Eats’N’Sleeps Cote 16 W. 22nd St. 212.401.7986 cotenyc.com
Hemlock 65 Rivington St. 646.649.2503 hemlocknyc.com
Emily 35 Downing St. at Bedford St. 917.935.6434 pizzalovesemily.com
Empire Diner 210 10th Ave. 212.335.2271 empire-diner.com
If you have yet to try Korean cuisine, now is the time and Cote is the place. Simon Kim’s second restaurant (his first was the Michelinstarred Piora) debuts with this “Korean steakhouse.” Here, in the heart of Flatiron, you’ll find Korean classics as well as steakhouse staples (shrimp cocktail, steak tartare). Although delicious options abound, consensus is that the Butcher’s Feast is your best bet—it features the chef’s choice cuts straight from Cote’s dry-aging room downstairs. Then, it’s up to you to cook it to your liking on the tabletop Korean barbecue. The feast—and it truly is a feast—is complimented by a tart stew with kimchi, steamed egg, ban chan and scallion salad, as well as dessert, all included with the meal. Top-notch service, plus the selection of fine wines and creative cocktails tops it all off, and the high-vibe atmosphere makes Cote perfect for group dining.
One-part all-natural wine bar, onepart small-plate hot spot, Hemlock is the type of place you might want (or need) to try more than once. Its diverse range of dishes are made for sharing, and are distinguished by innovative ingredients and novel pairings, the most unique of which include eggplant, cumin and chamomile; or striped bass, grilled leeks and creme fraiche, for example. Come with a daring palate, though if you’re the indecisive type, our favorites include the braised lamb ribs, accented by cherries and anise hyssop. The sweet potato bread and burned leaf butter is also a very good choice, as is the sweet cream ice cream on the dessert menu, served with buttermilk and malt. Note the menu is seasonal, so dishes may change to ensure only the freshest ingredients.
Some of the best things come from Brooklyn, Emily included. The popular joint, with its second location opening in the West Village, has been called “over-achieving” for its ability to make rave-worthy comfort food. Hamburgers, pizza, chicken wings—Emily, which is owned by Matt Hyland his wife Emily, does it all really, really well. That’s no coincidence, as there’s a lot of thought that goes into the menu at this Brooklyn-style neighborhood pizza joint, from the dough (slightly updated for this location, “between New York and New Haven style) to the famous Emmy burger (made with dry-aged beef, topped with Vermont cheddar and served on a pretzel bun). Upgrade to the horseshoe fries (topped with chorizo, cheddar cheese, salsa verde, slow poached egg and cilantro) and if you have room, add the Nguyen’s hot wings, made with gochujang, radish and ranch.
Re-opened thanks to the tour-deforce of the team behind Cafeteria, Empire Diner is back, and hopefully here to stay. Though the vibe may be vintage and the cuisine distinctly American, don’t think you’ll find basic burgers and pancakes here. If that’s what you’re after, don’t worry—you’ll find classics like the Empire special blend burger, the New York pastrami sandwich, or the crispy buttermilk waffle. But, under the purveyance of Chef John DeLucue, you’ll also find some unique interpretations of similar classics, like the sourdough pretzel fried chicken, the tuna “poke bowl,” the prime hanger steak with mizuna, bing cherries, and tomatillo salsa verde, or fresh baked pastries that include an apricot ginger scone. This is New York, after all, so in addition to the indulgent diner fare, you can also grab a pressed juice (and not the Tropicana-sort; we’re talking kale, apple, ginger, cucumber and parsley) or avocado toast.