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The best pop-up restaurants to try in NYC right now

This summer, NYC is getting ready to open up.

Now, eateries in the city – serving everything from Japanese katsu to Indian street food to oysters – are opening new spinoffs in food markets, in other restaurants, on rooftops and even inside the skating rink.

Citing a dismal year of closures, ever-changing regulations, staffing issues and lack of institutional investment, the pop-up offers chefs a chance to show off pent-up creative energy themselves without the risks associated with traditional spaces.

“These types of pop-ups are so cool [because] says chef Nir Sarig, who founded pop-up shop Eti in the Middle East. “So you allow yourself to be bolder and take more risks.”

Whether you’re craving a cheap sandwich or a high-end three-course meal, a visit to these seven pop-up restaurants is absolutely worth it to beat the summer heat.

Have a meal at 6:20

Dine at 620 is a new summer outdoor dining experience at Rockefeller Center located at 620 Loft & Garden – one of Midtown’s most popular terraces with views of the city skyline. For two consecutive weeks, a rotating cast of three different restaurants – Olmsted, Atogirl and Pebble Bar – will offer curated food and drink menus, Monday through Thursday. EB Kelly, chief executive officer of Tishman Speyer that oversees the Rockefeller Center, told The Post that this is the first time the rooftop setting has been open to the public “while also collaborating with a number of restaurants and chefs New York’s most famous.”

A finalist for James Beard’s “Best New Restaurant” specializing in American fare, Olmsted will open a pop-up from August 2 to 12.

Chef-owner Greg Baxtrom, 36, is using local and seasonal ingredients to create a prix fixe menu ($75) that includes summer dishes like tonkatsu spare ribs, salads Little Gem with fancy ranch dressing and heirloom tomato salad. Many ingredients are sourced from Union Square Greenmarket.

The Tonkatsu Ribs are one of Chef Greg Baxtrom's favorites at the Olmsted pop-up.
The Tonkatsu Ribs are one of Chef Greg Baxtrom’s favorites at the Olmsted pop-up.
NOAH FECKS

Olmsted, headquartered in Prospect Heights, has not raised prices once during the pandemic because Baxtrom “didn’t want to raise neighborhood prices”. Likewise in its new pop-up, Baxtrom wants to keep the menu casual so the food and setting speak for themselves.

“It’s not about me, it’s about the guests,” Baxtrom told The Post. “Can I come up with some fancy stuff and charge a lot more? Yes, completely. But that’s not what should be here.”

Drop by Dine at 6:20 to try Atogirl, open until July 29.

Atogirl is a “playful and whimsical” concept by chef Junghyun “JP” Park and manager Ellia Park of Atomix and Atoboy, inspired by bunsik – Korean street snacks. The pop-up menu features kimbap – commonly known as Korean sushi rolls, lobster tteokbokki (rice cakes) and Atoboy fried chicken.

JP and Ellia told The Post, “Atogirl wanted to show that these flavors and concepts can work just as well on a rooftop in NYC as they do on streets or retail stores across Korea.”

Monday-Thursday, through August 12. 620 Loft & Garden, 620 Fifth Ave.; 212-632-5055, Resy.com/Cities/NY/Dine-At-620

Sandbar on Hudson

Enjoying a taste of Philly through the West Village, High Street on Hudson has teamed up with pizzeria neighbor Brunetti at a new seafood and cocktail bar called Sandbar on Hudson. The pop-up, which has been open for almost a year, features a wide selection of seafood with Spanish and Mediterranean influences.

James Shields, 39, who owns Brunetti and runs Sandbar on Hudson, said: “This is a great nightlife spot for locals. “So don’t try to be anything ambitious. It’s just trying to be where from the moment you walk through the door, you say, ‘Okay, I know I’m going to have a good time.’ “

The menu, based on what Shields feels “the neighborhood really needs,” features seafood options like lobster roll ($28), mussels with white wine and thyme ($18), tacos with hake lager ($19) and wild Atlantic salmon ($23). Non-food dishes include the New York strip ($28), spicy chicken sandwiches ($20), and organic Amish chicken ($25). It also features cocktails ($15) like Greens Anatomy, Just Beet It, and Tropical Magic.

The dishes are primarily “crowd food” and “shareable dishes” allowing for a more interactive dining experience, Shields said.

“We’re dealing with a long way,” Shields said. “The community has just been incredibly supportive of what we’re doing here, so I can’t go against what people want.”

Monday-Thursday 5 to 10 pm, Friday-Sunday 2 to 10 pm High Street on Hudson, 637 Hudson St.; 917-388-3944, HighStreetOnHudson.com

Creamline Beer Garden

Creamline Beer Garden's new, temporary location is serving must-drink craft beers.
Creamline Beer Garden’s new, temporary location is serving must-try drinks and craft beers.
Brian Zak / NY Post

With a 90-foot space running along 16th Street outside of Chelsea Market, Creamline Beer Garden’s new temporary location is serving must-try drinks and craft beers.

Opened July 22 in partnership with Catskill Brewery in Livingston Manor, New York, the beer entrées include warm beer cheese ($9) – accompanied by chips and crackers – and cake cheese bacon-onion-beer jam ($15).

“We are focused on sourcing locally and supporting local farms and producers in our beer garden,” says Creamline chef and owner Harris Mayer-Selinger, 37. know.

Visitors were particularly enamored with Catskill Brewery’s popular Nightshine Black Lager ($15), as well as the pop-up shop’s alcoholic milkshake ($15). Catskill Brewery beers are available draft and canned, including the Catskill Devil’s Path IPA ($9) and the Catskill Freak Tractor Farmhouse Ale ($11).

