There are many places to eat and drink in New York. I will continue to report on new openings and old standards but here are some of the ones that I have recently visited:
Red Rooster at 310 Lenox Ave, just north of 125th, owned by award-winning chef, cookbook author and food activist, Marcus Samuelsson, which opened in December 2010. It serves comfort food celebrating the roots of American cuisine and the diverse culinary traditions of Harlem. I had a really wonderful lunch (gazpacho and shrimp with dirty rice) in the attractive, well designed dining room. Service was very good. High on my list his his new restaurant Streetbird Rotisserie at 2149 Federick Douglass Blvd. The menu features rotisserie chicken, chicken and waffles and more.
In Mid-town, I enjoyed ViceVersa, with friends, which is at 325 W. 51st, between 8th and 9th. The décor was outstanding and sleek and the pastas were wonderful. It is great for a pre-theater meal.
Eataly NY: Located at 200 5th Ave. between 23rd and 24th Streets, this is a large complex consisting of a fresh food market featuring breads, pastries, cheeses, pastas, meats, fish, produce, beers, wine, chocolates and other specialty food items. There are a number of cafes and restaurants as well. They also offer a number of cooking classes and special events. Partners include the well-known restaurateurs Joe Bastianich and Lidia Bastianich. This is well worth the trip on your next visit to NYC.
Shake Shack: Don’t miss the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park for burgers, fries, hot dogs, shakes and more. There are other locations in NYC as well.
Union Sq. Green Market: I loved walking through the Union Sq. Green Market on Saturday morning. It is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday also. It has been a neighborhood staple for 35 years.
ABC Kitchen: The restaurant by the famous chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, was named Best New Restaurant of 2011 by the James Beard Foundation. This was a tremendous choice with a great décor and perfect menu for sharing. We chose several appetizers including the roasted butternut squash with hazelnuts, goat cheese and spicy onions and the pretzel dusted calamari with marinara and mustard aioli. We also had the kasha and bowtie pasta with veal meatballs plus the spinach, herbs and goat cheese pizza. Their focus is on organic and local ingredients. It is located at 35 E. 18th Street, between Broadway and Park Avenue. Make sure to take the time to check out the ABC Carpet & Home store where the restaurant is located. Also located at ABC Carpet & Home, is ABC Cocina which opened to very good reviews and press.
Acme: No. 9 Great Jones St., which is W. 3rd St. between Broadway and Lafayette. “Acme is a modern bistro helmed by Executive Chef Mads Refslund (one of the founding chefs at Noma in Copenhagen) offering locally sourced seasonal New American fare with subtle Nordic influences”. It is perfect for a Sunday brunch. The salmon benedict was perfect.
Modern Restaurant at MOMA: Light and bright, this is the Bauhaus inspired fine-dining room overlooking the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden at MOMA. In addition to the fine-dining room there is a more casual bar room as well.
King Cole Bar & Salon: St. Regis Hotel at 2 East 55th. A New York classic since the hotel was built by John Jacob Astor IV in 1904. Stop in for a drink at the newly refurbished King Cole Bar & Salon, and see the famous mural painted by Maxfield Parrish depicting Old King Cole and sleek decor. Legend has it that it depicts the King after he has passed gas, which is the reason for the many varied reactions of the people surrounding him. The bar has been frequented by Salvador Dali, Marlene Dietrich and Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio.
Afternoon Tea at the Palm Court: A famous tradition at the Plaza Hotel since 1907, this is the place for the famous afternoon tea. Breakfast and lunch are also served. Fifth Avenue and Central Park South.
Laduree: Located at 70th and Madison on the Upper East Side, at 864 Madison, this is the NYC outpost of the famous Paris purveyor of the Macaron. The large selection is flown in from Paris and are well-worth the cost. They also have cakes, pastries and chocolates. They have two other locations in town as well.
At 1048 Fifth, at 86th St., is the Neue Galerie which is a museum devoted to early 20th century German and Austrian art and design. There are two cafes but Café Sabarsky, on the main floor, is a wonderful café looking out on Central Park that draws inspiration from the great old cafes of Vienna. It is one of my favorite spots in Manhattan.
