Omakase, a type of Japanese meal that leaves the selection of dishes up to the chef, is most often associated with a parade of sushi bites. But it is also applied to yakitori at this restaurant from Atsushi Kono, an expert in yakitori, or “grilled bird,” usually skewered chicken. Mr. Kono was the executive chef of Yakitori Torishin in New York starting in 2006, having spent time working in Japan. Now he is opening his own place, where he will serve yakitori omakase as he presides over grills fueled with the binchotan charcoal frequently used in Japanese cooking. He takes center stage, surrounded on three sides by a dramatically lit counter that seats 14 people for set $165 dinners at 5:30, 6, 8:30 and 9 pm (Beverages, tax and tip are extra.) Various parts of organic chickens , including the heart, oyster, soft knee cartilage, tail and tenderloin, are grilled on bamboo skewers as the centerpiece of the meal. Chicken thigh roulade, chicken pâté and soups are also served, with a black sugar crème brûlée as the finale. Wagyu, king crab and Iberico pork are among the optional extras. The restaurant also has a table seating four to six.
46 Bowery (Canal Street), 646-524-6838, yakitorikono.com.
This new Williamsburg restaurant, run by the chef Mike Solomonov and Steve Cook, the Philadelphia restaurateurs known for their interpretations of Israeli fare, is on the heated, weatherproofed open-air roof of the Hoxton, a hotel chain founded in London. In New York, they once ran Dizengoff, in Chelsea Market, but it closed in 2018. For this, their first New York restaurant, they have teamed up with Boka, a Chicago hospitality group. Grilled meats, whole fish and vegetables are the specialties, served with side dishes and pita. The chef is Andrew Henshaw, who worked with CookNSolo, Mr. Solomonov and Mr. Cook’s company. (Open Sundays)
The Hoxton, 97 Wythe Avenue (North 10th Street), Williamsburg, Brooklyn, laserwolfbrooklyn.com.
Florence Ristorante Toscano & Bar
One of the restaurants in Eataly’s financial district location has pivoted, going from Southern Italian cuisine to Tuscan. Ribollita, pappa al pomodoro, pappardelle al cinghiale (wild boar) and a classic Tuscan porterhouse are the work of Diego Puddu, Eataly’s head of culinary for North America, and Adam Hill, the executive chef for the market’s downtown branch. Part of the wine list is devoted to Chianti Classico, and there are Florentine cocktails like the Santa Maria del Fiore made with Chianti vin santo.
Eataly Downtown, 101 Liberty Street (Church Street), Third Floor, 646-677-8580, eataly.com.
The Migrant Kitchen
Ingredients like sumac and Oaxaca cheese rarely inhabit the same sandwich. But at the Migrant Kitchen, they do. Here, you’ll also find dishes with minglings of za’atar, Aleppo pepper, chipotle chiles, turmeric and ginger. “Why not?” asked Dan Dorado, 45, whose background is Mexican, and is the business partner of Nasser Jaber, 38, who is Palestinian, from the West Bank. They met while working at Ilili in Manhattan. Jaclinn Tanney, who works on the nonprofit side, is a third partner. Pre-Covid they started a catering company serving specialties that blended Mexico and the Middle East, but with the lockdown, they were left with an inventory of meals left over from canceled events. So they donated them, and thousands more, to feed the needy during the pandemic. A pop-up on Stone Street in the financial district followed, along with smaller outlets on the Upper East Side and a counter in the Time Out Market in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Now, there is this new flagship, near Lincoln Center. They still donate meals through Migrant Kitchen Initiative, their foundation, and employ immigrants like their chef, Alex Hernandez from El Salvador. They are also hoping to find Ukrainians who need work.
157 Columbus Avenue (67th Street), themigrantkitchennyc.com.