Highly “Official” Ratings Guide What I think of the Place:
Highly Recommended: I would break my try-not-to-go-to-the-same-restaurant-twice rule for this place any day and time.
Recommended: I would send my best friends or family and they would enjoy it and be impressed and likely go back myself
Try it: Not for everyone, not my favorite, but definitely worth a shot if you’re in the neighborhood
For Serious?: I feel as though I wasted my money and likely calories on this experience
The Victims People
The girls: My friends from college (we are loud and there are many of us) who covet round tables
My parents: John and Joanie. John is a veritable cook and Joanie is a picky eater
Michael: My boyfriend who puts up with my arguably unhealthy obsession with restaurant hopping
Martha: John and Joanie’s friend from NYC back in the day. Like my othermother, a true foodie.
Other friends: Feel free to request to have your name added, otherwise you shall remain anonymous. Especially if the restaurant was your suggestion and it was bad.
Finally, the Good Stuff Food:
212 Restaurant (Upper East Side- 133 E 65th & Lex (212) 249-6565)
212 is definitely a small UES treasure…I had dinner with Michael at this small subtarranean spot which is housed in a brownstone. The atmosphere is great and it was an all around good meal. The calamari was fantastic. For a more intimate evening in a quiet space 212 is definitely RECOMMENDED.
Agave (West Village-140 7th Avenue S (212) 989-2100)
Dinner with the girls and also dinners with Michael. Great outdoor tables, good Mexican and good margaritas. Great, fun summer place because of the outdoor area complete with pillows .RECOMMENDED.
Aix (Upper West Side-2398 Broadway (212) 874-7400)
Dinner with Martha at the bar, good food, crowded, older scene. Saw famous Law & Order Actor(obviously I don’t know his name). Food tends to be overpriced but delicious. There are definitely better places to go for your money on the UWS and I likely wouldn’t rush back…TRY IT.
Aja (Greenwich Village-432 6th Ave, New York 10011 Btwn 9th & 10th (212)-253-7100)
Dinner with Michael right after it opened good sushi and fusion items, fun presentation, dark and ‘sexy’ at night. A little on the cheesy side but decent food. There are better non-chain sushi restaurants and better fusion restaurants nearby…. Happy hour special at the bar, however, is a nice way to get your fix and come out on top, at least drink-wise. TRY IT.
Alta (Greenwich Village-64 W 10th nr. 6th Avenue (212) 505-7777)
Dinner with a high school friend and also dinner as a focus group participant for Reader’s Digest. Sat up on the ‘upper tier’ once and a private room once. Great tapas, great atmosphere, has a garden also. Recommended, really enjoyed everything we had and the wine selection was great as well. They have the option that you can have every single item on the menu (which we did in the focus group) and nothing disappointed. All plates were flavorful, unique and delicious. Highly recommended for a group of people sharing (who are decently adventurous eaters although they do have many benign dishes) RECOMMENDED.
Ama (Soho – 48 MacDougal Street between Prince & Houston (212) 358-1707)
Dinner with all of the girls, decent fish, good appetizers, nice, quiet atmosphere. Went next door to “Rice to Riches” for dessert. Small space without too many tables. Solid food, cute, dark atmosphere. Recommended for either a romantic evening or dinner with the girls.RECOMMENDED
Angelo and Maxie’s (Gramercy – 233 Park Avenue South (212) 220-9200)
Dinner with Danny to celebrate my graduation. Good fish, kind of TGI Friday’s-ish atmosphere but the food was definitely surprisingly good. I like my steak with a little more swank…you don’t go here for ambiance. The food is no bargain and I would suggest Rothmann’s as comparable price wise with better food and ambiance albeit not geographically comparable. FOR SERIOUS?
Antique Garage (Soho – 41 Mercer Street (212) 219-1019)http://www.antiquegaragesoho.com/
Brunch here with some of the girls, very good omelette and they have live Jazz which is nice as long as you don’t sit too close…it gets pretty loud since it’s a small place. Recommended for a solid brunch and ‘something different’. RECOMMENDED.
