New York Restaurants

This is a long long long awaited long long long post. Epic. Food porn. I hope. I've spent 6 months eating in NYC. Here's the report card. I thought I'd quickly put the restaurants into categories to make it easy (Somewhat similar to Chicago Restaurants):

(Note: I can't afford some of the true top notch places... so there won't be the Alinea (yum yum yum) equivalents such as Per Se, Ko, L'Atelier, etc... and I'll try to include some better pictures from the meals)

Best food, best value for money, you must visit, etc etc
  • $$$: Peter Lugar (Porterhouse for 2; see review)
  • $$: Eleven Madison Park (lunch, lobster, why don't I have a review!?), Jean George (lunch, seafood; see review), Katz Deli (mmm... hot pastrami; see Deli face off 1, 2, and 3), Nobu (Restaurant Week menu, black cod; see review), The Modern (Restaurant Week menu, duck; see review), Cookshop (Calamari, food you shouldn't miss)
  • $: Shake Shack (Burger), Di Fara (Pizza, see review), Bill's Bar (Burger, Milkshake), Artichoke (Pizza), Habana Cafe (Grilled corn)
If you want real steak, you go to Peter Luger
Jean George's lunch is a great deal with top notch seafoodEleven Madison Park served the best lobster I've had all my life
Also on the "the best" list from Eleven Madison Park - Caramel Chocolate Cake
Black Cod Miso, the bread and butter of Nobu (their sushi is good but not worth the price)
The Modern (In MOMA) makes excellent duckDessert was excellent as well
Katz's pastrami sandwich is really one of a kind... tho very expensive for a sandwich!
Cookshop had one of the best calamari I've ever had. It was unassuming at first, but really surprised me when I ate it. Nice little gem hid near High Line Park
Shake Shack has one of the best fast food burgers around the country... better than In 'n Out... tho their Black & White milkshake were suspect twiceNot sure why I have a soft spot for grilled corn from Habana Cafe... mmm... grilled corn
It is a true pleasure to watch Master Dom at work in Di FaraDi Fara pizza - where Italian food conquers TF
If someone else is paying, you're getting some of the best food around
  • Yasuda (Yasuda's station, omakase of course; see review), 15 East (Uni on squid ink pasta needs more uni), Del Frisco's (any cut, really, but with foie gras butter... damn)
Much like watching Di Fara's master do his thing, you have to watch Yasuda do his
Yes, the uni fell off... but it gave me good orgasm
One of the high of high times at Yasuda: Toro
Yes, Yasuda deserves four pictures. Custard sushi was one of its kind: I have never had anything quite like this (and it was very very very good)
15 East is a hidden gem... the uni was way too small on the squid ink pasta, but oh was it so yummy
Good food
  • Priced right: Junior (signature cheesecake), Nook (brunch or lunch), King's Papaya (iconic hot dog), La Esquina (Mexican), Dessert Truck (bye bye, sigh), Gascogne (one of the best creme brulees I've had, simple french), 26 Seats (duck, simple french), Clinton Street (to die for pancakes), 2nd Ave Deli (see review), Num Pang (SE Asia sandwiches, see review), Fivepoints (brunch, food you shouldn't miss), Yakitori Totto (Japanese BBQ, food you shouldn't miss), Tabla (Donut with trio sauce), Momofuku Noodle Bar (Chicken lunch), Hagi (Japanese bar food), Porchetta (Prochetta), Barney Greengrass (Sturgeon scramble... my goodness), Tartine (brunch), Gramercy Tavern (lunch; see review)
  • Over priced: Norma (any sweet brunch dish is super super excellent), Grimaldi (pizza), Isabella (brunch), Fatty Crab (Asian fusion, crab), DBGB (brunch), Babbo (Italian that impressed TF), One if by Land Two if by Sea (Seafood), Sambuca (Tiramisu, best in NY)
Junior cheesecake... it's a landmark, a tourist trap... and it's goodA hot dog is a hot dog... but a Papaya King hot dog... now that's something else. Best bang for the buck meal in the city, perhaps!Gascogne's creme brulee... I almost forgot this gem. Absolutely perfectly done. And the french food (and wait staff) ain't bad either
Clinton Street Baking Company and its Blueberry pancakes have people waiting for hour(s): it's worth the waitThe donut at Tabla was out of this world... and its Asian fusion sandwiches aren't bad eitherChicken lunch at Momofuku may be a difficult reservation to get... but it's worth the trouble if you like moist and flavorful chicken
Hidden gem: porchetta at Porchetta is juicy and the meat is done impecably
Unfortunately, I only went to Gramercy Tavern once - the meatball was excellent
Sweet brunch from Norma's is great and overpriced; stay away from savory stuff
Who can say no to Sambuca's tiramisu?
Decent food
  • Priced right: Smorgas chef (Swedish chain, sure why not), Ipuddo (Ramen, roasted peppers, not worth the 2 hour wait though), Kyotofu (Tofu-based dessert), Won Dee Siam (Thai), Van Leeuwen (Ice cream), Alta (Tapas), Caracas Arepas (S American sandwich), Jewel Bako (Sushi)
  • Over priced: Le Pain Quotidien, Luxee (bye bye), Crumbs (cupcakes), Max Brenner (hot chocolate, dessert), Bubby's (pancake, brunch), Zaitzeff (burger), Ma Pache (Asian fusion)
Ippudo's wait is totally not worth it... but you can get the roasted peppers at the bar (I suggest leaving after you eat them... maybe add the pork bun)

TF likes Crumb's Red Velvet... and I think we probably had about 30 cupcakes in 6 months. It's yummy but a little steep at $3.5

I'm a sucker for good brunch
  • Penelope, Prune, Balthazar (Bread basket!), Cafe Orlin, Petite Abeille (waffles look amazing, but the savory stuff is not to be missed), Stanton Social
Stanton Social had some nice little dishes... but very expensive, as are most brunch places in New York (thanks, Sex in the City)
Only if someone pays you (Just take my word for it)
The totally overrate Carnegie Deli... and they dare charge a supplemental charge for shared sandwiches... I feel bad for the tourists. Go to Katz!
AJ Maxwell's "half cheesecake" for our restaurant menu... WTF
Sorry I had to end on a bad note for food, but I feel like you need to know these things. Probably missed quite a few restaurants I've been. Oh well, if I forget, it's probably not that good anyway. Hope you enjoyed this!


chaubella said...

WOW, have we really eaten at that many places? after babbo, i decided to give italian another chance (at gramercy tavern... delicious) and today at fig & olive. disappointed. going back to vetoing italian. a

The Pretender said...


Some of those places were with me. I dunno if he took you there afterwards. Fig and Olive is spanish/mediterranean if I remember correctly.

Ivan. said...

That's the beauty of NY, there are just so MANY good restaurants.

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