NYC Restaurants


Michael’s American | Midtown West

24 W 55th St (bet 5th & 6th)


Notes: I really wanted to like this place, with its perfect location and swanky, devoted lunch crowd. It’s an institution. Instead, I felt like I was eating at the clubhouse of a chintzy South Florida retirement village back in the 1980s. Snotty, inattentive service paired with sub-mediocre food and nauseating decor and furnishings make this a place I can’t recommend. 

Peking Duck House

Peking Duck House Chinese | Chinatown

28 Mott Street


Notes: The decor is dated and dingy and the room smells musty. And perhaps we were there on an off night, but the duck was fatty and flabby rather than crispy, and the pancakes were dry. While the service was friendly, it’s not anyplace I’d return when I can get my favorite Peking duck nice and crispy in a pretty room uptown at Shun Lee Palace

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…


Eataly Italian | Flatiron

200 5th Ave (bet 23rd & 24th St)


Notes: Mario Batali’s massive Italian food hall and market houses an extensive array of stations where you can munch on, among other things: bread, cheese, seafood, pizza, prepared foods, wine, coffee and gelato. It’s always pretty crowded, but grab a table where you can stand and enjoy a tasty meal or a snack. 


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.


Isabella’s American-Mediterranean | Upper West Side

359 Columbus Ave (77th St)


Notes: Located across from the Museum of Natural History, we recommend this Isabella’s for breakfast and brunch.


Sarabeth’s American | Various locations

Notes: Yummy goodies like pancakes, waffles and eggs for breakfast and brunch. Check the website for locations.


Sfoglia Italian | Carnegie Hill

1402 Lexington Ave (bet 92nd & 92rd)




Shake Shack

Shake Shack Fast Food Burger | Multiple locations

Notes: We’re lucky enough to have a Shack just a couple miles from our house in Connecticut, so it’s no longer a special treat to have when we’re in the city. But it’s a great place for a quick, inexpensive lunch or dinner with lots of locations around the area. We love the burgers and crinkle-cut fries, and don’t miss the yummy root beer. Check the website for locations.

Sparks Steak House

Sparks Steak House Steak | Midtown East

210 E 46th St (bet 2nd & 3rd)


Notes: Once a venerable old classic, the food has gone somewhat downhill and the space has expanded, making the restaurant noisy and bustling. Their salad dressing, though, remains legendary.