New York will always be New York, and even though I visit every summer, I say that there’s always something new and exciting for me to do and discover… and this includes eating around and exploring the city’s exciting dining scene! I’ve shared a few of my favorite restaurants in my last food post about the city (here), but because I still have a couple more recommendations up my sleeves, I am sharing with you four more suggested food stops in the city and what I think you should order from them!
Here’s my list :
1. The Nomad Hotel
The NoMad Hotel’s restaurant has been in the forefront of New York’s dining scene because of its celebrity chef owners, Will Guidara and Daniel Humm, who are also the people behind the critically acclaimed, three-Michelin starred, Eleven Madison Park.
This one-Michelin starred restaurant is comprised of a series of charming open rooms surrounding a glass-enclosed atrium filled by natural light. The ambience is very elegant but relaxed, not stiff compared to most fine dining spaces around the city.
The Nomad Hotel’s restaurant’s signature dish is the Roast Chicken For Two. Under that brown skin is a ridiculously good stuffing made of brioche, foie gras and truffles — all mixed, mashed, combined and carefully placed underneath that thin crispy skin!
After the waitstaff shows you the big and bold, beautiful chicken (adorned by pretty lavender sprigs to boot!), the chicken goes back to the kitchen and the chef does his work: he carefully picks out the dark meat, mixes it with its chopped crispy fried skin (like bacon!) and then adds his own concoction of a lemon butter cream sauce on top.
So after having this deliciously rich poultry, my friends and I all agreed: we can never look at roast chicken the same way again! This is arguably the best chicken dish we’ve ever had! It would be a big mistake not to order this when in The Nomad Hotel.
The NoMad Hotel
1170 Broadway & 28th Street, New York
Carmine’s is a family-style restaurant serving Southern Italian food, with great value for money. They are known for their extra huge portions (and I mean EXTRA HUGE) meant for sharing with family and friends. From their antipasto to their salads (order their Caesar!), to their pastas and desserts, every dish will make you feel like you are having a meal at an Italian-American wedding feast!
Carmine’s first location opened in 1990 right at the heart of Broadway. It has that quintessential NYC / Golden America feel to it, resonating with its customers. The fun, vibrant and loud ambience of the restaurant has also become the perfect place for before-or-after-show dinners (as this restaurant is standing right on Broadway!) and family celebrations.
Although we ordered many dishes from the menu (and all of them were deliciously filling), I must say that the biggest standout was their Fried Calamari! The dish may sound and look simple enough (it really is just fried squid after all), but there’s really something about the batter that makes it amazing and unforgettable. The portion as expected was big (VERY BIG!), and yet the Calamari was wiped out in a flash!
Now I know why this place is always packed and brimming with excited, hungry people…the deliciously huge food platters and just being inside this vibrant place sum up the whole “Carmine’s experience”. No wonder this place is considered one of NYC’s dining institutions.
Carmines New York
2450 Broadway at 91st Street, New York
3. Bar Masa
Another (bar) restaurant I truly enjoyed is Bar Masa, the ala carte sister of three-Michelin starred restaurant Masa. The place is very well done, with modern interiors and clean lines, typical of a nice sushi place in Japan. True to its name, this bar is known to serve an amazing mix of cocktails, sake, wine and of course, Japanese-style “bar food”. Of course, this “bar food” is no ordinary bar food — as this is by renowned and highly rated Chef Masa Takayama.
Now let’s go to the food…The sashimi and every other seafood dish we had were exceptionally fresh as if they have just been caught straight that same hour from Japan’s coastal waters. Dishes were simple and uncomplicated, and yet tasted so clean and delicate.
It was our handsome waiter who helped us choose from their bar menu, and this is what we had: Spicy Dancing Shrimps that had just the right sprinkle of sea salt and a dash of lemon. It was served hot and crispy, and had that nice golden color and the right amount of crunch to it! We of course, ate the whole thing – skin, head, and all! 🙂 This dish proved to be perfect with our cold glass of bubbly!
Another dish we also enjoyed was the Peking Duck that was topped with slivers of Foie Gras and wrapped all together inside little soft tacos! If only it were not a sin to finish all these little bites in one go… I would have done so with complete abandon!
The third dish we devoured was the Masa Toro Tartare Caviar. It was fresh tuna belly (you know you can’t go wrong with that), topped by a spoonful of black caviar. This is a good example of a dish that was simple and uncomplicated, and yet because the ingredients were very fresh, the whole thing just tasted amazing!
Last but not the least, was the Uni Custard with freshly shaved Black Truffles. This is a generous portion of uni that was very creamy and had that fresh-out-of-the-sea bold flavor. The addition of black truffles on top made this dish stellar!
This one-of-a-kind Japanese bar restaurant is definitely on top of my list and I wouldn’t mind coming back the next time I’m here!
10 Columbus Circle, Time Warner Center, New York
4. Levain Bakery
Of course, you know I can’t leave the city without going back to the holy grail of heavenly cookies! Every trip to New York warrants a trip to the most famous bakery in this part of the world: Levain Bakery. This is where it all started and where everyone — and I mean just about everyone who comes here — takes a photo of themselves eating their amazingly delicious cookie by the store’s blue sign! ️ (Read about my previous experience in Levain Bakery here.)
The cookies here are world famous for being gigantic, chunky and chewy — yes, all at the same time! I may have tried several dozens of cookies in my lifetime, but I must say, you will never find a cookie you can compare to this one. Levain Bakery surely makes THE BEST cookies in the world! (There, I said it.)
You must get the : Choco Chip Walnut and the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip. They’re soft and moist inside but still have that nice, crisp edges outside. This cookie is soooo damn good, I am sure you will not want to share it with anyone!
167 West 74th Street, New York
To go back and see my other favorite restaurants in NYC in this last trip, click here.
And to read all about my previous trips to the Big Apple, click here.