Where to Eat 2013


‘Tis the season for making lists. Christmas Lists. New Year’s resolutions.  Hottest celebrity bods. And of course, best restaurants. But instead of putting together another overdone “best restaurants in New York” list, I decided it would be more useful to make a more practical list of places to go depending on what you’re craving. Enjoy:

For Brunch, Café Cluny

For Chinese, Nice Green Bo (Shanghai style), Lanzhou Hand-Pulled Noodle (noodles), Xi’an Famous Foods/Biang!

For Cocktails, Apotheke

For Donuts, Doughnut Shop

NYC, best doughnut, donut

Banana Glazed Doughnut @ Doughnut Plant

For Espresso, Third Rail Coffee

For Falafel, Taim

For Hummus, Hummus Place

For Indian, Taj Tribeca

For Italian, L’Artusi, Torrisi Italian Specialties

For Lobster Rolls, Luke’s Lobster

lobster roll, crab roll, shrimp roll NYC, east village, upper west side

Taste of Maine @ Luke’s Lobster

For Lox, Zucker’s

For Korean BBQ, Hahm Ji Bach

For Mexican, Empellon Taqueira or Cocina (upscale), Tehuitzingo Deli & Grocery (authentic and cheap)

For New American, ABC Kitchen

For Oysters, Maison Premier, Upstate

For Pizza, Di Fara (the absolute best), John’s (best in Manhattan), Joe’s (best by the slice) Keste (best neopolitan)

best pizza nyc, brooklyn

Pizza @ Di Fara

For Sandwiches, Better Being Underground, Parm, Num Pang

For Sushi, Kanoyama

For TapasCaliu (Best and Relaxed Atmosphere), Pipa (impressing out-of-towners)

For Vietnamese, Co Ba, Sao Mai (for pho)

For Thai, Pok Pok NY (best overall), Bodhi Tree (casual and spicy)

And A Few Others Everyone Should Try:
Caracas Arepa Bar
Marlow & Sons
The Meatball Shop
Pig & Khao
Uva Wine Bar

best dessert NYC, Uva Wine Bar

Chocolate Salame @ Uva

Help Governor Rebuild

Donate Governor restaurant NYC dumbo

Governor Dining Room post Sandy

Back in September, I wrote a post about Governor and the incredible food being churned out of the few months old kitchen. In fact, the beef tartar was a recipient of 4 stars and remains one of my favorite dishes of the year. Sadly, due to its location near the Dumbo waterfront, Governor sustained substantial flood damage during Hurricane Sandy.

The good news is several of NYC’s top chefs have pitched in to help raise the money needed to repair the space and you can help. If you can afford the price tag, I encourage you to attend one of the meals below. I guarantee you’ll have a great meal while helping a worthy restaurant get back on its feet.

  • On Saturday, November 17th Momofuku owned Booker & Dax will host a lunch from 12 to 3 including courses from Momofuku Ko’s Sean Gray, Ssäm Bar’s Matt Rudofker, Governor’s Brad McDonald, pairings from Ko’s Beth Lieberman, and a cocktail made by Booker and Dax’s Tristan Willey. The cost is $325 per person with all proceeds going to rebuild Governor. You can buy a ticket online here.
  • On Tuesday, November 20th at Eleven Madison Park, Chef Brad McDonald and the team from Governor will create a seven-course menu with wine pairings in the private dining room. Dishes will include caviar with brown butter ice cream and sunchokes, oxtail with salsify and oyster sauce, and celery root with cheddar and preserved egg yolk. The meal requires a $250 (minimum) donation, with all proceeds going to help rebuild Governor. Dinner at 7:30. Call (212) 889-0905 to reserve.

For those who want to help out but find those price tags a little steep, you can also donate any amount on Governor’s GoFundMe page.



Restaurant Week Deals


The first Restaurant Week of 2012 begins next week, which most of you probably know means restaurants are offering 3-course lunches and dinners for $24.07 and $35, respectively. While this event was created to offer the opportunity to eat at expense-account restaurants for much more palatable prices,it’s degraded in recent years as  many (or dare I say most) of the participating establishments are not places a diner would necessarily spend that amount on food only.  As more people have become wise to this fact, Restaurant Week has lost much of its cachet among foodies.

But that doesn’t mean Restaurant Week should be ignored entirely. I’ve spent some time pouring through the numerous offerings and I’m happy to report that there are still some great opportunities to sample the cuisine of highly regarded restaurants at reasonable prices. I’ve compiled a list of my top picks below.

Top 5 Restaurant Week recommendations (in alphabetical order):

Ai Fiori (Lunch): This highly-acclaimed year-old restaurant normally charges $38 for its 2-course prix-fixe lunch (you get 3 here). Save over a third and get a free desert. 400 Fifth Avenue (212) 613-8660

EN Japanese Brassiere (Dinner): Unique but expensive Japanese small plates in a beautiful setting. $35 actually gets you 5-courses here and you can add a sake flight for another $16. 435 Hudson St. (212) 647-9196

Nobu Next Door (Dinner): Yes, it’s been around forever and is no longer as cutting edge cuisine as it once was. But the food is still fresh and flavorful; it just comes at a high price. The Beef Toban Yaki (avail on the Restaurant Week menu) itself usually goes for $35, but you can add a seafood appetizer and dessert for that price. 105 Hudson St. (212) 334-4445

Perilla (Dinner): Harold Dieterle is one of my favorite chefs (also owner of Kin Shop) and never disappoints. With entrees generally costing around $30 and apps around $15, the $35 prix-fixe is a steal. 9 Jones St. (212) 929-6868

SHO Shaun Hergatt (Dinner): The highly regarded Asian-French fusion fare is normally only available in an $85 prix fixe. You get to test it out for for less than half that. 40 Broad St. (212) 809-3993

Other acclaimed restaurants worthy of consideration:

A Voce (Lunch) 10 Columbus Circle (212) 823-2523 & 41 Madison Avenue (212) 545-8555

Café Boulud (Lunch) 20 East 76th Street (212) 772-2600

Lincoln (Lunch) 142 West 65th St. (212) 359-6500

Megu (Lunch and Dinner) 62 Thomas Street (212) 964-7777 & 845 UN Plaza (212) 964-7777


Know of any other Restaurant Week deals worth jumping on? Please share them in the comments below.

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