5 new restaurant openings for an exciting spring in New York City

There's been such a rush of openings in NYC this spring that we're here to tell you which ones to visit. Photo credit: Ueki.
A piece of sushi surrounded by yellow dots at NYC restaurant Ueki

It’s been a wildly exciting season for New York restaurant openings, and if you’re trying to keep up with where to go, well, it’s a challenge. So many thrilling restaurants, pop-ups, bars, and cafes have arrived in early 2023 that it can feel hard to keep track of the hottest reservations (looking at you, Bad Roman) or even make enough space in your stomach. 

With that in mind, we’re bringing you the five must-visit spots to track for the spring. A new Caribbean-inspired restaurant in Murray Hill is making the case for the neighborhood as an exciting dining destination. A legendary sushi restaurant has an intimate, new counter-service spot in the West Village. And a Flatiron Italian favorite has rebranded to serve creative pastas that you’ll want to share with friends or family.

Here’s where to book a table right now. 

Ueki (West Village)

A piece of orange fish and orange fish eggs atop rice in a black bowl at NYC restaurant Ueki.
Ueki is the latest restaurant from the famed Blue Ribbon team in NYC. Photo credit: Ueki

Legendary restaurant group Blue Ribbon named its newest restaurant after late chef Toshi Ueki, who co-founded the group’s eponymous sushi joint nearly 30 years ago. The tiny, 12-seat, chef’s counter spot in the West Village is all about hyper indulgence. The Edomae-style nigiri and temaki courses include dishes such as Maine lobster and sea urchin with sturgeon caviar, fresh wasabi, and gold leaf. There are more than 80 varieties of sake, wine, beer, and spirits that can be paired with the $195-per-person meal. Sit back and soak in the decadence—the meal lasts two-and-a-half hours over a single seating at 6:30 pm from Wednesday to Sunday. 

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Rosette at Brooklyn Winery (Greenpoint)

Local favorite Brooklyn Winery left its original Williamsburg location this year to relocate north to Greenpoint, across from McCarren Park. With that move came a new restaurant, Rosette, which features a seasonal menu from longtime winery chef Shaun Lafountain. Brooklyn Winery’s wines, of course, pair nicely with the food, much of which uses the wines in recipes as well. Highlights include porcini and guanciale croquettes, red wine braised short rib, eggplant and grilled tofu green curry, and a 32-ounce ribeye tomahawk with red wine demi-glace. For dessert, a deconstructed banana split is as fun to eat as it sounds. The winery restaurant is industrial-chic, with olive-hued leather banquettes, patterned wallpaper, and plenty of gold accents. This is the kind of place you want to visit with someone who likes to share food and drink. 

Book now

Mareluna (Flatiron)

A pasta dish with a black cracker on top at NYC restaurant Mareluna
Mareluna’s cacio e pepe features three kinds of peppercorns. Photo credit: Mareluna.

This neighborhood Italian favorite, formerly known as Erbaluce, has rebranded with a new menu featuring wild game, local ingredients, and creative riffs on classic, recognizable dishes. Think shishito tonnato with bottarga and wild boar meatballs, a host of shareable pastas such as cacio e pepe topped with tempura baby zucchini, and extra-crunchy Italian-style hot chicken doused in spicy Calabrian chile oil and garlic. Diners can chase it down with house cocktails such as Aqua Pazza (tequila, Campari, grappa, blood orange juice, dill syrup, and lime juice) to kick the heat. The vibe is relaxed and welcoming, with whitewashed brick, wooden tables, and some neon lights adding to the ambiance. The restaurant now serves as an outpost of the original Mareluna in the West Village.

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Maxette Cafe & Bar (Murray Hill)

Murray Hill might not be the hottest restaurant destination in the city, but owners Kristen Vassallo and Zach Koseff hope their Caribbean-inspired Maxette makes a case for it. The colorful restaurant, located in a former pizzeria, serves up tropical vibes and super-friendly service all-day long. Daily brunch highlights include coquito French toast made with Puerto Rican eggnog and hangover pasta featuring creamy rigatoni with bacon, vegetables, and a poached egg. At night, pastelitos star on the menu alongside empanadas and croquetas, which pair well with Maxette’s spiked coffee and sangria.

Book now

Anto (Midtown East)

A white bowl with food inside and a tea kettle pouring liquid over it at NYC Korean restaurant Anto
Anto brings upscale Korean food to Midtown East. Photo credit: Alex Staniloff.

Hyper-luxe Korean food is having a moment. Housed in a historic two-story building on the Upper East Side (formerly Felidia), Anto is a chic 60-seat Korean restaurant inspired by the famed restaurants near Seoul’s Majang Meat Market. Chef Imsub Lee leads the kitchen dishing out upscale versions of Korean staples such as ssam (lettuce wraps), tteok-galbi kochi (short rib skewers), nam-do galbi-tang (beef rib soup), and Seoul noodles, all served on custom-made ceramics. Grill your meat on the table and sip a cocktail such as a soju sour with strawberry and basil at the bar. The restaurant will debut a 10-seat chef’s counter on the second floor later this year.

Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner is a writer based in Brooklyn, where she lives with her wife and rescue dog. You can follow her on Instagram @melissabethk and Twitter @melissabethk

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