Thought it might be easier to list some of my favorite restaurants by location as people usually ask me for recommendations for one or another part of town (of course, I still have my overall favorite list in another post with more lengthy descriptions). This is the first and will follow with other neighborhoods I frequent.
- Chelsea Market – 75 9th Avenue – the old Nabisco factory covers an entire block has been transformed into a upscale food court, fish market, butcher, wine store, bakeries and kitchenware haven. Most days it is mobbed with tourists, but it is still a spectacular dining hall, where you can get a whole steamed lobster, Cambodian hero, , San Diego-style taco, or farm-to-table meal at a sit-down restaurant, lunch counter, or wine bar.
- Del Posto – 85 10th Avenue – Bastianich Italian Palace. Glamorous, expensive, and very good (food and wine). Make reservations at the bar for a more casual, and a la carte, experience. My husband and I love this restaurant and usually go there to celebrate our anniversary yearly.
- L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon – 85 10th Avenue – Joël Robuchon (unfortunately he passed awa in 2018) was a master craftsman of beautiful, whimsical bites of modern French cuisine. This beautifully designed venue still serves the same wonderful food. Christophe Bellanca has been the long-time chef and is one of the most creative I have been privileged to experience. I had eaten multiple times in their London restaurant but never NYC for some reason. Just this week I decided to dine there and the food was better than I remembered. All I can say is WOW! Not only is the food amazing but the service and atmosphere is just as first rate. Not stuffy or stiff, it has a relaxed vibe (with most reservations at the very large bar with the chef cooking in the middle). We were lucky to get adopted by the Sommelier and he gave us a kitchen tour and an introduction to Chef Bellanca (he was charming, warm, and friendly). An example of some of the courses below (and don’t skip the bread basket!!!)
- Momofuku Nishi – 232 8th Avenue – David Chang’s Italian / Korean hybrid restaurant with dishes so creative you can’t believe they are that yummy.
- Morimoto – 88 10th Avenue – Massaharu Morimoto’s NYC restaurant with beautiful modern decor and creative dishes. Chose the Omakese and leave your decisions in the chef’s hands.
- Sullivan Street Bakery – 236 9th Avenue – began in SoHo, moved to Hell’s Kitchen, and now opened another bakery in Chelsea. This one is larger, with a place to eat their wonderful Roman-style pizzas (including potato and zucchini toppings), pastries, creative panini’s …
- Sushi Seki Chelsea – 208 W 23rd Street – another excellent Japanese restaurant, though atmosphere is lacking a bit, where you need to order the omakase.
- Toto – 85 10th Avenue – Boston chef and owners – Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette’s tapas bar offering 60 traditional and modern tapas dishes. Don’t miss the octopus or the killer cocktails.
- Ushiwakamaru -362 W 23rd Street – chef owner Hideo Kuriba, is excellent. The sushi bar is the place to sit, but no matter where, order the (you guessed it) omakese.