Our culinary experts and colleagues are Moni Begley, Richard Naly and Randall LaneAs well as brothers Bob, Kip and Tim.
1st West 67th St. (212-787-8767)
This ex is still special. Murals by Howard Chandler Christie are as powerful as ever, and Italian cuisine is equally full. A tenge lead-in for the Polo Aerostore with a spaghetti special Swiss chard and calabrian pepper with sun-dried tomatoes and a Parmesan sauce. Venison is very soft. Flourless chocolate mouse cake with caramelized hazelnuts is the perfect finish for your evening. Maître d ‘sails a tough ship, and the service is excellent.
14 Christopher St. (646-756-4145)
Looking at the decor and tasting the French rentals here and here at Big Brother Bouchery West Village (99 Seventh Avenue South), you can easily pretend that you are in Paris. Everything from grilled octopuses to lamb chops to steak tartars to Pats Ox Fruits de Mer is first class. The sides are also delicious with creamy spinach and ratatouille. The little lemon meringue tart is delicious, but the thick chocolate tart (think creamy chocolate caramel fudge) is divine. One or two house cocktails, La Vie en Rose, and you’ll be a very happy, sweet camper.
155 East 84th St. (646-838-5102)
Veterans Peter Phyllis and Paul Modica have created the perfect antidote to epidemic lockdown and isolation: a restaurant dedicated to casual meals and a few classics, dishes from childhood memories drawn from Grandma and Mom recipes. Start by ordering rice balls with a delicious tomato sauce and fried cauliflower with a dreamy shallow sauce. Chicken pot pie filled with cream, meat and vegetables and topped with golden pastries. The short ribs are served in a dark, rich sauce and mound of mashed potatoes. The mushroom gravy is covered with a piece of mitlof. There are large-leaf creamy spinach, mac and cheese and corn corn super side. Don’t miss out on the Ethereal Lady M Mill crepe cake, rich chocolate cake or apple walnut sour cream pie. The setting is comfortable, and the service is welcome – just like at home
115 between Broadway, Cedar and Thames (212-964-0939)
A truly safe bet for good food in the Financial District. The secure doors of the 1904 commemorative Moslera make an attractive entrance to this converted bank vault. The menu, though limited, is a good mix of pasta, salads, burgers, steaks and fish. If you don’t like hearty beef and Guinness pie, try cold tuna and soba noodle salad or classic cob salad. Save room for sticky toffee pudding, which is as rich in calories as it once was in gold bars. Service efficient and uninterrupted.
73 between Thompson St., Spring and Broome Street (212-925-1613)
This 19-seater Omakes restaurant at SoHo serves very good Japanese classics. Chavan Mushi (steamed egg custard) with lobster and Sukemono (a variety of pickled vegetables) are a great start to the meal. Juicy sashimi is excellent, and the broth with greens is an excellent complement. Take a carafe of Cowboy Yamahai to go with your food, clean your palate with a small bowl of sak sherbet and you will feel full of happiness.
19 East 69th St. (212-794-6419)
Another part of Paris in New York. Tuna tartar with wasabi dressing is accompanied by the most tangy and delicious pickled ginger. frisée aux lardons is a food in itself. Roasted tiger shrimp with fennel and pestis sauce is exciting, and cold poached salmon is a rave. Similarly cream brulee and chocolate mousse. The service is friendly and efficient. We’ll be back.
99 Bank St., just off Greenwich St. (212-597-9099)
A cozy corner place in the west village. Celery root soup with toasted nuts and celery flavors is delicious, and Hamachi crudo with pomelo vinegar and delicata and apple salad garnished with a gorgeous green goddess don’t disappoint. The grilled Angus strip with sauce Diane, crispy onion rings and hash of Brussels sprouts and Sanchoc is a home run. Chicken ravioli with broccoli rabbi and olives is thick and delicious. Roasted tilefish perfectly complemented with shimeji mushrooms, bok choy and blood orange miso butter. The desserts, though good, are not in the same league as their previous courses
19 East 26th St. (212-265-5959)
At the northern end of Madison Square, this high-ceilinged place with its rustic granary-like touch is not only a place to eat, but also a place where you can talk without screaming. Butternut squash, leeks and apple soup are perfect on a glittering night, and you’ll breathe mushroom toast with parmesan and watercress. Sliced New York strip steak with grilled shrimp, bacon and a gorgeous cheese tater tote and spinach salad is just as delicious to listen to. The seared branzino file is also delicious, along with braised endiv, fingerling potatoes and roasted bell peppers. Save space for rum butterscotch bread pudding and apple cider donuts with caramel dipping sauce. The perfect finish to a nice meal.