Artisanal (Flatiron – 2 Park Avenue (212) 725-8585)
Dinner with Michael. Ridiculous cheese fondue and of course, you can’t beat the cheese selection. Busy fun bistro atmosphere. Do not come here on a diet; do not come here for a quiet dinner. Come for the cheese and leave in a dairy-coma. Make sure you take some cheese for the road (small retail ‘outpost’ inside the restaurant) Since cheese is one of my three favorite foods, Artisinal comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Atlantic Grill (Upper East Side- 1341 3rd Avenue (212) 988-9200)
Took Michael for his birthday. The fish was fresh and delicious, very typical BR Guest restaurant. A little aggressively crowded in terms of table spacing, but the oysters and raw options are plentiful and delicious. Wine menu was also good, basically a very typical BR Guest experience. RECOMMENDED.
August (West Village – 359 Bleeker b/w Charles & W10th (646)-349-3614 )
Brunch with Michael, great ‘baked eggs’ in little cast iron pans which is cute, good comfort-feeling food for the winter Garden outback too which is nice. Got a little attitude from staff once so haven’t been back but I would say definitely TRY IT.
Azuki (Gramercy – 239 Park Avenue South (212) 228-3611)
Went with the girls, this is the typical NYU-y scene for ‘cheap sushi’ (code for overpriced bad sushi) and lots of drinks. Lace up your drinking boots for this one, it’s a loud and crazy dinner. Free unlimited wine and a couple of other gimics make this a great place to take people who don’t really love sushi but like to drink. Watch out for your friends who are chronically late, they’ll give up your table and drop your party like a bad habit if you’re not there in time. In my estimation there are better less stressful venues for lacing up your drinking shoes and partaking in raw fish. (See: Sounkonyo/UES) TRY IT/FOR SERIOUS?
Back 40 (Soho- 190 Avenue B at 12th (212) 388-1990)
Went with Mom and Dad for Christmakkuh. Amazing hamburgers, eclectic and terrific food) Terrific ambiance, a lot of wood beams and smiling faces. Menus are paper and you get a subtle western diner feel. Great for a group of people, be adventurous with this menu and if you’re not, you’ll love the hamburger. If you’re a vegetarian you might want to sit this one out unless you get a dinner portion of the amazing fries…HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Bagels on the Square (Soho – 7 Carmine at 6th Avenue (212) 691-3041)
If you wake up late and don’t want to wait in line for Murray’s bagels, Bagels on the square offers a very solid alternative. Good bagels (although not as physically substantial as Murrays’..) good lox and decent prices make this tiny shop RECOMMENDED.
Barbounia (Flatiron – 250 Park Avenue South #1 (212) 995-0242)
Went with Michael for dinner. Well appointed atmosphere, grandeur and vaulted ceilings are definitely charming. The food was delicious (scallops) the portions were tiny and expensive. The flavors are delicious and the food is incredibly fresh. Fair warning: Do not go here hungry. Everything is extremely nouveau in its presentation, albeit very flavorful. Either come ready to spend an excessive amount of money to fill up or go to ‘Tavola’ for some wine and appetizers before you come. Since I can’t highly recommend somewhere you have to eat before you go, I will say that Barbounia is RECOMMENDED.
Barolo (Soho – 398 W Broadway (212) 226-1102) –
Gorgeous expansive back garden which transports you out of Manhattan and into a little piece of Italy. Good food meets great ambiance. I would suggest a spring/summer experience here since the dining room inside is nothing compared to this little piece of heaven in Soho. Terrfic outdoor dining is difficult to find so Barolo comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Bar Blanc (West Village – 142 W10th nr. Waverely (212)-255-2330)
Incredible space, sleek, modern and beautiful. Blanc means white in French in case your language knowledge isn’t that refined and the décor is just that, clean and white. The food is delicious; Bouley’s protégés were clearly well versed when they left him. Everything is delivered with an impeccable presentation and just the correct amount of sauce or accoutrement (which is a rarity) the wine list is well prepared and the macaroni is just so wrong but so right…and for all of this Bar Blanc comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Bar Jamon (Gramercy – 125 E 17th (212) 253-2773)
Went here with two friends. An amazing hole in the wall equipped with delicious wine and incredible Salumi. Don’t come hungry, but this is definitely the ideal place for a dinner pregame if you’re willing to sit next to a random and elbow your way through the crowd. Hovering and evil eyes don’t seem to work on the Bar Jamon groupies, so you might want to come early for a shot at a space at one of the communal tables. Anything Batali touches comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Bar Q (West Village- 310 Bleecker Street (212) 206-7817)
Went for dinner with another couple. Definitely enjoyed the food but was underwhelmed by the slightly-fancier-than-a–generic-clean-sushi-restaurant ambiance. The lighting was a little aggressively bright and they could have charmed it up a little. That being said the food was delicious. Don’t go too hungry, you might leave having to enjoy some late night ‘Five Guys’ or ‘Joe’s Pizza’. The dishes are executed well and the flavors are harmonious so Bar Q comesRECOMMENDED.
