Any foodie worth their weight in white truffles reads Grub Street.
It's New York Magazine's blog about the NYC restaurant scene, though you'll also find tasty stories about food trends, nutritional advice and pretty much anything you didn't know you needed to know about eating out.
Who better then to nominate their favourite eats around the Big Apple than the Grub Street team themselves? Editor Alan Sytsma, senior editor Sierra Tishgart and associate editor Chris Crowley have got your next trip sorted, meal by meal.
Best fine dining
Alan: "Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Technically, chef Dan Barber's temple of haute-Americana isn't in New York City, which is the whole point. Drive 40 minutes north and suddenly you're on an idyllic country farm, where Barber's staff lovingly grows, picks, prepares, and serves some of the most-cared-for, forward-thinking food in the entire country, if not the world."
Sierra: "Take Root. There are only two staffers at this Carroll Gardens tasting-menu restaurant -- chef Elise Kornack and her wife, Anna Hieronimus, who oversees the wine and front-of-the-house. As a result, everything here feels intimate and personal -- especially because there are only 12 seats."
Chris: "I'm going to be a pain in the ass and say Torrisi Italian Specialties, because it is the 'fine' dining meal, although I don't really frequent tasting tables, that I can't let go of. It represented a perfect moment of brilliantly creative, inspired fine dining made accessible, before it became an excuse to cram everyone together, and everyone who went there is hoping something as great will take its place."
Best brunch spot
Alan: "It takes a lot to get me at a restaurant on a weekend morning, paying too much for eggs. Estela nails it because the usually-mobbed dining room is actually serene, and chef Igancio Mattos's menu is full of dishes that stray from the usual options, including a thoughtful, modern take on a classic breakfast sandwich."
Sierra: "Buvette. The soft-scrambled eggs, steamed in an espresso machine, are worth the wait. (It is also lovely to come to this French restaurant alone, as you can almost always snag a lone seat at the beautiful bar.)"
Chris: "I don't go out to brunch a lot, not that I'm against it or anything, but my go-to in the neighborhood is Fritzl's. It's a pretty ideal neighborhood restaurant, a low key place that let's you get what you want: some brunch standards (pancakes, so on) along with more creative dishes like, variously, burratta chilaquiles and a great sausage sandwich, along with a specular cheeseburger and a veggie burger that can hold its down."
Best hidden gem
Alan: "Long Island Bar. The popular neighborhood bar, on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, isn't exactly under-the-radar, but chef Gabriel Martinez's cooking still feels undervalued by the masses. He's constantly turning out technically perfect versions of revisionist tavern food like beef stroganoff, the Midwestern speciality fried cheese curds, and, recently, a special of "pork and beans" that involved white beans, pork belly, and blood sausage. (He also makes some of the best French fries in the city.)"
Sierra: "Te Company. This tiny tea room, tucked in a West Village apartment building, serves up oolong teas imported from Taiwan, as well as elegant snacks made by a former Per Se chef."
Chris: "La Morada in the South Bronx continues to be under recognised. Its appeal isn't just in its food, which is sometimes near the top of the game for New York's Mexican scene. It includes a rare-for-this-city sandwich (the pambazo) and rare-for-anywhere dish (mole blanco) -- then there's the cafe atmosphere, community spirit, and the activist slant of the Oaxacan family."
Alan: "Katz's. The dirty secret of most 'institutions' is that the food isn't nearly as impressive as it maybe once was. Not so at the iconic Lower East Side delicatessen, where the smoky, fatty, heaping pastrami sandwich is exactly as excellent as you have heard."
Sierra: "Joe's Pizza. It's the best slice in the city, no questions asked."
Chris: "It's been a minute since I've been to Great New York Noodle Town and its heyday may have passed, but it's such a great place to be late at night when the streets at dead and everyone inside is having a hell of a time. The food might be as good as it once was, and there are some real duds on the menu, but as long as you order the roast duck with flowering chives you'll be really good."
Best cheap eat
Alan: "The cheeseburger at JG Melon. Go to the original Upper East Side pub and get a classic cheeseburger. There's no fancy beef blend, no farmer-approved cheese, and certainly no house-baked bun. Instead it's a simple, honest burger cooked on a griddle with decades of flavor built in. It's one of the simplest, most satisfying things you can eat in all of Manhattan."
Sierra: "El Rey. The bright, cheerful Lower East Side coffee shop actually serves outstanding food -- much of it $10 or less. Try the 'avocado del sur' on home-made flatbread, and make sure to add poached eggs."
Chris: "I'm a little obsessed with this weird bar in Elmhurst called Pata Paplean, which I'm pretty positive is the only watering hole here opened by and for young Thai immigrants. They sell cocktails inspired by Thai dishes every day, but on the weekends there's a very good, very cheap noodle pop up that serves one of the city's best, most deliciously sour som tums."
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