Pappardella: Since 1983, if you want a casual, neighborhood place on the Upper West Side with good Italian food, this is the place. It was packed with locals all enjoying the food and cozy, warm atmosphere. I loved my pasta dish!
Lincoln: A sleek, contemporary restaurant serving modern Italian cuisine in New York at Lincoln Center. “Our philosophy is simple: to source the best local ingredients and prepare them with authentic Italian methods and spirit. While our location beside Lincoln Center’s reflecting pool and Henry Moore sculpture is exquisite, with panoramic views and a grass lawn roof, the heart of our restaurant is the central open kitchen”. It is located on the north end of the plaza in the contemporary, new Hypar Pavilion with its sloping roof consisting of a grass lawn above.
Blondies Sports: If you want a casual sports bar on the Upper West Side to catch you favorite team, this is the place. 212 W. 79th, between Broadway and Amsterdam.
Empellon Taqueria: A West Village Restaurant at 230 West 4th St. that has received some great press and accolades including Food & Wine Magazine naming Chef Alex Stupak as one of its Best New Chefs and one of the Best Taco Spots in the US and one of Forbes Magazine’s All-Star New York Eateries for 2012. I enjoyed the attractive decor and a really great meal of different sopes and tacos with friends.
Las Ramblas Bar de Tapas: At 170 W. 4th in Greenwich Village, this is a small, cozy tapas bar serving Spanish specialties.
The Dutch: I made a reservation at The Dutch after reading all of the great press. It is the perfect spot for Sunday Brunch in the city. Loved the menu and the great atmosphere! It can be found at 131 Sullivan Street in SoHo.
Don’t miss Robert, the sleek restaurant on the 9th floor of the MAD/Museum of Arts and Design with amazing views of Columbus Circle and Central Park. 2 Columbus Circle.
Many of the top museums have very good restaurants which are perfect while you are there. In addition to the Modern at MOMA, there is Café2 which offers cheeses, salads, soups, and desserts and an espresso bar. I have eaten there twice. The Guggenheim has The Wright at 88th and Fifth Ave. It has a wonderful, contemporary decor befitting of Wright’s architecture. It was recognized with the 2010 James Beard Award for Best Restaurant Design. The Morgan Library and Museum has the more formal The Morgan Dining Room and the casual The Morgan Cafe. I loved the cafe, for lunch, which is located in the stunning Renzo Piano atrium.
Gotham West Market, 600 11th Ave. between 44th and 45th: This is a great concept in a 15,000 sq. ft. space that has six restaurants, two bars, a coffee shop and a cook-ware and grocery store. Here you will find Blue Bottle Coffee for great coffee. The Cannibal featuring small plates, house-made charcuterie and cured meats and a rotating list over 200 global beers and bourbons and whiskeys. Chozo Taqueria has really good Mexican specialties including tacos, burritos, tamales, tortas and ceviches. I enjoyed a combination of lamb, shrimp and chicken tacos, rice and beans and a wonderful iced Mexican hot chocolate. Court Street Grocers Sandwich Shop serves hand-crafted sandwiches. Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop features classic ramen and rice bowls. Genuine Roadside serves tacos, sandwiches, burgers, shakes, wine, beer and cocktails. El Colmado is a traditional Spanish tapas restaurant. There is also a bike store NYC. Velo and The Brooklyn Kitchen which sells kitchenware and specialty grocery items. They also offer cooking classes.
They offer special events including ping pong on Mondays, wine and food events, sports watching events for World Cup soccer and the Tour de France and movies.
Barbetta, 321 W. 46th: Opened in 1906, this is NYC’s oldest restaurant still owned by its founding family. It serves Northern Italian specialties in a formal, historic dining room. The interior is landmarked and can’t be changed in anyway. They also have a formal garden for outdoor seating in the warmer months.
Other long-time favorites include Sardi’s at 234 W. 44th and Cafe Un Deux Trois at 123 W. 44th, also in the Theater District and perfect for a bite before or after your performance.
Russ & Daughters: The original store since 1914 is at 179 E. Houston Street. They carry caviar, herring, appetizers, smoked fish, canned good, bagels and wonderful sweets including chocolates and cookies. I tried two tasty macaroons. They also have a new cafe at 127 Orchard St. which comes highly recommended by locals.
