Where to Eat in New York City
New York City is one of the world’s greatest foodie destinations, and creating the definitive New York City dining guide is certainly not within the scope of this short report.
Nonetheless, as frequent baby boomer travelers, we’d love to share with you the experiences we had while sampling some of New York City’s cuisine during our recent visit.
To be certain, the choices available are absolutely mind-boggling. There are thousands of choices ranging from world-renowned chefs to dark and dingy places that you wouldn’t want your dog to eat in. Furthermore, there are roughly 8 million others competing for reservations, so unless you prepare many months in advance, you don’t have a prayer of getting into the most sought after restaurants.
For this particular journey, we decided to veer away from the lime-light chefs, and instead, go hunting for world-class cuisine that might be just under the radar of the current popular press.
Dining in New York City
Brasserie Cognac de Monsieur Ballon
We love French cuisine and our dining experience at Brasserie Cognac de Monsieur Ballon was one of the highlights of our trip.
Located in the theater district and frequented by celebrities, businessmen, locals and tourists, the setting is both exciting and charming. The Brasserie style menu combines French classics with Executive Chef Florian V. Hugo’s (pictured above) modern creations. Guests can choose to dine in the outdoor sidewalk café, casual original French bakery, classic main dining room, lively bar/lounge or the private Cognac Room as they enjoy meals complimented by 102 varieties of cognac and a gorgeous wine list including first-growth Bordeaux sold by the glass.
One of the main principles of the restaurant is that they strive for reasonable price points with no menu item exceeding $35. This is quite a feat for a renowned New York City restaurant.
Further, they clearly understand that dining should be more than just great food. Our experience was fantastic with great detail and attention at every step of the meal.
Our meal started out with out-of-this-world Cheese Puffs Gougeres, through a sampler tasting of unimaginably wonderful appetizers; to Filet Mignon Flambé, Sea Scallops over a Pumpkin Pureé, and ending with a trio of desserts so good I thought I had died and gone to heaven.
If you’re visiting New York City, make certain that this restaurant is on your list.[AFG_gallery id=’43’]
Sunday Brunch at Waldorf=Astoria
Since 1931, the world famous Waldorf=Astoria hotel has graced Manhattan’s Park Avenue and has offered world-class lodging to the rich, famous, and ordinary folks who desire a healthy dose of pampering right in the heart of New York City.
The Waldorf=Astoria is renowned in the culinary world for its famous Waldorf Salad, Red-Velvet Cake, as well as its elaborate Sunday Brunch.
Our hostess tucked us away in an intimate section of the room, we were immediately offered a flute of bubbly, and off we went to explore the lavish feast.
Located under the Waldorf=Astoria’s famous 9-ft clock was spread every imaginable Sunday brunch delight. We noshed on salads, oysters, shrimp, lobster, eggs, sausages, flaming crepes, omelets, beef wellington, and sampled bites from a dazzling display of desserts.
And while the famous red-velvet cake wasn’t on display, all I needed to do was share my disappointment and I was immediately brought a piece from the kitchen. Thanks! YUM![AFG_gallery id=’41’]
2 WEST Restaurant ~ Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park
I know. I know. Photographing green food that is not a vegetable somehow seems less than desirable. But, it’s asparagus risotto and you should hear me out.
2 WEST is a modern American bistro featuring expertly and simply prepared dishes located inside the Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park. The menu is highlighted by an array of flavorful and classic comfort foods including: lobster bisque, Seared Jumbo Sea Scallops, Braised Short Ribs, Alaskan Halibut, and Truffle Parmesan Fries.
After sharing a delightful bowl of Creamy Maine Lobster Bisque, I opted for Alaskan Halibut (asparagus risotto), while Carol immediately honed in on her beloved Braised Short Ribs (herb mashed potatoes, baby carrots, red wine sauce).
Now, even though we both gave each other looks when the green risotto arrived, it was absolutely delish!
This restaurant is on the far southern end of the island. It’s near Wall Street, 9/11’s Ground Zero, and the boat docks to get you to the Statue of Liberty.
When you stop in, Chef James Dangler is certain to whip up a beautifully prepared dish of classic comfort food certain to restore you energy after a busy day of sightseeing.
