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Aug 3, 2012 11:24 AM

Let's talk favorite restaurants! Need ideas for this month's fooding.

Below is a shortlist of my favorite restaurants thus far. They are the ones that I would recommend to visitors, as well as go back again myself. That said, my to-do list* only has as remaining Buvette to try, and possibly The NoMad. Any input on what next would be appreciated. Ideally, great food has something really worthwhile about it, for example: cultural interest, cheap/value, unusual/unique, edifying/mindblowing/expanding from a culinary point of view. I should research more, but I thought I would just ask!

calf's shortlist of NYC fooding:

special occasions—
Corton and Atera; 15 East and/or Sushi Yasuda; EMP; The Modern and Jean Georges; Kajitsu

nice dinners—
The Modern Bar Room, Momofuku Ssam Bar, Aldea, Casa Mono

casual meals—
Txikito (had a burger), WD~50 (had dessert), Lupa, Prune, Bouchon Bakery

Onya, Aburiya kinnosuke, uminoie, Ramen Totto, Tsukushi (this was my first nyc restaurant)

small eats—
Russ & Daughters, Balthazar Bakery, La Esquina Corner Deli, Union Square Market, L'arte del gelato, etc., etc.

*(I keep a separate todo list for family, and I have choices including Per Se and Zabb Elee on it. We're Chinese, so the entire genre of Chinatown & Queens/Brooklyn is included there as well.)

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  1. Have you been to Soto for Japanese? Love that place. I'd also put down Momofuku Ko or Chef's table at kitchen market...both really nice experiences. Also for the nice dinners category, I love Recette. That's something of a go to for me. You don't have any Williamsburg spots...

    1 Reply
    1. re: MikeFree9

      Yup definitely a gap in Williamsburg. I should go.

    2. Minetta Tavern remains my favorite restaurant in Manhattan, for food and atmosphere.

      Also, Acme.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Sneakeater

        I've had these on the backup list. Definitely keeping them in mind.

      2. The NoMad is good. Keep it on your to-do list.

        1 Reply
        1. I don't see Jungsik on your list. It falls under the special occasions category and is one of my favorite restaurants in the city.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Cheeryvisage

            I agree, Jungsik is fantastic. The food I had last night was amazing. Cheery if you haven't been there in a while, like I hadn't, it has changed a little. I just posted something on it. But the food is better than ever. Just that it is more versatile now, you can order as many or as few dishes as you want . Also, Andrea is no longer there. The original chef is back from his travels, and brought some help in the kitchen back from Korea I heard. The wait staff is terrific.

            1. re: foodwhisperer

              Hmmm interesting. I am usually wary of fusion but this is certainly intriguing. Now I'm thinking of at least trying a few dishes at the bar, if they allow that.

              I do think I've been biased towards the fine dining format of late, and so am also looking for other settings for good food.

              1. re: calf

                This is not really fusion , it is more gourmet with Korean flavors. Fine dining , and although you can eat at the bar, the service at the tables, are first class service. Put Jungsik on your list and it will probably be the best place on your list.


              2. re: foodwhisperer

                Thanks for the info. I like how the menu is so much more flexible now. I'll visit soon and just order a la carte.

            2. I don't see any Italian restaurants on your list except for Lupa. Which others have you been to?

              3 Replies
              1. re: Pan

                For Italian I have also tried L'Artusi, Novita, Maialino, Ai Fiori, Eataly (Il Pesce). Also Hearth and Peasant, both self-described as Tuscan-based cuisine. But I found that the one dish that really stood out for me was the asparagus agnolotti at Lupa. I know, this is totally subjective.

                I've not set foot in high-end Italian (Marea, Del Posto, Babbo), but rather am happy trying more budget friendly options. I find many aspects of Italian cooking to be very appealing, e.g. the primacy of freshness and letting the ingredients speak as they are, caring about offal/offcuts, great seafood, pastas, risottos, and kick-butt desserts. I guess I just haven't fallen in love more Italian restaurants yet!

                1. re: calf

                  For upscale try Marea and La Silhouette

                  1. re: arepo

                    Since your suggestions immeditaly follow calf's response about Italian restaurants, to be clear, La Silhouette is French. It is an excellent suggestion though I wouldn't describe it as "upscale."

                    I'm not a fan of Marea.