FORMERLY: Barca 18 *CLOSED* (Gramercy – 225 Park Ave South)
NOW: Wildwood Barbeque (212) 533-2500
Since you can no longer go here, I can’t recommend this fun spot for tapas, drinks and a dark ambiance. Try it’s new incarnation “Wildwood” for some barbeque in this gigantic space. A 40 foot bar is something I can really get behind or more likely sit at… I’ve only had a drink here (Wildwood Barbeque) but I hear from others that it’s a good spot for BBQ buffs.
Barney Greengrass (Upper West Side- 541 Amsterdam Avenue (212) 724-4707)
Don’t come here for the ambiance, come here ready to order and experience some of the best Jewish breakfast not-a-lot-of-money can buy. The lox is insane, all the other fish varieties are amazing and everything is so delectably salty you’ll crave it for a week to come. Bring foodies here and enjoy the rushed diner feel. Don’t come here for a relaxed brunch; instead try ‘Popover Café’ or ‘Good Enough to Eat’. Barney Greengrass is an institution and as such is comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Batch (WV – 150B W 10th street at Waverly)
Run, don’t walk by on your way back from NYSC, you will undoubtedly reclaim whatever calories you have lost there in one bite of Batch’s goodies. The smell wafting out onto the road is a booby trap, so walk on the other side if you’re health conscious. But if you’re down for some cupcakes without ‘Magnolia’s’ excessive tourism and wait time, Batch is the place for you. The cupcakes at incredible and all other means of diet-killing delicacies are gourmet as they come. They also offer cupcake carriers, not just a box. Pichet ‘Ong might be there himself after one of his own NYSC workouts and as such this bakery comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Bello Sguardo (Upper West Side – 410 Amsterdam Avenue (212) 873-6252)
What is it about this span of five blocks on Amsterdam Avenue….Have been here many times with different people. Very accommodating for a very large group (long rectangular table) and the food is consistently fresh tasting and delicious. Good Meditarranean staple with great small dishes. Good ambiance and overall it definitely comes RECOMMENDED if you’re uptown.
Big Daddy’s Diner (Gramercy – 239 Park Avenue between 19th and 20th (212) 477-1500)
Great for pigging out 24 hours a day. Good diner food in a fun old 50’s style atmosphere. Tired of walking around Union square? Stop here for some calorically disturbing treats. Worth is though and Big Daddy’s due to its convenience and 50’s style you might want to TRY IT.
Blaue Gans (Tribeca-139 Duane Street (212) 571-8880)
Kurt Gunnebrutter can do no wrong…If you’re an adventurous eater and appreciate Austrian food you have found your niche at the well appointed Tribeca restaurant. Wallse is its more expensive older brother, so try this for your Austrian fix for slightly lower prices. Delicious brunch, not for picky eaters and a gorgeous, authentic Tribeca space makes Blaue Gans definitely worth being RECOMMENDED.
Blue Water Grill (Union Square-31 Union Square West (212) 675-9500)
I have been here on numerous occasions. BR Guest knows how to make it work, and work it does. Blue Water Grill is consistently good; the fish is fresh and the presentation well done. I do think there are numerous fish restaurants which are definitely better in the same price point, but this is a good place to take out of towners to so they can see Union Square. Since there are many better, Blue Water Grille is RECOMMENDED.
Blue Smoke (Gramercy – 116 E 27th (212) 447-7733)
Michael and I took my Mom and Dad for their anniversary (SORRY MOM!) since my Dad is a BBQ hound. My lovely, picky mom surely got the chicken. Get ready to break your diet, there is nothing here which is carb-less or lean. That being said, it is finger lickin’ pretty-good BBQ.I have definitey been to better (brave Harlem and try ‘Dinosaur BBQ’ instead, perhaps) BBQ is not my cuisine of choice so Blue Smoke comes TRY IT.
