Hot Spot Restaurants and Bars To Hit During New York Fashion Week

Louise Palmberg
Pastis

From the newly reopened Pastis to Justin Theroux's Lower East Side bar, these restaurants and bars rank high among the style set during fashion week.

A shortened New York Fashion Week schedule isn’t going to deter attendees from grabbing dinner or a drink at any of the latest see-and-be-seen restaurants and bars. Select hotspots tend to forever dominate the wish list of fashion-show attendees: The Polo Bar, Ralph Lauren’s Midtown restaurant and lounge, is so popular that the next available table can’t be had until Oct. 1. Nearby, L’Avenue at Saks Fifth Avenue has also become a must-visit for locals and out-of-towners alike, drawn to its fashion-centric vibe and a menu that takes its cue from the original Paris L’Avenue. 

Dinner reservations remain a tough get at Frenchette, located around the corner from Spring Studios, the site of several New York Fashion Week shows, but that’s to be expected for this Tribeca hotspot, which was named "best new restaurant" by the James Beard Foundation in May (lunch reservations, however, seem readily available throughout the week). And for a drink without attitude but with an A-lister pedigree, head to Ray’s, a Lower East Side bar that Justin Theroux opened with friends in July.

Where else might the stylish set congregate? Here’s a selection of recently-opened restaurants and lounges – and one reopening that should rank high on reservation requests. 

Pastis

Long a favorite among stars and fashion insiders, Pastis closed in January 2014, but in June celebrated a splashy reopening in a new and larger location, an event that drew fans that included Lorne Michaels, Julianna Margulies and Nicole Miller. Restaurateurs Stephen Starr and Keith McNally have brought back the brasserie with more space but the same vibe, from the tiled walls and red leather banquettes to the French-focused menu, with classic favorites like duck confit and moules frites. But don’t try to walk into Pastis without a dinner reservation; even with the added space, a search on resy.com during NYFW dates reveals that only early and late seatings are currently available – then again, those might work perfectly for someone dashing to evening shows. 52 Gansevoort Street, pastisnyc.com

10 Corso Como Restaurant & Café

It’s been a year since 10 Corso Como, the iconic Milan retailer, opened its first U.S. store in New York’s Seaport District, and during fashion week they are celebrating their first anniversary with a cocktail party that’s sure to attract a healthy selection of editors who love the store’s curated mix. The restaurant likewise is always a draw, because amid the stress of NYFW schedules, pasta is terrific comfort food and unsurprisingly, the menu is steeped in authentic Italian cuisine by chefs Jordan Frosolone and Danilo Galati, from grilled branzino to a Milanese risotto; vegetarian and gluten-free options are also available. The retailer also is launching its latest art exhibition during NYFW: “Tony Viramontes: Bold, Beautiful and Damned,” a look at the artist’s fashion illustrations, photographs and mixed-media collages from the 1980s. 1 Fulton Street, 10corsocomo.com

Special Club

For an experience that feels a bit like a New York throwback, Special Club has opened in Soho to combine food and drinks with a range of soul, blues and jazz bands. Available for two seatings at 7 and 9 p.m., Special Club’s menu highlights wine and sake, while the shared plates range from tuna tartare and spicy soba noodles to caviar. During fashion week, Charles Turner & Uptown Swing Quartet play at Special Club Friday and Saturday, with jazz pianist Champian Fulton appearing on Tuesday (a $20 show fee applies per guest). 43 MacDougal Street, specialclubnyc.com

R17 and Bar Wayo

Locals used to eschew South Street Seaport because of its heavy tourist vibe, but the introduction of chic restaurants and an event space that hosts fashion shows – Michael Kors presented his collection at the Seaport last September – has revitalized the area. Among the latest additions is R17, which opened in May. Designed by the Rockwell Group, the intimate, 60-seat indoor space is offset by a rooftop terrace with bridge and river views; if the temperature dips, grab a spot inside by one of the two fireplaces or at the 18-seat bar, topped with blue quartz. The tapas-style menu ranges from a burger or oysters to vegan artichokes laced with lemon, squash and quinoa, though the focus at R17 is more toward wine, beer and spirits than food, with a healthy list of craft beers and an extensive wine list. Reservations are suggested through Open Table. The rooftop at pier 17, 89 South Street, r17nyc.com

And in July, David Chang of Momofuku fame opened Bar Wayo, also at Pier 17. The indoor/outdoor space likewise offers water views, while the vibe is part Japanese and part tiki bar, especially in the seasonal cocktails, like the melon creamy soda, made with vodka, Midori and Rockey’s Milk Punch, while the lunch and dinner menus focus on modern takes on classics, from the chilled lobster roll to a “Hamburg dip” made with Wagyu beef. Note that all tables are outside only and a 27-seat bar inside, with additional barstools at the windows for a view of the tall ships. Reserved for walk-in guests, though some reservations are available. Pier 17, 89 South Street, wayo.momofuko.com