New York Restaurants
Union Square Cafe
101 E. 19th St., Midtown
The iconic Union Square Cafe moved from its namesake location to the corner of 19th and Park two years ago. The new space has all the charm of the original—subtle furnishings, great art, and the best service in New York City—but with more room, and more importantly, more barstools. This is one of those Danny Meyer establishments you can always rely on for a solid, even excellent, supper. A plate of Bibb and red oak leaf lettuces with a mustardy vinaigrette fools us into a healthy start every time. Following with those perfect knuckles of ricotta gnocchi in tomato sauce and ending with the banana tart is an order we rarely deviate from. Even people who hate bananas love this tart, improved only by the accompaniment of a glass of Sauternes. Trust.
1 Ryerson Rd., Warwick
A converted post office in Warwick, this small, off-the-beaten-path restaurant is great for a leisurely lunch. I’ll call ahead and, if I’m lucky (and the weather cooperates), snag one of the porch tables. I always savor and remember what I have here—because the menu is always changing and rarely repeats, chances are it won’t be offered again. The Grange has its own farm nearby for all of the produce it serves, which makes everything feel a little more special. I dream about the house-made bread and the dipping oil infused with garlic, herbs, and chilies. Come on Monday nights for some live piano playing.
39 Main St., Livingston Manor
A roaring fire is one of my favorite things—maybe one of everybody’s favorite things—and I’m always guaranteed one at this Livingston Manor restaurant. The place is buzzing with locals no matter the season, and it is just as much fun on hot, humid summer evenings as it is on cozy winter ones. I love the wood-fired pizzas, craft cocktails, and local beer.
Foxfire Mountain House
72 Andrew Ln., Mt. Tremper
Tim Trojian and Eliza Clark turned an old schoolhouse into an inn in 2013—and it’s been one of my favorite hangouts ever since. It is incredibly decorated with vintage artwork, antique furniture, and old Moroccan tiles, and there’s also a restaurant and bar for visitors who aren’t staying overnight. It’s worth coming for Sunday brunch, dinner, or even cocktail hour. I like to bring cards or a book to the glassed-in sitting room and lounge there for a bit with an old-fashioned. The opening hours change with the seasons, so check the website or call before heading out.
Frogs End Tavern
634 Pine Hill Rd., Chester
A treasure in the Hudson Valley town of Chester, Glenmere is a Gilded Age mansion built in 1911 that’s now a luxurious eighteen-room hotel. Frogs End Tavern is the on-site restaurant, which has a cozy tavern room with cowhide chairs and terra-cotta floors, as well as an outdoor courtyard for warm-weather meals. (And since the house was built in the style of an Italian villa, you could almost imagine you’re in Tuscany on sunny summer afternoons.) The menu changes with the seasons, but there’s always some
119 E. 18th St., Gramercy Park
Tex-Mex isn’t a type of cuisine you’d normally associate with New York City, but after a meal at this cheerful spot in Gramercy (a few blocks north of Union Square), you might rethink that idea. Grab some friends and order the traditional queso (yellow cheese tomatillos, serrano peppers, pico de gallo) and a round of prickly pear margaritas before diving into your entree. The chile relleno is reliably tasty, as are the grilled shrimp tacos, topped with salsa cruda, pico de gallo, cotija cheese, and cilantro. The central location makes it a great group dinner spot, but there’s also a second location on the Upper East Side.
Dopo la Spiaggia
6 Bay St., Sag Harbor
In a shingled cottage on a leafy street in Sag Harbor directly facing the water, this little gem is one of our go-to Italian restaurants in the Hamptons. Sure, the setting is almost perfect (we love the tucked-away patio for alfresco dinner on warm evenings, and walks along the marina afterwards), but it’s really the food that keeps us coming back over and over again. The pasta dishes are almost without equal on the East End, and our favorites include the tagliolini (squid ink pasta with bay scallops, shrimp, calamari, chili, and tomatoes) and the ravioli with wild mushrooms and ricotta. It also happens to be our neighbor—the goop pop-up is right next door, for some pre- or post-lunch browsing.
Duryea’s Lobster Deck
65 Tuthill Rd., Montauk
Although it’s been a Montauk staple for decades, the buzz around Duryea’s has grown lately, thanks to a sleek makeover two years ago. Instead of rustic picnic tables and a BYOB policy, there are now bottles of Provençal rosé, white banquettes, and clean-lined, bleached wood tables and chairs that create a setting that wouldn’t look out of place on Mykonos—especially with its waterside view of Fort Pond Bay. The steamed lobster and lobster rolls are a no-brainer, but also consider the perfectly grilled skirt steak, the small plates (baked cherrystone clams and steamers), the lobster club salad, and oysters from Orient Point, just across Gardiner’s Bay.
482 West Lake Dr., Montauk
Like the name suggests, this quirky, divey restaurant sits a few steps away from one of the main fishing docks in Montauk and serves hearty, straightforward dishes of the kind you’d want after a day on the open water (many of the regulars are fishermen). There’s clam chowder, soft shell crab sandwiches, grilled tuna steaks with coleslaw and fries, and a peanut butter and chocolate pie that’s probably the most decadent dessert in Montauk. The decor, meanwhile, is an eclectic mix of taxidermied geese and deer heads, Halloween-worthy masks, and vintage model sailing ships.
500 W Lake Drive, Montauk
At the entrance of Montauk Harbor, Gosman’s (which opened in 1943) epitomizes a kind of classic, unfussy seafood restaurant visitors have come to associate with the town. A bright, airy dining room looks out over passing fishing boats, and the menu is dominated by regional comfort food like Atlantic cod fish and chips, baked stuffed clams, steamed lobster, and Maryland-style crab cakes with a corn and jicama slaw. There’s also a walk-up window for those who don’t want a full sit-down meal, where you can order huge lobster rolls and plates of crisp, fried calamari to take to the water for an impromptu picnic.
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