BLT Burger (Greenwich Village -470 6th Avenue b/w 11th and 12th (212) 243-8226)
Went with Martha and Michael on a random Sunday night. Amazing burgers are not necessarily hard to come by in NYC, but the sheer amount of choices and variations at BLT burger is nothing short of a meat-miracle. Kobe burgers shine at this delicious and low key eatery. Good way to get your BLT on if the prices at BLT Steak, Fish and other siblings make you want to run the other way. Break your diet and get the fries and a milkshake, you’ll only regret it theoretically. BLT Burger makes a nice burger in a down to earth space and so it comes RECOMMENDED.
Bobby Van’s Steakhouse (Midtown West – 135 W 50th (212) 957-5050 )
Went to meet my Dad and a friend of his, it was the friend’s choice…Too business-y for my taste and overpriced in an aggressive way, Bobby Van’s does serve a good piece of meat, but not comparatively speaking. The ambience is older-business-man friendly and this place leaves much to be desired location-wise. I wouldn’t waste my money here (good thing I was treated by my dear-old-dad) so Bobby Van’s is FOR SERIOUS?
BONDST (East Village – 6 Bond Street (212) 777-2500)
Michael took me here as a celebration of my dramatic exit out of the teaching profession so it holds a special place in my heart and stomach for a variety of reasons. Amazing ambiance, take the elevator up to an incredible upper room with soaring ceiling and fabulous sushi. The fish is fresh, delicious and everything is just impeccably done. The service is great and the options are many, so enjoy this romantic dark atmosphere with a significant other or a quieter group of friends. BONDST is truly a delicious place even for a refined foodies so it comes as no surprise that it’s HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Brasserie 8 ½ (Midtown West – 9 W 57th (212) 829-0812)
Went with the girls for restaurant week but ordered off the A la carte menu (of course…) Great spot despite the random location, nice spacious dining room with a fun spiral staircase spicing up the middle of the space. The food was well presented and solid. Not a place I would go again with 7 other excited girls looking for a fun night out, but the food was definitely good. Go here for business since Brasserie 8 ½ is RECOMMENDED.
Bryant Park Grill (Midtown West – 25 W 40th (212)-840-6500)
Empty your wallet on the table and don’t go hungry, but the food is delicious and the quintessential Manhattan location is definitely worth the inflated prices. Sitting outside in the summer or inside in the gorgeous atrium/greenhouse…either way you can’t go wrong. Went with Martha while I was interviewing to leave teaching. The salad was delicious but I wished it was twice the size and the ambiance is great. So go, because the location is worth the high prices and Bryant Park Grill comes RECOMMENDED to help stave off your work week blues in style.
Bubby’s (Tribeca – 118 Hudson Street (212) 219-0666)
Fan favorite of all who enjoy the many restaurants Tribeca has to offer. Comfort food is perfected in this nicer-than-a-diner space. Good for brunch, lunch or dinner the only downside to this delicious spot is fighting through the rainbow of Bugaboo strollers that the yuppies leave outside , inside and all around. If strollers and babies were ever a sign of a great place, this one would fit the bill. Enjoy anything on the menu, it’s better than your grandmother’s cooking (no offense intended) and so Bubby’s is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Cabana (South Street Seaport – 89 South Street Pier 17 (212) 406-1155)
(Upper East Side – 1022 3rd Avenue (212) 980-5678)
Nostalgia prevails here since Michael and I went on our first “dinner date” here on the Upper East Side. Definitely prefer the ambiance an VIEWS!!! from Seaport better and wouldn’t go back to the UES necessarily. The food is delish, the decor cheesey cruise ship chic and the drinks strong enough to satisfy a seasoned drinker (Me.) So if you’re in the mood for a gorgeous setting, hearty Cuban cuisine and you want a view that will make you fall in love with NYC over and over again, then Cabana is RECOMMENDED for you.
