The Citiblog

Meet the Women Behind Some of NYC's Hottest Restaurants
March 8, 2024, 5:35.41 pm ET


Photo: Reyna Owner Nicki Laborie/Ryan Emberley

If you plan on dining out during Women’s History Month, you may want to try some of these women-led restaurants:

11 East 13th St

Reyna, which means ‘queen’ in Spanish, established its initial origins in 2016 in Toronto. Reyna is the brainchild of Nicki Laborie, who has built a successful, female-operated empire spanning from Canada to NYC. This Mediterranean tapas restaurant opened in NYC in late 2022 and has been buzzing ever since. Reyna is celebrating Women’s History Month with a special new cocktail, La Coquette. Available through March for $20, the cocktail is made with Empress Gin, Chambord, Rose Water, Peach Bitters, Lemon, and topped with a delicate wisp of cotton candy. $5 from each La Coquette sold will be donated to The Tory Burch Foundation, a non-profit organization helping empower women entrepreneurs. For International Women's Day on March 8th, this drink will be specially priced at $10 at the bar.

Lamia's Fish Market Chef & Owner Lamia Funti/Peter Ruprecht

Lamia’s Fish Market
47 Avenue B, NYC

Lamia’s Fish Market in the East Village has an over-the-top, or shall we say, under-the-sea design, giving guests the feel that they're dining in a chic submarine. Chef & Owner Lamia Funti is the force behind the restaurant. Born in Spain and raised in Morocco, Funti moved to New York City to launch her career as a restaurateur. The restaurant boasts a gorgeous champagne and raw bar with private dining room that comes complete with a ship's wheel at the head of the captain's table. The extensive seafood menu includes fish by the pound, seafood pastas, and main courses from both land and sea.

Photo: Baar Baar Owner Payal Sharma

Baar Baar
13 East 1st St, NYC

Baar Baar is a modern Indian gastropub from Payal Sharma, helmed by chef Sujan Sarkar located in NYC's East Village. Here, chef Sarkar is paying homage to his roots by reinterpreting regional Indian cuisine through a modern lens. Innovative cocktails infused with the bold flavors of the Indian subcontinent complement the cuisine.

HAAM Owner Yesenia Ramdass/Joe Kramm

234 Union Ave, Brooklyn

H A A M is a plant-based Caribbean restaurant located in Williamsburg from Chef/Owner Yesenia Ramdass. The menu is inspired by Ramdass's Dominican heritage and husband Randy’s Trinidadian background. The eatery – a heartfelt acronym for 'Healthy As A Motha' – is the first full-service outpost from Ramdass, who previously operated the concept as a ghost kitchen in Sunnyside, Queens. Like its early iteration, H A A M blends and celebrates the rich culture and diverse flavors of the Caribbean and offers a new perspective on plant-based dining in a space that is as vibrant as the food.

Cecily Service Director Tara Noble/David Malosh

Cecily Sommelier & Beverage Director, Kristin Ma/David Malosh

80 Franklin St, Brooklyn

Cecily is the first venture from Sommelier & Beverage Director, Kristin Ma (Estela, WS New York, LaLou, Anfora) and Service Director, Tara Noble (LaLou, Lea, Rosemary’s; also the founder of consultancy, Third Space Hospitality). Located in Greenpoint, the full-service neighborhood restaurant, which debuted in December 2023, offers a seasonal, produce-driven culinary identity and diverse beverage program. Executive Chef Zach Frieling (Jupiter and The Four Horsemen) leads the direction of the restaurant's sustainable-focused menu. Ma, Noble and Frieling, who are all based in Brooklyn, have built a sustainable model of business growth for the staff at Cecily, offering purposeful profit-sharing and ownership opportunities.