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Restaurant Groups: If You Like This Place, You’ll Like That Place

By: Rachel Clayton

In a town filled with restaurants, when you find a place you love, it becomes your sacred spot. But what happens when you’ve worn out the magic, having tried every entree on the menu twice? Or more likely, when word has spread about how good your go-to is and you can’t get in for another month? Don’t worry—we’ve rounded up the best restaurateurs or restaurant groups so you can go to a sister location of the very best spots. You might even find a brand new favorite.

The Best Restaurant Groups in NYC

If you like Empellon Midtown, you’ll like Taqueria and Al Pastor:
Empellon Midtown, 510 Madison Avenue, Manhattan | Midtown East

Empellon, the flagship location of Alex Stupak’s empire, is so good at melding American and Mexican cuisine and serving it up in an upscale setting that it won a James Beard award in 2018. It’s a great spot, but sometimes you just don’t feel like eating (or paying for) sea bream. When you’re in the mood for margaritas, head to the sister location Taqueria. Located in the West Village, this spot carries over notes from Empellon (including the all-important tomatillo ketchup) but simplifies the menu to focus on tacos and margaritas. The vibe here is cozier as well, so unlike the original location, you can loosen a pants button after one too many tacos without fear of swift judgment.

Taqueria: 230 West 4th Street, Manhattan

If you want that AmeriMex mash up but want to kick it in an even more casual location, then Al Pastor has you covered. Located in the East Village, this spot pairs down the menu even more to the best snacks, from achiote hot wings to curly fries with the aforementioned and very important tomatillo ketchup. This spot is more of a bar environment, so you and your date can grab a stool anytime and enjoy the colorful murals while sipping on one of eighteen beers they serve on tap.

Al Pastor: 132 St Marks Place, Manhattan

empellon al pastor nyc
Credit: Empellon
If you like The Woo, you’ll like Bann:
The Woo, 206 Spring Street, Manhattan | SoHo

It’s no wonder that The Woo, a sleek reimagining of Korean food in SoHo, brings in as many tourists to their table as flavors to their dishes. When it’s too crowded at The Woo, follow the genius of owner Julie Choi over to Bann. The Bann has the same upscale East Asian inspired decor, setting a vibe with dim lighting, tall bamboo trees, and accents like a mounted gong, but with the interactivity of cooking your food on the smokeless grills at each table. Load up on barbequed meats, spicy seafood stews, and bi bim bap and you’ll be saying “The Woo who?” (until you remember The Woo, which is equally awesome).

Bann: 350 West 50th Street, Manhattan

bann nyc
Credit: Bann
If you like The Dutch, you’ll like Bar Primi, Locanda Verde, and Little Park:
The Dutch, 131 Sullivan Street, Manhattan | SoHo

The NoHo Hospitality Group is a powerhouse of New York foodie talent, so it’s no surprise that they’re behind some of the best spots in the city. If The Dutch worked its way into your rotation with classic comfort food in chic digs, then be sure to check out Bar Primi when you’re craving Italian. Carrying over the theme of casual food in a hip environment, Bar Primi’s airy space is often lively with East Village locals. Focusing on variations of pasta, this is the spot when you want lots and lots of carbs and lots and lots of wine from their large selection.

Bar Primi: 325 Bowery, Manhattan | East Village

If Italian food sounds right but you’ve been having pasta too much lately (nearly impossible), then there’s always Locanda Verde. This Tribeca restaurant carries the mantle of The Dutch and Bar Primi with the same hip, definitive hot spot vibe, but expands with a menu of rustic-but-elegant cuisine. Under delicate lights and near the giant stone fireplace you and a date can enjoy beetroot carpaccio or white asparagus to start before moving on to steak tartare, Sunday night ragu, or a spendy but worth it veal chop.

Locanda Verde: 377 Greenwich Street, Manhattan | Tribeca

If it was the emphasis on fresh, locally grown produce that got you into The Dutch in the first place, then Little Park is the natural next step. Located in the AKA Tribeca, this spot serves up American fare like The Dutch but in a slightly fancier setting with an all-cream-everything decor that heightens the fear of spillage. On the menu is farm-to-table treasure like morel ravioli or Long Island duck breast. In addition to a unique cocktail menu, they have desserts that sound healthy and taste delicious—parsnip cake, anyone?

Little Park: 85 West Broadway, Manhattan | Tribeca

bar primi nyc
Credit: Bar Primi

See More Of Our Curated Dates This Week

If you like Momofuku Noodle Bar, you’ll like Kāwi:
Momofuku Noodle Bar, 171 1st Avenue, Manhattan | East Village

Though the entire Momofuku line is full of restaurants everyone’s checked into on Instagram, their most popular is the Noodle Bar. To go beyond noodles and the sparse decor of the Noodle Bar, take your partner to newly opened Kāwi. Part of the Hudson Yards Revival, Kāwi is a collaboration between David Chang and fine dining chef Eunjo Park that serves up Korean flavors in elegant ways. On the menu is everything from quality raw fish to fried cod and yuzu, though the stars are the kimbap or rice cake dishes—where the fried rice cakes are made to crispy perfection in house, a rarity.

Kāwi: 20 Hudson Yards, #501, Manhattan | Hudson Yards

momofuku kawi nyc
Credit: Momofuku Kāwi
If you like Diner, you’ll like Marlow & Sons and Achilles Heel:
81 Broadway, Brooklyn

Fans of New American cuisine will have visited the long-standing Diner, but you can get the same emphasis on haute U.S. cuisine with an expanded menu at Marlow & Sons. Part of Andrew Tarlow’s dining empire in Brooklyn, this spot drops the retro vibe from Diner and instead aims achieves a ship cabin look with wooden ceilings and shelves crowded with booze lining the walls. Though the menu is bigger than Diner’s, it has the same fresh and creative focus with dishes like sour cabbage pancakes and kombu-cured shoulder steak.

Marlow & Sons: 81 Broadway, Brooklyn

Achilles Heel heads back in time toward Diner’s retro vibe and keeps going, arriving at something quaint and vaguely western with a pressed tin ceiling and mismatched wood. On the menu, however, is the gastropub version of the same produce-focused New American plates. Dishes like cranberry toast with chili oil, pork meatballs in farro broth, or green lentil dip promise unfussy execution with stellar flavors. This place is all about feeding the drink, so make sure to indulge in one of their house cocktails.

Achilles Heel: 180 West Street, Brooklyn

achilles heel nyc
Credit: Achilles Heel
If you like Balthazar, you’ll like Augustine:

Balthazar is a New York institution, which means in addition to being delicious, it’s often packed with tourists and locals. Luckily there’s Augustine, another creation of the downtown restaurateur supreme Keith McNally. Augustine takes French cuisine one step higher in a well-decorated brasserie that feels more old world with leather booths, delicate tile designs, and chandeliers. On the menu are steaks and French classics like Tuna Nicoise, Loup de Mer, and frites of all kinds.  Oh, and there’s obviously plenty of wine to help you drink away any worries at the cost of this decadent meal.

Augustine: 5 Beekman Street, Manhattan

augustine nyc
Credit: Augustine

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