Greenwich Village; Greg Baxtrom will open his last restaurant, At Patti Ann’s, in Prospect Heights tomorrow; and more.
The original location of Freda, Jack’s wife in Soho will close after service on Sunday and will reopen next door at 226 Lafayette Street on April 1. On the same day, the four New York locations will begin serving breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner daily.
And for a roundup of local news beyond the restaurants, sign up for New York Today.