Cosme: At 35 E. 21st St., this is well-known Mexican chef Enrique Olvera’s new restaurant in NYC. I have enjoyed his Pujol restaurant in Mexico City and his Moxi restaurant in San Miguel de Allende. Located in the Flatiron District, it has a warm, contemporary atmosphere with really excellent food. The menu is contemporary Mexican, yet blending Mexican flavors and traditions with local and seasonal ingredients. I enjoyed the cobia al pastor with pineapple purée and cilantro plus a crispy octopus with hazelnut mole, pickled potatoes and watercress. The service was excellent.
Untitled at the Whitney: 99 Gansevoort St. This is a really wonderful restaurant on the ground floor of the Whitney Museum of American Art. They also have the Studio Cafe on the 8th floor of the museum. This is the new restaurant of Chef Michael Anthony of the famed Gramercy Tavern. The food, and presentation was really outstanding. They offer small plates, some larger starters and vegetarian plates and some features entrees. The menu changes seasonally. In order to taste as many items as possible, my friend and I shared the smoked clams, cucumber and yogurt with the marinated mussels and fava beans. We also loved the beets and sugar snap peas and the baby lettuce and green tomato salad with caesar dressing. The dessert, of chocolate, cherries and whipped cream was to die for!!! To make sure you get the time you want, be sure to book your reservation beforehand.
Fig & Olive: Check out the well-known Fig & Olive Meatpacking District at 420 W. 13th St. I have had great experiences at their Chicago location on Oak St.
Gansevoort Market: Now located in the Oculus at Westfield World Trade Center at 101 Liberty St., this is a modern food hall with a number of purveyors including Dana’s Bakery for macaron, Crepe Sucre, Il Gelato, Bangkok Bar, Cocoa Grinder, The French Block, The Meatball Guys, Mission Ceviche, Tease NYC and La Sonrisa Empanadas.
One of the newest projects in Lower Manhattan is Le District, the French inspired food hall, that opened in early 2015 in Brookfield Place. It is located at 200 Vesey St. As the name implies, the project is divided into different districts. The Market District includes La Boulangerie, La Poissonnerie, La Fromagerie, La Charcuterie and La Rotesserie for wonderful. The Garden District has purveyors that sell groceries and prepared foods, with a salad bar at lunch and a chocolate mousse bar. The Cafe District has stations with wonderful French pastries, crepes and waffles baked on the spot plus ice cream, coffee and candies.
The Restaurant District includes the new restaurant, Beaubourg at 225 Liberty St., has gotten some very good reviews. It is a lovely restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating overlook the Hudson River and boat harbor. It will also have an outdoor oyster bar. L’Appart with its chef’s table will also open soon.
One of the hot spots getting great press, is The Polo Bar by Ralph Lauren at 1 East 55th St. This clubby, warmly decorated restaurant is the third restaurant the company has opened after RL in Chicago and Ralph’s in Paris.
Also high on my list to try is 54 Below, the supper club and restaurant that features great music and entertainment.
Market Table, 54 Carmine St.: I had heard about the restaurant on a segment on CBS Saturday along with their sister restaurants Little Owl and The Clam. It was opened in 2007 by Chef Mike Price and partner, Joey Campanaro and features farm-fresh fare. I really enjoyed the squash and pear salad with blue cheese and a pepita salsa verde. For an entree the broiled flounder with romesco aioli almonds, green beans and fingerling potatoes was really excellent.
Thanks to a friend I found the Columbus Circle Restaurants located near Time Warner Center, 10 Columbus Circle. Here you will find Thomas Keller’s Per Se for upscale, fine dining and Masa, a three-star Michelin restaurant opened by chef Masa Takayama. He also has Bar Masa next door. Chef Marc Murphy’s Landmarc features French-inspired cuisine.
Keller also has Bouchon Bakery and Cafe. The Bakery opens earlier and features coffee drinks, baked goods, breads, tarts and cookies. I enjoyed an early breakfast on my last trip to NYC. The Cafe features quiches, salads and sandwiches. It also features a weekend brunch menu.
A close Chicago friend recommends Gabriel Kreuther, a sophisticated French restaurant, at 41 W 42nd St. It has two Michelin stars!! Its chef and owner Gabriel Kreuther also owns Keuther Handcrafted Chocolate.