The 15 Hottest New Restaurants in Manhattan, August 2023

The 15 Hottest New Restaurants in Manhattan, August 2023

  • Jordan Hoch
  • 09/5/23

Tatiana by Kwame Onwuachi

Top Chef star, Kwame Onwuachi, who opened two shortlived fine-dining establishments in Washington D.C., returned to his hometown New York City to open his first resturant here. Tatiana, which debuted in early November, is the crown jewel restaurant inside of the $550 million overhaul  at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall. Onwuachi pays homage to his Bronx upbringing, with a menu that includes a crudo-style escovitch and curried goat patties in a high-end dining room with color-changing cloud pendants.

Nasrin's Kitchen

Nasrin Rejali, an Iranian refugee, got her start in New York working in catering, before launching her own pop-up. Now the chef has a permanent home for Nasrin’s Kitchen tucked away on the second floor of a Midtown building, above a deli. The halal menu at Nasrin’s Kitchen starts with items like Persian noodle soup ash reshteh, sauteed eggplant, kashk bademjon, and the herbaceous dish with egg, kuku sabzi. For entrees, find gheymeh, a yellow split pea and beef stew with saffron, ghormeh sabzi, a beef stew with beans, and fesenjoon, a stew with walnuts, saffron, and pomegranate molasses.


Mischa has a disarmingly neutral dining room for an Alex Stupak restaurant — not the hyper-saturated, magical-realism-inspired decor of Empellón. It’s the backdrop for a deceptively whimsical menu of familiar dishes paired with less obvious details: Hummus wed to garlic twists; gai lan (Chinese broccoli) for a Caesar salad; salt pork with pierogies; and fried chicken with adobo. Don’t miss the restaurant’s version of apple pie made with sticky buns that are stealing the show. Eater critic Robert Sietsema says that he hates that he loves the $29 hot dog. 

Alligator Pear

Chef Dominick Lee opened his first New York resturaunt in July as a love letter to his hometown of New Orleans. Lee’s roots run through the menu, dishes he worked on through pop-ups gearing up for the launch at places like Williamsburg wine bar Sauced and Bushwick Vietnamese Mexican restaurant Falansai. There’s a Creole-style mac and cheese, black-eyed pea hummus, char-broiled oysters, as well as a blue cornmeal breaded catfish with cabbage slaw and pickles, and gumbo. Alligator makes an appearance in the form of breaded tenders.


Michael Cecchi-Azzolina, author of Your Table Is Ready: Tales of a New York City Maître D’, and alum of Le Coucou and Raoul’s, is behind Cecchi’sThe American bistro, which opened in July, is hoping to evoke the same spirit of literary scene favorite Café Loup, which clsoed in 2019. Cecchi-Azzolina told Drub Street the menu is what he calls “New York soul food,” which in practice means burgers, ribs, and chicken à la king.


Libertine is the latest new-wave French restaurant to debut in Manhattan. The spot is led by Cody Pruitt, general manager of nearby Anfora wine bar. Chef Max Mackinnon joins him, an alum of Pistou in Burlington where he nabbed a James Beard nom, and later, Relae in Copenhagen, and Rose’s Luxury in D.C. The friends blend their experiences in a menu that leans French with scallops with seaweed, a chicken with its claw retained, and chocolate mousse for dessert.


Roscioli made big news when it announced it would be partnering with West Village operator, Ariel Arce, to flip her now-closed Niche Niche, into the Roman restaurant group’s New York headquarters. In July, Roscioli opened in NYC: currently, it’s tasting menu only, but a more casual upstairs dining room, and an alimentari (Italian provisions shop with cheese, meats, and other goods), will open.

Superiority Burger

Few restaurants have garnered as much excitement and now a three-star New York Times review over a reopening as Superiority Burger, which took over the former home of Ukrainian diner Odessa with an expanded menu, booze, and late-night hours. Of course, you can get the namesake burger, but also consider the collard green sandwich, the yuba verde, and rotating vegetable dishes like the beets with pretzels. Be sure to save room for the excellent desserts.

C as in Charlie

C as in Charlie is a new Korean American restaurant that excels at getting its customers drunk: The owners, a trio that grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, roam the dining room with off-menu bottles of sake and soju, pouring shots for customers or one another. The menu pulls from the team’s southern roots, with a “Seoul’sbury steak” served on a bed of Gruyere grits and an ox-bone cream pasta. Fun is the point here with a dessert made to look like a bagel with cream-cheese gelato. On weekends, the restaurant serves food until midnight, making it a solid late-night sit-down option.


Sartiano’s replaces the Mercer Kitchen at the Mercer Hotel, which had been in the space for 25 years. Now under the jurisdiction of Scott Sartiano behind membership club and Mayor Eric Adam's go-to, Zero Bond, he’s teamed up with three-time James Beard Award-winning chef, Alfred Portale for Italian American restaurant with fine dining flair.


Raf’s, which took over the iconic Parisi Bakery space earlier this year, is a white tablecloth restaurant from the team behind the Michelin-starred Musket Room. The savory menu from chef Mary Attea includes French and Italian dishes that use the nearly-century-old oven, once home to Parisi Bakery. Camari Mick, who handles the sweets side at the Musket Room, and Raf’s, sells baked goods during the weekend at the front bakery.

Torrisi Bar and Restaurant

Torrisi Bar and Restaurant is a revival of sorts for Torrisi Italian Specialties — the Nolita restaurant which closed in 2015 — reborn in the historic Puck Building. Since its original incarnation, Major Food Group has been on a global expansion tear, bringing its theatrical red-sauce hits like Carbone to other cities. At Torrisi, the team attempts to keep things local by infusing some New York elements in dishes like chopped liver with Manischewitz, and an octopus dish said to be inspired by a Baxter Street Vietnamese restaurant.

Foul Witch

The Roberta’s team debuted its long-promised Italian restaurant and wine bar in the East Village last month. At the moment, no pizza is served, but you won't miss it, when you try one of the several small plates of rotating pasta, like veal tortellini. While Roberta’s fine dining restaurant Blanca remains closed, this is a more casual a la carte sibling.


In June, Scarr’s Pizza relocated across the street to 35 Orchard Street, to larger, more modern digs. Scarr’s is owned by Scarr Pimentel, one of the city’s few Black pizza makers, turning out what has routinely been described as the standard bearer for the perfect slice. The original location first opened in 2016, is known for its New York-style slices, and "low-key milling its own grains."

Mei Lai Wah Wonton Noodle

Wonton Noodle Garden, a restaurant anchored in Manhattan’s Chinatown for more than 40 years, closed in June: Its lease on Mott Street had expired and the landlord didn't want to renew.  It moved to a new storefront and rebranded as Mei Lai Wah Wonton Noodle, a nod to another restaurant in the neighborhood from the same owners, Mei Lai Wah, which recently celebrated its 60-year anniversary and opened a Greenwich Village offshoot run by the owners' children. The menu at the takeover has stayed the same on Pell Street, where orders of pork wontons and pan-fried noodles, most priced around $10, are still served on disposable plates.


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