Food & Drink

An editor's guide to eating around NYC

Published On 05/02/2013 Published On 05/02/2013
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1. RedFarm 529 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014 (West Village)

This brick-walled West Village eatery serves up modern iterations on dim sum in a lively and trendy rustic setting. Snag a seat at a communal table and snack on quirky comestibles like egg rolls made with Katz's pastrami and shrimp-stuffed jalapeño poppers. Mains are hearty and run the gamut from cold noodles to fried rice dishes. For the most part, seasonal ingredients set the course of the menu, which changes regularly.

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2. Bianca's 550 W 38th St, New York, NY 10014 (Hells Kitchen)

Helmed by a professionally attractive chef whose resume includes private stints for George Soros, Joshua Bell, and Patrick "Pat" McMullen, B's occupies a separate lounge space inside HeadQuarters men's club, harkening back to the "sultry 1940s" with eye-catching, blood-red plush chairs and banquettes, black and white starlet prints, and a movie projector throwing up period flicks and "risque" French films.

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3. Masa 10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019 (Midtown West)

If you'd like to see what makes a meal worth most people's monthly rent, head to Masa. Masayoshi Takayama, chef and owner of this New York City sushi standard, manifests perfection in fresh fish dishes prepared with hyper-conscious attention to flavor interactions and plating techniques. Posted up in the Time Warner Center, you'll forget the bustle of Columbus Circle and the mall crowd below as you indulge on delicate nigiri and mackerel of the highest echelon.

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4. Mas (farmhouse) 39 Downing St, New York, NY 10014 (West Village)

Mas Farmhouse serves New American Cuisine from New York City's Greenwich Village neighborhood. Resourcing fresh ingredients from small, sustainable farms outside of New York City, this small restaurant offers a daily dinner menu and wine list also of organic, independent origin.

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5. Le Bernardin 155 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019 (Midtown West)

Le Bernardin is the Meryl Streep of the New York restaurant scene. It has all the necessary accolades for being the best (three Michelin stars, seven James Beard awards), and other restaurants don’t even try to compete with it. Chef Eric Ripert has mastered the art of seafood in the form of a caviar-heavy prix fixe menu that tastes best with the optional wine pairing. Add white tablecloths and five-star service, and you’ve got a once-in-a-lifetime dinner.

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6. Bouley Restaurant 163 Duane St, New York, NY 10013 (Tribeca)

Led by Chef David Bouley, the eponymous Tribeca resto boasts an award-winning selection of over 40k wines. Try dishes like silken chawanmushi with black truffles and delicately cooked Alaskan king crab.

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7. Peasant 194 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012 (Soho)

In the heart of Nolita, Peasant mixes the upscale hipness of downtown with the romantic tradition of Little Italy. The menu features everything that makes Italian food so darn good, like pizza with hot chiles and soppressata, gnocchi, and lamb with polenta. The main dining room, accented with painted brick walls, hanging indoor plants, and candle-lit tables, will woo you before you have a chance to see the subterranean wine room, which looks straight out of a rustic Italian barn.

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8. Crif Dogs 555 Driggs Ave, New York, NY 11211

The Williamsburg outpost of Crig Dogs serves the same over-the-top hot dogs as the East Village original. The huge menu varies between the namesake Crif Dog, a naturally smoked beef and pork dog, and more loaded ones like the Philly Tubesteak, which is essentially a Philly cheesesteak minus the steak, plus the tubed meat. There are burgers, beer, and milkshakes, too. The space is tight with limited seating, but its location right next to the Bedford L makes it too good to pass up on your way home at 2am.

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9. Nom Wah Tea Parlor 13 Doyers St, New York, NY 10013 (Chinatown)

Located in the heart of Chinatown, Nom Wah has been around in some form since 1920. It's been a bakery, kitchen, and now it's a dim sum specialist and tea house. Today, it still maintains its vintage looks and if you want to taste their claim to fame, order the fried sesame balls with lotus paste and the almond cookie.

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10. Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria 53 Great Jones St, New York, NY 10012 (Noho)

At the sister restaurant of the famed Il Buco, you'll find a five-course, rustic Italian family-style menu that includes such options as chestnut agnolotti, baccala, and roasted pears. But you're really here for the lunch offerings, including the notorious porchetta panino, stuffed with hefty slices of pork and scented with rosemary. Be sure to check out the market, too, which functions as a salumeria, panetteria, formaggeria, and gelateria.

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11. Pok Pok Ny 117 Columbia St, New York, NY 11231

Andy Ricker's Michelin-starred restaurant on Brooklyn's Columbia Street Waterfront specializes in Northern Thai food, a regional cuisine that favors pork and deep-frying over spiciness and coconut milk. Pok Pok's menu is filled with family-style plates like deep-fried pork riblets, minced pork salad with crispy fried garlic, and insanely good chicken wings, deep-fried and coated in fish sauce. There's usually a wait at peak dinner times, especially for a table on the back patio in the summer.

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12. Minca Ramen Factory 536 E 5th St, New York, NY 10009 (Alphabet City)

Minca Ramen Factory is a tiny ramen spot in Alphabet City that delivers top-knotch, soul-satisfying noodle soup without the hype (and crowds) of Ippudo and Momofuku. Minca opened around the same time as Momofuku and has developed an under-the-radar following for its signature half-pork, half-chicken broth, as well as its noodle varieties (choose between thin, thick, wavy, or whole wheat). The house-made gyoza, filled with pork or shrimp, are pan-fried to perfection. Note that it's cash-only.

