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.

Melibea

Photo: Melibea

Melibea

Neighborhood: West Village
Address and phone: 2 Bank St (212-463-0090)
Website: melibeanyc.com

Spanish chef Jesus Nuñez, formerly of modernist temple Gastroarte, recently opened the popular tapas spot Barraca, but if you really want to see what he can do in the kitchen, head next door to the adjoining Melibea. Here, the talented chef lets his hair down, showcasing his playful take on pan-Mediterranean flavors through a hit list of the region's classics tweaked in inventive ways—hummus fragrant with preserved lemon, a spicy mousaka made with venison, lamb tagine with plums and a tangy yogurt, and a stunningly rich osso bucco. Nuñez shows a deft hand at taking these simple dishes and elevating them with extra layers of ingredients, sophistication, and flavor. The same can be said for head bartender Raphael Reyes, who helms an impressive cocktail program. The experience here is rounded out with beautifully plated desserts, a sexy dining room, and great service—if you're looking for something fun and unexpected, this should be your new go-to spot. — Dieselboy

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