2. Hyatt Union Square is being hush hush about, well, pretty much everything surrounding their upcoming opening. Details remain hard to come by, but what we can count on are four dining spaces throughout the 11-story building, including an open-kitchen South American tapas bar in the basement, a rooftop lounge, and Fourth, an all-day brasserie that's being described by the hotel as "Union Square meets the 4th Arrondissement." Oh la la!
3. Auden, Ritz-Carlton New York Central Park. The Rockwell Group-designed layout—open-bistro style with wood paneling and deep cognac leather banquettes (pictured)—blends perfectly with Chef Mark Aranao’s menu of locally-sourced, comfort-food dishes like the hearty roasted capon stew with root veg served in its own crockery. Even the Atlantic cod with butternut squash risotto and sage butter sauce has a stick-to-your-ribs depth.
Another highlight? The enormous Auden fries with brown-sugar ketchup, which were tasty if only for one bite. Entrees begin at $32. Auden is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
4. Pod 39 hasn't yet finalized details for their upcoming ground-floor dining space, but from what we've seen and heard, it's going to be worth the wait. Owners BD Hotels have enlisted the help of April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman (the duo responsible for the Ace Hotel's The Breslin), and the result is a taco bar adjacent to the lobby. Inside the space, there will be just high counters and stools, though for more relaxed seating, guests will be able to take their tacos into the hotel's rec room-style lobby, which is also soon to be finished.
For now, you can always head to the hotel's jaw-dropping rooftop bar, where a small menu of snacks and small bites accompanies the cocktails, beers, and wines.
5. Prime, The Bentley Hotel. The floor-to-ceiling windows alone are worth a visit to The Bentley's new rooftop restaurant, which specializes in modern American fare with a sushi and crudo bar. The kitchen has also made sure the entire menu is kosher, so dishes like the 5-bone Bentley Rack with sweet and spicy Korean marinade, the toro tartare, and the Long Island duck sliders are all fair game for any kosher-abiding Jews who stop by—plus, there will even be a special elevator used for the Sabbath. While the weather lasts, we'd recommend a table on the outdoor patio. Because seriously, those views of the Queensborough Bridge? Wow.
[Photos: HotelChatter; Thrillist]