NYC restaurants are reopening for indoor dining: Here are the top spots

It’ll be a brave new world of eating out starting Sept. 30 when city restaurants begin serving indoors for the first time in six months. And a subdued one: with bars off-limits and 75% fewer seats, eateries will be a lot less noisy and congested than New Yorkers are used to.

But it’s exciting to have them back at all. The early autumn chill will soon make outdoor dining less viable. Aquavit owner Hakan Swahn said, “For us, 25% capacity is about 45 seats so it’s very, very good news that we can start serving indoors. We are in the fortunate position that we have a lot of space in several different rooms. We can really ensure that people are separated properly.”

Rosanna Scotto, an owner of Fresco by Scotto, said, “We have partitions. We spaced out our tables. We have the required air-filtration system.” She knows it’s risky since Midtown is still quiet, but she cheered the news that JP Morgan Chase has ordered its top executives to return to their desks by Sept. 21.

“If we don’t open now, we’ll never reopen. We have to give it a try,” Scotto said.

Daniel Boulud gave an idea of what’s in store for customers. At his Bar Boulud near Lincoln Center, 120 indoor seats will be whittled down to 30. Every other booth of a dozen along the wall will be kept empty – not only to reduce the number of guests, but to respect the 6-feet-between-tables rule.

The bar will be closed under state rules. (Other mandates: temperature checks at the door, service ends at midnight and one person in each party must leave contact-tracing information.)


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