News & Politics

Where to Eat in New York City

Nine hot bars and restaurants serving everything from foie-gras-stuffed chicken to sublime pizza.

Dominique Ansel tempts with macarons and other treats. Photograph of by Thomas Schauer.

A Different Kind of Deli

Mile End Sandwich. If you’re pastramied out
and have done Katz’s Deli to death, check out this stripped-down NoHo
sandwich spot with a zigzagging communal table. The star of its menu?
Montreal-inspired “smoked meat” (that’s brisket), carved to order and
piled high on mustard-slathered rye. Montreal-style bagels, boats of
poutine laden with gooey cheese curds, and a fried salami
sandwich pay tribute to the region, too. 53 Bond St.;

Breakfast the French Way

Dominique Ansel Bakery. As pastry-world
résumés go, it’s tough to beat Dominique Ansel’s—he spent six years at
three-Michelin-starred Daniel and was at Fauchon (the Chanel of pastry
shops) in Paris before that. His sliver of a SoHo cafe is lined with
crisply packaged house-made macarons and meringues in a rainbow
of colors. In the glass cases are slender black-and-white éclairs,
wonderful almond croissants, and his masterpiece breakfast pastry, the
DKA, which tastes like a cross between an ultra-buttery croissant and a
sticky bun. The leafy back patio is a lovely place to enjoy one. 189
Spring St.; 212-219-2773.

Old-School Romance

The NoMad. Mad Men-era
accoutrements—a dessert cart, a crudité plate—are brought into the 21st
century at this plush, skylit hotel restaurant. You’ll likely see plenty
of chef Daniel Humm’s famed $80 foie-gras-and-truffle-stuffed roast
chickens being paraded through the atrium. But we were won over by his
lighter fare, such as a salad of julienned snow peas, pancetta, and
pecorino that was full of lemony brightness, and a delicate toss of
tagliatelle with king crab. A word of caution: A Mediterranean joint in
the East Village has the same name (but no affiliation)—we weren’t the
first to get the addresses mixed up. The NoMad Hotel, 1170 Broadway (at
28th St.); 212-796-1500.

Dinner With a Group

Fatty ’Cue. The name gives you a clue that
this dark, Southeast Asian-inspired den is filled with caloric
indulgences. Plates of deep-fried bacon, chicken-fried rabbit, and smoked
brisket with soft rolls and Gouda are made for sharing. Cocktails, such as
the Chupacabra—tequila, chili-infused ginger liqueur, and watermelon
juice—are excellent, but if you’re with a big group, bottle service might
be the way to go: Order a bottle of booze and a bartender will use it to
mix your drinks tableside. 50 Carmine St.; 212-929-5050.


Don Antonio by Starita. The theater district
is packed with places to get a greasy, floppy slice. But this
Neapolitan-style spot is a standout worth stopping by whether you’re
headed to a play or not. Consider the Montanara Starita, rightfully touted
as the house specialty. The simple, sublime creation is a deep-fried crust
topped with tomato sauce, smoked buffalo mozzarella, and basil and
finished in the wood-burning oven. Regular pies are excellent, too, and
don’t miss a gorgeous appetizer of house-made burrata cheese. 309 W. 50th
St.; 646-719-1043.

Lingering Lunch

Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto. Fragrant sprigs of
rosemary tucked into white napkins are the first of many sensory journeys
at Cesare Casella’s intimate Upper West Side market/restaurant. (The chef
always keeps the herb in his pocket.) Italian small plates run true to the
name, but the dainty portions offer bold Tuscan flavors in such dishes as
tender braised spare rib; pontormo salad with soft scrambled egg, greens,
and pancetta; and lasagna layered with pork and beef ragu. Grab a sidewalk
table and start with a flute of Lambrusco and a platter of thin-sliced
salumi from the butcher counter in front. 283 Amsterdam Ave.;

Mod Mexican

Empellón Cocina. Chef/owner Alex Stupak, who
gained accolades at Alinea and Wd-50, returns to his avant-garde roots
with his second Empellón venture, a spinoff of his more casual West
Village taqueria. An extensive list of tequila- and mezcal-based cocktails
matches the hip, dimly lit scene. Stupak’s high-concept Mexican small
plates include masa crisps dunked in pistachio-studded guacamole,
mezcal-cured ocean trout, and a spin on queso fundido with cotija cheese
and lobster. 105 First Ave.; 212-780-0999.

A Little Italy

Parm. Gone is any lingering red-sauce stigma
at Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi’s retro Italian-American joint, a casual
offshoot of the tonier Torrisi Italian Specialties next door. Classics get
lifts rather than makeovers, and they’re tastier for it—think house-made
mozzarella sticks, a club layered with bacon-studded chicken salad and
potato chips, and a showstopper meatball parmigiana. Settle into the cozy
space—dineresque in front, Grandma’s parlor in back—with an Amaretto sour,
and save room for a towering slice of ice-cream cake. 248 Mulberry St.;

Mad for Mezcal

Mayahuel. New York has its share of haute
cocktail dens, but this gem of a watering hole from a Death & Co. part
owner is an ode to less utilized spirits: tequila and its smoky, complex
cousin mezcal. On an East Village side street, Mayahuel features a
candlelit, wood-lined basement perfect for sipping flights or one of the
many concoctions in which liquors are infused with teas, stirred with
sherry, or muddled with fruit. The buzzier, red-lit upstairs is for
downing cerveza cocktails or splitting one of the potent punches. 304 E.
Sixth St.; 212-253-5888.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.