The time is here! After more than six months, indoor dining has officially reopened in NYC.
At 25% capacity, with lots of rules in place, that is.
Still, it will add more business opportunities for struggling restaurants, and now you’re no longer at the mercy of rain ruining your plans!
Since it came right as autumn is beginning, it’s the perfect time to curl up in NYC’s coziest dining set-ups — from comfy booths to candle or bistro lighting to the most comforting food menus. Plus, you’ll read the extra safety measures in place at most of them! Prepare for lots of plexiglass…
J. Bespoke is one of the newer NYC speakeasies in town! Hidden behind an unmarked brass door in the Devoción Cascara + Coffee shop in NoMad, it’s an effort by two brother owners to take sports bars to a whole new elevated level. When taking a first glance at the space, with only 50 seats and an art-deco inspired mural, you definitely wouldn’t think of it as a spot for sports fans to be cheering on their favorite teams. But the 4K LED flat-screen TVs and immersive audio system are where the games come to life.
Where: 121 E 27th St.
In the heart of Chelsea comes Loulou, a cozy French bistro that has a swanky basement speakeasy that is accessed through a vintage Coca Cola refrigerator door. Tucked inside a doorway, you’re greeted on the other side by a glimmering chandelier and a dark staircase which leads you to a lively bar and seating area with music and an extensive craft cocktail menu (plus you can order food down there too!). Named after the owner’s super cute dog, Loulou offers lunch, brunch and dinner including duck leg confit, ratatouille, steak-frites plus a raw bar and charcuterie and cheese boards. For brunch they’ll have croissant French toast, smoked salmon, and of course, Eggs Benedict.
Where: 176 8th Ave
The Factory 380, located at 380 Third Avenue, draws influence from New York in the early 60s. Named after Warhol’s famous studio “The Factory,” the bar and eatery puts a spin on Old New York with modern craft cocktails and craft beers. As their site puts it: “The Factory 380 serves market fresh creative eclectic fare, fermented grains & cocktails which gives way to a funky decor and DJ tunes.” Employees receive temperature checks at the door and
Where: 380 Third Avenue
4. Bowery Meat Company, Lower East Side
In addition to outdoor dining, Bowery Meat Company is now taking reservations for indoor dining at 25% capacity starting September 30! Hours will be Sunday-Wednesday 4pm to 9:30pm
and Thursday-Saturday 4pm to 10pm. Indulge in the likes of bone-in filet mignon, lobster mac n’ cheese, and whipped mashed potatoes.
Where: 9 E 1st St.
5. Nerai, Midtown
This Greek restaurant brought out all the stop for indoor dining, aka an amazing new floral interior design (they used the same designers as this restaurant did!).
Where: 55 E 54th St.
6. Nino’s AQ, Astoria
This Italian restaurant has anatmosphere just as comforting as a warm bow of fresh pasta — which it has plenty of too! Enjoy the modern interior design, that also has lovely homey touches like black-and-white photos of grandparents (it’s a family owned restaurant), along with gnocchi cacio e pepe and slow-simmered meatballs.
Where: 35-01 Ditmars Blvd
7. Brooklyn Chop House, FiDi
You may not have to wait too long for a reservation here — Brooklyn Chop House has seating for 40 indoors, which is 25% of their legal occupancy with 8 custom plexiglass partitions dividing the dining room and tables throughout…and that’s in addition to 100 extra seats outdoors under three oversized, heated tents! While enjoying the best cuts of meat, you’ll also feel extra safe with a walk-through thermal temperature scanner, HVAC ultraviolet lights to kill bacteria in the air, a UVC sanitizing station for cutlery and glassware, plus a sanitizing station for patrons with
masks and gloves available.
Where: 150 Nassau St.
The East Village restaurant known for its delicious Ukrainian comfort food has been open for takeout and outdoor dining, and now its cozy interior will be open for diners! Stuff yourself with alllll the pirogies.
Where: 144 2nd Ave
9. Queen’s Room, Astoria
This restaurant with a name perfect for the royal borough is a coffee shop by day, candlelit restaurant by night. Enjoy a Mediterranean-influenced menu with pastas, sandwiches and fall salads, plus lovely craft cocktails, all on cozy leather-tufted booths with twinkling bistro lights at the ready.
Where: 36-02 Ditmars Blvd
10. Momosan Ramen & Sake, Murray Hill
Nothing says cozy like a hot bowl of ramen! Momosan Ramen & Sake is back open from 11:30 am – 3 pm for lunch and 5 pm – 9 pm for dinner. The restaurant will offer an updated menu with a variety of Momosan’s signature favorites for lunch and dinner, including appetizers, ramen, rice bowls, sushi rolls, nigiri sushi, sashimi and Chef’s combination platters from Iron Chef Morimoto, as well as Momosan Sets which will offer diners a choice of an appetizer and ramen. They say they are excited to welcome guests back for dine-in service and are committed to making every guest’s visit as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. “We appreciate the guest’s cooperation in advance as mandated restaurant guidelines are put in place to ensure a compliant and safe dining environment.”
Where: 342 Lexington Ave
featured image source: Nitzan Rubin