Café Asean (WV – 117 W10th Street b/w Greenwich Avenue and 6th Avenue)
One word: AMAZING. Bring your cash (although not very much, this place is an incredible bargain) and don’t tell too many of your friends, please. This Village hole in the wall is a shabby chic shrine to South East Asian food. Everyone is prepared with an insane amount of flavor and spice (make sure to ask for it medium/not spicy for the weak at heart) and the small garden out back can be enjoyed in every season. Run, don’t walk to Cafe Asean because it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Café Cluny (West Village – 274 W 12th St (212) 255-6900)
Cute meets delicious in this small cafe nestled on some of the picturesque (“Ohhh look at that brownstone!!!”) streets of the west village. Terrific atmosphere with delicious brunch options. The coffee is amazing, the place adorable and the service is great. The fresh croissants are definitely to die for and the smoken salmon platter is a great size. Because it’s just so darn cute Cafe Cluny is definitely HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for an ambiance-y brunch place.
Café Condesa (WV – 183 W10th Street at 7th Ave (212) 352-0050.)
Another hole in the wall spot I would prefer we not spread around to just anyone…They cook on the counter in an open kitchen right in front of you at Condesa while Gypsy Kings plays in the background (I know, right???) Low prices, savory, gigantic omlettes and fantastic bacon abound in this treasure. Also perfect for a cheap and incredibly prepared dinner with a glass of wine. Go now. Condesa is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Café de Bruxelles (WV – 118 Greenwich Avenue at 13th (212) 206-1830)
If you love mussels, you’ll love Bruxelles. Heart and yuhmmy french food abound (loosen your waist band and go for the fries…do ittt.) in this old school pub-y spot. Don’t come here for the decor, come here for the food and be serious about it. Because it’s an oldie and a goodie Bruxelles is RECOMMENDED.
Café Luxembourg (200 W 70th St (212) 873 – 7411)
Love this bistro which reminds me of “Artisanal”. Crowded yet intimate, you can get some good French fare here with a bunch of friends or just one other. The food was definitely solid and if you’re in the mood for french and you’re in the neighborhood Luxembourg comesRECOMMENDED.
Café Sbarasky (1048 5th Ave (212) 288 – 0665)
Old world charm abounds and KH does it again. This is a truly spectacular, intimate 5th avenue experience at it’s very best. Nestled in the Neue Gallery, you can hobnob with the oldest money in the city who come here to enjoy the Austrian delicacies offered in this breathtaking space. Order anything, be adventurous and if you’re really in the mood to go wild, get in line for the pastries, cakes and other baked goods offered fresh on the weekends. Because this is a truly unique experiences Zbarasky comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Caliente Cab Company (West Village – 61 7th Ave (212) 243-8517)
I mean, admit it, you’ve been. But if you haven’t (wink wink) for some guacamole, chips and outdoor seating in the village you have to take out of towners here so you can stroll down Bleecker afterwards and hit up “Yogurtland”. Caliente is mediocre food, big drinks and a fun atmosphere. It’s a summer place sure to amuse your tourists friends and you simulataneously. So it is with a grin that Caliente comes RECOMMENDED.
Canyon Road (Upper East Side 1470 1st Ave -(212) 734-1600)
For fun Mexican in a great space in an area devoid of many choices, this is a fun place to go. Get the guacamole, despite being overpriced it is fresh and delicious. The dishes are good, the fajitas are most likely the way to go and the drinks are well done as well. So if you’re in that neck of the woods Canyon Road is RECOMMENDED.
Capital Grille (Midtown East – 155 E 42nd St (212) 953 – 2000)
Spectacular soaring space with decent food. Not exactly an ideal location, but for out of towners coming into Grand Central who need to get right back home, you might want to try this business-y affair. Decent food meet high prices, you’re clearly paying their rent here. I could live without this but if you’re right there are need a location convenient to Grand Central you can definitely TRY IT although I wouldn’t spend my own money here…
Cesca (Upper West Side-
Charlie Mom ( Greenwich Village –
For quick and dirty Chinese without the dirty, Charlie Mom is a great alternative to the sometimes shady but ever beloved “Sammy’s Noodle Shop”. Try this smaller, more quite place where there won’t rush you in and out. Friendly service, decent prices and more than decent chinese means that Charlie Mom is RECOMMENDED.
Chat & Chew (Union Square/Flatiron –
If you’re a true fan of comfort food you have found your Union Square mecca. Macaroni and cheese is a must try here (suck it up) and everything else including the “Kitchen Sink” salad is deliciously unhealthy. Because there are so many fattening options which delight your inner diet-loather and the ambiance is totally kitsch-ed out Chat & Chew comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for a no muss, no fuss good solid meal.
