In preparation for a trip to the big city this weekend, I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of some of the restaurants I’d like to visit. Obviously I won’t have time for them all in a single weekend, but nonetheless, here are the eateries I’m most excited about visiting. Below: Restaurants name, address, and what they’re known for.
il Buco Alimentari & Vineria – 53 Great Jones St
Mission Chinese Food – 171 East Broadway
By far the most anticipated opening of last year, Danny Bowien’s Mission Chinese Food 2.0 has earned rave press since it’s opening on Christmas. From duck baked in clay pot (shattered with a mallet table side) to Steamed Oat Noodles to Koji Fried Chicken to Wood Oven Fish, Drunken Style to wood-fired pizza on a dough from Tartine baker Chad Robertson…Run, don’t walk.
Mission Cantina – 172 Orchard St
The dinner menu has changed drastically and the lunchtime-only burritos are considered the best in the city, but breakfast is the time to go. The Vietnamese breakfast includes everything from Vietnamese style coffee to chicken pho.
Tertulia – 359 6th Ave
Ivan Ramen – 25 Clinton St
The sit-down restaurant located on the LES expands the Gotham West Market with seven ramens plus appetizers including “1000 Year Old Deviled Egg” and the much hyped okonomiyaki.
Gotham West Market – 600 11th Ave
With additional vendors and breakfast, the market has grown larger than ever before.
Clinton St. Baking Company – 4 Clinton St
Russ & Daughters Cafe – 127 Orchard St
According to the New York Times restaurant critic, Pete Wells, the city’s authoritative voice on food, Russ & Daughters Cafe was the second best restaurant of last year. There’s more than lox here: blintz, latkes, eggs, and smoked fish are all on display.
City Bakery – 3 W 18th St
The most indulgent, richest hot chocolate in the city (and the pretzel croissant).
Levain Bakery – 167 W 74th St
The biggest, best chocolate chip cookies in the city.
The Breslin – 16 W 29th St
April Bloomfield’s The Breslin, one of her two restaurants located in the hip Ace Hotel is darker and heftier than The Spotted Pig. No hamburger with blue cheese, but a lamb burger with feta. Dishes include Crispy Berkshire Pork Belly, Seafood Sausage, and an incredibly popular caesar salad.
Alder – 157 2nd Ave
WD-50 is now gone, but Wylie Dufresne’s more reasonable and more casual restaurant, Alder remains. With modernist dishes such as Seared Scallops with hummus grits and French Onion Soup Rings, the restaurant has been much lauded for keeping Dufresne’s spirit alive.
Taqueria – 230 West 4th Street
Cocina – 105 1st Avenue
Al Pastor – 132 St Marks Pl
Alex Stupak, former WD-50 pastry chef, ventured off to open Empellion Taqueria in 2011 serving inventive tacos and other Mexican dishes. Since then, he’s created an empire with the more formal Cocina (think expensive entrees) and the much less formal Al Pastor (think tacos filled with pork cut off a spit, to order).
Estela – 47 E Houston St
Obama may have dined there, but he’s not the only one. Ever since opening, Estela has grown thanks to its chef’s vegetable-driven approach to cooking. With an in-demand brunch and dinner, Estela is one of the most buzzed about restaurants in the city.
Mile End – 53 Bond Street
Smoked meat sandwiches and other Jewish classics from the people who brought you Black Seed Bagels.
Pok Pok – 117 Columbia St
Andy Ricker has done to chicken wings what David Chang has done to ramen: he’s taken them and reimagined them in an entirely new way. But his spicy, sweet wings are not the only things at the hip Brooklyn eatery.
Ma Peche – 15 W 56th St
Located a few blocks from MOMA, the latest Momofuku restaurant’s service style has got people talking. Modeled after dim sum, dishes are brought around in baskets and on carts, making for a lively dinner experience.
Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream – 2 Rivington St
Nick Morgenstern opened this hip ice cream parlor just last year. But it’s already jumped into fanatical popularity with it’s modern approach to ice cream. You can choose from flavors such as madagascar vanilla, raw milk, szechuan peppercorn, bitter chocolate, and vietnamese coffee just to name a few. If you’re in the mood for something more, you can order sundaes the size of a supper. Last year, chefs such as Ivan Orkin and Ignacios Mattos collaborated an completely original flavors. But even without chef collaborations, this ice cream parlor is the place to go for cutting-edge ice cream. (They also serve breakfast.