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Go-to Restaurants

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for New York City
Level Contributor
3,385 posts
48 reviews
Go-to Restaurants

We haven't done this in a while....

A current thread made me think of this: Often we recommend restaurants to conform with a poster's specific requirements, even though they don't necessarily fit in with our own, personal, top choices. So it would be interesting to hear where you go when you are going for your own enjoyment, no one's telling you what to do....

For me my hit parade is:

In my neighborhood: Felice Gold, where I can sit at the bar and all of the staff knows me too well. I love their salmon tartare, the frenetti or ravioli pasta, or the salmon. I drink the Sebastiano from the owner's family owned vineyard most of the time.

If a friend says they want to come down to my neighborhood (rare), it's Augustine. Usually the souffle (shared) and the trout. And french fries.

If I'm running around and suddenly am hungry and want a treat, I stop at Fedora and eat at the bar. Always something new on the menu that grabs me. And an excellent selection of wines by the glass. Or Dell Anima, their brunch is one of my favorites. And Claudette. A great, great restaurant.

After a night at art galleries in Chelsea or with a friend and we need something good, there's Santina. But somehow, I never eat there alone...no good reason.

Marea if I'm on the Upper West Side, and heading downtown...an excuse to walk a little bit to get there, and then the subway is practically outside the door when I finally leave. That is a bar where everyone talks to everyone else, helped along by the extra pours from the bartender.

If I need to meet a friend on the Upper East Side, it's The Mark, for the Meyer Lemon Parmesan Pasta, and then after dinner, the bizarre conversations you have with random people at the bar. I developed my Felice habit when I lived up town, I used to go 2-3 times a week.

Dinner with "the girls": the two current favorites are Kyma (Kyma chips, the dips, and whole fish, loup de mer, or sea bream) and Coco Pazzo, I've tried other things, but the dish that draws me in is the deconstructed bucatini with grilled sardines.

I mostly stopped eating in the theater district. It's just not that big of a deal to race from work for dinner before a show.

Now that Ed's Chowder House is gone, I mostly eat at Lincoln before the ballet during my spring subscription.

That's the current rotation. What's yours? Good to know where people go over and over.

Edited: 27 September 2018, 22:50
68 replies to this topic
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
529 posts
5 reviews
1. Re: Go-to Restaurants

What a fabulous post Risa!!

Not only some great recommendations but also an insight into your own personal life too which is so nice to hear from a local so thank you!

P.S. You actually made me stop and think about what my choices are from where I live and oh dear....what a boring , domesticated life I lead at times lol! Thanks for the wonderful read :-)

Level Contributor
872 posts
66 reviews
2. Re: Go-to Restaurants

In my neighborhood (UWS): Gennaro, Red Farm, Gari, Bolud Sud, Bistro Cassis. Midtown: Il Corso, Milos, Triomphe, Red Flame Diner. Chinatown: Oriental Garden.

Edited: 27 September 2018, 23:54
3. Re: Go-to Restaurants

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Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
40,423 posts
660 reviews
4. Re: Go-to Restaurants

Has anyone tried Daniel? I hear it is the cream of the crop of places to eat in NYC.

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for New York City
Level Contributor
3,385 posts
48 reviews
5. Re: Go-to Restaurants

Many years ago. It was sublime, although what I really remember is the chocolatey dessert. Not the kind of place most people can hang out at regularly without a trust fund.

Level Contributor
872 posts
66 reviews
6. Re: Go-to Restaurants

It is fabulous. But for me it is at most a once a year indulgence and other great places vie for the one special dinner per year.

New Jersey
Level Contributor
3,911 posts
112 reviews
7. Re: Go-to Restaurants

Living and working in NJ, I don't eat out in NYC frequently and probably average around 15-20 a year. However my go to:

1. Cull & Pistol (Chelsea Market) - I bring out of town friends for the $1 oysters, raw scallops.

2. Amali (near Bloomingdales flagship store) - when friends want to have a wine dinner

3. Peking Duck House (midtown) - when I'm jonesing for duck

4. River Cafe / 21 Club - special occasions

5. The Library at the Public - our recent favorite because of good cocktails and good food

Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
1,495 posts
62 reviews
8. Re: Go-to Restaurants

Great thread for everyone asking "where do locals eat", definitely taking notes

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
10,536 posts
26 reviews
9. Re: Go-to Restaurants

Nice one Tom....Red Farm is the place we go for our first dinner and our last lunch.

Another place on our go to list is Taboon.

And yes, River Cafe for special occasions.

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for New York City
Level Contributor
7,370 posts
51 reviews
10. Re: Go-to Restaurants

I love Daniel, but it is indeed a special occasion restaurant, a place I go to at most maybe four times a year. For me, Daniel is particularly great because it has a full vegetarian menu with multiple options for each course.

With young kids, my husband and I now eat out far less now than we used to, and when we do it’s generally in Flatiron. These are the places we go most often:


ABC Kitchen

ABC Cocina

Beecher’s Cellar

Little Beet Table

BLT Prime

We also like The Smith, which some will sniff at because it is a mini-chain, but has a large, accessible menu and tasty food and is great for groups. When we have ourt-of-town guests, everyone always loves The Smith. :)

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