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Your Favorite NYC restaurant?

I haven't seen a thread about this in a while so I figured I'd start one.

Doesn't have to be the best food, but your FAVORITE. Doesn't have to be fancy, but is a combo of service, food, atmosphere, chef, whatever it may be.

Let's keep a running total. I'll start with....

Blue Hill

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  1. I just can't answer this one. I mean..I can't compare EMP to Lan Sheng...or to Hearth...thought I adore them all...they're just too different. They're all "favorites" in their categories..also what does "favorite" mean? Places you want to go to all the time, places you love for a special occasion?

    1 Reply
    1. re: gutsofsteel

      I agree. It's just to hard to pick one favorite. But, if the question was "where would your last meal be?" I think I'd say Peter Lugar's. Something simple, top notch and scratches my need for porterhouse.


    2. really hard question if I wanted to wow someone I would probably go to Babbo.
      Since this is in the Manhattan thread I guess my favorite restaurants are Thai son and a place called 69 in chinatown. Not so much because of the food but the memories I have there. I went to bronx hs of science so all my best friends lived scattered throughout the city, but chinatown was kind of like the midpoint for all of us. So we had countless meals (especially drunk ones) at these restaurants. These restaurants are pretty cheap but I find them pretty tasty.

      1. Impossible! But I love Union Square Cafe, Cafe Boulud, Patsy's Pizza, Artisanal and the Art Bar. For Personal reasons ;)

        1. It changes, but right now, it's Marea.

            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

              Le Bernardin was amazing! This place is my #1 all-time favorite restaurant, ever. Aside from the food being awesome, the service is totally perfect, not prenentious at all and Eric was very nice when I met him in person and it was very cool getting a photo with him in the kitchen. Meals at Cafe Boulud, The Boathouse, the restaurant at The Plaza where we stayed and Esca were all very memorable. NYC is foodie heaven! :)

            2. For me I'd have to go with Tamarind. Something about the smells and the flavours when i go there (it's how i used to feel about Patria) . Just never get a bad dish at this place.

              3 Replies
              1. re: sjjn

                Havent thought about Patria in years. I loved that place.

                1. re: princeofpork

                  Me too. We would visit Patria often.

                  I beleive Douglas Rodriguez, chef and owner of Patria no longer has a restaurants in NYC, but does in Philly.


                2. re: sjjn

                  Patria was always great. Such memories...

                3. My favorites (I have more than one-sorry) are:

                  Per Se
                  Momofuku Ko

                  1. OMG...WAY too many but top 3 are:
                    Le Bernardin

                    1. My absolute favorite is Le Bernardin, with Per Se as a very close runner-up.

                      At the other end of the spectrum there's Motorino, which is filling in the void that Una Pizza Napoletana left pretty nicely.

                      1. Babbo
                        Jean Georges
                        Franny's (Brooklyn)

                        1. Fine Dining - EMP <for now>

                          Cheap eats - El Faro <since the 70's>: http://elfaronyc.com/

                          1 Reply
                          1. Commerce
                            Ah Chihuahua, Tulcingo del Valle


                            1. Hands down for consistency and always good food...now wait for it...Otto! I'm sure many would disagree...but the quality of the food, especially the antipasti, is the most consistent of all restaurants I frequent. Truth be told, I'd rather Otto than EMP!

                              1. It would be easy to pick one of the high-end places like EMP, but for a really enjoyable evening of delicious food that is interesting but not complicated, at a reasonable price, I find the place I want to return to most often is Convivio.

                                1. This is such an impossible question to answer. I think you would be better off maybe trying to divide it into category... for example..

                                  Italian, Steakhouse, French, etc.. and still I do not think I would be able to pick JUST one for each category.

                                  That being said if we are talking all of NYC for me it is always gunna be Peter Luger. My death row meal.

                                  But of course you have EMP, Keens, Craft, Babbo, Gotham Bar and Grill, Convivio, Strip House, Old Homestead.. yea yea yea the list goes on and on...

                                    1. re: Chuck Lawrence

                                      if we're including outer boros my favorite place is al naimat restaurant and sweets in jackson heights. its not the best tasting place but it is an indian buffet with a wide variety of items open til midnight. All you can eat for just 7 dollars, it use to be 5 dollars! they generally have one goat dish, a butter chicken dish, one chicken dish, chicken biryani, unlimited nan or roti, sag paneer, rice pudding and a couple more dishes that are usually veggies. i have had so many stoned meals here in high school its unbelievable. the waiters are all mad chill with me cause ive tipped them well since i was in 7th grade. whenever i walk in they make up a fresh batch of nan with extra ghee cause they know thats how i like it. Also whenever I kill off a buffet plate which is easy for me they replace it with anything i want. So if im feeling lamb korma theyll do it for me. =] the place is shabby and the food is on the greasy side but i just have too many good memories here such as my carbicide sandwiches: chicken biryani and white rice in a roti with ghee, in nan with ghee topped off with the chicken butter sauce i even threw in rice pudding and some mango custard in there one day! lol even when i leave they give me a container so i can take some food out. lol good thing i have the metabolism of sonic the hedgehog.

                                    2. You can't really compare these so I'll try to justify them as best as I can!

                                      1. Buddakan (I've only had one mediocre dish from the 4 times I've been there and everything else has been excellent & the service is one of the best in the city. The restaurant itself is gorgeous and it doesn't break the bank).

                                      2. Pastis (Yes, I'm aware the food isn't the "best in the city" but the place is always bustling and the brunch is fantastic! Its a regular lunch/brunch destination for me).

                                      3. Marea (Though I've only been once, the food blew me away and as far as "fine dining" restaurants go the place was happening. Also the restaurant, from its Crudo Bar made out of Egyptian onyx to the Indonesian rosewood floors, is absolutely stunning).

                                      Other restaurants that stand out in my mind (in no particular order) are:

                                      Minetta Tavern
                                      Cafe Boulud
                                      Sushi Seki
                                      The Good Fork (in Red Hook, Brooklyn)

                                      1. EMP for a 'proper' meal. Minetta Tavern for their code de boef. Collichio & Sons for warmth and the gnocchi and black truffle.

                                        1. I, like the others can't just pick ONE restaurant. My picks (for now) are:

                                          Jean Georges (the lunch prix fixe cannot be beat)
                                          Momofuku Ko (been a while since I've been but it's quite memorable)
                                          Shake Shack (I haven't found a comparable burger yet)
                                          Otto (I heart their gelato)


                                          2 Replies
                                            1. degustation
                                              (tailor - rip)
                                              cong ly
                                              momofuku ssam
                                              york grill
                                              (etats unis -rip)
                                              grammercy tavern
                                              sushi yasuda

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: thew

                                                Great brunch at York Grill. The steak and eggs are excellent