What: A Queens restaurant that’s helping to abolish the long-running joke that the best Indian food in New York City is actually in New Jersey.
Why: What makes Adda different from other high-profile new restaurants is owner Roni Mazumdar and chef Chintan Pandya’s dedication to simple homestyle cooking — they eschew the flash and fusion of Rahi, their formidable other Manhattan restaurant. Pandya, who previously worked in fine dining, breathes new life into classics that have become ubiquitous and, too often, mediocre in New York: Here, a goat curry called junglee maas comes with the bone left in and a fiery, uncompromising sauce. The greens in the saag paneer change seasonally, and paneer is made in-house, a rarity in the city. The menu also doesn’t shy away from ingredients that are less common in the Western palate. A goat brains snack, for instance, has become a standout food places near me open now
Mazumdar, an immigrant whose family runs restaurants in New York, pursued the project in hopes of making straightforward, regional Indian home cooking just as celebrated as the stuff with twists. It’s thrilling to see that their unapologetic commitment to tradition is being welcomed with such enthusiasm and with few of the caveats typically, and unnecessarily, shrouding restaurants serving South Asian fare. It’s a reception that deserves to be replicated everywhere.
New York, NY
What: A new pinnacle of Korean fine dining where food and design work together to deliver a whimsical lesson in the country’s cuisine.
Why: At the end of a dinner at Atomix, the menu — composed of illustrated flashcards — is packed in a box for the diner to take home. In different hands, this could seem a bit overwrought, a presumption that the dining experience was special enough to merit a keepsake. But Atomix is that special.
The structures of the meal are familiar: 10 courses, each beautifully arranged, served to 14 guests seated around a U-shaped counter. But in their followup to New York hit Atoboy, married couple JungHyun “JP” Park and JeongEun “Ellia” Park have taken the formal tasting menu and refashioned it as a playful education in Korean cooking. There’s the food itself, none of it strictly traditional, but much of it making reference to classic or even historic Korean techniques and flavors. All of it is elegant and playful: A dish on the restaurant’s opening menu, for example, paired golden osetra caviar, baby artichokes, and fresh curd — this last ingredient a direct reference to soo, a dairy product once enjoyed by Korean elites.
And then there’s the carefully considered design, full of elements meant to showcase Korean artists and artisans, like handmade pottery, chopsticks displayed for the guests’ selection at the start of the meal, and that set of abstract cards, each with an explanation of a dish. Together, the Parks present a new vision of Korean cuisine, and a compelling take on the future of fine dining in New York City.