The hottest new restaurants of 2014

Patatas bravas at Boqueria Credit: Boqueria
Patatas bravas at Boqueria, which is coming to the Upper East Side.
Credit: Boqueria

Start making those reservations now — these places are sure to be packed.

ABC Home Grown
888 Broadway, 212-473-3000
Jean-Georges Vongerichten has already earned plenty of buzz in the NYC food scene for ABC Kitchen and its Mexican spinoff, ABC Cocina. In the spring, he’s set to open ABC Home Grown, which will offer vegetarian and vegan fare inside the former Le Pain Quotidien space inside ABC Carpet & Home. It’s a labor of love for the chef, who refrains from meat once a week. Also to come: an “indoor Union Square green market” in the home store’s basement, he told the New York Post.

460 W. 42nd St., no phone number yet
Like Gotham West Market and Smorgasburg before it, this foodie haven will open a second location this spring. The buffet-style spot will serve French-tinged American food and will be open 24 hours.

107 First Ave., no phone number yet
We got a sneak peek at Jonah Miller’s new Northern Spanish eatery at his pop-up over the summer, and we’re stoked for the March opening of his permanent digs. The four-course prix dinner (think oil-poached cod and charred blood orange with olive oil ice cream) is calling our name.

Bodega Negra
355 W. 16th St., 212-229-2336
The Dream Downtown will open this Mexican kitchen in February. A partnership between the TAO Group and Serge Becker (who’s behind Miss Lily’s and La Esquina), the London import boasts the hotel’s executive chef, Michael Armstrong.

The Smith NoMad
1150 Broadway, no phone number yet
The Flatiron district has become a buzzy food nabe, boasting high-end eats from Eataly and ilili to the more wallet-friendly (but still crave-worthy) original Shake Shack. The latest addition to the ’hood is the fourth location of the comfort food house, which will serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch when it opens in the fall.

1 Knickerbocker
1 Knickerbocker Ave., 718-477-1222
Chef Stephen Hubbell modernized century-old recipes for local fish and wild game (elk, venison, etc.), and pickles his foods onsite at this recently opened Bushwick eatery.

Root & Bone
200 E. Third St., no phone number yet
“Top Chef” alums Janine Booth and Jeffrey McInnis are in charge of this Alphabet City joint serving up Southern comfort, opening in March. Sure, there’s some drama behind the scenes (Google their names), but since they honed their skills on the Bravo juggernaut, we trust that these dishes are all made with an ingredient called love.

Boqueria UES
1460 Second Ave., no phone number yet
The third location of the seasonal Spanish restaurant will open its doors in the spring. Expect jamon iberico and a dedicated churros station, in addition to other tapas, by Barcelona native Marc Vidal. The open kitchen at the 80-seat space means you can watch as he and his chefs prepare your meal.

Hill Country Barbecue Market Brooklyn
345 Adams St., 718-885-4608
The barbecue joint moves across the river, but in a different format than its Flatiron predecessor. Step right up to the counter with your meal ticket, choose your ’cue, sides and sweets, and pay on your way out. The new downtown space will also host roots, Americana and alt-country shows as part of its Hill Country Live Series. Bonus: Next door is Hill Country Chicken.


Trends you’ll see at restaurants this year

Izabela Wojcik, The James Beard Foundation’s director of house programming, fills us in:

  • The proliferation of hybrid cuisines in restaurants – particularly Asian mash-ups. Jewish-Japanese is an especially unique fusion that is visibly on the rise.
  • Sustainable seafood will be an important topic in 2014, and we can expect to see more of lesser-known fish on menus as well as increased use of the whole fish, especially parts that used to be discarded: fish cheeks, fish livers and fish collars.
  • Bars specializing in a specific liquor, particularly obscure or historic spirits such as absinthe or vermouth.
  • Vegetables will be “hot,” replacing meat as the most interesting and prominent item on the plate. Animal proteins will take a backseat as garnishes.
  • Lesser-known ethnic cuisines will be celebrated: Nicaraguan, Colombian, Peruvian and Filipino.
  • Gluten-free will be the buzzword. It will proliferate from manufactured products to restaurant menus.
  • Ancient grains such as quinoa, amaranth and freekeh will appear more regularly on menus and in interesting multicultural preparations.
  • Chefs getting more involved locally, with their restaurants being perceived as the heart of the community instead of just a place to eat. Chefs will be seen as advocates and will use their power and consumer attention to address serious food system issues.
  • Restaurants opening in nontraditional spaces, such as stores, art galleries and museums.

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