NYC Restaurants

Torrisi Italian Specialties

Torrisi Italian Specialties Italian | NoLiTa

250 Mulberry St (bet Prince & Spring)


Notes: Quaint, cozy space serving delectable Italian-inspired dishes with innovative, playful twists. The standard menu format is a 4-course prix fixe, but it you’re up for a feast, try to score a reservation for the 20-course tasting. We were flexible in our dates, so we were able to book the 20-course meal. The service was fun and knowledgeable, they had a great playlist going (a little Stevie Wonder, some Bill Withers, something by Slave and “Juicy Fruit” by Mtume, which instantly transported me back to my teenage summers at a roller skating rink) and we were tantalized by the variety and creativity of dish after…

Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Park New American | Flatiron

11 Madison Avenue (24th St)


Notes: We had savored some of the most extraordinary meals here in this stunning room before former owner Danny Meyer sold the restaurant to the longtime chef and general manager. Since then, they’ve transitioned the sophisticated, elegant food to gimmicky, experimental dishes that are largely flash over flavor and sensibility. We recount in detail our disappointing experience in our video dining review Date Night: Eleven Madison Park. 

North End Grill

North End Grill New American | Battery Park City

104 North End Ave


Notes: I adore the chef, Top Chef Master Floyd Cardoz. I adore the beverage director. The food is imaginative and mostly—though not exclusively—very tasty. The wines and spirits are lovely. I like the feel of the dining room, where the diners and the food serve as the accent colors. So why can’t I recommend North End Grill at this time? A couple of extremely disappointing experiences with service. Ridiculously long waits between courses. More than once. Or twice. After a splendid first visit when we met Chef and enjoyed a phenomenal meal (including the scrumptious clam pizza with truffles), subsequent visits were long and drawn-out…


Atera New American | TriBeCa

77 Worth Street


Notes: Diners are served a progression of wildly imaginative small plates at a counter that frames an open kitchen. While the technique and thought that goes into each dish is more than admirable, the food was not as tasty or memorable as the visual artistry.

Jean Georges

Jean Georges French | Columbus Circle

1 Central Park West (Trump Int’l Hotel)


Brooklyn Fare

Brooklyn Fare French | Brooklyn

200 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn


Notes: There are only 18 seats at Chef César Ramirez’s tiny counter-only space, and if you’re not a serious foodie ready to appreciate a culinary adventure of 20 sublime seafood-heavy courses, skip it and let someone who’s dying to experience this meal have that coveted seat instead. It’s a thrill to watch the talented and focused staff assemble the dishes, and most intriguing is the fact that as you watch, there is no clanging of dishes or flatware against the stainless steel counter — there are liners and pads cleverly inserted below and between anything that might make a sound. Because seating is in a u-shape, you get to…


Masa Sushi | Columbus Circle

10 Columbus Circle (Time Warner Center)


Notes: Thoroughly breathtaking multi-course prix fixe experience with a legendary sushi chef/artist, fit for only the most special of occasions and the most eccentric budget.

Per Se

Per Se French | Columbus Circle

10 Columbus Circle (Time Warner Center)


Notes: Exquisite food, lavish room, impeccable service for memorable special occasions. A highly sophisticated prix fixe dining experience.

Momofuku Ko

Momofuku Ko New American | East Village

163 1st Ave (bet 10th & 11th St)


Notes: Counter-seating only, set multi-course menu showcasing highly-inventive Asian-influenced small dishes. Reservations accepted online only, opening at 10:00 a.m. each day. Read my full review of a birthday lunch here: Restaurant Review – Momofuku Ko


Daniel French | Upper East Side

60 E 65th St (bet Madison & Park)


Notes: Lavish perfection for special occasions. Breathtaking formal dining room. The same flawless food and impeccable service is available in the lounge, although the lounge tables are uncomfortable.