According to Mayer-Selinger, who attempted to design an “escape from the urban environment,” the beer garden is “festive, wraparound, lush with garden elements.” The space will likely remain open until it gets too cold, but he told The Post his team will do whatever it takes to continue serving people.

“We think there will always be a desire for people in the city to have an escape route without having to travel,” said Mayer-Selinger.

Noon Tuesday-Sunday until 10pm. Chelsea Market, 75 Ninth Ave.; 646-410-2040, CreamlineNYC.com

Eti

For the next three months, Eti, a pop-up shop in the Middle East, will be serving the crowd from Pe People Wine at the new Essex Market on the Lower East Side. Founded by Israeli-born photographer and chef Nir Sarig – who grew up with a Morrocan taste – Eti has appeared before at Rhodora Wine Bar and Tompkins Square Park, where chefs prepare basket lunches Moroccan inspired.

“I did not [base the menu on] a specific region,” said Sarig, 30, who opened Etihad on July 22 after struggling to find a permanent location in time for the summer. “It’s the taste I ate at a friend’s restaurant, the stuff I love. It’s just fun and normal. ”

Notable menu items include kibbeh nayeh ($19) – Lebanese beef tartare and chard, grilled kohlrabi with ice and Tassos olives ($19), scallop sashimi with watermelon and coriander seeds ($20) and homemade labneh cheese ($16). His liquor store owners will provide a wide selection of high quality bottles of wine for as long as Eti lives.

Wednesday-Sunday from 5pm Wine of the People, 115 Delancey St.; 212-202-2550, https://www.Instagram.com/Eti.NYC/?hl=en

Mama Yoshi

Mama Yoshi, started by California natives Yukiko Muneyasu, 35, and Miles Tickler, 34, is a Japanese-American pop-up and resident food show for the Brooklyn bar Ice skating all night. Mama Yoshi first appeared at Marco’s on Broadway in 2017, and since then they have frequented several locations in Bushwick.

“All Night Skate is a welcoming and safe space and hosts a lot of events,” Muneyasu told The Post. “We are happy to be a part of that. . . Never thought in a million years we could make this a reality.”

Muneyasu and Tickler told The Post they wanted to make “someone’s favorite chicken sandwich”. While Muneyasu likes the chicken katsu sandwich ($12), Tickler prefers the spicy version ($13), which “will burn you, but it’s worth it”. Other popular menu items include curry katsu ($14) and spicy tuna bowl ($16), spicy chicken katsu with pickled onions and spicy mayo ($10) and cauliflower karaage ($9) ).

While the couple admits that “preparing the equipment offsite and shipping it to the destination” can be tiring with so many variables, they found that pop-ups provide a way for businesses to New businesses try out new projects – without relying on the astronomical investments required to start an independent operation. They hope to open a small Japanese coffee shop or fast food restaurant in the future.

Wednesday-Thursday 5 to 11 p.m., Friday-Saturday 5 p.m. to 12 a.m., Sunday 4 to 10 p.m. Ice Skating All Night, 54 Rockaway Ave., Brooklyn; 347-449-4190, Instagram.com/MamaYoshiBK/

Masala Mama

After years of trading sauces like vindaloo and coconut curries, owner Nidhi Jalan has created a new “easy, healthy, delicious” Indian place at Michael & Ping’s in Gowanus that has Masala Mama’s name.

“This is my third week, and even though it’s groundbreaking, I really enjoy not running a company where I don’t meet people but just sell sauces,” said Jalan, who originally came from Kolkata, told The Post.

Jalan says her menu includes flavors from various regions of India and she hopes to add more Bengali dishes. Her vegetarian menu features classics like paneer tikka masala ($13.95 / $17.95), aloo gobi with cauliflower and potatoes ($14.95), dal makhani ($11.95/USD) $13.95) and watermelon salad ($9.95).

Using a pizza oven, she prepares breads like sour naan ($2.95) and garlic chimichurri naan ($3.95), which pair well with tamarind chutney ($1.95). or green chili pickles ($1.95).

“I want to go back to the traditional way,” she said. “So sourdough naan, although it sounds very Western, traditionally has no commercial yeast, it’s all sourdough.”

While Jalan wants to open her own store in the near future, she prefers the pop-up experience to be innovative without the high cost. Although she only took a few orders on the first day, the community was very supportive of Masala Mama, she said.

Wednesday-Sunday 5pm to 9pm; Michael & Ping’s, 437 Third Ave., Brooklyn; 646-820-6790, MasalaMamaFoods.com/restaurant

Blue light speaks politely

Last December, Andrea “Andy” Chetakian, 34, opened Blue Light Speak Cheesy, a grilled cheese and brunch at the Getaway coffee shop in Greenpoint.

“Because the space I’m working in right now is too small. . . I just do one thing a day,” she said.

The menu includes brunch items like double-decker tacos ($12) on Tuesdays, breakfast burritos ($11) on Thursdays, and four bagel sandwiches ($9-$12) on Saturdays. The rotating menu of grilled cheeses catered to special events includes BB-Quinn with pulled pork and smoked gouda and Don Pablano with manchego and chorizo.

Chetakian said she currently has no intention of opening a brick-and-mortar store, as having a pop-up store allows her to flexibly connect with every customer.

And why grilled cheese? “I started with grilled cheese because I had no cooking experience. I can’t cook at all,” she said. “And I really just thought, if I really tried, I could make a good grilled cheese sandwich.”

Tuesday-Sunday, 9am to 1pm Rest Place, 158 Green St., Brooklyn; 714-519-6374, TheBlueLightSpeakCheesy.com

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https://nypost.com/2021/07/23/the-best-pop-up-restaurants-to-try-in-nyc-right-now/ | The best pop-up restaurants to try in NYC right now

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