The New York Restaurant List 2011

17 May

I liken my food-tastic experiences in New York to Christmas (the gift part): you know it’s coming; there may be a lot of presents (or one special, extravagant present), and there’s a giddy anticipation over the experience of what you’re going to get.

It’s been a while since I last visited New York, so the gifts are stacking up. So like the nice gift-anticipating, law abiding citizen that I am, I decided to make a list (and check it twice):

Prune –  I only found out about this resto when Gabrielle Hamilton’s book came out. With the James Beard notoriety, I’m sure this will be one difficult reservation.

Momofuku – David Chang’s empire is on everyone’s list. I’ll be waiting in line for this one. I would rather do so in NYC  than at the Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto in 2012.  Notes from @maxvaliquette (follow him on Twitter. He’s all kinds of awesome):  the black currant kaffir line soft serve ice cream at momo milk bar in midtown was amazing, but noodle bar ia great resto; ma peche was very good. very very good even. interesting combo of french/asian. nice raw bar too.

Tacombi @Fonda Nolita – apparently, the tacos here are delish and it’s inside a truck inside a garage in Nolita. Very cool concept. Me Likey.

Gentleman Farmer – Wild boar and curried snails are on the menu. But I think I’d like to go here for drinks first.

Shopsin’s – Take a look at the menu and don’t tell me it wouldn’t be an experience trying to make an order.

The Smile  – It’s a restaurant! It’s a store! They have a dog!

Torrisi– recommended by both @maxvaliquette and @jetsetfarryn who know their food and know where to find a good scene.  I love Italian food, so as Liz Lemon would say, “I want to go to there.”

Del Posto – it’s a Batali establishment, which means I am a proverbial knight on a quest for my princess (which can be replaced by his cheeses and pastas).  Babbo, first. Save for a special occasion.

Bacaro – Subterranean and sexy. Me likey.

ABC Kitchen – another store/cafe  hybrid. This may be a good place for lunch. I love their design style too.

Shake Shack. Haven’t been. Told by @kerrinsheldon to go to the Madison Square Location. Expect line ups. LONG line ups.

Freemans – looks like there is good, fresh food here.

La Esquina  (above, photo: from their site)- have been recommended this by more than a few people. Make a reservation. Look for an unmarked door. Or a line-up. Relish in some really great Mexican.

Porsena – downhome Italian. Reasonably priced for NYC. Unpretentious.

Tartine – crowded looking but looks very European and “quaint.”

Cafe Cluny – simple menu and fresh looking interiors. Looks like a go-to for brunch.

Aria Wine Bar – sophisticated yet relaxed place to imbibe.

Robataya  (above photo: ChopsticksNY ) – looks lively and apparently, is affordable as a lunch option.  Plus, I need to broaden my sushi horizons from Kiku sushi (though this is a great place for very affordable sushi).

Fat Radish – I am curious about the Monkfish Vindaloo. Beautiful interiors. Light and airy.

Despana – the food here looks really, really good.

Cafe Select – Cute. Me Likey.

No. 7 – in Brooklyn. Like their bar menu.

Cafe Habana – Not just any fried corn but the BEST fried corn. Late night for a late crowd.

Marshall Stack – a classy bar with a jukebox. Done.

Cafe Habana corn from

Recommended by Tom, who wrote a killer No *BS Guide to NYC (includes shops and hotels):

Public – his brunch pick

Rubirosa – a good pizza/pasta pick. Apparently, I need to be hanging out in Nolita more often.

Photo by Molly Yeh

Recommended by Molly Yeh, who ate at a restaurant a week for a year. Her roundup of the restaurant challenge is here

Doughnut Plant  – creme brulee in a donut format? Please. Transplant me there now.

Terroir – Italiano tapas and charcuterie but if you just want to be fed, they’ll do that too. Molly’s review.

Minetta Tavern – is $26 for a burger worth it? Molly says Yeh.

Piccolo Angolo looks like good Italian comfort food. Good to go in a group.

Co. Pizza Photo from Cup Of JO

Recommended by Cup of JO:

Co. – for pizza.  A favourite of many, including Martha Stewart.

Hampton Chutney – a lunch pick/shop stop in Soho which serves dosas, masala potatoes and sandwiches.  Her rec: #21, with avocado, fresh mozzarella and tomato.

Radegast Hall & Biergarten – A piece of Germany in Brooklyn.

Weather Up 

The Rusty Knot


2 Responses to “The New York Restaurant List 2011”

  1. Sameer Vasta August 17, 2011 at 1:57 am #

    An amazing list! I’ll have to try and visit most of them on my next trip to the city.

    I’ll heartily endorse the recommendations for Torrissi (one of the best meals I’ve had in the city), Momofuku Ssam Bar (ridiculously well-priced for the incredible quality of food), Tartine (a perfect lunch break), and No. 7 (Fort Greene’s such a fun neighborhood). Oh, and if you’re into cheap, delicious, late-night (after-party) perogies, check out Vaselka in the East Village.

    • nearafar August 17, 2011 at 3:56 am #

      Thanks for the compliments. This means a lot coming from you, the consummate foodie. There’s always way too many restaurants to choose from that I had to start listing them. I would absolutely love to get your recommendations for Brooklyn. Email me and we’ll make it into a future blog post. 🙂

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