Something Curated highlights six of the most exciting new and recently launched restaurants to try in New York this November, taking a closer look at the chefs and proprietors behind the promising food offerings.
Saigon Social || Helen Nguyen, Andy Tong & Khai Vu
Raised in Seattle with roots in California and Vietnam, Helen Nguyen has been serving up her Vietnamese comfort food via pop-ups, including one at Lower East Side bar Boys Don’t Cry last year, to delighted crowds. The Restaurant Daniel alum is now opening a new Vietnamese restaurant in the LES at the former Mission Cantina space, with a menu heavily influenced by the food she ate growing up as a child. Called Saigon Social, like her previous pop-ups, it is focused on Vietnamese home cooking, with both classic and lesser-known dishes on offer.
172 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002
Thai Diner || Ann Redding & Matt Danzer
Ann Redding and Matt Danzer have a talent for conceiving restaurants with personal details that feel authentic, and their Michelin starred Nolita spot Uncle Boons unwaveringly draws queues for its delicious take on Thai food, as well as its relaxed ambience. Now, Danzer and Redding reinterpret the diner as a place to go when you’re craving a Thai omelette rather than a Western one, and where the disco fries come doused with curry instead of gravy. There is a roast-beef sandwich too, likely a nod to the signature slab of beef at the couple’s now closed off kilter eatery, Mr. Donahue’s.
186 Mott St, New York, NY 10012
Kochi || Sungchul Shim
Following a long stint at the recently closed Neta, chef Sungchul Shim’s first independent venture, Kochi, is a Korean restaurant inspired, in part, by the royal cuisine of the Joseon dynasty. At the 30-seat eatery, Shim and his co-chef Byeong Seok Lee will serve a tasting menu of nine courses, as well as speciality dishes skewered and cooked over Japanese binchotan charcoal. The restaurant’s interiors feature pared back stone elements, alongside natural tones and an unfussy wooden bar.
652 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036
Lumaca || John DeLucie
Chef and restaurateur John DeLucie’s new venture is located in HGU New York Hotel, a boutique operation in Manhattan’s NoMad neighbourhood. Lumaca gets its name from the Italian word for “snail,” and embraces the Italian way of enjoying a meal by taking it slow and relishing the experience. The eatery’s menu celebrates DeLucie’s southern Italian roots, offering dishes specific to the region of Puglia. Its fare includes dishes such as Hamachi Crudo with citrus, black rice crisps, and black garlic aioli, Insalata Mista with buffalo mozzarella and champagne vinaigrette, among other delights.
34 E 32nd St, New York, NY 10016
Dhamaka || Roni Mazumdar & Chintan Pandya
Owner Roni Mazumdar and chef Chintan Pandya of Rahi and Adda Indian Canteen bring a new Indian restaurant to Essex Street Market on the corner of Delancey and Essex Streets. Dhamaka, which means “burst of emotions” in Hindi, focuses on regional Indian home cooking. Dhamaka will be open for lunch and dinner with the possible addition of breakfast. The casual 60-seat restaurant also includes a 10-seat bar, and the decor is vibrant with an industrial feel. While market-goers can access the restaurant from inside, it will also have its own street entrance.
88 Essex St, New York, NY 10002
First Sunday || Francesca Chaney
Following the success of her vegan cafe in Bushwick, chef Francesca Chaney is back with her latest project, an ambitious restaurant-come-performance-space called First Sunday. The young chef has expanded beyond the cosy space she was previously in to launch an “experimental” dining destination that brings together music, art, and food under one roof. First Sunday focuses on meat-free cuisine, though the entertainment is just as important as the fare, as Chaney wants the restaurant to operate as a platform for emerging talent, particularly for artists of colour.
324 Grand St, New York, NY 10002
Feature image: Thai disco fries. Photo: Alex Muccilli. (via Thai Diner)