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13. Cafe el Portal 174 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012 (Nolita)

Cafe el Portal might not be the biggest Mexican joint around, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in south-of-the-border flavor. You'll want to check out its traditional options like fish tacos, cactus burritos and roasted corn and wash it all down with a deliciously concocted margarita or sweet sangria.

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14. Minetta Tavern 113 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10012 (Greenwich Village)

In the heart of Greenwich Village, Minetta Tavern boasts a classic oak bar, vintage photos on the walls, and supremely delicious burgers (amongst other menu items). Its Black Label Burger has quite the reputation -- it's an 8oz blend of Pat LaFrieda prime dry-aged beef, cooked until there's a nice, light crust on top, then dressed with caramelized onions on a custom brioche bun.

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15. Adrienne's Pizza Bar 54 Stone St, New York, NY 10004 (Financial District)

It might be tough to narrow down pizza places in NYC, but if you're in the Financial District, this Stone Street hideaway is a sure bet. From square to round to thin crust to "grandma" style, Adrienne's puts pies in their proper place.

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16. Resto 111 E 29th St, New York, NY 10016 (Murray Hill)

Resto NYC is a Belgian bistro in Murray Hill with a refined, laidback vibe that makes it a dependable dinner option any night of the week. The French-inspired menu features the best burger in the neighborhood, served with Gruyere, red onions, dill pickles, mayonnaise, and French fries. The rest of the meat-centric options are split between small plates like steak tartare and larger entrées like duck breast and mussels. The beer and wine program has one of the most extensive selections of Belgian brews in the city.

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17. MĂĄ PĂȘche 15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019 (Midtown)

Brought to you by the king patron of fusion David Chang, Midtown's MĂĄ PĂȘche combines the chef's signature Asian food with innovative service. In the fashion of dim sum parlors, MĂĄ PĂȘche uses carts and trolleys to serve 50-plus dishes nightly. While the concept is unique among Momofuku restaurants, the interior aesthetics, like communal tables made of maple-colored plywood and minimalistic walls that bring the focus back to food, remind you that you're in a Chang restaurant. Although, a bite of his famous pork buns might do the same.

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18. Back Forty West 70 Prince St, New York, NY 10012 (Soho)

BFW's got a raw stone wall, and a multi-hued bar made from reclaimed Shaker barnwood (sourced from the same guys who supply their pork), and an upstairs area with a fireplace surrounded by communal seats, art from former patrons & employees, and live edge tables.

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19. Cafe Sabarsky 1048 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028 (Upper East Side)

Inside the Neue Galerie, this elegant Viennese cafe proves that museum dining isn't synonymous with pre-made sandwiches and weak coffee. Decorated like a turn-of-the-century intelligentsia hangout, Cafe Sabarsky serves Viennese pastries and coffee, as well as savory dishes like goulash and wiener schnitzel. It's expensive, but the rich chocolate cakes are worth every penny.

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20. Mile End Delicatessen 53 Bond St, New York, NY 10012 (Noho)

Mile End Deli doesn’t fit neatly into a single category, serving non-kosher Jewish French-Canadian comfort food with a hipster twist. And yet, ironically but un-ironically, this has solidified it in the hearts of New Yorkers. Well, that and the absurdly succulent smoked meat. The meat masterminds here have crafted a true tour de force de fries -- poutine with cheese curds, chicken gravy, and the option to add smoked brisket (do it).

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21. Oriental Garden 14 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013 (Chinatown)

Dim sum, dumplings, Peking duck, noodles... this is probably some of the best Chinese in the City.

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22. Jeffrey's Grocery 172 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10014 (West Village)

Jeffrey’s Grocery is a seafood-centric West Village restaurant known for its a) oyster bar and b) brunch. Fish makes its way into most of the dishes, like the poached shrimp omelette and fried clam roll on the brunch menu, and the lobster spaghetti at dinner. There are plenty of turf options too, like the raclette burger.

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23. Sik Gaek 16129 Cocheron Ave, Flushing, NY 11358 (Queens)

Anthony Bourdain and David Chang may have highlighted this restaurant’s still-alive octopus dish, but the non-squirming meat dishes pack just as much, if not more, flavor (you thought we were going to say punch, right?). The requisite order here calls for spicy marinated pork -- which promises an addictively sweet-piquant experience -- and twisted galbi. Offering a textural change from the classic marinated beef short rib item, the galbi pairs swimmingly well with Littleneck clam BBQ -- so you can taste Sik Gaek’s seafood renown, while getting your warm-blooded fix.

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24. Blue Hill at Stone Barns 630 Bedford Rd, Pocantico Hills, NY 10591

Sourcing fresh ingredients from its surrounding fields and market, Westchester's Blue Hill at Stone Barns ditches menus in favor of letting diners combine ingredients to their liking.

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25. BLT Prime 111 E 22nd St, New York, NY 10010 (Gramercy)

This upscale Gramercy Park restaurant sets the modern-day standard for steakhouses in New York City. The "beef is what's for dinner" commercials were created with this place in mind. It offers a myriad of steak options, as well as a full selection of seafood and an award-winning wine list.

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26. Sushi of Gari 402 E 78th St, New York, NY 10075 (Upper East Side)

Masatoshi "Gari" Sugio is legendary in NYC for dishing out one-of-kind sushi and meals like tuna with tofu cream and foie gras sushi. He's opened multiple locations throughout the city over the years, but the original Upper East Side still reigns supreme.