Open for Business: Downtown's Latest

There’s nothing better than exploring New York when the weather is warm, and this summer you might as well stop by some of the coolest new restaurants and boutiques while you’re out.

In the dining scene, everyone’s a foodie so tastes are evolving and trends form faster than ever. Asian street food, Italian coastal fare, and veggie-focused meals have all had a moment recently, and if three makes a trend, then Indian delicacies will be the focus for diners this season. Earlier in the spring the acclaimedIndian Accent opened in midtown, but now downtown Manhattan is getting a couple of appealing options. The recently opened Tapestry reunited Michelin-starred chef (and Top Chef Masters guest) Suvir Saran with New York. Rather than focus on traditional preparations, Saran brings a global influence to the menu, with classic recipes from the likes of France or Mexico redone with Indian touches to bring out their true flavors. But Saran isn’t the only Top Chef Master chef returning to New York. Floyd Cardoz, who helmed the successful Tabla with Danny Meyer over a decade ago, is bringing Paowalla to our own neighborhood of Soho with a Spring Street location. While the menu hasn’t been released just yet, this is Cardoz’s first follow-up to a hugely successful restaurant in Mumbai, so naturally the focus is on Indian flavors brought to life by using local ingredients.

If you’re not keen on hopping on food trends and the inevitable crowds they attract in the beginning, you can still opt for a casual bite at other local openings. Mimi Cheng’s is opening a Nolita location, where you can get their delicious dumplings for a quick snack. If you’re into poké bowls then check out Chikarashi, further down Canal near Baxter Street. Former Neta and Masa chefs bring in the freshest catch for their sashimi-grade Japanese-Hawaiian dishes. Williamsburg restaurant Lighthouse is also expected to open their Lighthouse Outpost this summer on Mulberry Street, which is a perfect place to enjoy everything from burgers and oysters to healthy veggie bowls.

If shopping is your preference, there are some exciting new places to fill out your home or closet. Famed designer Tom Dixon just unveiled his newest boutique on Howard Street, his first in New York. Inside you’ll find enough signature copper desk wares, iridescent candles, and colorful accessories to make you giddy. It’s not the only fashionable boutique to make its way downtown: Nike’s popular 21 Mercer street shop might look a little more like Givenchy with a NikeLab x Riccardo Tisci collection takeover. Tisci’s black and white collection is in store now, and later this summer we’ll see the second half of the collaboration, with vibrant floral patterns printed on the covetable athletic gear that epitomize the fashion-sportswear trend. Outside of the gym you’ll want to stop by the new pop-up from NYC favorite Timo Weiland, in collaboration with the CFDA. In their new Retail Lab on 330 Hudson, you’ll be able to shop exclusive items, and pieces right off the runway from their SS17 menswear show from New York Fashion Week: Men’s in July. On the higher-end of the designer spectrum, both Rick Owens and Dolce & Gabbana are slated to open boutiques in Soho, giving you options for both sumptuous evening wear and post-apocalyptic garb – your pick. But if the past is any indicator, expect those boutique openings to coincide with Fashion Week in September.

Words by Gautam Balasundar