March 22, 2019

Subjective list of favorite places to eat in NYC

Tomorrow is my last day at Food & Wine, where I've been the digital editorial director for the past two-and-a-half-ish years. While I spent most of my career in fashion, I was also previously the executive editor at Epicurious. And I grew up in New York City. So I have some pretty specific thoughts and opinions on where I like to acquire and eat food in town. People always ask me where they should eat, and this is where I tell people I like to go (when people I don't like ask, I'll just give them any old internet list). This probably isn't a list of usual suspects, it's very my-taste. Also, it's random, but I think of it as the places I'll miss eating the most after I move to Hong Kong next week.

My go-to pizza place: On Seamless, I always order the pepperoni-jalapeno pizza from East Village Pizza. Once a year I'll get sit-down-restaurant pizza with some friends, usually it's somewhere like John's of Bleecker, Patsy's, or Grimaldi's, but these aren't the pizzas I crave. The pizza I crave is New York by-the-slice corner pizzeria pizza, with pepperoni and jalapenos.

My go-to neighborhood restaurant: Cafe Loup, RIP. Nothing else compares. If it ever re-opens, get the roquefort salad and bavette frites.

My go-to Chinese restaurant: My favorite American Chinese food spot for the past 15+ years is Sammy's Noodle Shop on Sixth Ave. I like everything, but when I want to feel especially weekend-y, I'll order the General Tso's Chicken or Fish and a noodle soup. They make a good hot and sour soup and a good sliced beef and peppers dish, too. If I feel like something a bit more regionally-focused, I'll have weekend lunch at Le Sia in the East Village. The lobster sticky rice at Congee Village is great, too (and available via Postmates).

Best steakhouse: Pretty sure I've already told everyone I know my opinion on this, but the Beatrice Inn is my favorite steak restaurant in New York City. I would go so far as to call it my favorite restaurant experience, overall, in New York City right now.

Best sit-down tacos: This is a tough one for New York. I know there are good spots at Chelsea Market and in Murray Hill and stuff, but in my neighborhood, I'll always choose Empellon Taqueria, which has never failed me.

Where I get my bagels: I probably eat the most bagels from Black Seed, because they have a kiosk in Hudson Eats, just downstairs from my office. On the weekends I'll swing by Murray's Bagels. I like a salt bagel with lox spread or egg salad. My parents like the whitefish from Murray's.

Favorite breakfast: If someone fancy is taking me to breakfast on an expense account, we'll go to Norma's in the Parker. It's very extra and one time I sat a table away from Hulk Hogan, who was a hero to me when I was a kid and became kind of an anti-hero to me after he took down Gawker using some billionaire's money. On my own, when I'm jet lagged, I'll head to Chinatown for rice rolls and Eggo-and-condensed-milk sandwiches from iM Star Cafe or pick up pork-and-thousand-year-old-egg congee and some fried bread from Big Wong.

Best work lunch spot: There's no good answer to this question.

Best seeing friends you don't see a lot dinner spot for a small group: I think, with groups, dietary restrictions and preferences is always the hardest thing to deal with, so I like to pick somewhere that has options—like Fig & Olive in Meatpacking or the new Standard Grill, which I tried a few weeks ago and think is pretty great. There are a lot of options on the menu that don't involve sauces or dairy or wheat, which is great for your dining companions who don't eat those things.

Best fun bar for grown-ups where you can sit down and actually have a conversation: My go-tos are Japanese-inspired bars, Moga on Houston and Katana Kitten. I also used to take a lot of drinks meetings at Cafe Loup, but RIP, see above.

Oh no, you're in midtown: Eat katsu curry at Katsuhama, I like the location on 47th and Fifth.

OK that's all I can think of right now, off the top of my head.