Maialino is Danny Meyer's newest.
Restaurants are risky business, so it’s fitting that five of the biggest-deal autumn openings come from chefs and owners with experience. All of these spots are so fresh that hours are in flux, so call ahead.
16 W. 29th St., 212-679-1939, thebreslin.com
The success of the Spotted Pig brought about The Breslin, the kind of down-and-dirty eatery where a tongue sandwich became an instant classic. Chef April Bloomfield is adventurous with fat and flavor, and her menu has no shortage of surprises (stuffed pig’s foot, anyone?). As the anchor of the Ace Hotel’s happening lobby scene, the Breslin’s no-reservations policy ensures a lively hangout.
570 Vanderbilt Ave., Brooklyn, 718-623-0570, thevanderbiltnyc.com
There are infinite options at Prospect Heights’ newest small-plates spot: Choose between a perch in the front, a stool at the open kitchen or banquettes in back; then mix and match from a number of globe-spanning dishes to share. Owner-chef Saul Bolton, whose Michelin-starred Saul on Smith Street was a geographic-culinary forerunner, has created a rustic and welcoming meeting place for drinks, snacks or a multi-course meal.
2 Lexington Ave., 212-777-2410,
Restaurateur Danny Meyer enjoys an excess of success with his portfolio of NYC classics such as Union Square Cafe and Shake Shack. The empire’s newest addition, in the opulent Gramercy Park Hotel, is a Roman trattoria called Maialino, the nickname Meyer acquired as a young man working in Italy (maialino means roast suckling pig, a dish Meyer would order nearly every night). Though a plate of carbonara doesn’t grant a key to gated Gramercy Park, the confident cooking (from Babbo alum Nick Anderer) and smooth service reward nonetheless.
156 Ninth Ave.,
There’s Southern charm for miles at Tipsy Parson — from the chatty reservationist to the fluffy biscuit and mammoth pork shank. The kitchen’s sophisticated Southern angle has kept the cozy dining rooms hopping from the get-go; luckily, many tables are saved for walk-ins. Owners Tasha Garcia Gibson and Julie Taras Wallach, of Little Giant on the Lower East Side, aim to develop dedicated regulars at this Chelsea venture.
15 W. 56th St., 212-974-5656, momofuku.com
David Chang’s East Village fiefdom has expanded its boundaries uptown to the Chambers Hotel, where the mad Momofuku geniuses present Má Pêche. Currently offering a limited selection of banh mi and Vietnamese snacks to hotel guests and midtown lunchers, the tantalizing menu is served at tables docked along the lobby’s mezzanine. As for the full dining room, the restaurant vaguely promises it will open in “winter 2010.”