NYC’s Best New Restaurants and Bars of 2013 (So Far)

It's shaping up to be another banner year in New York dining—don't fall behind.

carbone

Photo: Carbone

Carbone

Neighborhood: Greenwich Village
Address and phone: 181 Thompson Street (212-933-0707)
Website: carbonenewyork.com

If Cesar Ramirez is New York's culinary Steven Berkoff, commanding his customer with a totalitarian performance, Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi are Steven Sondheim teamed with James Lapine—pushing the popular forward with a much needed kick in the ass. With Carbone, the duo gives traditional Italian American fare a makeover through the most perfect of restaurant staging. The Zac Posen-costumed waiters look to be straight out of central casting; the table settings seemingly pulled from a 1950s period room; and the art—curated by Vito Schanabel—is the stuff a contemporary mobster might buy to show off. Dining at Carbone is an immersive event. Not quite a high-brow Tony & Tina, but certainly a transformative moment where customers are written in as the leads in their own mid-century narrative. The staff caters to every whim, pours San Pellegrino like it's tap water, and thrills with the most remarkable freebies—the Grandma's bread and big chunks of chianti-soaked Parmesan are rare pleasures—though the food, while very good, is hardly the point. You go to Carbone for the dance, to be with friends and family, and, ultimately, to remember how a restaurant experience should feel. — Nick Schonberger

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