No doubt about it, New York is a foodie town. Everyone has their favorites, but travelers - even frequent ones - are always on the lookout for something different if not something new. RIght now, Queens is the new Brooklyn and having visited Astoria on a number of occasions I can tell you the food scene there is crackin'!
was all alone. No longer! But I still think of it as the stalwart vanguard of Astoria dining... if a hipster serving you wine and a cool corner bar can be considered stalwart.
But what about Manhattan? It isn't over, in fact, more is happening there than ever before. In fact, food and travel writer and local New Yorker David Farley has rounded up some of his friends and they collaborated on a fanboy list of great places to eat in one of the World's Culinary Capitals. Maybe you've heard of his pals Andrew McCarthy (yes, that Andrew McCarthy) and Andrew Carmellini (chef and travel authority)...
Farley’s Picks | Food and travel writer:
Mission Chinese Food: In 2012 chef Danny Bowien opened this Lower East Side outpost of his San Francisco restaurant, and it’s been packed ever since. Bowien puts his Oklahoma spin on Szechuan cuisine with affordable, addictive dishes like kung pao pastrami and thrice-cooked bacon. 154 Orchard Street; 212/529-8800
Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria: You can’t throw a meatball in New York without hitting an Italian restaurant, but this unassuming NoHo restaurant stands out. Perfectly seared octopus gives way to juicy porchetta alla Romana paired with peaches and charred onions. 53 Great Jones Street; 212/837-2622
Luksus: The Scandinavian cuisine craze has bitten the Big Apple. Enter Luksus, which you do through the front of Tørst, the (great) Danish beer bar in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The $75 multicourse dinner adapts to seasonal ingredients, but expect dishes like roasted lamb breast with tongue and sunchoke puree. 615 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn; 718/389-6034
Andrew McCarthy | Actor, director, and author of The Longest Way Home: One Man’s Quest for the Courage to Settle Down:
Red Rooster Harlem: Since his recent move to Harlem, McCarthy calls Marcus Samuelsson’s homage to American regional cuisine “my new local.” His favorite dish? “I love the yardbird,” he says. If extra-crispy fried chicken doesn’t catch your fancy, try the chili-lacquered pork chop or the Gouda-spiked mac and cheese. 310 Lenox Avenue; 212/792-9001
Esca: The name means “bait” in Italian (a clue to the menu). “I could have an entire
meal of just the crudo,” McCarthy says of this upscale Midtown Italian restaurant’s large raw seafood selection. “Especially the red snapper with black salt.” 402 W. 43rd Street; 212/564-7272
Lexington Candy Shop: “My favorite diner in New York City is the Lexington Candy Shop,” says the Pretty in Pink star. “They still make soda from syrup and serve great shakes. It’s as old-school New York as it gets.” The luncheonette also serves plus-size club sandwiches and American breakfast classics. 1226 Lexington Avenue; 212/288-0057
Andrew Carmellini | Chef and restaurateur (Locanda Verde at The Greenwich Hotel, The Dutch, and others):
Daniel: “I had the privilege of working with Daniel Boulud for six years,” Carmellini says. “His flagship restaurant is one of New York’s great treasures.” It’s a trove of haute French cuisine—butter-poached, wine-braised, syrah-sauced, and all—in a stately atmosphere. 60 E. 65th Street; 212/288-0033
Hearth: “I just love the food here because it has a lot of heart,” he says. This wine-centric East Village spot serves hearty and satisfying Italian fare, including veal-and-ricotta meatballs and olive-oil-poached Alaskan salmon. 403 E. 12th Street; 646/602-1300
The Library at The Public: This restaurant near Astor Place adjoins The Public
Theater, but it’s not just for patrons. Go for pork chops and polenta or orecchiette with basil pesto. But start as Carmellini (who helps create the menu) does—with a cocktail. “Bartender Tiffany Short can mix a cure for anything,” he says. “Especially cocktail fatigue.” Try the Dandy Riot: Old Overholt rye, Aperol, Angostura, and Talisker 10 Year Old. 425 Lafayette Street; 212/539-8777
All this fun doesn't end after dinner. Here is a sneak peek into one of NYC's chicest new hotels: The Baccarat Hotel and Residences, debuting February 2015. Located across the street from the Museum of Modern Art and just steps from 5th Avenue shopping, Baccarat Hotel & Residences, New York thoughtfully blends classic French sophistication and cutting edge artistry. Nash Travel Management's Virtuoso guests receive a room upgrade, breakfast for two daily, and $100 food and beverage credit. It is really an elegant launching pad for a weekend of wining, dining and shopping.