Pig and Khao: Top Chef alum Leah Cohen left her gig at Centro Vinoteca two years ago to travel, cook and eat her away across Southeast Asia. Now she’s back in New York, with a new Lower East Side small plates spot showcasing the fruits of her travels: Filipino-inspired sizzling pork sisig, Northern Thai khao soi coconut curry noodles, mussels with Chinese sausage and steamed buns. The brightly colored, wood-accented space has cute Chinatown-style platewear and an outdoor patio for al fresco dining.
68 Clinton St,; 212-920-4485; http://pigandkhao.com
M. Wells Dinette: Sarah Obraitis and Hugue Dufour, the husband-and-wife team behind the beloved Long Island City gastro-diner M. Wells, return to Queens with a new outpost in MoMA’s PS 1. The space was previously an elementary school, and the design riffs off of a cafeteria theme, with old-school metal trays and communal tables with built-in cubby holes. The quirky, avant-garde menu is full of Wells-ian dishes like horse tartare, bibimbap with maple syrup and oysters, and a caviar, butter and flower sandwich on rye.
22-25 Jackson Ave.; Long Island City, Queens; 718-786-1800; no website
Brinkley’s Station: Restaurateur brothers Tom and Anthony Martignetti set up a new gastropub (they also run Brinkley’s in Soho) in the former Desmond’s space in Midtown East, in a historic firehouse-style building from the 1890s. The high-ceilinged, tile-adorned space has a sprawling main dining room and upstairs mezzanine with a fireplace; and the upscale pub grub includes grass-fed burgers, grilled fish and chips with local swordfish and three-cheese mac and cheese.
153 East 60th St.; 646-922-7220; no website