China Fun (Upper East Side – 1221 2nd Avenue (212) 752-0810)
Quick and reliable this upper west side chain offers great, greasy chinese for slightly inflated prices. Quick delivery and even quicker in restaurant service makes it a quick dinner. Did I mention it’s quick? So for expediency over cuisine China Fun is RECOMMENDED.
Chow Bar (West Village -230 W 4th Street (212)-633-2212 )
Atmosphere is better than the food but the food isn’t half bad either. Asian fusion of some variety or another is definitely good enough to enjoy here. Dark and sultry and sort of cheesey Chow Bar is slightly perplexing in its city placement, but definitely works. Because it’s a bit different than the normal WV scene with solid food and might amuse decor-wise, Chow Bar isRECOMMENDED.
Coffee Shop (Union Square – 29 Union Square West (212)-243-7969)
If you’re in the mood to fight the NYU-ers and Murray Hillers out for a long walk donning sweat pants and side ponytails for brunch, this is your place. Brazil meets america meets decent food at this fun diner-y venue. You might be perplexed by the stripper outfits on the waitresses, but don’t dispair they’re simply aspiring models. Go late at night for some good late night food and fun, and if they ever stop renovating Luna Park you’ll be in luck when you’re hungry after you dodge the rats there all night. Because we all love NYU kids Coffee Shop comesRECOMMENDED for a, like, really, like good time.
Commerce (West Village -50 Commerce St. 212-524-2301)
Step into the scene at Commerce and leave satisfied. Incredibly prepared food and some of the best fresh baked bread varieties money can buy (a low-carbers worst nightmare) including baby soft pretzels are staples of this terrific new hot spot. It’s worth waiting by the crowded bar for a slightly-too-close table to savor some of the dishes Commerce has to order. Order away because Commerce is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Cornelia Street Café (West Village – 29 Cornelia Street (212)-989-9319)
For dinner or brunch you can’t beat this quaint place on a quiet street. The food is simply and well prepared and the brunch special comes with an alcoholic drink (You love that.) They also have live entertainment every night of the week in the basement, so try that after you enjoy your meal. There are few streets more adorable than Cornelia and few small restaurants with such an airy feel in the summer and outdoor sidewalk seating as consistently adorable as Cornelia St. Cafe, so it’s definitely HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Cowgirl (West Village – 519 Hudson St. (212) 633-1133)
Leave your spurs at home but bring your appetite and your pension for outdoor seating at this aptly named WV eatery. Decent mexican with some random other dishes thrown in are easy to enjoy at Cowgirl where no one takes anything seriously, including the food. Have a beer or a glass of “The Show” (my personal favorite) and people watch along Hudson. Everyone needs some ok food in a fun spot, so Cowgirl comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED if you don’t take yourself too seriously.
Craft (Flatiron – 43 East 19th St (212) 780-0880)
Went here for our anniversary with Michael, mouth watering and heart pounding. Flat out the biggest disappointment of my restaurant experiences thus far. Tom Colicchio, despite his brilliance managed to boggle every dish I ate here. The dishes were so salty I could barely enjoy them and I felt like I had been robbed and violated when I left. I can’t say enough about how disappointing this was. If Colicchio will have me back for free I would give it another try but otherwise??? FOR SERIOUS?
Craft Steak (Meat Packing- 85 10th Avenue (212) 400 – 6699)
See above. A little less intensely salty, but just as overpriced and almost as disappointing. I’m calling Colicchio because I want those two hours of my life back….FOR SERIOUS?
Crispo (West Village- 240 W 14th (212) 229-1818)
Get ready to break the diet bank and ENJOY. Try the fried cheese and everything else on the menu. Come with a big group to the unpretentious adorable spot and sit in the cheesey but amazing back garden. Order bottles of wine and try as much as you can off the menu for reasonable prices. Crispo is a delight and comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Da Andrea (WV – Have been here multiple times and never had anything short of an incredibly delectable bargain. Nothing on the menu (food-wise) is over $19.50 although I would pay pricey WV prices for this gem.
