Fall’s 10 most exciting healthy restaurant openings

Your guide to the new New York City spots where downtown Paleos, uptown vegans, and everyone in between will be eating healthy this season.
Restaurants opener Bidding adieu to summer can be painful, but here’s one reason to get excited for fall: really good food.

Among the most anticipated restaurants opening in New York City this season…are a slew of healthy ones. We’re talking places that will satisfy your foodie standards and palate while keeping you healthy and energized (instead of prepping you for winter hibernation).

From an Upper West Side vegan favorite to grass-fed meats made for downtown Paleos and gluten-free fare on Park Avenue. (And no, we didn’t forget about Jean-Georges’ ABC Vegetable, it just seems unlikely to make its debut by fall opening…)

Here are 10 good-for-you new dining destinations (in no particular order) to look for this fall. Start hoarding your OpenTable points, now. —Lisa Elaine Held

(Photos: The Little Beet, Dirt Candy)


Get Started
Mas La Grillade 1. Almanac

Ever heard the term “hyper-seasonal”? That’s how Mas (Farmhouse) chef Galen Zamarra is billing his newest project, opening in the former Mas (La Grillade) space, which is undergoing a swanky renovation before its fall debut. The concept is inspired by the culinary journal Zamarra’s kept over the years to document dishes he’s made in concert with the changing seasons, and each dish on the prix-fixe menu will be created based on the freshest farm bounty, fish, and other foods available at the moment. November, West Village, www.almanacnyc.com (website coming soon)

(Photo: Mas (La Grillade))


Dirt Candy 2. Dirt Candy

Everything will just be so much bigger at this veggies-as-comfort-food favorite’s new Lower East Side home. (If you’ve never been, chef-founder Amanda Cohen’s old location was walk-in-closet-sized.) Expect a larger menu, more ambitious dishes, an expanded wine list and full bar—and oh, maybe you’ll actually be able to get a table? November, Lower East Side, www.dirtcandynyc.com

(Photo: Dirt Candy)


Floyd Cardoz 3. White Street

Star chef Floyd Cardoz is starting a new chapter after 17 years of working for Danny Meyer, and this project (with Dan Abrams, Dave Zinczenko, and Christine Cole) may be his healthiest yet. Cardoz says to expect lots of seasonal vegetables and balanced dishes made with “no butter, no cream.” He also says that while the cuisine won’t be Indian, the style of cooking at White Street will be more “aggressive in the flavoring,” harkening back to his days at Tabla more than North End Grill. And if your taste buds remember Tabla, that statement probably made your mouth water. September, Tribeca, www.whitestreetnyc.com

(Photo: Floydcardoz.com)


Little Beet 4. The Little Beet Table

Every day at lunch, you’ll find a takeout line snaking out the door at chef Franklin Becker’s The Little Beet in Midtown, where he serves seasonal, whole foods in a fast-casual setting. The spot became so popular so quickly, he’s opening a sister restaurant on Park Avenue with more of a sit-down focus (so you’re covered for dinner, too). The entire menu will be gluten-free, and you can expect some dishes from the original (like the baby kale salad and the Feelin’ Green cold-pressed juice), plus new ones that sound scrumptious, like Mackerel with mint, chilies, fennel, and lemon agrumato and a Quinoa “Risotto of the Day.” October, Flatiron, Website TBD

(Photo: The Little Beet)


Cafe Blossom 5. Cafe Blossom

Vegans will finally have a place to get tipsy (gasp!) at this reimagined version of the uptown favorite, which will include a 13-seat full bar with tapas for after-work snacking. Don’t worry, cult classic dishes like the soy bacon cheeseburger will remain on the menu. September, Upper West Side, www.blossomnyc.com

(Photo: The old Cafe Blossom, via Blossom NYC)


El Colmado 6. El Colmado Butchery

Paleos, pay attention: Seriously health-conscious chef Seamus Mullen is bringing his Spanish-inspired cooking to the Meatpacking District, where he’s joining forces with the Brass Monkey team to open an outpost of El Colmado (currently in Gotham West Market) next door to the popular bar. The Butchery will be a casual spot for a bite (with lots of to-go options) and a menu full of high-quality meats prepared tapas style. October, Meatpacking District, www.elcolmadonyc.com

(Photo: El Colmado)


Justin Smilie 7. Upland

According to New York Magazine, chef Justin Smilie once “lost a job for spending too much at the Greenmarket,” so he’s obviously the kind of chef we want to have cooking for us. Restaurant kingpin Stephen Starr tapped him to open this seasonally-focused spot, which will reportedly feature California-inspired cuisine with dishes like sprouted chickpea croquettes (yes, please!) and coffee-soaked lamb breast with okra, tomatoes, and beans. October, Flatiron, website TBD

(Photo: A Justin Smilie dish from his time at il Buco Alimentari, via Starchefs.com)


Pasta Flyer 8. Pasta Flyer

Okay, this might not technically be a fully operational New York restaurant before the end of the season, but the pop-up version is enough to get excited about. Del Posto’s chef Mark Ladner, a gluten-free pasta genius, is bringing his wheat-free noodles to the masses with this concept, funded on Kickstarter. It’ll serve home-style Italian bowls of better-for-you pasta for less than $10 at pop-up locations in Cambridge, Providence, Philadelphia, New Haven, and New York City this fall. The Big Apple dates and locations—and news on a permanent home—are still cooking. Date and location TBD, www.pastaflyer.com

(Photo: Instagram/PastaFlyer)


Bowery meat company 9. Bowery Meat Company

Restaurateur John McDonald (of Lure Fishbar and El Toro Blanco, among others) has a personal proclivity toward eating Paleo (and the super intense workouts that often accompany it), and he hopes to woo like-minded individuals to this new steakhouse project, which will feature high-quality cuts of meat and clean, fresh seafood. Plus, vegetarian-friendly market options like zucchini carpaccio with pistachio, mint, feta, and chili flakes and a grilled cauliflower “steak” with golden raisins, almonds, and capers. Late September/Early October, East Village, www.bowerymeatcompany.com


High Line 10. Unnamed Torrisi/Carbone project

The three-man team—Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi, and Jeff Zalaznik—behind indulgent Italian spots like Carbone and Torrisi is going in a different direction with their newest restaurant (yet unnamed!) opening in Gansevoort Plaza at the High Line. They say it will be light and healthy, with a focus on fish and lots of veggies. Expect dishes like house-cured anchovies (brain food!) and zucchini carpaccio, all of which you’ll be able to enjoy al fresco, since it will include outdoor seating for 50. October, Meatpacking District, website TBD

(Photo: TheHighLine.org)



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