We’re spoiled for choice in New York and I’ll never stop discovering new restaurants, which makes this blog entry a little bit difficult but also a great excuse to eat out as much as I can. Here’s a selection of my favourite restaurants so far, some obvious choices and some I’ve stumbled upon myself.
The Dead Rabbit has won several awards including World’s Best Bar and obviously a popular choice because it’s always packed. The bar itself was pretty standard but the food was so satisfying. If you’re in need of a hangover cure, get the chicken pot pie. It’s the kind of meal you have to finish even when you’re so full you could burst. Well worth the food baby. I have to head back some Sunday after a wild Saturday night out.
They’re mostly famous for brunch but we went here for dinner and it was just as magical. As unusual as it sounds, the soup dumplings are so tasty just like everything else I’ve tried here. You couldn’t fault any plate. The service is exceptional too, always at hand for whatever you need. It can be expenisve when you’re having drinks so it’s definitely a treat yourself spot.
Located in the Gramercy Park Hotel, Maialino is a great spot for a meal to catch up with family or friends in a less-hectic area of Manhattan. It’s just very relaxed and the food is delicious, especially the desserts. The servers were really friendly and always there without making you feel like they’re waiting for you to order something else, giving you time to chat while digesting your food.
Santina has one of those menus you have to study for a while because everything sounds so good. They have a lot of original dishes you have to try which is what I love most about trying new places. I’d recommend ordering one of their chickpea pancakes for an appetizer, especially the Avocado Trapanese which I think is their most popular. The restaurant itself is bright and spacious with pretty chandeliers for the easily distracted like myself.
If you’re a pizza fan wandering around Hell’s Kitchen, B Side is a perfect choice for you. New York is famous for pizza but not the kind of pizza that tickels my fancy. The only time you’ll find me eating a 99c pizza slice is 4am when the bars are closed and it’s most convenient/ still open. B Side serves artisanal pizza cooked in a wood-burning oven. It seemed like a younger option too with mostly young professionals dining, probably because it’s a perfect place to go on a mid-week date. I’m taking applications for dates to B Side by the way. Must not be vegan.
I’m not big into seafood, in fact I never order it but if you want to ease yourself in, it’s a great place to start. My friends and I got a bunch of small plates between us and I tasted everything epecting to wince at anything seafood, but I actually really enjoyed every plate. Okay, still my favourite was the mushroom spaghetti but the seafood was still one of the best I’ve tried.
My personal food tourguide Marla brought me here. I never second guess her suggestions because she always finds the best hidden spots and I love love love quirky restaurants. It’s sort of like an experience in itself just dining here. You chose your meat and they bring out multiple sides before cooking the meat at your table.
I can’t write about food without mentioning a great spot for bar snacks. Tanner Smiths is best known for their cocktails but the food is also to die for. The pulled pork nachos are the best comfort food. The best part is you don’t feel sluggish after it because that’s what turns me off bar food the most. A lot of bars have small kitchens for the sole purpose of getting hungry drinkers in. Not Tanners, the food alone would draw me in.
If you go here, ask for a table in the patio/garden, it’s super cute (said in the most American of American accents). I have to admit, I was boring and just went for pizza but it really had me still drooling over it weeks later. The only downside is the name. La Lanterna di Vittorio isn’t very memorable, I had to whip out Google Maps and retrace my steps just to get it right.
I discovered this place by accident. I was actually taking a friend to East Village to try La Caverna which was closed and we strolled around the area reading menus. We made such a great choice and I’m sort of annoyed at myself I havent thought of this place when recommending restaurants to other visitors. It was so tasty and the atmosphere was really chill, great for off-peak lunch or dinner when you want to sit for a bit. Their Grandmother’s Tomato Gravy dish is perfection.
There are countless restaurants, bars and ice-cream stores on my list and I plan to get to them all. I’ll never write good things about a restaurant after a bad experience which is problematic because many of the most-Instagrammed aren’t at all what you might expect. I went to brunch at Pietro Nolita in the Lower East Side. It was all over my Insta feed for being the all-pink brunch spot. It’s like walking into a Barbie Doll house. BUT, the food was meh and it’s so obvious they want you in and out a quickly as possible. Myself and Tash were there for probably 20 minutes. They were constantly staring at tables to pounce whenever a drink was finished, a plate was empty or a card was inserted in the check book. Negative Nancy over here but doesn’t that carryon just ruin your experience?
My next stop is Panna II Garden, the BYOB Indian restaurant in the Lower East Side that shines Christmas lights all year round..
On a scale of one to Buddy the Elf..