10 Restaurants That Surprise and Delight
Today I’ll be giving you a treat in the form of a guest post from the lovely Sam from The Kitchen Professor. So let’s give her a warm and wonderful welcome!!!
Whatever your taste and budget, New York has so many restaurants to choose from that you’d struggle to explore them all in a lifetime, let alone a weekend break.
Some of NYC’s culinary institutions are well documented – everybody knows you should try Grand Central Oyster Bar, a steak at Peter Luger and a hotdog at Gray’s Papaya. But we’ve put together a list of 10 more unexpected ways to get a taste of the Big Apple. Check it out below.
#1 Le Coucou
138 Lafayette Street
Boasting divine fish dishes and no fewer than three ways with rabbit, Le Coucou is an old school French restaurant with imagination – and with none of the snobbery. Admire the chandeliers, prop up the bar to soak up the Paris-via-Canal Street vibe, and order the halibut in beurre blanc secure in the knowledge that the waiter won’t snigger at your pronunciation of ‘beurre blanc’.
#2 The Four Horsemen
295 Grand Street, Brooklyn
One of the most exciting places to eat in Brooklyn right now. Run by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, this is a light yet cozy wine bar with friendly staff and an ever-changing menu of delectable small plates: the perfect spot for an intimate dinner with friends. Try the weekend set lunch menu – it’s $28 per person for a finely chosen selection of meat and fish plates.
345, Park Avenue South
Get the taste of California right here in New York! This is a fashionable spot with big wraparound booth, a place to see and be seen – but you’ll be missing out if you opt for a celeb-style dinner of salad and water. Chef Justin Smillie, formerly of Il Buco, is a genius with meat, pasta and vegetables: turn up hungry and eat your heart out.
187 Ninth Ave, Chelsea/507 Columbus Avenue, Upper West Side
Going vegan, whether for health, animal welfare or environmental reasons, might seem daunting if you simply love food. Blossom shows that you have nothing to worry about, with these two gorgeous locations offering cruelty-free foodie fare. Enjoy an intimate dinner in Chelsea or try their open, airy Upper West Side venue. You’ll be dreaming about their cashew cream ravioli for months.
142 Orchard Street
Like The Four Horsemen, Wildair is primarily a wine bar – and it looks like one, with its high tables and shelves of glassware. But the food here is definitely not an afterthought. Fans of really good food come from miles around to marvel at the set menus of six or seven courses. Perch yourself on a stool at one of those high tables and get stuck in. The Wagyu steak is to die for.
Grand Central Terminal, 89 East 42nd Street
Agern is run by Claus Meyer, who co-founded Noma: the two-Michelin-star Danish legend generally considered to be the best restaurant in the world. There are echoes of Noma in Agern’s minimalist, light wood decor, and while the menu is less headline-grabbing than that of its Copenhagen predecessor, it’s a fresh, ever-changing display of its chef’s many talents. Every dish is a winner – don’t skip dessert.
659 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn
If you’re looking for Instagram-worthy fare, look no further – and the bright, locally-grown American food at this relaxed eatery tastes as good as it looks. Chef Greg Baxter gives vegetables – many of them grown right in Olmsted’s back yard – a chance to shine on their own. But fish- and meat-lovers will find plenty to love too, with many healthy options to choose from.
#8 Ivan Ramen
25 Clinton Street
There’s nothing more satisfying than a good bowl of noodles – and Ivan’s imaginative chef promises you an extremely good bowl, plus a range of izakaya-style small plates. Enjoy a quick, tasty lunch or a comforting late-night dinner in this cool, colorful space bedecked with manga artwork. There’s a patio too, in case you prefer your chicken paitan al fresco.
#9 Sushi Nakazawa
23 Commerce Street
If you love sushi, you’ve probably already heard of Sushi Nakazawa. This upmarket omakase den is pricey but worth it: the places has more rave reviews than you can shake a shrimp at. Try it for a dining experience critics call ‘transcendent’.
#10 The Food Sermon
355 Rogers Avenue, Crown Heights, Brooklyn
This tiny corner of the Caribbean offers a big welcome and even bigger flavors. It’s an unassuming, counter-service joint featuring modestly presented build-your-own rice bowls (including veggie options) with tastes to take your breath away. Amen to that!
From Park Avenue to Park Slope, asparagus to zucchini, breakfast bites to eight-course tasting menus: New York has it all. Head out into the concrete jungle with an appetite for adventure as well as great flavors, and you’ll have a culinary experience you’ll never forget.
Sam spent most of her childhood in the family kitchen, watching her mother and father prepare traditional Greek dishes. By the time she was 8 she could make spanakopita with her eyes closed. She blogs over at The Kitchen Professor. When she’s not prepping meals for her kids, she loves to try out new recipes, cookware and kitchen utensils.