Openings: Maxwell’s Chophouse, Wagamama, Chao Chao, Ghost Donkey, Pig Beach Burger 

November 21, 2016 10:46 am Last Updated: November 21, 2016 5:52 pm

Maxwell’s Chophouse 

(Courtesy of Maxwell's Chophouse)
(Courtesy of Maxwell’s Chophouse)

Originally a mainstay on the dining scene in Boca Raton, Florida, Maxwell’s Chophouse has a new incarnation in NoMad. The owners, mother-and-daughter team Babette Haddad and Melissa Haddad Malaga, have brought on chef Stratos Georgedakis (formerly executive chef of the city’s highly acclaimed Quality Meats) to lead the kitchen.

The menu features USDA Prime cuts of 40-day dry-aged, corn-fed beef, including porterhouse, New York strip, bone-in rib eye, and prime rib. Guests have the option of making their meal a surf-and-turf by adding lobster tail, crab meat, or garlic shrimp. 

Open daily for dinner from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.; weekday lunch and weekend brunch to follow.

1184 Broadway (between 28th & 29th streets)


The U.K.-based Wagamama, which first opened in London in 1992, has opened its first New York outpost in the Flatiron District. Its spacious location spans the length of the block between Fifth Avenue and Broadway. The menu is inspired by the flavors of Japan, as the menu features ramen, donburi, curry, and teppanyaki, among others. It also loosely borrows from other Asian culinary traditions, with dishes like pad Thai and ingredients like lemongrass.

According to executive chef Steve Mangleshot, the most popular dishes at Wagimama’s U.K. locations are comfort classics, like the katsu curry and pad Thai. But for the more adventurous guests, there are creative takes like the grilled duck ramen or the steak bulgogi (marinated sirloin) and miso-fried baby eggplant on a bed of soba noodles, finished with kimchi and a tea-stained egg. Cocktails and fresh pressed juices are available; green tea is customarily on the house.

210 Fifth Ave. (between 25th & 26th streets)

Chao Chao 

Executive chef and owner Stephan Brezinsky has opened Chao Chao, a 65-seat Vietnamese restaurant in the East Village. He learned to cook mostly from his mother, Kimxuan Brezinsky, who grew up in French-occupied Saigon.

Some of the menu highlights include Autumn Curry with seasonal vegetables and a coconut milk yellow curry; Ca Ri Bo with beef cheeks marinated in shrimp paste and slow cooked in a lemongrass coconut milk curry, with egg noodles; and Cauliflower Three Ways, pickled, fried, and raw cauliflower, with Granny Smith apples, chardonnay vinaigrette, and fried garbanzo beans.

Open for dinner daily from 6 p.m.

171 Avenue A (between 10th & 11th streets)
East Village

Ghost Donkey 

Ghost Donkey, a new bar from AvroKo Hospitality Group, puts tequila and mezcal at the center with cocktails that are both classic and innovative. Nacho Jimenez and Eben Freeman, who head up the cocktail program, serve up creations like El Burro Fantasma (mezcal, aperol, agave, lime, pink grapefruit, and chili served in a ceramic donkey) and Mushroom Margarita (huitlacoche-infused Del Maguey Vida mezcal, Combier Triple Sec, lime, and lava salt), for example.

Chef Brad Farmerie takes inspiration from Mexico and makes nachos the focus of the food menu, with varieties including wild mushroom, grilled shrimp, chorizo and tripe, and mole chicken.

Open daily from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.

4 Bleecker St. (between Elizabeth Street & Bowery)
Lower East Side

Pig Beach Burger 

Pop-up concept Pig Beach Burger, housed in an indoor space adjacent to the original Pig Beach, offers burgers, barbecue, and smoked meat sandwiches. The famed Pig Beach Burger is made from a blend of brisket and short rib, American cheese, pickles, and a secret sauce, served on a potato bun. Chef Matt Abdoo will offer different daily sandwich specials including a barbeque pork chimichanga; Grandma Val’s Meatball Hero with smoked DiPalo’s mozzarella; and the PBB Ribwich made with 1/4 rack of ribs served with house pickles and onions. Seasonal cocktails, wines on tap, and craft beers are available.

Open Monday, Thursday, and Friday from 3 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon.

460 Union St. (near Bond Street)
Gowanus, Brooklyn