New York City spring restaurant preview

Flowers aren’t the only thing in bloom this spring.

Flowers aren’t the only thing in bloom this spring.

A new crop of restaurants are gearing up to open — if they haven’t already — in New York City over the next few weeks and months. From beer halls to sandwich shops, here are 10 anticipated spots to keep tabs on and try come opening day.


Chez Jef


The Bowery Diner made a name for itself for serving elevated diner food alongside boozy milkshakes. But apparently the concept no longer appealed to owner Mathieu Palombino, as he closed the diner to make way for Chez Jef, a French bistro serving a 3-course prix fixe dinner, lunch or brunch for $35. There will be croque-monsieur and madame, steak tartare with frites, mussels and pate — typical and well-loved comfort food. Open now. 241 Bowery


Black Seed


Bagels bagels bagels. New Yorkers can never get enough of them. And this new bagel place is likely to be a game changer. It’s being run by Noah Bernamoff of Mile End and Matt Kliegman of the Smile and will feature old-school, NYC classic bagels that are hand-rolled and wood-fired. Opening: Any day now. 170 Elizabeth St.


Brazilia Cafe


Did you know there’s an Ice Cream University? That cool school’s dean, Malcolm Stogo, is behind the in-house gelato at this new café and marketplace. Beyond dessert, you’ll also find more proper items for breakfast, lunch or dinner, including fresh soups, salads, sandwiches and tapas, as well as Brazilia Coffee — grown and harvested in, you guessed it, Brazil. Opening: April 18. 684 Broadway


Tavern on the Green


Since closing more than two years ago for renovations, Central Park’s famed Tavern on the Green is back. Those familiar with the restaurant will find that it’s been restored to its original 1930s size — which is less than half the size of its previous incarnation — though will feature more outdoor seating in its garden. As for the food, Chef Katy Sparks’ menu will feature seasonal contemporary American fare. Opening: April 24 for dinner, grand opening May 13. Central Park and West 67th Street


Meat Hook Sandwich


It’s only seems natural that the Meat Hook is opening up a spot where you can chow down on its sustainable, grass-fed meats. And at its nearby sandwich spinoff, you can expect to find subs stuffed with pepperoni, salami, roast-beef and more meat straight from the butcher shop, along with cold beer to help wash it all down. Opening: Around May 1. 495 Lorimer St. in Williamsburg




The Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg operators’ artisanal empire expands with Berg’n, a beer hall and food court. You’ll find fare from familiar Flea vendors including Asia Dog, Pizza Moto, Ramen Burger, Dough and Blue Marble ice cream, as well as a beer selection curated by Brooklyn Brewery’s Garrett Oliver. Opening: May. 899 Bergen St. in Crown Heights


Ample Hills Creamery


When it opened in 2011 in Prospect Heights, Ample Hills Creamery sold out of ice cream in its first four days. We expect the ice cream shop will be prepared, then, when it opens a second location in Gowanus in a former ironworks factory near the Whole Foods and Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club. At 3,600 square feet, there’s room for more ice cream, as well as a private party space, an outdoor deck and flavors. Rumor has it there will be a “toxic sludge” flavor in honor of the Gowanus Canal, too. Opening: Early June. 305 Nevins St.


Bar Primi


The latest in the Andrew Carmellini empire is Bar Primi, which will serve pastas and other (likely) delicious and fresh Italian dishes in the former Peels space on the Bowery. Considering his other projects, from Lafayette to The Dutch to Locanda Verde, are huge successes, we expect a lot from Primi. Opening: Early June. 325 Bowery


Arepa Lady brick and mortar


The Arepa Lady (Maria Cano) is a widely-loved fixture and a street food legend. She has been selling arepas (cheesy cornmeal cakes) out of a seasonal food cart in Jackson Heights since the ’90s, but this spring is opening up a full-on restaurant space with a few seats and take-out that is sure to delight the masses year-round. The menu will be expanded to include more toppings, too! Opening: Sometime this spring (no date set yet). 77-02AA Roosevelt Ave. in Jackson Heights


Ivan Ramen New York


We’ve put Ivan Orkin’s Lower East Side ramen shop on previous restaurant previews, and the spot still isn’t open. But after opening a widely successful ramen counter (Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop) in the new Gotham West Market and telling various publications that this spring he will in fact be opening his first full-on NYC restaurant, we are going to preview it (again). Orkin’s ramen shop in Tokyo is a monster success and that’s what’s expected here in NYC, too. Opening: Sometime this spring. 25 Clinton St.