The chef Lucas Sin, a 27-year-old Hong Kong native, is in charge of the kitchen at this restaurant in Greenwich Village. Nice Day evolved from a location of Junzi, a group of stylish fast-casual Northern Chinese restaurants developed at the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute. The group opened its first restaurant in New Haven in 2015. Mr. Sin, a Yale graduate (cognitive science and English) and part of the Junzi team from the beginning, was struck by recent research that showed a precipitous decline in mom-and-pop Chinese restaurants across America. “There seems to be a crisis in American-Chinese food,” he said. “I want to double down on what it means to eat everyday Chinese food.” At Nice Day, he’s tweaking American-Chinese favorites like shrimp fried rice, chicken lo mein, orange chicken, beef and broccoli, shrimp with lobster sauce and mapo tofu. The new place is open for takeout and delivery for now.
170 Bleecker Street (Sullivan Street), 929-260-1030, eatniceday.com.
True to its name, this restaurant serves nothing but biryani rice bowls. There are five of them on offer, topped with shrimp, lamb, vegetables and two with chicken, each from a different region, with particular seasonings. Yogurt-based side dishes and dal are also served. Pickup and delivery are available.
48 Greenwich Avenue (Seventh Avenue), 646-366-4488, biryanikitchenny.com.
The pandemic has taken a big bite out of business for Savory Hospitality, a caterer with kitchens and offices near Bryant Park. So it has now opened for retail business, with tables outside serving tacos, a fried chicken sandwich, beef sliders, fancy hot dogs and $4 beers with the purchase of two or more sliders or tacos. Pickup and delivery are also available.
15 West 39th Street, midtownsocial-nyc.com.
This Mexican spot, formerly a speakeasy-style hideaway behind the currently closed Garret East, has taken over the front room. There are outdoor tables. The chef, Yuval Ochoa, puts a personal stamp on his tacos with fillings like rib-eye with bone marrow and smoked Cheddar, and shrimp with melted cheese and roasted peppers. The beverage director, Max Stampa-Brown, adds spiced raspberries to a margarita and coconut to a paloma. When indoor dining is approved, Garret East will move into the original Borrachito space in back. (Opens Wednesday)
206 Avenue A (13th Street), borrachitonyc.com.