Food & Drink

The NYC Top Chef dining guide

Published On 02/06/2014 Published On 02/06/2014
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1. Perilla 9 Jones St, New York, NY 10014 (Greenwich Village)

Nestled in Greenwich Village, Perilla is a date-friendly, 65-seat bistro that serves "seasonal American" fare.

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2. The Marrow 99 Bank St, New York, NY 10014 (West Village)

The Marrow's a West Village contemporary Italian-German resto serving up braised brisket "braciole" w/ Pecorino & red sauce and Germanic plates like pan-fried duck schnitzel w/ quark spaetzle & wolfberries.

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3. The Waverly Inn 16 Bank St, New York, NY 10014 (West Village)

Tucked into the ground floors of two adjoining townhouses, the Waverly Inn will make you feel like you’ve been invited to dine in a cozy, secret club. The menu features American classics alongside contemporary seasonal dishes, and even though the food is notable, the real reason you go to the Waverly Inn is for the scene. Co-owned by Vanity Fair editor-in-chief Graydon Carter, it's routinely packed with a mix of celebrities and the who's who of New York's social landscape. The main room's red booths, fireplaces, and low lighting make for a comfortable hangout, and the indoor/outdoor garden is a West Village gem.

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4. Añejo 668 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036 (Hells Kitchen)

Offered in single glasses, flights, and carafes, Anejo's tequila is about five quality notches up from your college-era variant. You can pick from styles including blanco extra anejo, and sotol, a Northern Mexican version made from a plant known as "The Desert Spoon." Tapas like short rib tacos and a much-hailed guacamole trio, plus larger plates, like the signature octopus dish, served with black bread, chorizo cream, and squash confit, more than adequately sate all tequila-induced appetites.

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5. Thistle Hill Tavern 441 Seventh Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

From an investor quartet whose past experiences include 'inoteca LES, Niagara Bar, and...NOFX (seriously, Fat Mike yo), THT's a vintagely cozy Euro-inspired pub sporting a mint-condition mahogany floor (discovered after ripping up a foot of concrete), exposed brick walls (discovered after ripping down a...faux brick wall), a bench from the Brooklyn courthouse, and an 80-year-old wooden bar hauled down from Springfield, MA that now sports a tap made from an antique fire extinguisher, dousing your burning inferno of sobriety.

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6. Talde 369 7th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Talde showcases eponymous owner and chef Dale Talde's (of Top Chef fame) BBQ prowess in dishes like BBQ platters piled with brisket, pork shoulder, smoked bacon, shrimp, and black pepper-butter toast. Desserts swing weirdly awesome, from potato chip-crusted cookies with caramel ganache to a shaved ice sundae topped with Cap'n Crunch.

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7. Pork Slope 247 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

This whiskey-centric bar in Park Slope serves classic all-American food like fried chicken sandwiches with iceburg lettuce and ranch, cheeseburgers on potato rolls, and baked mac & cheese. Inspired by the movie Road House, the space has a honky-tonk-meets-roadside diner vibe thanks to kitschy antiques collected by the bar's crew over the years. The kitchen closes at 2am daily, so it's great for any late-night greasy food cravings.

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8. Pig and Khao 68 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002 (Lower East Side)

Top Chef contestant Leah Cohen’s Filipino-Thai fusion restaurant on the Lower East Side is known just as much for its pork-centric menu as it is for its killer playlists. Pig and Khao’s menu is divided between small and large plates, and with fatty but delicious dishes like the Sizzling Sisig (cubed, salty nibs of pork head topped with a whole egg), you might want to consult your cardiologist before making your way to the narrow Clinton Street spot. A perpetually sick R&B playlist acts as a soundtrack to your meal, while drinks like the Bangkok Fire from the rye-focused menu complement it. Why quit while you’re ahead? End the caloric night right with Halo-Halo, a crowd-favorite dessert comprised of shaved ice, leche flan, ube ice cream, and toasted Filipino sweet rice.

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9. Catch 21 9th Ave, New York, NY 10014 (West Village)

Catch 'em if you can (sorry, we had to). Catch has got fresh seafood, stellar cocktails, and just about the liveliest group of Midtowners you've ever seen in the WV.

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10. The General 199 Bowery, New York, NY 10002 (Lower East Side)

The General's a modern Asian resto in the LES that's the brainchild of the EMM Group and Top Chef winner Hung Huynh, serving up classics like beef & broccoli but with a serious twist (braised short rib served alongside Chinese broccoli and thick udon noodles). For breakfast or dessert, give their Fruity Pebbles or Green Tea Donuts a try. Martini Week Specials: from 5:30p to 8:30p, get a Grey Goose "Lady with a Dagger" or a Bombay Sapphire "The Doc" for $12.

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11. Sotto 13 140 W 13th St, New York, NY 10011 (West Village)

Sotto 13 is a "social Italian" spot with a date-worthy bar up front, and a split-level dining room featuring wrought iron caging and a skylight. The pizza is cooked in their wood-fired oven which yields a thin crust, meaning you can order various pizzas and not explode!

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12. Hill Country 30 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010 (Flatiron)

This gigantic, high-design roadhouse is modeled after Texas' 107-year-old Kreuz Market -- like at that institution, HC patrons'll order heaping piles of ribs, brisket, sausage, and slop-sopping white bread at a cafeteria-style counter. Their brisket is smoked over post oak straight from Texas, producing a meat so fatty and moist you don't even need sauce. There's a stage for live music, and once that gets going you'll be as close to Central Texas as you can get in, er, the Flatiron District.

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13. Hill Country Barbecue Market 345 Adams St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

A sister spot to the chicken behemoth in Manhattan and around the corner, the bros behind HCC're channeling a grandma's soul (cooking) with this bi-level counter-service joint, designing the upstairs as a '50s style "grandma's dream kitchen". The BBQ is seriously something to write home about.

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14. Fishtail by David Burke 135 E 62nd St, New York, NY 10065 (Upper East Side)

This UES seafoodery hails from David Burke genius-territory, and's got amazing dishes (try the lobster dumplings).

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