Passion Points: Food/Wine
We are often asked about our favorite restaurants in New York City for visitors interested in compiling an itinerary for a great food weekend: one big night out, a nice brunch, a couple of neighborhood places and some hot spots for cocktails and a scene. Even though staying on top of New York City’s culinary scene is a challenge, many of our staff are passionate foodies and spend a lot of time exploring the newcomers and returning to mainstays.
Here are the favorites—from low-key neighborhood joints to fine dining restaurant—that made the list.
ABC Kitchen: “Jean-Georges eatery in ABC Carpet & Home focuses on seasonal and local ingredients.”
Annisa: “Technically not new but reopened after a fire destroyed it and better than ever thanks to Anita Lo’s endless creativity.”
Bar Italia: “This casual place on Madison Avenue has excellent service and a menu replete with all the Mediterranean favorites.”
Danji: “This new Korean restaurant by Daniel-alumni Hooni Kim is arguably the most exciting newcomer of 2011 so far.”
The Darby: “More of a hot spot than serious culinary destination, the Darby serves up great cocktails in a supper club ambience (with the occasional celeb sighting).”
Jeffrey’s Grocery: “Don’t be fooled… This fifties-style mom-and-pop joint fronting as a grocery store is actually a hip eatery.”
Red Rooster: “Marcus Samuelsson’s Harlem restaurant is a hit thanks to a great scene and reliable food.”
BIG NIGHT OUT
11 Madison Park: “Daniel Humm’s creativity starts with the menu, which is not longer than 28 words, allowing diners to sit back and let the chef do his magic.”
21 Club: “Another New York City classic that continues to deliver an old-world ambience and well-prepared cuisine.”
Blue Hill: “This Greenwich Village restaurant is where to go for an elegant variation on the standard meat and potatoes meal.”
Kurumazushi: “Among the best sushi restaurants in New York City.”
Le Bernadin and Per Se: “Because these mainstays have kept up with all the newcomers and still never disappoint.”
Marea: “Michael White’s elegant Italian seafood eatery on Central Park South deserves every bit of the praise it has earned from star-struck food critics.”
Blaue Gans: ” This Austrian mainstay serves schnitzel in every format imaginable and an endless list of imported brews.”
Café Falai: “This Soho restaurant serves incredible pasta, but it’s the warm service and congenial ambience that are the best parts about it.”
Casa Mono: “This Mario Batali–backed restaurant on a cozy corner on 17th and Irving Place has only a few tables and offers a tapas style menu.”
Le Charlot: “The quaint French brasserie is a favorite on the Upper East Side.”
Little Owl: “Located on one of the most picturesque streets in the West village, this small place delivers on incredible food and a fun vibe.”
Sant Ambroeus: “In both of Sant Ambroeus’ locations, you will be in a warm neighborhood watering hole where locals go for breakfast, lunch or dinner.”
Sofia’s Wine Bar: “Finally some honest charm in Midtown at this Italian-owned café that serves simple Roman-style pizzas and small plates.”
Balthazar: “Still a classic that balances a fun scene with good breakfast, brunch and lunch food.”
Bubby’s: “The best time to eat here is brunch, when the casual and airy restaurant is filled with diners who return for buttermilk biscuits and house-smoked salmon.”
Crosby: “The cool lounge-dining room of the Crosby Hotel is full of downtown charm and while service can be slow, it’s a fun place for brunch.”
Kingswood: “This West Village spot is perfect for brunch or lunch.”
Morandi: “Another one of Keith McNally’s home runs, Morandi is a West Village tavern meets traditional Italian trattoria.”
Abe & Arthur’s: ” This swanky hot spot in the Meatpacking District checks off all the right boxes when it comes to showing visitors a New York scene.”
Joseph Leonard: “The fashionable downtown crowd makes for a chic scene, but there’s nothing frivolous about the food, which is focused and delicious.”
Miss Lily’s: “This casual, diner-style restaurant and lounge has a groovy vibe with red leather booths and reggae music.”
Minetta Tavern: “The servers are friendly, the atmosphere always fun and the food actually worth the wait.”
Torrisi Italian Specialties: “This Little Italy eatery is well-worth the wait for classic cucina italiana.”
Aria Wine Bar: ” Patrons sit at communal wooden tables or at the bar sipping wine and noshing on carefully selected charcuterie and cheeses.”
Gottino: “This small wine bar in the West Village has really good small plates and crostini.”
The Rose Bar: “This place has weathered the storm, and gone from hot spot du jour to a New York classic.”
Mark Hotel: “The Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant has a nice bar-lounge area perfect for pre- or post-dinner cocktails.”
Pegu Club: “The inventive cocktails here have earned the respect of droves of New Yorkers who flock to this Soho cocktail bar.”
The Otherroom: ” The otheroom has an interesting list of microbrews and good wines by the glass.”
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