Monday, March 19

Top 14 NYC Restaurants for visitors to the Architectural Digest Home Show!

In anticipation of this year's
and adjoining Diffa's Dining by Design
let me offer up My NYC Part III:
top 14 haunts to eat, drink and be merry!
 (because fourteen is my lucky number)...
everybody knows how much I love to create a pretty, creative table, delicious dinner and fun party.  Here's a luncheon I put together using vintage Quimper and a bounty of fall cornucopia from the farmer's market. I hope to design a table at next year's Diffa Dining By Design so keep me in mind all you design-industry folks... but sometimes,
especially in New York,
it's fun to go out and paint the town
"red" toast with friends,
people watch and
sample delicious offerings.
 From the quintessential New York Jewish deli to the five star finest restaurant, NYC has amazing food and culinary experiences. Take a look at our family favorite restaurants:

1. Cafe Ambroeus
an elegant Italian trattoria: one in the west village at West 4th street and the other on the Upper East Side on Madison and 75th Street (across from the Whitney Museum).  The finger sandwiches, the coffee, the pastries are all delicious.  The pastas are fabulous and the international crowd is fun! They have one in Southampton as well, and the gelato will make you feel like you are in Italy
2.Kellari Taverna
a midtown gem at 19 West 44th Street
a quirky Hellenic restaurant with lots of small dishes for sharing. 
Greek dishes of grilled whole fish, lots of tasty dips, olives and traditional "Saganaki" or small plates.  The staff is friendly and welcoming. 

3. Tea and Sympathy 
a spot of tea with a twist in a West Village downtown tea house.  This is funky and English.  They serve great tea, crumpets, Shepherd's Pie and Bangor's and Mash.  Although it's English inspired it has a quirky New York style.
this is the hottest Indian restaurant in town:
there are two locations:
the 22nd street location is the former Woolworth's Department Store space, and the food is the star set in this soothing neutral colored interior.
My husband loves the Lamb Vindaloo
210 East 9th Street 2/3rd right in the heart of NYU
We have been going here for delicious, fresh sushi for fifteen years.  But, let's get something straight they take no reservations and sometimes there are long lines, but it is worth every minute for delicious and inexpensive eats in a simple environment.  They prepare a delicious drip coffee too, and serve it in an elaborate glass percolator - that's an unusual twist. 
6. Swifty's

 Swifty's photographs courtesy of Zagatbuzz
Ladies who lunch on Lex & 74th Street
lots of Hermes carrying ladies
(Kelly not Birkin crowd: first being the old guard
second the nouveau riche)
hang at this upper east side classic.
Although the food is not the draw, it is very good. 
Corn fritters, and a delicious chicken curry salad but I order the classic Cobb Salad. 
The comfy and waspy decor designed by famous interior designer Mario Buatta gives off an
Old New York feel,
and you just know you will be spotting a
socialite if you hang around sipping that
Campari and Soda long enough
29 Cornelia Street btwn Bleeker/West 4th Street this west village haunt/jazz cub/restaurant has been around forever - started by artists it has an artsy vibe with regular musical performances.  I love the choices of champagne by the glass and the reasonably priced french food in a laid back environment. The many performances make for a full evening out from food to entertainment.

authentic Japanese robaya in midtown on East 45th Street.  They use particularly great cuts of Washu-grade beef, jidori free range chicken, Berkshire pork, and local farm grown vegetables.  It's one of my hubby's favorite Japanese restaurants
homemade tofu, grilled vegetables and a beef stew
that will knock your socks off

no longer a New York secret this Lower East Side has been talked about by Martha Stewart, and even Bobby Flay showed up for his infamous "throwdown".  Many magazines named this spot as one for the best pie, buttermilk biscuit, cake, pancake and brunch places in new York. The cookbook is very good as well, and you can pick a copy up on their website.  Dinner is quiet and low key and without the usual long lines at brunch.
10. Bar Boloud 
 images courtesy of enlightenment magazine
I love Daniel Boloud for fine dining and I am a fan of all of his restaurants.  Cafe Boloud is my "go to" for a nice dinner out with the hubby for special occasions.  Cafe Boloud is located in the newly refurbished Surrey Hotel and is oh so New York to me.  The Boloud restaurants are a splurge, but to me, worth every penny down to that last plate of warm Madeleine's that arrive with your coffee.  But, Bar Boloud on the Upper West Side is a tad more trendy, casual and good for dinner with friends and out for drinks as well. The charcuterie plates and nibbles are delicious, and their wine list (particularly their red wines are some of the best in the city).  I love the Monday Night for Two special offers. The location across from Lincoln Center is at the heart of the Upper West Side too. 
11. The Pub at the Monkey Bar
(in the Hotel Elysee)
60 East 54th Street
The Monkey Bar is an upscale restaurant that makes you feel like you've gone back in time to a 1920's Speak Easy, but this pub in the front is a more casual area to catch a quick bite and late night drink with friends.  You will certainly feel like a New Yorker rubbing elbows with owner and Vanity Fair editor, Graydon Carter.  In the more casual pub with checkered tablecloths you can order everything from a wonderful burger and fries to fresh oysters or lobster bake. I favor nibbling on the "monkey bread"  that tastes like sugary "fried dough".  The desserts are decadent and delicious.
kiss kiss darling
photograph courtesy of tyneesoup
On the ninth floor of the fabulous Barneys department store,
you will enjoy a delicious meal, but most certainly enjoy the people watching too. I absolutely love their french fries and the Marks Madison Avenue Salad in that order. If I'm in the mood for a healthy lunch Estelle's Chicken Soup is one of the best I've ever had
(except my own grandmother's version of course)
I remember the old Fred's which was in the basement of Barneys and quite frankly it took me awhile to adjust, but the current location is very interesting - it's a New York moment worth experiencing
they have a cheese cave...need I say more.  The pungent smell gets you the minute you walk in the door.  I love the French onion's noisy and bustling, and of course the plethora of cheese courses will drive any lactose intolerant mad. 
Remember Chef Morimoto the Iron Chef?  In the heart of Soho, swing back the flowing curtains as you enter this fun restaurant, and take in this wonder. Don't forget to check out the interesting bathroom with avante garde remote control features....The food is imaginative and lives up to the reputation. check out the dishes from our recent family dinner at Morimoto - this checks the box for small bites for my "foodie" and cook Gabby-perfect for noshing rather than full-on-big meal-eating

these lil' tasting plates of dumplings and samplings hit the spot. Morimoto's food is incredibly creatively inspired
and like no other I have had before.

bon appetite
Happy Nesting
XO Tamara