Barbuto is quintessential New York City dining at its best. The atmosphere is great and inviting with huge garage doors that are open whenever the temperature hints at warmer weather. Chef Jonathan Waxman’s chicken may be one of the most famous dishes, but don’t miss out on the pastas, especially the rigatoni alla bolognese.
775 Washington Street., NY, NY / Phone: 212.924.9700
Peasant is a great date night restaurant in Nolita. I love it because its authentic, rustic Italian with most of the menu cooked from the gorgeous wood-burning oven, which is the focal point of the dining room. Splurge on the rabbit lasagne and suckling pig, both are mind-blowingly good.
194 Elizabeth Street., NY, NY / Phone: 212.965.9511
Upland serves California -inspired cuisine right here in New York City. Chef Justin Smillie’s menu is rock solid with something for everyone. My advice is go in a group and share some of my favorites like ‘njuda pizza, torpedo beets and a roasted short rib for two. Or take yourself, sit at the bar and get the burger.
345 Park Avenue South., NY, NY / Phone: 212.686.1006
We go to ABC Kitchen whenever we can. On more than one occasion, we have ordered this roasted squash toast for an appetizer and then ordered it again at some point in the meal because we just needed more.
35 East 18th Street., NY, NY / Phone: 212.475.5829
I love Max – there’s one in my neighborhood, and it’s the perfect little Italian place. The chicken liver crostini has the perfect balance of liver and bread, and the lasagna is so delicious and hearty that it’s ridiculous.
181 Duane Street., NY, NY / Phone: 212.966.5939
Anything Daniel makes is delicious and amazing.
60 East 65th Street., NY, NY / Phone: 212.288.0033
Amazing wine, beers and salumi – and you can’t beat the Manhattan skyline view from their roof.
200 5th Ave., NY, NY / Phone: 212.937.8910
Love the spicy lamb face salad at Xi’an Famous Foods. Sounds weird, but it’s delicious!
81 St. Mark’s Place., NY, NY
Keste is an authentic Neapolitan pizzeria in the heart of Greenwich Village and is by far the best pizza I’ve found outside Naples. Try any of their pies and don’t be afraid to order an entire one for yourself. And they deliver!
271 Bleecker Street., NY, NY / Phone: 212.243.1500
Whenever anyone asks me what my favorite restaurant in New York is, I say Crispo. I am a huge fan of the pastas, and my wife Pam can’t live without the pork shank. We love the place so much that we got married here and celebrated our 10 year anniversary with a huge party. Chef Frank Crispo does a great job of making us feel at home.
240 West 14th Street., NY, NY / Phone: 212.229.1818
I love this West Village spot. The food that chef Joey Fortunato prepares and the atmosphere which he creates are unbeatable. I also worked with Joey at Prix Fixe a few years ago.
259 West 4th Street., NY, NY / Phone: 212.691.9359
Back when I worked at Terrance Brennan’s Prix Fixe, David Pasternack was my Sous Chef. Now David works at Esca, and I can’t get enough of it. Whenever I am looking for a great seafood meal, I go here.
402 West 43rd Street., NY, NY / Phone: 212.564.7272
Its a tiny restaurant featuring peking duck and other asian bites alongside some creative drinks.
529 1/2 Hudson Street., NY, NY / Phone: 212.691.9700
A classic French bistro on the Upper West Side, this place is an institution serving classic French dishes. Its family run and been open since 1984! My son loves the escargot.
102 West 86th Street., NY, NY / Phone: 212.496.0458
I like going to Lincoln Center to see the ballet or the opera and when I’m not eating at my restaurant, Landmarc, one of my favorite restaurants in the neighborhood is Daniel Boulud’s Boulud Sud. The sea urchin and crab tartine, as well as the cured Spanish anchovies are some of my favorites.
20 West 64th Street., NY, NY / Phone: 212.595.1313
White Gold is a full-service whole animal butcher shop and eatery on the Upper West Side. It’s really one of my favorite spots since it open in 2017. I like to go in the morning and grab their AH-mazing egg sandwiches and pick out freshly butchered meats for dinner. Its got an old school feel you just don’t see anymore and I love it.
375 Amsterdam Ave., NY, NY / Phone: 212.362.8731
It’s not inexpensive….BUT it will be one of your most memorable dining experiences ever. What Chef Dan Barber is doing with food and his farm is absolutely mind blowing and you will regret never experiencing his restaurant.
360 Bedford Road, Pocantico Hills, NY / Phone: 914.366.9600
I love to come to this place for breakfast and enjoy the dried scallop congee. It’s no frills but very authentic and the best congee I can find outside of China.
100 Allen Street, NY, NY / Phone: 212.941.1818
Arturo’s Pizza ( no website)
Circa-1957 Greenwich Village pizzeria famed for its coal-oven-fired pies & live jazz. Its fun, classic New York. Splurge and get a pie or two.
106 West Houston Street, NY, NY / Phone: 212.677.3820
This place is near my office so I may be biased but, I really do think their ramen is amazing. They offer great lunch combos as well ice cold beer.
575 6th Avenue, NY, NY / Phone: 646.998.5754
It’s true, I used to work with the Chef and Owner, Al but this should be on your list no matter what. Chef Di Meglio’s seasonal menus adapt old world cooking using an open kitchen wood-burning oven and open-fire grill. All of the pastas are made on-site and by hand.
26 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY / Phone: 347.987.4500