The second in my NYC neighborhood series!  And I must say my favorite areas in NYC (OK, have to include NoHo, then all my favorite places in NYC to dine).

  • Bar Bolonat – 611 Hudson St., 1212-390-1545 – Einat Admony’s third restaurant (Balaboosta in Nolita, and Taim her falafel shack) and my favorite!  They all feature her middle eastern roots, and  Bar Bolonat has an interesting array of exotic small plates.  Loved the kibbeh, any vegetable dish, and the baby chicken over crispy rice with walnuts and pomegranates.  They also have a great happy hour at the bar.  (barbolonatny.com)
  • Barbuto – 775 Washing Street – I know it sounds strange to recommend the chicken (look at it in the picture below!), but the roast chicken is famous at this lively Italian restaurant housed in an old garage (the walls open up to the street in warm weather).  The pasta is also great, and hang out at the bar, especially if you are single!

  • Bar Primi – 325 Bowery (at E. 2nd Street); 212-220-9100 – Handmade pasta and beautiful brunches is what is featured at this two story Italian restaurant.  There are several must orders, start with the ricotta crostino, drizzled with truffle honey and a sprinkling of hazelnuts, and then move onto the bucatini with lamb amatriciana. It’s all delicious and Instagram-worthy decadence.
  • Buvette – 42 Grove Street, West Village (no reservations) – Cozy, rustic-chic French bistro serving small-plates at breakfast, lunch & dinner. Chef Jody Williams opened a second bistro in Paris so you can enjoy her food in both cities.  Small plates include plenty of vegetarian options (salads with fennel or beets, ratatouille, a croque with wild mushrooms and tangy cheese) alongside satisfying miniature versions of coq au vin, os à moelle, and cassoulet. 
  • Chumley’s –  86 Bedford St, 1212-675-2081 – the renowned West Village speakeasy reopened after being closed for around 10 years.  It’s a cozy, welcoming restaurant owned by Alessandro Borgognone (Sushi Nakazawa). He took over the space and has turned this pub into a great restaurant with food from Atera alum chef Victoria Blamey.  Must try’s are the pretzel, steak tartar, hamburger and fried chicken.
  • Corkbuzz – 13 E 13th St, 646.873.6071 – great wine bar with interesting small tastes (and some larger ones).  Especially on Sunday’s (opens at 4 PM so a late Brunch is perfect) where all Champagne is 50% off.
  • dell’anima38 Eighth Ave (Jane), 1212-366-6633 – former Babbo sommelier and an ex–Del Posto chef, Chef Gabe Thompson, got together to open this unassuming little Italian trattoria.   Small copy place, filled with locals who genuinely love food.  This is a place for foodies!

  • Extra Virgin – 259 West 4th Street – Love this busy bistro for Brunch, especially eating at the sidewalk tables. It’s very small, intimate, crowded, and constantly busy both in the bar and the dining area. There are probably only 10-15 tables, but also has a few bar seats.
  • Fedora239 W. 4th St. (Charles St) – Loved this place at first sight and only got better all evening.  Amazing bartender, Amy, who made us want to come back night after night.  Gabriel Stulman’s (former partner in the Little Owl) specialty is taking small spaces, and turning them into the kind of corner-bar destinations that you’re more likely to find in Williamsburg or Fort Greene. Fedora has eight tables, a great bar (with many very friendly regulars), and a menu filled with hearty choices like Shiitake, Trumpet, Oyster Mushrooms with Poached Egg and Brown Butter; Pork Belly Salad; Spring Chechen with Foie Gras Stuffing & Fava Beans; Ricotta Gnocchi with Braised Lamb and English Peas.  But also has oysters on the half-shell and a wonderful Yellowfin Tuna Crudo!
  • Hearth – 403 E. 12th St (between 1st and Avenue A); 646-602-1300 – Marco Canora, former chef at Craft, did a full remake of his restaurant in 2016, where he nixed traditional appetizers and entrees in favor of shared plates, and expanded the menu to reflect healthful, nutrient-dense dishes including his famous brodo. The old Hearth wasn’t cheap, but the new version is expensive. Small plates add up, and it’s likely that a proper dinner for two will exceed $100 per person after tax and tip.  But it’s worth it; the price is in line with the high quality of the food that Canora and his chef de cuisine, Luigi Petrocelli, are sending out. (The better deal, for those willing to give up a bit of control, is the six-course, $78 tasting, drawn from the a la carte menu.).
  • High Street on Hudson – 637 Hudson St (at Horatio) – Definitely make this your regular breakfast or brunch place! Partners Ellen Yin and chef Eli Kulp (from Philly and famous for hearty breakfasts, interesting tweaks on classic sandwiches, serious breads & sinful pastries) opened a similar NYC restaurant.  Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner (with a $60 “Leave It To Us” prix fixe). Don’t forget to bring home some bread from their bakery.

