Considering the innumerable obstacles inherent in jumpstarting a restaurant, it’s no wonder that half of one season’s most eagerly awaited openings invariably roll over into the next. And this winter, our continued anticipation of holdouts like Lilia, the Frederick Berselius project and Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen, is only equaled by our excitement about other, more recently announced ventures, from a Katz Deli outpost and a takeout spot from the Emily team, to yet another fried chicken eatery from a former Top Cheftestant.
Emmy Squared: Matthew and Emily Hyland have a bun in the oven — make that a Detroit-style pie. Due this spring, the little sibling to their beloved pizza eatery, Emily, will focus on the Motor City’s signature sauce-topped, pan-baked squares, along with classic Italian subs like meatball and eggplant parm.
913 Clinton Street, Clinton Hill
Bun-Ker: Bun-Ker’s original location may be in the burgeoning neighborhood of Ridgewood, just beyond the borders of Bushwick, but Brooklyn will soon have a legitimate claim to the respected Vietnamese restaurant. Opening on Scott Avenue later this year, Jimmy Tu’s 70-seat outpost will boast a cold-pressed juice bar and full cocktail program, along with a slew of dishes that proved too ambitious for his teeny, bare-bones Queens kitchen, from turmeric catfish and grilled pork to oxtail pho and banh mi.
99 Scott Avenue, Bushwick
Butterfunk Kitchen: From chef Chris Scott and wife Eugenie Woo (whose Windsor Terrace staple, Brooklyn Commune, is literally right next door), Butterfunk Kitchen is inspired by Scott’s family recipes, handed down through multiple generations. And being that he grew up in Coatesville, PA, bordered by Lancaster County on one side and Philly on the other, the menu is a unique crossbreed between down-home soul food and Pennsylvania Dutch; think sweet lemonade fried chicken and black eyed peas, paired with scrapple and shoo fly pie.
1295 Prospect Avenue, Windsor Terrace
Tekoa: Cobble Hill residents can dry their tears about Ted & Honey’s recent closure, as esteemed chef Alex Raiij (who owns the neighboring Jewish/Moorish tapas spot, La Vara) has taken up the lease. Though she’s been tight-lipped about menu specifics for her daytime café, which will serve breakfast, lunch and baked goods, the name—an Israeli settlement in the Judaean Mountains—is a fair enough clue.
264 Clinton Street, Cobble Hill
The Meat Hook: The groundbreaking butcher shop is finally getting a home of its own, after bunking with Brooklyn Kitchen for almost seven years. Located mere blocks away on Graham Avenue, a significantly larger production space will allow for an expanded roster of prepared foods and grocery items, along with catering options from the reliably inventive Meat Hook Sandwich.
397 Graham Avenue, Williamsburg
Pretty Southern: Brooklyn has proved a mecca for Top Cheftestants, from Dale Talde and Mark Simmons to Ilan and (no relation) Carla Hall. And now the criminally pretty Sam Talbot (best remembered for the infamous head shaving incident in season 2) is headed to the corner of McCarren Park in Greenpoint, launching a small, Southern café serving fried chicken and baked crab rolls.
14 Bedford Avenue, Greenpoint
Dekalb Market Hall: As if its satellite location of the famed Katz’s Deli wasn’t enough, this 26,000-square-foot development will house up to 55 different vendors, including Fletcher’s, Arepa Lady, Pierogi Bar and Cuzin’s Dozen—far more than any other brick-and-mortar NYC food hall.
1 Dekalb Avenue, Downtown Brooklyn
Rider: Sharing space with the non-profit music venue, National Sawdust, Rider is slated to open any day now, featuring a veggie and seafood-focused menu from James Beard Award-winner, Patrick Connolly.
80 N. 6th Street, Williamsburg
2 Duck Goose Re-Do: While we were all about the elevated Cantonese fare at Gowanus’ 2 Duck Goose, pickled fennel-topped char siu and roasted Crescent Farms duck wasn’t enough to draw destination diners to the area. Which is why owner, Kay Ch’ien, plans to reopen with an all-new concept (and possibly, name) this spring, and is off exploring Asia (with planned pit stops in Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong) for inspiration.
400 4th Avenue, Gowanus
Saucy by Nature: Currently offering delivery-only dinner service, the zero-waste restaurant will launch in full sometime this March, with daily-changing menus utilizing leftovers from Saucy’s wedding and events catering arm.
884 Fulton Street, Clinton Hill
Barano: A former Le Cirque and Rubirosa chef is behind this Southern Italian spot, which will feature hand-pulled mozzarella, homemade pasta and a wood-fired grill, along with dishes culled from Naples-adjacent Ischia; a volcanic island astride the Tyrrhenian sea.
26 Broadway, Williamsburg