A Seat at Our Table

Yakitori Nation! September’s Top Dining Destinations

Rotisserie madness, kosher elegance, yakitori everything, and much more are on the menu this month.

Photo by Paul Barbera/Courtesy of Llamita

Fall is the time to rejuvenate—and officially tuck that beach bod back into a cozy sweater. Eat Peruvian roast chicken, hundreds of yakitori, and katsu sandwiches galore before the Hamptons crowd wanders back home.

1. Say Yes, Yes, Yes to NoNoNo

Yakitori is the focus of the latest eatery from the people behind the very popular Korean restaurant Her Name Is Han. In a similarly eclectic setting, the kitchen at NoNoNo sends out charred skewers of meat in addition to ramen and other small-plate drinking food. To balance all the meat and fish, the cocktails are on are the lighter, more vegetal side. Think: shiso, lemon, and sake; daikon, yuzu, and plum wine. 118 Madison Avenue (between East 31st and 32nd Streets), Koreatown

Photo by Ally Schenker

2. The 411 on 886

Consider 886 a cross between Win Son and Baohaus: Taiwanese traditional in origin, but not afraid of color or a party or a hangover. Located right off St. Mark’s Place (if that acquaints you with the vibe), this is the place where you go to drink beer after beer and wash them down with awesome food. There’s a dish called Sausage Party, a rebranding of the classically stellar Taiwanese specialty of sticky rice–wrapped pork sausage. And a fried chicken sandwich, inspired by the McDonald’s in Taiwan, with daikon and Kewpie mayo. While not as cheap as McDonald’s, prices are reasonable for superior food made of good ingredients. 26 St. Mark’s Place (between Second and Third Avenues), East Village

3. Rah-Rah Rotisserie!

Of all the things to go trendy this year, not many would have put their money on rotisserie chicken. But indeed, with places like RT Rotisserie, as well as Souvla in San Francisco and the Kismet women opening a rotisserie joint in Los Angeles, we’d say it’s the case. Exhibit D: The folks behind the Peruvian restaurant Llama Inn have opened the fast-casual Llamita in the West Village. Its specialty is Peruvian-style rotisserie chicken, which comes inside a fluffy roll or on its own, with sides including a wicked aji verde sauce. The menu is rounded out with other sandwiches and specialties, including a respectable number of vegetarian options and smoothies. 80 Carmine Street (between Downing and Varick Streets), West Village

Photo by Paul Barbera/Courtesy of Llamita

4. Ample Fun in Red Hook

If you went to the Museum of Ice Cream hoping to learn something about ice cream (or eat your weight in ice cream) and left disappointed, Ample Hills’s newest outpost is now open for you. It has turned a huge space in Red Hook into a factory for the company and a Willy Wonka–approved experience for its patrons. Not only do we get to watch how the signature flavors are made, but there’s a museum explaining everything that goes into the perfect scoop. Of course, when you’re ready for said scoop—or 20—those are available for you, too. 421 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook

Courtesy of Mirella Cheeseman/Ample Hills

5. Cuckoo for Kosher Spots

Former Gramercy Tavern chef Joshua Kessler has set out to create the most enjoyable high-end kosher restaurant around. The ambience—open kitchen, white tablecloths, long marble bar—is setting the scene well. And the food screams “put on your fancy dinner clothes”: wild mushroom carbonara, bourbon-glazed lamb ribs, a duo of tartares. Kosher or not, Barnea Bistro is hitting all the marks of a nice midtown dinner.  211 East 46th Street (between Lexington and Park Avenues), Midtown East

6. Dynamic Duo in Tribeca

Matt Abramcyk, one of the people behind Yves, Tiny’s, and Smith & Mills, says he’s especially tuned into what Tribeca needs in its restaurants. Judging by his latest ventures, the neighborhood wants both light and dark, yin and yang. He’s opened two eateries simultaneously in the same building. On the ground floor is the Italian sea-sprayed Summer Day Cafe, featuring seafood and easygoing vibes in a bright, sunlit room. Down below, there’s the underground cocktail bar and smoked meat emporium Holy Ground. So it’s your choice: Ligurian lobster salad or rack of ribs? Whether good or evil will win out in this duo is anybody’s guess, but luckily we get to have both. 112 Reade Street (between West Broadway and Church Street), Financial District

Photo by Henry Hargreaves/Courtesy of Holy Ground

7. Another West Village Cocktail Den…With a Twist

Katana Kitten is the ultimate Japanese-American mashup in bar form: There are katsu sandwiches made with mortadella, deviled eggs with miso and salmon roe, an Amaretto sour with red shiso and salted plum, and a beer and Japanese whiskey shot deal. Kick it like they did in 1970s Tokyo: Japanese pop is on heavy rotation, and the walls are flanked with American movie posters—in Japanese. 531 Hudson Street (between West 10th and Charles Streets), West Village

Photo by Noah Fecks/Courtesy of Katana Kitten

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