As a native New Yorker I know my way around a restaurant truth be told I am a bit of an insufferable foodie. I love fine dining something fierce but with restaurants popping up faster than you can say “check please” I will narrow your search so you don’t waste your nights out in the city that never sleeps (but that surely eats!)
The Golden Hour
Never heard of it? well maybe that’s because the High Line Hotel is notorious for a summer pop up restaurant and the names and vibe change annually and they are normally a complete snooze no offense. This year it’s the Golden Hour and it’s an oyster bar so I am a fan simply because I have never met an Oyster I didn’t love. The set up is half french bistro half jungle and I’m pretty sure I saw some Tiki torches as well when I went. The oysters were delicious however as were the crudos and the ceviche. A more casual set up I would definitely hit up this spot for drinks and apps so it’s a yes for me overall but again I could be biased because of my love of oysters.
First of all you need to know Spanky Van Dyke if you want to get the table because at this Balthazar offshoot it’s all about who you know otherwise you will wait 2 hours+. Lucky for me Spanky hooked me and my friend up and the people watching was fantastic. Spanky was hosting the last time I was there as reservations are notoriously difficult to score at this Tribeca haunt which also happens to be my old hood (lived in the area for 4 years). To be honest my friend and I thought the food and wine offerings were just ok. I loved the people watching but for all the hoopla I was certainly expecting more. The turbot was good and my fluke tartare was as well it just didn’t wow me in any way so I am sadly going to have to give it a NEXT unless of course you scored a res and want to people watch because I will say the Rose Piscine was almost worth the trip they did win my vote for inventive cocktail list this cocktail is Rose, Vodka, St germain, pamplemousse (that’s Grapefruit thank you very much) and soda water.
I have long been a fan of LeCouCou so when La Mercerie opened I knew I just had to give it a try. Well it was what you would expect modern french faire in a retail/design location. I would say yes for a great Soho lunch spot I would not choose this spot for dinner. Salads and pastries are a yes and let’s leave it at that but very visually appealing and definitely a yes for me for a lunch should you find youself in that area.
From the same people who brought you Charlie Bird and Pasquale Jones this restaurant in the Hudson Yards is definitely one to check out. The space is sexy for sure leather upholstered tables with green and gold ceilings. It?s a spot you?re going to want to check out either for a date night or with a fun group. From the crudo sampler to the wood roasted octopus to the charred snap peas with ramps and peppers the flavors are sharp and decadent. I ate the duck ragu the first time I went but it was off the menu the second time and had the black bass and the quadrelli with roasted asparagus, chanterelles & ricotta. They certainly impressed this foodie which is no small feat. And if you are a fan of New York City history the reason why it?s called legacy records is because the building that holds the restaurant is the former building where Legacy recordings used to be which was a division of Sony Music. Who doesn’t want to have dinner in a place where hit records were made it makes for a great story.
Una Pizza Napoletana
After 9 years this once famous pizza joint is back in NYC after a stint in San Fran! My verdict is it?s still really amazing Neopolitan pizza and definitely worth the trip to Orchard street, however it?s not just pizza anymore and the beef crudo with pistachio & olive was really tremendous and I loved the chick peas and raw lobster. Some may think New York has enough pizza well to that I say head on over to Una and prepare to be amazed.
Simon & The Whale
Ok so it?s sort of in a weird part of town where kips bay meets Gramercy & it?s in the Freehand hotel which before going to eat here I had never even heard of. But when you eat here you realize that what seemed like another Mediterranean restaurant has so much more depth and more layers than I ever would have expected. I guess it?s just your textbook case of judging a book by its cover. Let?s just say they have a bacon & Gouda zeppole and I barely even eat bacon but I’ve never met a zeppole I didn’t like and this one was no different. I?m not trying to tell you this restaurant is sexy because it?s not but I will tell you that you?ll find something for everyone and you?ll be impressed by the dish composition so if you are stuck in that part of town let Simon & The Whale be your silver lining.
Chefs Table at Brooklyn Fare
Ok hold on a second, did you know that this is actually on the west side in Hudson Yard? Well I didn’t until my San Fran foodie friend scored us a reservation here a couple weeks ago. This was a true culinary experience it was like Masa meets Per Se in both exclusivity and the Japanese fine dining with French influence. What didn’t we eat we had everything from Oysters and fluke and Sardines and Cod to Lobster with veal ravioli and fois gras with Wagyu beef and truffles. This is an experience and a must if you are into that incredible omakase experience and have about $600-800 per person to spend on a meal. This is definitely foodie heaven and i will forever be indebted to my friend for taking me to this wonderland. I’ve had other meals for that amount in NYC that have left me high and dry but you won?t find that here if you can get in here you can?t miss it. Oh and the wine list may set you back another paycheck but oh for the love of France is it impeccable. But we sort of knew it had to be to get 2 Michelin stars, huh?