Da Nico (Little Italy)
Da Silvano (Greenwich Village
Dennis Foy (Tr-
David Burke and Donatella (Upper East Side-
Del Posto (Ch-
Dinosaur Barbeque (Harlem-
Dos Caminos (Soho & ME)
EJ’s Luncheonette (UES)
El Charro Espanol (WV –
El Diablo Royale (WV)
El Rio Grande (MH-
Elephant and Castle (WV –
Empire Szcheuan (WV – )
Employees Only (WV-
Ess a Bagel (ME-
Esca (Hell’s Kitchen
Extra Virgin (WV-
Fig and Olive (UES & Meatpacking)
Fleur De Mayo
Foccaceria (West Village)
Friend of a Farmer
Funayama (WV –
Golden Krust (Harlem
Gonzo (West Village
Good (West Village
Gramercy Tavern (Gramercy)
Grand Central Oyster Bar
Grano Trattoria (West Village
Grey Dog Café (West Village
Gusto (West Village
H&H Bagels (Upper West Side
Haru (Union Square and Upper East Side
Hearth (East Village –
Took Mike here for his birthday and went with the girls for a big group dinner. Much better for an intimate dinner, Hearth is a well appointed space with well appointed food. Some dishes stand out, but others blend in. The prices are high and your money is likely better spent elsewhere. Although it’s good I would say maybe TRY IT if you have some found money laying around…
Havana Alma de Cuba (West Village
Huson Bar and Books (WV – 636 Hudson at Horatio)
Old world charm, bookshelves, tuxedos and a place to smoke cigars indoor in Manhattan!!! Dark wood adorns in this old WV charmer. The drink list is unique and incredible, the service will transport you to an old hotel on park avenue, but the smoke might drive you to drink more than you should. If you can brave the smoke, this old school spot is definitely right for you and comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
I Tre Merli (West Village)
Irving Farm Coffee Company (WV
Jekyll and Hyde Pub (WV –
JoJo (Upper East Side) Went for dinner with Michael. One of my favorites. Every single bite was perfectly appointed with sauce, not a drop left, not a drop desired. Amazingly overdone townhouse which makes you feel like you’re in a palace to some degree. Waiters are literally on top of you (maybe a little too much…?) but the service is incredible. Absolutely reccomnded.
Kingswood (West Village)
Went there almost as soon as it opened with Michael and went back for dinner with Martha and drinks multiple times. Although it began as just an enjoyable foodie hang out, it has followed suit with the ‘DaSilvano’s’ and ‘Fredrick’s’ of the village and has become a modelizer’s dream. If you’re not ashamed to take down a huge burger in front of a girl who is having a straight martini for dinner, come one come all. Kingswood is a funky and beautiful space and although I don’t particularly get the Australian cuisine aspect, the food is extremely well done. I’ve heard rumors the hamburger is phenomoneol but usually enjoy the fresh and well flavored fish instead. The bar scene is hip and hop every day of the week making you really feel like Monday is the new Saturday. Because eating in front of models isn’t everyone’s ideal situation but the food is worth the humiliation Kingswood is RECOMMENDED.
Koi (Bryant Park)
Went for dinner with Michael and his family. Expansive and impressive set up, Koi has few tables and an abundance of space. The food was definitely well done although I don’t expect my sashimi to come seared. Good flavours, decent portions and generally well done food. The real benefit is a quick escape downstairs to “Cellar Bar” for their amazing DJ who plays great music. It’s definitely good and it was a crowd please so Koi is RECOMMENDED.
La Mela (Little Italy)
Landmarc (Tribeca – 179 West Broadway between Leonard and Worth)
L’Impero (Tudor City)
Dinner with Martha and her out of town friends. The lighting and hues of this restaurant literally transport you into another world along with its food, ambiance and general ‘-ness’. Tudor City’s very own heaven…. I cannot say enough about how beautifully appointed the restaurant is, you have to see for yourself if you can get a reservation and if you’re wallet is weighing you down a bit… The food was impeccable as was the service. The tasting menu is definitely recommended although I got a dish a la carte and it was, of course, perfection. Because there are few places better in the city it’s clear that L’Impero comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
L’Orange Bleue (NoHo – 430 Broome at Crosby)
Dinner with all of the girls and boys, crazy loud and fun atmosphere. Bachlorette party going on right across from us, dancing on the tables, belly dancing waiters etc. The food was also pretty good, I had a fish wrapped in palm leaf which was tasty but the drinks were pretty mediocre unless you got hard alcohol!)
