Brooklyn Chop House
Brooklyn in the house! Former record executive Robert “Don Pooh” Cummins broke out of the music biz and into the upscale dining scene. Brooklyn Chop House (BCH) in Manhattan’s Financial District serves Asian and steak house fusion cuisine, attracting celebs like Mary J. Blige. Popularity among Wall Streeters, millennials and a diverse crowd means there will be more BCHs soon. Our picks: Opt for the Summer Watermelon Cooler cocktail, Chicken Satay and Crispy Steamed Pork Dumplings. Then get the Steamed Montauk Black Bass.
Smart chefs start out with pop-ups or food trucks. Executive chef Natalie Mitchell is doing both. In the courtyard of the hipster bar The Springs, in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood, she’s established an innovative outpost. In her navy blue food truck kitchen, Mitchell works wonders, whipping up delectables for happy hour and dinner. Our picks: Begin with the Fried Pimento Cheese, Baja Shrimp Tacos or Fried Chicken drizzled with date syrup. Then order the flavorful Housemade Sausage sandwich; it looks like a New Orleans Po’boy.
This Central Harlem eatery is one of the most exquisite restaurants in New York City. Chef Darryl Burnette and his wife, Melissa, who’s the manager, have cooked up tasty flavors for an unforgettable 12-seat dining experience. “It’s an extension of our home,” says Darryl. “It’s like a floating dinner party,” adds Melissa. Our picks: First up, the Mac & Cheese Spring Rolls or Chicken & Waffles, then try the Black Sea Bass over homemade pasta. The Peanut Butter Pie (with Bordeaux blueberry jam, truffle honey and bacon) is a must.
Caribbean food lovers flock to Park Slope, Brooklyn, for Negril BK’s superb island cuisine and amiable vibe. The “One Love” mantra is fostered by owners and siblings Malissa Browne and Peter Best and longtime friend and chief mixologist André Honoré. Sip on the Iron Man Cocktail at the bar or chow down in the vast main dining room, with its banana tree mural. “Our guests have become family to us,” Browne says. Our picks: Sample the Ackee & Saltfish Spring Roll, then indulge in the Crispy Snapper stuffed with creole shrimp. For dessert, go with the truly decadent Banana Bread Pudding.