  • I Sodi – 105 Christopher St., 1212-414-5774 – small, intimate space with some of the best Tuscan cooking in NY.  Delightful service at the bar or at a table. (isodinyc.com)
  • L’Artusi -228 W. 10th St., 1212-255-5757 – creative small-plate Italian fare, that is bar-centric  (I am in heaven) has two bar areas  with 30 seats and excellent bartenders.  You must order one of the Crudos, and don’t miss the pastas, and side vegetables.   (lartusi.com)

  • Joseph Leonard – 170 Waverly Place – Another neighborhood gem from restaurateur Gabriel Stulman.  This French bistro manages to be great at any  time of day. At breakfast there’s croque monsieur and avocado toast, at dinner there’s steak frites and oeufs mayonnaise, and in between there’s lunch and late-afternoon snacks. The kitchen even stays open until 2 am, serving a late-night menu that ranges from a burger to a goat cheese omelette. It’s one of those rare restaurants guaranteed to feed you well no matter when you show up.
  •  Loring Place – 21 W 8th Street, 1212-388-1831 – Dan Kluger (ABC Kitchen)  opened his own place. The restaurant is lovely and has a comfortable bar room where you can eat and drink.   Everything is locally sourced, and seasonal, and he prepares a large part of the menu in his wood burning oven, grill and smoker box.  Known for his vegetables he serves delicious wood-grilled broccoli with pistachio-mint dressing, and a celery Caesar salad.  He also house-mills his flour for the in-house baked bread and pizza’s.  But now for the punch line…I have never wanted to return, and my husband and friend who accompanied me feel the same way.  But most everyone else I talk to loved it, so try it, and let me know what you think.
  • Loyal – 289 Bleecker St (Seventh Ave) – Chef, John Fraser (Nix and Dovetail) opened an American brasserie in the West Village.  Really enjoyed Dovetail, but afraid I can’t recommend his new addition.  I loved the bartender, Matthew, and the atmosphere is inviting, if you arrive very early, but gets packed and very noisy quickly.  And the food…boring is the first word that comes to mind.  And we tried quite a few items, each more disappointing than the next.  The only thing that looked interesting was the burger with duck fat fried tater totters…we gave up at this point and didn’t try it.  See if you have better luck.
  • Lucien – 14 1st Avenue (between 1st and Avenue A); 212-260-6481 – Craving a trip to Paris, look no further.  This traditional French bistro with fading mirrors, steak frites, and not much elbow room, is your choice. They have been in business for 20 years amid all the hot new upcoming East Village spots, but sometimes you just need an old fashioned traditional food, prepared well, and recognizable!

  • Market Table – 54 Carmine Street – Bustling New American eatery with huge windows & an emphasis on farm-fresh fare. The menu is filled with simple, comforting dishes that change based on what’s in season.
  • Mary’s Fish Camp – 64 Charles Street -except for a couple of salads and dessert, everything on the menu involves, as you would imagine, seafood. The vibe is New England summer, but the food ranges far beyond a great lobster roll to include everything from Louisiana crab au gratin to red snapper posole.