Les Halles (Wall Street)
Dinner with Michael and Dad. Had the steak tartare which was fabulous and a rare find. The fries are crazy good and Michael loved the French onion soup.
Little Owl (West Village) Walked in for dinner since it’s tough to get a reservation (I called ahead and asked what it looked like if we were to come in the next ten minutes) with Michael and ended up sitting one table over from Steven Spielberg and his whole family! He’s got great taste, the food was terrific, the portions aren’t huge but we left satisfied. Delicious.
Lupa (West Village)
Lure Fishbar (Soho)
Magnolia Bakery (West Village)
Mama Mexico (Upper West Side & Midtown East)
Maracas (West Village)
Mary’s Fish Camp (WV –
Mercer Kitchen (Soho)
Merchants (Upper East Side
Went with Michael and Kevin after a 1980’s California Cabernet tasting so he could smoke cigars. The food is pretty mediocre but you can’t smoke many places in the city, so there you have it!)
Mercury Bar (Midtown East-
Merkato 55 (Meatpacking –
Mermaid Inn (East Village –
Monster Sushi (Midtown West) Went with Martha for a quick bite. Good sushi and good/abundant outdoor seating at the Monster sushi in the West Village
Milos Estuario (MW-
Morandi (West Village) Went for dinner with Martha, Brunch with Michael and Brunch with Mom, Dad and Michael. Great Tuscan food, consistently delicious. Might be tricky for picky eaters for brunch since it is real, hearty Tuscan fare. Highly recommended with great outdoor seating
Moustache (West Village)
Murray’s Bagels (Greenwich Village)
Murray’s Cheese (GV –
Nam (Tribeca – 110 Reade at Broadway)
Nice Matin (Upper West Side-
Nobu Next Door (Dinner with Michelle and DaveNorma’s at Le Parker Meridian
Osteria Del Sol *CLOSED* (West Village
Otto (Greenwich Village
Ouest (Upper West Side-
Paris Commune (West Village
Park Avenue Cafe (Upper East Side
Pick a Bagel (Upper East Side
P*Ong (West Village
The Palm and The Palm Too (Eastside and Westside)
Patsy’s Pizzeria (Upper East Side)
Palma (West Village)
Penelope (Murray Hill)
Per Lei (Upper East Side)
Perry Street (West Village) Went for dinner with Michael pre-yom kippur . Delicious food, beautiful building (Richard Maeir’s glass building looking out on the Hudson river)
Pete’s Tavern (GR
Phillip Marie (WV –
PJ Clarke’s (Midtown East) Went with Steph for lunch and Michael for lunch once. Not somewhere I would go back to. I found the food to be mediocre, the prices high and I felt like I was eating at a dirty bar. Oh well.
Poke (Upper East Side) Went with Michael to celebrate his new job. Awesome BYO sushi place with fresh sushi and a fun atmosphere. Get ready to wait though, even with a call ahead reservation you generally end up waiting. Good selection of wines at the stores near by ,which is also a plus. BUT you can only bring one bottle! Recommended.
Popover Café (Upper West Side)
Primitivo Osteria (West Village)
Prune (EV-Went around the holiday time. Tiny place, tight quarters but definitely worth the squeeze. The food is fantastic, fresh, delicious and perfectly prepared. Smaller menu, not for the extremely picky but definitely worth the difficulty making reservations and maneuvering into your seat. If you’re a marrow bone fan this is definitely a spot for you.
PS 450 (Gramercy-
Public (East Village)
Pure Food and Wine (Gramercy)
Pylos (EV –
Rare (Upper West Side)
Rice to Riches (Soho – 37 Spring between Mott and Mulberry)
Rothmann’s Steakhouse (Midtown West)
Shake Shack (Madison Square Park)
Shorty’s.32 (Soho) 199 Prince between Sullivan and MacDougal)
Shun Lee (East and West)
Smith and Wollensky
Spotted Pig (WV-
Sushi of Gari (UES-
Sushi Samba 7
Sushi Samba Park
Tanti Baci (WV)
The Neptune Room
Union Square Café (Union Square)
Vesuvio Bakery and Café (Soho)
Via Oreto (UES)
Vong (Upper East Side
Yummy Shwarma (WV)
Zoe (Soho – 90 Prince between B’way and Mercer)