Blue Ribbon Brasserie is an obligatory stop for food connoisseurs in the city. While the wildly popular restaurant now has several locations, the flagship location will always hold a special place in New Yorkers' hearts, particularly fans of the late-night dining scene. Blue Ribbon Brasserie welcomes diners until the early hours of the morning, creating a warm and welcoming ambience with low lighting and details like velvet upholstery. Sample the best comfort food you've ever eaten, savor remarkably fresh seafood, and enjoy classic mains like the hangar steak with wild mushrooms or roasted duck club. There's something to be said for American dishes done right at Blue Ribbon Brasserie.
In 1986, sibling owners Maguy and Gilbert Le Coze opened Le Bernardin in New York after finding phenomenal success with their flagship restaurant in Paris, established in 1972. The duo won numerous accolades at the helm of this culinary destination, and it has continued to thrive under Chef Éric Ripert, named executive chef in 1994. Seafood has been the inspiration behind the menu at Le Bernardin since its conception. The tasting menu takes diners through courses filled with delicacies like Osetra caviar, Dungeness crab, Lobster Tail, and Black Bass. Patrons can also enjoy delectable small plates and handcrafted cocktails from the lounge if they wish to do so.
For more than a 100 years, this huge cafeteria-style Jewish deli has been delighting New Yorkers with their pastrami and brisket sandwiches alongside their scrumptious "kosher-style" meals. The humble eatery, with Formica tables lined up in rows, may not be the ideal place to take a date (unless you want to remind him or her of eating in a school lunchroom), but if you are craving a giant sandwich served with perfect pickles or a couple of kosher hot dogs, there is perhaps no better place than Katz's in the city. There is table service, but most people take a ticket at the door and give it to the counterman when placing their order; they then pay on the way out.
Located near the waterfront in Brooklyn, the now legendary Grimaldi's offers excellent pizzas. Cooked in a brick oven, the crusts emerge crispy and pleasantly charred. The toppings always consist of only the freshest ingredients, including their delectable sausage, vegetables and mozzarella cheese. No reservations are taken, so be prepared to wait outside along with hordes of faithful customers, who consider this to be the best pizza in New York City.
Headed up by renowned chef April Bloomfield, The Spotted Pig's menu of English-inspired gastropub fare is worth seeking out. Take a seat in the cozy dining room, decorated with mismatched bar stools and pig-themed art. The most popular item on the menu is the burger - thick, juicy, perfectly cooked, and served with a side of shoestring fries, it's a must-try. If you're in the mood for something lighter, try the apple salad with walnuts and cheddar.
Masa, located in the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle is a thoroughly unique dining experience. There are no windows. There is no menu. You order a specialty cocktail made with top-shelf ingredients, then Chef Masa Takayama, just inches away, goes to work on a three-hour multi-course meal of the most mouthwatering, heart-melting sushi. But the fact that Masa is one of a microscopic few non-French establishments to be awarded The New York Times' coveted four star honors is evidence that being at the chef's mercy can only be a great thing. A step into Bar Masa next door is also worthwhile.
Sitting in the heart of the Theater District, this friendly Italian restaurant was established in 1944, and is still going strong. Traditional Italian cooking and a warm atmosphere ideal for going out with families and friends alike, is what makes Patsy's such a loved establishment. The interiors are done up in mellow hues, with beautiful chandeliers and sconces creating a warm vibe. The artwork and photographs adorning the walls add a nice touch to the proceedings. Signature dishes at Patsy's include Chicken Contadina, Veal Rollatine Marsala and Lobster Fra Diavolo. There's a pre-theater menu as well. Throughout its rich history, the restaurant has been host to numerous celebrities, and its not uncommon to spot one dining beside your table. Check website for more.
Basso56, is a swank Italian eatery popular with New Yorkers - and for good reason. The restaurant hand-picks traditional Italian spices and flavors and cooks them to perfection. Set the ball rolling with the grilled eggplant or calamari, and follow it up with some of their excellent handmade ravioli. Finish off with one of the richly mouthwatering desserts. There is a good wine list and prices are reasonable - the polite, friendly service also comes highly recommended.
This may be the best of the 57th Street theme restaurants. Certainly, it is the most authentic New York City spot on the block, serving old-fashioned favorites like cheese blintzes and a massive roast beef sandwich. It is far more expensive than most diners, but it will save you a trip across the Brooklyn Bridge. It is also thoughtfully decorated with plenty of New York City memorabilia. Try the cheesecake.
If you love chicken, Yakitori Totto ('yakitori' meaning grilled chicken) is for you. Start with their skewer appetizers and Japanese or Korean vodka served with a real grapefruit half, and then move on to the chicken served in uncountable ways. Your order will be taken on Palm Pilot in this upscale restaurant and don't forget to try the apricot kernel panna cotta before you leave.
Brasserie Cognac is aptly named, for many of its dishes are laced with this spectacular eau de vie. Typically French, this brasserie serves pastas and burgers along with French appetizers and entrees. A must try is the striped bass with champagne sauce, tomato and goat cheese tart, signature chicken salad and the Filet Mignon burger. There are daily specials and a prix fixe menu too. The decor is beautiful with murals painted by hand and the large windows increase the elegant appeal of this venue. An adjacent bakery also provides some really good baguettes that are must buys.
If you're on a romantic date, this is your best bet. Delicious food, great drinks and the perfect ambiance you are sure to have a great evening. Most people dine at Nocello after watching a play at one of the many theatres located close by. The menu consists of Italian food and the deserts are exceptional. Don't forget to inform the restaurant in advance, if it's a special occasion. You'll get a table in a corner and other special arrangements will also be made.