After nearly a decade in NYC/ Brooklyn, I am sad to be moving to a new city but figured it is finally safe to share my favorite restaurants on here without losing a chance at getting a reservation. Obviously in a city with so many amazing places to eat, there is always something new and great that these boards are amazing at identifying. I also didn’t list my favorite spurge meals because I think if you’re going to spend that much on a meal, you should research it make sure it’s still spectacular. This is my list of continually reliable places that I always like to send to friends and family when they ask and the ones I imagine missing the most. This is super subjective like everything else food related, but I hope this helps someone out since I've been so appreciative of these boards when planning my own trips! Please note I didn’t look up any of the prices and am going from memory, so they may be off by a few dollars.
L’Arutsi – My absolute favorite for a nice date night. I think the appetizers and pastas are particularly good and everyone from my picky mother in law to foodie friends have been happy here. My favorites are the beef carpaccio, the butter lettuce salad, and the mushroom garganelli (this dish in particular I am really going to miss). If you’re willing to eat early and at the bar, you can usually walk in and get a spot too.
ABC Kitchen – A somewhat pretentious crowd but really nice lighter food in a beautiful casual setting. It’s also a surprisingly good option for groups and anyone with kids (they have beautiful highchairs that match the décor and the volume level hides a little fussiness.) Favorites are the hot apple cider (I always seem to be sick when we come), the crab toast and the carrot avocado salad.
Sushi Yasuda – This restaurant single handedly ruined most sushi for me because it made to realize how good simple great sushi can be and even in Tokyo not everything compared. The quality is amazing and the price is phenomenal for what you get. There are maybe 2-3 other restaurants with equal or greater quality in the city and they are all much more formal. The omakase at the bar here is great but I also really love the sushi and sashimi option that they offer at both lunch and dinner (although you have to know to ask for the separate menu). For about $35 with tip included you get 3 different types of sashimi, 1 sushi roll of your chose, and 4 pieces of your choice of nigiri. They also have a nice red bean ice cream mochi.
The Nomad – Another stuffy setting (the sort of place you take formal parents and clients) but both the drinks and food are good, especially the much talked about fois gras and black truffle stuffed chicken. They also have a smoke salmon starter I really enjoy.
Jean George – Nothing novel about this long standing formal restaurant, but the weekday lunch menu (which they also offer on holidays) is an amazing deal since the food is the same as what’s on the dinner menu but it’s under $40 for 2 courses (with the option to add more) followed by complimentary marshmallows, macaroons, and chocolates. The sweet and sour sea bass and the bruleed fois gras are especially wonderful as is the passion fruit soda (although I’m sure that one is very taste specific). I can also never say no to a molten chocolate cake when it’s on the menu since he invented them, although I realize they now have them at applebees etc…
Levain Bakery – The line has gotten out of hand at the UWS location but the cookies really are amazing. Walnut chocolate chip is my favorite.
Jacque Torres – This is just a chain coffee shop but their hot chocolate is fabulous.
Absolute Bagels (UWS) and blackseed bagel (multiple locations) are my top votes for bagels. Always an everything bagel and always toasted.
Hudson Eats – This is an office food court near the World Trade Center, but at dinnertime and on weekends it is uncrowded and it has outposts of a lot of great casual places including blackseed bagel, num pang (great Vietnamese inspired sandwiches, especially the brisket), and Mighty Quinn (bbq)
Taim (2 locations) – Good falafel and smoothies
Xian Famous Foods (lots of locations) – Good Chinese la mian (hand pulled noodles) with cumin and spicy lamb
The Gabriel Kreuther Chocolate Shop opened pretty recently but in addition to beautiful chocolates they sell the same desserts as the Michelin rated restaurant next door. The decadent chocolate one is especially wonderful.