Official New York Blog

Submitted by Lizz Riggs on tagged in:

When NYC Tourists come to the Big Apple, they expect a few things, and generally, great food is at the top of that list. While some NYC Tourists are traditionalists and stick to the Bagel shops and hot dog stands that they visit every time, we like to encourage new  experiences. There are always new restaurants popping up in NYC, and there are so many that have been here for years as well and we know you haven't tried them all! 

Maybe you've been waiting for a special occasion. Maybe you just haven't convinced anyone to accompany you in a public setting yet. We don't need the excuses. Whatever your reason is, it's time to get over it and get out to these restaurants. Some of them are new, some of them are just really hot right now, but all of them come highly recommended, for all the right reasons. Your palate, and pig-out partner, will thank you for your dining spontaneity later!

So here it is, the Top 5 NYC Restaurants we're recommending right now and what you can expect when you sit down for a meal in each one. Do we smell a series coming on? Let's Eat! 

Blue Ribbon Brasserie

They have restaurants all over town, but the one is South Village is the seafood restaurant that we're honing down on. It's a seafood restaurant, but few things come more highly recommended than the fried chicken and the bone marrow. They're open until 4am, so don't feel like there's any rush away from your nightlife happenings just to stuff your face.
Do expect a wait. The restaurant is small, but worth every second.
Don't expect to find bone marrow just everywhere. This is kind of a rarity, especially at 4am. 

Balthazar Restaurant

This restaurant is both charming and alluring. They were named one of the 'World's 50 Best Restaurants' by Restaurant Magazine if that can tell you anything about the overall effect the food, ambiance and yes, the prices have on its clientele. They don't let it go to their head though, the prices are still very reasonable and the staff is always part of the reason that the atmosphere is so enticing. This SoHo sweetie has us singing all the right praises.
Do expect to come back for seconds. These are restaurants you might not have tried yet, but will definitely be making your way back to again if you're smart. 
Don't expect a table without reservations. You'll notice a trend on this list - these restaurants are becoming increasingly popular, which for all of us means increasingly requiring a reservation. They can be made up to 30 days in advance here. 

Locanda Verde

This Italian food in TriBeca has made quite a name for itself over the past few years, and chef Andrew Carmellini is the talk of the town. According to the restaurants website, and probably anybody who knows Italian, a locanda is a place where you can eat, drink and stay over if you want. We wish.
Personally, we are impressed by the fact that Robert DeNiro is partial owner of the joint (and that they casually list his name on their owners list last, like some kind of meaningless afterthought. Subtle guys, very subtle.) But really, there are much more important and delicious things happening here than Robert DeNiro (wait... is that possible?) Yes. It is.
Do expect enthusiastic recommendations (which you should definitely listen to) for the sheep's milk ricotta.
Don't expect anything that tastes like it was made at Olive Garden. This food is pure authentic Italian cuisine. 

The Spotted Pig

While this gastropub (the first gastropub in NYC in fact) is very popular among the local New Yorkers who want to feel like hot shots every now and then, it's also popular among the star struck celebrity gawkers. Yes, they make it very well known that celebs like Jay-Z, Lou Reed (the only one allowed to customize this famed chef's prize burger) and Bill Clinton frequent the place. That's nothing to hide by any means! The kitchen is open until 2am, and on some nights if you don't have a reservation, you may feel like you have to wait that long to get in, but their tasty take on classic bar grub has been charming the masses since 2004, so you know that something good has to be going on in there.
Do expect some great beer and an extensive wine list to go along with your meal.
Don't expect to bring your own wine or customize chef April Bloomfield's menu (especially her famous burger.) 

Mile End Sandwich

A Jewish deli in NYC... shocker. But really, they have some really great sandwiches in NoHo that you should so-ho try. Their Brooklyn predecessor is well known and often crowded. They have the same menu here though, and this "hipster Jewish Deli" as many seem to be referring to it as (and for good reason, that's totally what it is) is doing New Yorkers right with their smoked meat sandwiches.
Do expect fresh bread and quality ingredients.
Don't expect a broad menu. 

While most of these have been around for a while, some have just popped up and it really depends on your definition of a while. A successful restaurant that isn't owned and operated by Gordon Ramsay or someone of the like doesn't always work out for the best. But we expect these to stay around for a while, and we also expect that you're going to like what you find in these places. Don't be afraid to try new restaurants in NYC every now and then - those hot dog vendors aren't going anywhere fast, and will gladly take you back after a meal here, if you think you can go back afterwards.