New York’s Yummiest Summer Additions

The Great Lawn in Central Park.
The Great Lawn in Central Park.

Summer in New York. The time of year when you swear you can see the heat rising off the concrete. On a sweltering day, nothing sounds better than walking into a snazzy new restaurant with excellent air conditioning. There are, of course, the seasonal classics: the Boat House, Highline. But let us introduce you to five new additions to the NYC scene.

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Ludlow House: the newest member of Soho House properties.

For those of you who are fans of the ever-exclusive Soho House, owners Ron Burkle, Richard Caring, and Nick Jonas recently opened  Ludlow House on the Lower East Side. From the first floor to the rooftop garden, you’ll encounter a tremendous amount of velvet, though the raved-about Peking duck is only available when dining al fresco on the top floor. This is a four-story gastro-heaven for anyone with a membership…or those of you lucky enough to get an invite.

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Cafe Medi in Hotel on Rivington.

Also in the Lower East Side is a slightly eccentric spot called Café Medi that opened at the Hotel on Rivington. For those of you craving a girl’s night out, this is the spot for you. Its proximity to Jia Lounge makes it a perfect hybrid for dinner and dancing. Even if you end your night here at the restaurant, be sure to try the slow-roasted rabbit and one of their cocktails, admirably presented in brass pineapples.

Arctic Char with Asparagus and Beet Puree.
Arctic Char with Asparagus and Beet Puree.

If you’re anxious about going anywhere labeled “downtown,” fear not. There is a fabulous new restaurant in your comfort zone. Eastfield’s, on the Upper East Side, comes from the owners of The East Pole and Pizza Beach (both of which are also within your green light zone). The exterior of the restaurant is a sharp contrast to the spacious and trendy interior. As you’ll find after perusing the menu, the cuisine here is definitely veggie friendly, though by no means a vegetarian restaurant. But they really do have a way with root vegetables you wouldn’t otherwise touch.

The appetizer cart at La Sirena.
The appetizer cart at La Sirena.

I strongly urge you to venture past Midtown if you usually don’t to visit Mario Batali’s newest restaurant La Sirena in Chelsea’s Maritime Hotel. Take an Uber—the journey will be painless. You’ll be blown away by the fabulous interior aesthetic—even by New York standards—and the new wave Italian fare that’s served. The crispy soft shell crab is a must, in addition to the pesto lasagna. Upon entering, you will see the centerpiece of the restaurant—the bar—alive with people. The restaurant offers the best of both worlds: a spirited cocktail area and two dining rooms, which maintain a level of composure almost extinct in popular NYC restaurants. Yes, this does mean you will be able to hear the dinner conversation—not just smile and nod in agreement.

Cocktail at Agern restaurant.
Cocktail at Agern restaurant.

Many of us—especially when traveling—choose not to eat the food available while on the go because of its lack of appeal. The times have changed! You may be taking the train from Grand Central far more often now that Agern has opened it Scandinavian-themed doors. This farm-to-table restaurant offers two tasting menus, as well as a la carte dishes. The only reason you’ll be late for Metro North anymore is because you’ll be too busy enjoying their braised and roasted lamb to care at all about the train schedule.

Make sure to visit a few of these before people flood back in from summer vacations and reservations become impossible to get!