The following new properties in Big Apple have been recently reviewed and recommended by Fodor’s editors and writers:
Rayuela. The young and sexy frequent this vibrant Lower East Side restaurant to sample Latin cuisine courtesy of Maximo Tejada, the chef who built his reputation cooking at New York City’s popular Pipa and Lucy Latin Kitchen. This bi-level eatery, with a dining area and ceviche bar, features an olive tree growing in the center of the restaurant. The menu features small plates with nearly three dozen ceviches and tapas, such as the must-have lobster with Uruguayan caviar. If you’d like a pre-dinner drink, arrive early to grab a stool at the first floor bar and enjoy a standout cocktail, such as the pisco made with fresh quince and aloe vera juice. 165 Allen St. (between Rivington and Stanton). Lower East Side. 212/253-8840. www.rayuelanyc.com. AE, D, DC, MC, V. Median entrée price $26.
Toloache. Make a quick detour off heavily trafficked Broadway into this pleasantly bustling Mexican cantina. The bi-level eatery — one of the best dining options around Times Square — has a festive, celebratory vibe, with several seating options (bar, balcony, main dining room, and ceviche bar), oversized bronze chandeliers, and gold and terra-cotta tones throughout. Foodies flock here for the Mexico City-style tacos with Negro Modelo-braised brisket, quesadillas studded with black truffle and huitlacoche (a corn mushroom), and the extensive tequila selection — upwards of 100 brands. Adventurous palates will be drawn to tacos with chile-studded dried grasshoppers, lobes of seared foie gras, and caramelized veal sweetbreads. 251 W. 50th St., Midtown West. 212/581-1818. AE, MC, V. Median entrée price: $24.
Primehouse New York. This sleek steakhouse comes from the reliable group that operates Dos Caminos, Vento, and several other perpetually mobbed New York restaurants. Here you’ll find classic presentations like Caesar salad and steak tartare prepared tableside, and respectable dry-aged prime cuts, ranging from hangar steak ($24) to porterhouse for two ($86). For something lighter, try skate sautéed in lemon-brown butter sauce or the Berkshire pork chop with fig glaze and apple compote. The mod space has a cream-and-black motif that recalls The Jetsons’ futuristic 1960s feel, interspersed with geometric M.C. Escher-like patterns. Given the popularity of other B.R. Guest restaurants, expect a see-and-be-seen scene, and be sure to call ahead for reservations. 381 Park Avenue South, Flatiron. 212/824-2600. Median entrée price: $49.
Allen & Delancey. Opening your own restaurant in a culinary hot bed like New York City sounds daunting, but not for Neil Ferguson. The original chef de cuisine at Gordon Ramsay’s The London NYC, Ferguson now brings his own brand of British flair to the Lower East Side. The space is perfect for chilly nights, with its welcoming low light, wide-plank floors, and books strewn about. The comforting menu, a nod to the neighborhood’s cultural past, is an epicure’s salve. Ribbons of prosciutto are paired with truffled fingerling potatoes and leek vinaigrette. A dish like cabbage, beef and onion flaunts its own artistic twists — a ball of cabbage stuffed with beef and a delicate onion stuffed with cabbage. 115 Allen Street. 212/253-5400. AE, D, MC, V. No lunch. Price of entrée: $24.