Welcome to Where to Eat, the new newsletter about restaurants for The New York Times, with my recommendations! Chances are you don’t know me yet. I’m Nikita Richardson, an editor for the Food section. When people ask me why I got into food reporting — I was previously a staff writer at New York magazine’s Grub Street and an editor at Bon Appétit — my answer is simple: I love to eat, and I love to make it a whole event when I do.
It’s an immense privilege to live within a hop and a skip of so many incredible dining options. So I want to provide a service to Times readers who just need to know where to eat. Like, right now.
Each week in this newsletter, we’ll work our way through the vast array of restaurants in New York City and the metropolitan area — indoors, outdoors, curbside, to-go, in your car. We’ll dive deep into dishes that you may find familiar or unfamiliar. And along the way, we’ll answer New York’s most difficult dining questions, like, “Where can a steakhouse aficionado and a vegan happily eat together?” or “Where should you grab a bite or a drink when your Plan A restaurant has a two-hour wait?” (Hint: Always have a Plan B restaurant.)
I’m thrilled to go on this journey, and hope you are just as excited to come along. Shoot me an email at email@example.com with your most pressing dining queries or even just to share some polite feedback, and you may see a response in a future newsletter. Let’s eat!
What new places are open on Mondays?
If the Food section here at The Times had an F.A.Q., “Where should I eat on Mondays?” would be near the top of that list. Here are a baker’s dozen of new restaurants, children of the pandemic, that have made themselves available for our eating needs when so many sit-down restaurants understandably take a much-needed break at the start of the week.
I’m thinking about Wau, an 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 very much alive. My mental inventory also includes Cha Kee in Manhattan’s Chinatown. As my colleague Pete Wells wrote in a recent review, the menu from the chef Akiko Thurnauer “roams freely around China,” and returns with flaky pastries inspired by Hong Kong’s curry puffs, and blackened, stewed chicken afloat in a turmeric-rich curry. And should I need excellent aguachile on a Monday, I’ll no doubt turn to Mariscos El Submarino in Jackson Heights, Queens.
There’s also Soothr Thai Noodle Bar in the East Village, another Pete Wells Critic’s Pick, which is perfect if you like a bit of wallpapered escapism with your ba mii pu. The Hudson Yards-adjacent Ci Siamo, which Pete hailed as the finest Union Square Hospitality project in quite some time, slings its buffalo-butter tagliatelle and classic Italian cocktails on Mondays. (Also open is nearby Zou Zou’s, the new Mediterranean restaurant from the Quality Branded restaurant group; Lodi, Ignacio Mattos’s Italian spot at Rockefeller Center, now serving dinner; and Andrew Carmellini’s Carne Mare.)
If you have tremendous foresight and incredible luck, Runner Up in Park Slope, Brooklyn, the sister restaurant of the bakery Winner, has three seatings every Monday (5 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 8:15 p.m.). Small-bites fans should look no further than the Spanish seafood spot El Pingüino in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, for a Monday night treat. And for a special occasion, you can reliably expect that Gage & Tollner in Downtown Brooklyn will be there for you and your loved ones.
I hope you’ll save this newsletter for the Mondays ahead, and I’d love to hear about your favorite places to dine when cooking dinner at the beginning of the week is just not it. Simply get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you may see a response here. Thanks for reading Where to Eat, and see you next week.
In Other News …
On April 8, join me for a subscriber-only virtual event with The Times’s Priya Krishna and the comedian Desus Nice to talk about where to eat in New York.
Openings: Jersey City is now home to the waterside restaurant Terra e Mare; the Indonesian pop-up Kakilima will host multicourse dinners in April and May at Abigail’s Kitchen in Greenwich Village; Greg Baxtrom will open his latest restaurant, Patti Ann’s, in Prospect Heights tomorrow; and more.
The original location of Jack’s Wife Freda in SoHo will close after service on Sunday and reopen next door at 226 Lafayette Street on April 1. On the same day, all four New York City locations will start serving breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner daily.
And for a roundup of local news beyond restaurants, sign up for New York Today.