By Anna Sekula Posted January 10, 2011, 1:42 PM EST
NEW YORK 1. With the September opening of Riverpark, chef Tom Colicchio has extended his restaurant empire to the East River. The 174-seat Bentel & Bentel-designed restaurant, which sits inside the new Alexandria Center for Life Science, offers a 150-seat private room.
2. In keeping with the growing number of chef-driven hotel restaurants, the Setai Fifth Avenue’s in-house spot is a contemporary Italian eatery from chef Michael White. Ai Fiori opened in December with black oak floors, limestone accents, and built-in bookcases, and offers 185 seats for dining and a 40-seat bar.
3. Since the debut of his tiny but wildly popular Momofuku Noodle Bar in 2004, chef David Chang has become a recognized name in the culinary world—and his first full-size restaurant opened in April. Inside the Chambers Hotel, the 85-seat Má Pêche serves French-Vietnamese fare.
4. Todd English debuted his latest, a 125-seat modern French brasserie called Ça Va, inside the InterContinental Times Square Hotel in July. The private dining section is a flexible room that seats 56 and can be divided into three spaces.
5. Richard Sandoval, a pioneer of Nuevo Mexican restaurants from New York to Las Vegas, opened a new spot in April inside a sprawling 17,000-square-foot space near Grand Central. At Zengo some 120 seats fill the dining room, where AvroKo’s Latin and Asian design details highlight the soaring ceiling.
6. Open since February 2009, the restaurant inside the newly renovated Mark hotel is the work of chef and restaurateur Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Known simply as the Mark Restaurant by Jean Georges, the Jacques Grange-designed space offers a private room for as many as 20.
7. Vongerichten also opened ABC Kitchen, a farm-to-table joint inside ABC Carpet & Home, in March 2010. The 150-seat space is artfully furnished with reclaimed wood, handcrafted bread baskets, and etched mirrors.
8. A tiki motif defines the Hurricane Club, Michael Stillman and Craig Koketsu’s restaurant and lounge that debuted in the Flatiron District in September. Filled with rattan screens, Polynesian tattoo-inspired wallpaper, and brass leopard heads, the 13,000-square-foot space has two private rooms.
9. Inside Ian Schrager’s Gramercy Park Hotel, Danny Meyer’s new Italian restaurant, Maialino, is modeled after Roman trattorias. Open since fall 2009, the eatery offers a comfortable setting marked by oak wainscoting, beamed ceilings, wood and tile floors, and leather banquettes. For groups, there’s a 22-seat private dining room.
10. Echoing the museum’s curved architecture, the Guggenheim’s new eatery, the Wright, is a smallish space that opened in December with 58 seats in a sleek but artful room. David Bouley alum chef Rodolfo Contreras serves American fare and emphasizes seasonal, locally sourced ingredients.