So we frequent NYC quite a bit as well. Naturally, decided to compile an ongoing list of places we’ve visited with some useful tidbits for you should you happen to be travelling there.
(SEE FULL MAP AT BOTTOM OF THE PAGE)
Azul Bistro (152 Stanton St) - Compared to its star-studded peers in the lower east, this little joint carrying the weight of Argentina beef and Mendoza’s finest fell a little flat. Food was well-cooked but lacked flavor, and to top it off, Malbec was served almost frozen and tasted sour. Avoid.
Clinton St Baking Co. (4 Clinton Street) - An incredibly busy brunch spot on the weekends, constantly named among the best in the city. Go early, put your name down, go do something else for a while, come back. Quite tasty, killer pancakes, specials are little twists outside the usual breakfast foods. Awesome friend green tomatoes. Obviously, they bake like champs as well if you want a baked good.
Chinatown Brasserie (380 Lafayette Street) - Popular Dim Sum spot outside Chinatown. Get the watercress dumplings with shrimp and pork. Get the scallion-bacon pancakes with hoisin. Probably should get a reservation too.
DessertTruck Works (6 Clinton Street) - It’s beside Clinton Street Baking Co, and it’s also awesome. Warm chocolate bread pudding that beat Bobby on Throwdown is here. Honey rosemary ice cream is a MUST. Good croissants in the morning as well.
Ed’s Lobster Bar (25 Clinton St) - Cozy little spot with a fairly unique concept. Enjoyed the chilled seafood salad, lobster bisque was decent as well. Had a variety of sliders that were also decent.
Empellon (230 West 4th Street) - If you’re wondering what can go in a soft shell taco, this place has a bunch of answers. They’re best? Scallops, cauliflower, capers, and spicy raisin puree. The sweetbreads and roasted maitake mushroom was also tasty.
Esca (402 West 43rd Street) - One of Batali and Bastianich’s lesser known spots. This one’s a high class seafood restaurant that more or less delivered. Very large crudo selection, really enjoyed the branzino and hamachi.
Fat Radish, The (17 Orchard Street) - Buried on the corner of Orchard and Canal just where the borders of the lower east side and Chinatown blur. The restaurant’s location, decor, and patrons are bred of the same ironic hipster gene pool. The food was good but nothing spectacular, but there are some very tasty vegetarian dishes on the menu (note: it’s not a veggie or vegan menu). Despite this, the Fat Radish Plate - a smorgasbord of veg, pumpkin puree, sesame dressing and wild rice - was surprisingly flavourful. Solid spot for drinks, dinner with friends, especially if you enjoy the company of hipster foodies in their natural habitat.
Fatty ‘Cue (50 Carmine Street) - The West Village location is the second iteration of the Brooklyn original - it’s barbecue, elevated, and done right. Things on the menu you’ve never heard of mixed with things you’re oh so happy to be familiar with. Had great pork ribs and fried 1/2 rabbit. Carrots with marrow in a tamarind sauce are tasty too. Would recommend the Dark & Stormy cocktail.
Frankies 17 (17 Clinton Street) - Semi-hole-in-the-wall which never disappoints. Been many times, always delivers authentic, delicious, and affordable Italian. Sweet potato and sage ravioli in parmesan broth is exceptional, as is the cavatelli with hot sausage and browned sage butter.
Meatball Shop, The (84 Stanton Street) - A concept that’s taking off everywhere, but the originals do it well with good variety of balls, sliders, heroes, smash, etc. Spicy pork naked balls over polenta or the kitchen sink is the way to go. Their pesto sauce is also quite solid.
Mesa Grill (102 5th Avenue) - Went for brunch here and came away quite happy with it. Spicy chicken, sweet potato hash with poached egg and green chile hollandaise yells Bobby Flay.
Momofuku Ssam Bar (207 2nd Avenue) - Another tough spot to get a seat, but it’s well worth it. Spicy pork sausage and rice cakes with chinese broccoli is awesome. It doesn’t sound awesome, but it’s awesome. Steamed buns are also yum. Everything on the menu is inventive, can’t go wrong.
Prosperity Dumpling (69 Clinton Street) - There are probably a ton of places just like this, but all you need to know is it’s ultra-affordable and very yummy. Grab a bunch of dumplings to go, walk down the street, enjoy.
Prune (54 East 1st Street) - Cozy little place with remnants of an old diner. It’s got a perfect menu for those braving the NYC winter. Lamb shank braised with tomato, cinnamon, cumin, and preserved lemon will warm you up in an instant. Roasted bone marrow with parsley salad will put some meat on those bones so you can fearlessly endure the months to come.
Red Rooster (310 Lenox Avenue) - If you’re up for an adventure to Harlem, check out Marcus Samuelsson’s original spot. Nice mix of modern and soul food. Had a great gazpacho and a well-made chicken dish. It’s a good way to try a world-class chef’s food in a more casual atmosphere.
Sant Ambroeus (259 West 4th Street) - COMINGSOON
Scarpetta (355 West 14th Street) - You’ve probably heard you need to go here for pasta. You heard right. The classic spaghetti is great, as is the cavatelli. Also, great braised beef short ribs. Reserve way in advance.
Shake Shack (366 Columbus Avenue) - Only had shakes and fries. I’d reco the peanut butter shake. Probably going to shave off weeks from your life, but you knew that when you walked in.
Smith, The (55 3rd Avenue) - Really well done gastropub. Beer battered string beans are a great little snack. Had a great pork chop with succotash special. Eclectic, fairly inexpensive menu.
Socarrat (284 Mulberry Street) - One of the two paella bars in NYC, this one in SoHo is named for the caramelized crust that forms at the bottom of authentically made paella. They definitely get it right and have plenty of variations and tapas to start as you wait for your paella. Spanish food is a little salty and this place is no exception. Get a glass of the house sangria and you’ll be just fine.
Sorella (95 Allen Street) - A great little rustic Italian restaurant in the outskirts of Chinatown. Highlights include the Pasta Tajarin and the oxtail risotto. The kale salad is nice as well. Eat in the dining room (reserve in advance) not the bar, as the bartender wasn’t very hospitable. Would recommend it all in all.
Spitzer’s Corner (101 Rivington Street) - COMINGSOON
Tapeo 29 (29 Clinton Street) - COMINGSOON
Tasty Hand Pulled Noodle Inc (1 Doyers Street) - TINY spot deep in Chinatown. One of Guy Fieri’s best thing I ever ate in a bowl. Bunch of different noodle selections, had the wide hand-pulled noodles and enjoy my duck dish. No noodle connoisseur, but it was yummy.
Terroir (413 East 12th Street) - Loved this almost cupboard sized spot next to Marco Canora’s Hearth. Entitled the elitist wine bar for everyone: just leave yourself in the hands of the bartender/sommelier. Also, bar snacks are killer. Both the beet risotto balls w/ gorgonzola and the paninis are excellent.
wd-50 (50 Clinton Street) - You come here to be surprised and to experiment with flavours and textures. Had the 12-course tasting and did both, also discovered all those things shouldn’t be in your stomach at one time. Experiment with care, but there’s no doubting the genius behind it all.
Visited by Jacob and/or Em, 2011
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