  • Mimi – 185 Sullivan St (nr. Bleeker), 212-418-1260  – Small, friendly, warm, Village bistro with French roots but a interesting twist on each dish.  Chef Liz Johnson (25 years old) changes the menu constantly serving odd little flavorful wonders.  Some examples are the asparagus dressed in smoky porridge with bits of fresh uni,  the duck a l’orange presented with the head on, douced in Grand Marnier, then lit on fire at your table, or fresh-made gnocchi layered with uni and white asparagus.  (http://miminyc.com)
  • Minetta Tavern –  113 MacDougal St., 1212-475-3850 – Keith McNally remodeled this old Greenwich Village mainstay.  French cuisine and great steaks.  Try any of the specials and the famous Black Label Burger is a must.  Hard to get reservations, but if you arrive when they open, or just time it perfectly, you can get a seat a the inviting bar and have dinner with the friendly and helpful bartenders.   (minettatavernnyc.com)
  • Monofuku Noodle Bar – 171 First Avenue (between 10th and 11th streets); 212-777-7773 – The first restaurant in David Chang’s East Village Momofuku empire, Noodle Bar still is filled with crowds daily looking for big, slurpy, savory bowls of ramen. In addition to the classic ramen and pork buns, seasonal dishes and soups are always on offer. Go with friends and try the fried chicken dinner: two whole fried chickens, one Southern-style, the other Korean. If you’re feeling really decadent, make it a fried chicken and caviar dinner.
  • Otto – Greenwich Village – 1 Fifth Avenue, 1212-995-9559 – Mario Batali & Joe Bastianich’s thin crust pizza joint with great pizza, pastas, charcuterie and tapas options. The dining room is packed, noisy, and looks like a pizza parlor. So unless you are there with your young children, only eat at the long bar. This serious wine bar, has great bartenders (Dennis is my favorite), and if you’re unsure of which of the numerous wines by the glass to choose, they will happily offer you a tasting.  Weekend afternoons at the bar is almost 100% regulars (all locals) who are always friendly, engaging you in conversations about food, politics, and NYC!  Try the olive oil gelato for dessert, you’ll love it.  (ottopizzeria.com)
  • Pearl Oyster Bar – 18 Cornelia Street –   New England seafood menu whose simple seafood includes a revered lobster roll.  No-reservations, so plan on waiting or go really early.
  • Pylos – 128 East 7th street (Between Avenue A and 1st Avenue); 212-473-0220 –  Serving classic Greek favorites but with a gourmet twist, it is almost like jumping on a plane to Athens.  You can find all your favorite Greek classics, like moussaka and spanakopita, but you can also try some interesting dishes you have not seen before.  Great staff is friendly and will help you with recommendations.
  • Rosie’s – 29 East 2nd Street (Between Bowery and 2nd Avenue); 212-335-0114 –  Their are all the familiar standbys, like quesadillas and tacos, as well as some harder-to-find eats like Sikil Oak, a mayan pumpkin seed dip. The drink menu is just as impressive, with flavorful margarita flavors like passion fruit-habanero. If you’re craving variety, order a tequila or mezcal tasting flight to pair with your meal.
  • Sushi Katsuei – 357 6th Ave, New York, NY 10014, 212-463-0039 – newly opened in Manhattan, in the Sushi Soto space  (original is in Park Slope, Brooklyn), serving excellent, affordable omakase and Japanese options a la carte.  Chef Anug Ko Win  told Eater ” I don’t like the prices to be too high because I want people to relax and enjoy”. This small, modern space, is comfortable with very attentive service.  Large Saki list but limited wine choices.  

