With the coming of spring, a wave of new restaurants has come to lower Manhattan. Below are some recommendations from Pascal Riffaud and Today’s Epicure:

  • AbcV – Four years in the making, the highly-anticipated third restaurant from Jean-Georges’ Vongerichtenand and Paulette Cole is now open for breakfast and lunch, with brunch and dinner set to launch soon. Chef Neal Harden — who made a name for himself at the raw-food restaurant Pure Food and Wine — serves up vegetarian and vegan dishes like Deepak Chopra’s kitchari with fermented carrots and mint as well as an array of Vongerichten’s signature dishes.
  • Pig Bleecker – Pig Bleecker combines Pig Beach’s “populist leanings” with more upscale fare that chef Matt Abdoo (formerly of Del Posto) describes as “smoke-centric comfort food.” The venue closed briefly for a patio renovation, but is now back serving up dishes like brisket ravioli, Chicken Wing Lollipops with Hatch Vinegar, brisket ravioli, Cavatelli with Nduja Sausage, Chili & Clams and, to top it all off, a peanut-butter-and-chocolate “Buckeye” Milkshake.
  • Chumley’s – After a section of the original building collapsed in 2007, restauranteur Alessandro Borgognone took the helm of the legendary former watering hole of literary giants like F. Scott Fitzgerald and William Faulkner in December 2015. He has since collaborated with chef Victoria Blamey on a deceptively simple menu. The terrine is excellent, as is the Foie gras, shredded ham hock and superb Dungeness crab potpie. But the highlight is the decadent double decker, marrow soaked burgers that GQ reports “might be the best burger in New York.” Reservations are recommended.
  • Union Square Cafe – Danny Meyer’s much-anticipated reboot of the original Union Square Cafe, which he launched at age 27, has opened its doors in spacious new digs. Like the original, the new space has warm cherrywood floors and Frank Stella prints adorn the walls. The old Mediterranean-themed favorites are still on the menu but now the calamari is artfully tossed with scallops, snapper and red pepper and the tuna burger has morphed into a succulent Yellowfin Tuna burger. Today’s Epicure recommends the perfectly-prepared New York Strip Steak, pork rack, red snapper, and pappardelle with duck and chanterelle. Like most of Meyer’s other locations, there is a no tipping policy.
  • Loring Place – Farm-to-table master Dan Kluger of ABC Kitchen and ABC Cocina fame offers up a mix of American and global cuisine that celebrates raw ingredients. W Magazine calls his 120-seat new space “irresistibly hot” and the New York Times reports it was well worth the two year wait. Main dishes consist of decadent pizzas, whole cooked fish and tender meats, but do not miss the phenomenal beet salad with vivace cheese, cashew and granola, and the baked ricotta and roasted kabocha squash.
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