10 New York Restaurants Pioneering the Return of Indoor Dining

Sunday, October 04, 2020

Rain, snow, hail or shine, indoor dining is back just in time. With indoor dining opening up again, many restaurants that have survived the pandemic thanks to customers and locals have implemented protocols to maintain distance and redesigned their spaces to thrive. City locals and visitors can enjoy their meals indoors as the air gets chilly, while ensuring the restaurants are top notch at both culinary chops and safety measures. Only in New York!

Chef John DeLucie and lead pizzaiolo Erasmo ‘Mino’ Lassandro offer a tasty menu of wood-fired pizzas, pastas, free range chicken, NY Strip Steak, Atlantic Salmon and Wood Fired Rosemary Wings. The massive 10,000 square foot, multi-level Italian restaurant, wine bar and biergarten is complete with a rooftop. So, plenty of space to distance and dine with ease.

A family-friendly plant based and kosher catering menu throughout Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan with no delivery fees, which can be ordered by emailing catering@beyondsushinyc.com or calling 718-606-2179. Order (and even freeze) options like Kefta Kebabs, Stuffed Artichoke, Tofu Vegetable Fried Rice and the option to build your own burger. Pastas include Tomato Reginetti Bolognese, and Smoked Kale Ravioli. Back indoors at the 37th St. flagship location, and restaurant owners Guy and Tali Vaknin are so excited to break bread with their supporters and for fall they have a new Butternut Squash Tortellini.

Stratis Morfogen ensured Brooklyn Chop House was ahead of the curve with post-COVID tech and accommodation. The restaurant implemented a 40 point safety plan with custom plexiglass partitions dividing the dining room and tables and seating under three oversized tents outdoors. Additional safety precautions include having a custom-made, walkthrough thermal temperature scanner, which will take each diner’s temperature. Additionally, HVAC ultraviolet lights will kill bacteria in the air. Dine on their wide variety of dumplings, ranging from Bacon Cheeseburger, to French Onion Soup or have an L.S.D. feast with friends, with lobster, steak and duck for the table to enjoy. Plus, for fall enjoy Red Velvet Frose made with mixed berries, Maison Marcel Rose and Maison Marcel French Velvet red wine.

With a carefully curated menu, Chef Jason Hall adds his own unique twist on classic French-Mediterranean cuisine of the coastal cuisine of Southern France, with inspirations from Italy, Spain, and Greece. The indoor setting of high ceilings and a church like ambiance also have chefs bring your meal to life in an open-hearth kitchen, while you sip on a cocktail. An outdoor area with lush ambiance is also available.

Clinton Hall’s massive location at 36th Street is now open for indoor feasts and delicious drinks. Enjoy great Supercraft beer, hard seltzers, wine and a full bar menu alongside delicious food from Executive Chef Darryl Harmon like his signature Double Smashed Burger, Buffalo Cauliflower, Crispy Chicken Wings, Giant Pretzels and more. Clinton Hall's FiDi and Bronx locations are open as well.

The Australian restaurant and cafe Hole in the Wall has a new Flatiron location at Hotel Henri with both indoor and outdoor dining under the hotel's awning. Their Murray Hill flagship boasts high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling glass walls, too. Signature dishes from Executive Chef Brent Hudson include his breakfast classics like a Chili Scramble, Avocado Toast and a Breaky Roll with applewood smoked bacon, chorizo pate, folded eggs, chimichurri and mayo on a milk bun. If you're in the mood for something spectacular come supper time, try the Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich or Crispy Pork Belly with sticky glaze, chili, fried shallots and lime.

The French bistro style hotspot with a speakeasy now has the ability to book out both their restaurant and their private dining room. While safely distanced, enjoy signature menu items from Executive Chef Jarett Brodie including the Loulou Burger made with grass-fed beef, clothbound cheddar and caramelized onions, Duck Leg Confit with apple rosemary puree and gala chutney and Steak Frites featuring a 7oz skirt steak and béarnaise. That's in addition to a large selection of craft cocktails, wine and beer, with particularly cute and cocktails (also available to go!) in trendy vials and glassware.


Alongside a fabulous takeout menu with Greek wines and gourmet bites, Nerai owner Spiro Menegatos converted the adjacent plaza to a picturesque expansive garden patio. Ra nked one of the top 50 in NYC according to TripAdvisors, it's two elegantly appointed dining rooms in addition to Cava Nerai, providing two distinct private dining s paces.  Plexiglass separates the banquettes throughout the restaurant.  Nerai’s flavorful fresh seafood dishes and cocktails can be enjoyed indoors and out and a gorgeous new Jasmine garden from Floratorium. Indulge in their savory Seafood Orzotto, which features fresh octopus, shrimp, mussels and calamari in a saffron broth, and is sure to warm you up on a chilly day. 

As Oscar Wilde once said, “there can be nothing more frequent than an occasional drink!”. Open for both indoor and outdoor dining, the luscious indoors as the longest bar in New York with plenty of whimsy is worth a visit. Driven by the spirit of the Irish playwright, it pays homage to his prolific storytelling. Victorian era glamor, the cocktails are themed after literature and are strong enough to get more of that British pub food that is a hearty match to the expert mixology.

Restaurant, bar, club and event space all in one! A one-of-a-kind multi-level nightspot with 10,000 square feet to spread out at, which spans two floors. The restaurant is open for brunch and dinner indoors and out with the ability to purchase new games or bring your own to play with friends.  DJ's will spin on the weekends to keep the energy up even if you're sitting down. 

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