Located steps from Manhattan’s Theatre District and the famed Carnegie Hall, Ed Sullivan Theater, and City Center, Abboccato is known for serving some of New York City’s finest authentic, home-style Italian cuisine. Offering diners a true taste of Italy, the cozy 75-seat restaurant is perfectly suited for a leisurely meal and pre-theatre bite without the hectic tumult of Times Square.
Operated by the esteemed Livanos Restaurant Group in partnership with renowned Executive Chef Jim Botsacos, Abboccato’s cuisine represents the diverse regions of Italy, from Sicily to Lombardi.
We started out our dining experience with a delightful trio of Chicchetti (small plates). We enjoyed Arancini (risotto fritters), Polpetti (Nonna’s meatballs), and very tasty Fritti (polenta coated calamari). YUM!
For our entreé we shared Pappardelle Pasta (pecorino mushrooms, white cream sauce). Wow! Simple, and oh so good.[AFG_gallery id=’44’]
Patsy’s Italian Restaurant
Founded in 1944 by Pasquale “Patsy” Scognamillo, Patsy’s Italian Restaurant has been in its current and only theater district location (in the building just next to the original site) since 1954. In over 65 years of existence, Patsy’s Italian Restaurant has had only three chefs–the late Patsy himself, his son Joe Scognamillo, who has been at the establishment since the tender age of seven, and Joe’s son Sal Scognamillo, who has been manning the kitchen for the past 25 years.
Some of Patsy’s Italian Restaurant high profile patrons include Rush Limbaugh, Al Pacino, Placido Domingo, Alec Baldwin, Kim Basinger, Tom Hanks, Madonna, George Clooney, Rappers Heavy “D” and Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs, David Letterman, Oprah Winfrey, Keanu Reeves, Jonathan Demme, Tony Bennett, Don King, Robert DeNiro, Don Rickles, Jacklyn Smith, Phyllis George, Stephen King, Mario Puzo, Calvin Klein, Carroll O’Connor, Jon Bon Jovi, Liza Minelli, John F. Kennedy, Jr., Chris Noth, Farrah Fawcett, Jaime Farr, Chevy Chase, Cheryl Ladd, Huey Lewis, and Patty LaBelle, to name several.
To add to the dining experience at Patsy’s, the wall are heavy laden with autographed photographs from many of these celebrity patrons. I wonder if we’ll get a letter requesting a photograph from our publicist?
We were in a sharing mood when we dined at Patsy’s and shared a delightful dish of Linguine White Clam Sauce (little necks out of the shell simmered with olive oil, garlic, and fresh herbs).
Finding Patsy’s is a breeze. Just look for the pink neon sign. We loved it, and highly recommend it.
New York City Food Trucks & Street Food
New York City is famous for its food truck cuisine.
In fact, because there is seemingly one on every corner, we found ourselves patronizing these little stands nearly every day for lunch as we were meandering New York City.
In this photograph, you can see Carol waiting for a gyro sandwich, from the Halal Guys, smothered in their famous white sauce. YUM!
To help you find the best food trucks and street food, head on over to Yelp. They have many listings with thousands of comments.
Here’s another article from New York Magazine which focuses on the city’s best tricked-out food trucks.
New York City Delis
We didn’t make it to any of New York City’s famous delis on this trip. But I’ll never, ever forget the massive chicken liver deli sandwich I enjoyed at the Carnegie Deli during our last visit. Oh, lest I forget, their New York-Style Cheesecake was roll-your-eyes-in-the-back-of-your-head good. So good in fact, we shipped a whole cheesecake back to our office.
Here’s a great list of New York City’s Top 10 Delis
Well, I think that enough dining to get anyone started in a taste of New York City, don’t you?
Did we leave anything out? Where’s your favorite place to eat in New York City?
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I LOVE Patsy’s. Whenever I am in NYC I make a point to dine there. It’s just like home between the great food and People, I’m treated like family by Chef Sal and his parents along with all the other great staff. Cannot say enough about this wonderful old world restaurant. 🙂
Marcia, thanks for stopping by and sharing your love of Patsy’s Italian Restaurant. We agree heartily with your love and praise. 🙂
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