  • Sushi Nakazawa – 23 Commerce Street, 1212-924-2212, sushinakazawa.com –   you can easily walk pass this unassuming store front, but from the moment you realize the lovely brown door is the entrance, you have entered a Zen atmosphere where the tensions of the day dissolve.  Have a drink before dinner, as the bartender is great company, and will engage you in lively conversation (I actually prefer to eat at this bar as it is the only place you can order a la carte). If making reservations, you can either sit at the Sushi Bar (if you are lucky to snag a reservation for this coveted spot) or at a table in the small, sophisticated dining room.  Chef Daisuke Nakazawa serves a twenty-course Sushi omakase  menu with ingredients sourced domestically and internationally. He shows his love of this cuisine in each piece that is presented, oh so beautifully.  It was delicious, some of the best sushi I have had.  Good wine and Sake list and service attentive and friendly.  A great overall experience. (http://sushinakazara.com)
  • Takahachi – 85 Avenue A (between 1st Avenue and Avenue A); 212-505-6524 –  Local, reasonable sushi sanctuary where you’ll find every kind of sushi or roll your heart desires.  They also have kushiyaki skewers for as little as $1.50 a piece, so you can snack on shishito peppers, okra and bacon, or squid, grilled to perfection in-between your sushi binge.
  • The Spotted Pig -314 W 11th Street – April Bloomfield’s gastropub is always crowded and continues to be a hot spot with celeb sightings.  No reservations so expect a wait (try to nab seats at the downstairs or upstairs bar if possible).  Great modern European dishes and, what I think, is the best burger in town (and oh those fries, shoe string sized cooked with slivers of garlic and rosemary).

  • Tartine – 253 W 11 Street – BYOBs are almost impossible to fine in Manhattan, which is part of what makes this tiny French bistro such a treasure. Grab your favorite bottle of wine, order a big bowl of steamed mussels or a classic steak au poivre, and you’ll understand why people keep lining up for a spot at one of these cramped tables (been around for over 20 years).  Great breakfast and brunch also.
  • Tartulia – 359 6th Avenue – When it comes to tapas restaurants, this is about as authentic as you’ll find in NYC. Opt for as many of the small plates as you can eat paired with one of their wonderful Spanish wines (good wine list). The big bar up front, the warm wood banquettes in the back, and the big open wood oven, make this place cozy and welcoming.
  • The Little Owl – 90 Bedford Street – When it opened 10 years ago it was one of the hottest restaurants, but it has settled into a tiny neighborhood mainstay.  Serving great, Mediterranean-style dishes, it is famous for it’s gravy meatball sliders (made from a blend of beef, veal, pork, and covered with tomato gravy on a small garlic roll) & spiced sugar beignets .
  • Tuome – 536 E. 5th Street (near Ave B), 646.833.7811 – not sure what took me so long to get here, but it will certainly become one of my regular haunts.   Chef Thomas Chen (from 11 Madison)  cooks contemporary American with Asian influences.  Space is small, rustic, intimate, with great service, and East Village casual.   Don’t miss the Octopus with pork XO sauce; Chicken Liver Mousse with New York maple; and Crispy Deviled Eggs with Chili for appetizers.  On the mains, Striped Bass with Black Lentils, Bonito and English Peas; Chicken Porridge with Basil Sauce; and the Pig Out for two (Berkshire Pork, Spicy Peanut Noodle and Condiments). like sticky rice with duck fat. SOOO Good!
  • Via Carota – 51 Grove Street (7th Ave), 1212-255-1962 –  Highly recommended by my fellow foodie, Mus! And I totally agree with him.  Jody Williams and Rita Sodi are the dynamic chef duo at this warm, casual, Italian restaurant.  Williams wonderful French restaurant Buvette, and Sodi’s Italian one, I Sodi, are right in the neighborhood and this is their first venture together.  And the combo really works.  The pasta’s delicious as is everything on the menu.   (viacarota.com)
  • Wallflower –  235 W 12th St – The partially hidden restaurant is where you go for a rendezvous or lying low. Chef Stafford-Hill, previously at Adour Alain Ducasse,  is cooking excellent French food in this small, charming space.  And they offer great cocktails!
  • Zadie’s Oyster Room –  413 E. 12th St – Chef Marco Canora, from Hearth, converted his wine bar into an Oyster room with a vintage menu (tribute to the oyster rooms and cellars that dominated NYC in the 1890’s).  Oysters are served in multiple styles; raw, pickled, fried, boiled, baked, steamed and poached.  “Oysters and seaweed, they obviously go well together” states Canora, and seaweed is woven into the menu enough that he almost called it the oyster and seaweed room.

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