You probably wouldn’t be wrong if you said we’re living in the golden age of restaurants in New York City. Every week there’s seemingly another new must-try place with an intriguing gimmick or back story. Celebrity chefs are popping up faster than we can keep track of them. To be a serious eater in New York means keeping up with all the latest comings and goings in the industry.
Despite all this, there are still some hidden gems around Manhattan and Brooklyn. These 6 chefs might not have their names in the marquee blogs and magazines, but they undoubtedly will be before long. If you want to be ahead of the curve, here are the names (and the restaurants) you’ll need to know.
Emily Yuen – Bessou
Emily’s Bessou on Bleecker Street serves up the comfort food of her mother’s native Japan with a modern aesthetic. Growing up in Vancouver, she started her career early, pounding rice alongside her sister for their mother’s sumptuous dumplings. After perfecting her craft worldwide, from London’s Le Gavroche to Vue de Monde in the heart of Melbourne, Emily has come back stateside to bring the home cooked meals of her family kitchen to NoHo.
Florian Hugo – Maison Hugo
Another young up-and-comer with a wealth of experience, Florian cut his teeth in the bistros and brasseries of Manhattan before opening his own classic French eatery Maison Hugo on the Upper East Side. A protege of the legendary Alain Ducasse, Florian’s expertise in French cuisine comes through in must-try dishes such as his pork chops cooked on the plancha and his homemade pasta with braised artichokes. Book a table now, before midtown finds out.
Roxanne Spruance – Kingsley
She might be young, but Roxanne is far from a newcomer. After becoming a restaurateur at the ripe age of 22, Roxanne has moved on from her resort town Wisconsin bistro Sopra to bring her expertise to Alphabet City. Kingsley serves up locally sourced French-American fare and craft cocktails that have earned the out-of-the-way joint a robust local reputation. If you’re into fine dining without the pretension, Kingsley is sure to become an instant favorite.
Olivier Palazzo – Loosie’s Kitchen
Born in the Ivory Coast, Olivier cut his culinary teeth in Paris under the legendary Cyril Lignac at his le Quinzieme before setting off around the globe. After stops in St. Tropez, Abu Dhabi, and Marrakesh, Olivier landed in the Big Apple. Working for Jean Georges at ABC Kitchen was all the local education he needed, and his Loosie’s Kitchen on the southside of Williamsburg shows the breadth of his experience without losing his unique personality. Casual but exceptional, Loosie’s is far enough from the hoity-toity crowd that you can enjoy Olivier’s creole fare without elbowing your way past a crowd (for now).
Jaime Young – Sunday in Brooklyn
Another Williamsburg favorite, Sunday in Brooklyn’s New American menu and attached market make the place a must-see, worth the trip from anywhere in Manhattan. A veteran of TriBeCa’s high-end Atera, Executive chef Jaime has curated a more relaxed space where one can take in an unpretentious meal of old favorites just a stone’s throw from the Williamsburg Bridge. Once you’re done enjoying the food, you can pick up some of Jamie’s ingredients in the downstairs market and try your best at home.
Angie Mar – The Beatrice Inn
Angie might not be a big name yet, but she’s got the pedigree for it. The niece of Seattle legend and restaurateur Ruby Chow, she has made her own name after leaving her corporate job and apprenticing under Yves-Marie Le Bourdonnec, perfecting her take on the art of butchery. Incorporating her European and Asian influences without overwhelming the meat, Angie runs the kitchen at The Beatrice Inn in Greenwich Village with an undeniable flair. Angie has already garnered some acclaim, so get the “the Bea” soon if you want to be the first on your block to take in her masterfully prepared steaks and duck dishes.