Travel

New York City Restaurants

Establishment neighborhood
Red Farm
529 Hudson St., West Village
Red Farm’s menu focuses on fresh greenmarket product, artfully prepared fish, and delicious dim sum (including less familiar creations like Katz’s pastrami egg roll). From the dim sum selection, the Pac Man shrimp dumplings are as delicious as they are Instagram-worthy and the duck spring rolls are not at all greasy and taste surprisingly refreshing. We’re more than willing to endure the substantial wait (no reservations here) for a bowl of the Lobster Long Life noodles and the veggie fried rice. They put together prix-fixe menus for large groups in private spaces at both this and the Upper West Side location.
Union Square Cafe
101 E. 19th St., Union Square
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.
Javelina
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.
La Mercerie
53 Howard St., Lower Manhattan
Interior design firm Roman and Williams’s expansive new retail space in SoHo, Guild, is home to three things: a furniture and homeware showroom, a great florist shop called Emily Thompson Flowers, and La Mercerie, chef Marie Aude-Rose’s picture-perfect French café and the real reason to come here. Aude-Rose excels at creating food you want to take time savoring, and the egg dishes are especially wonderful—highlights include a soft-boiled egg with cauliflower and tofu cream and an expertly made cheese omelet. The crème brûlée puts all other crème brûlées the world over to shame.
Bakeri
150 Wythe Ave., Williamsburg
A tiny café in the heart of Williamsburg, Bakeri is one of the original neighborhood hangouts in this ever-evolving slice of Brooklyn. All of the bread and pastries are made in-house, but locals also swear by the breakfast items, like organic Eggs Provencal, baked in tomato sauce and served with a side of sourdough rye, and the lunch salads, like grapefruit avocado with kale, red onion, fennel, pepitas, and sea salt. Most people take their food to go, but the main dining room is small, cozy, and highly recommended in winter, while the backyard is a shady, cool escape in the middle of hot, humid NYC summers. There are also outposts in Greenpoint and the East Village in Manhattan.
Fausto
348 Flatbush Ave., Prospect Heights
Fausto had big shoes to fill when it opened on a busy block of Flatbush Avenue in Park Slope last year. The space was formerly occupied by Franny’s, a much-loved neighborhood pizza place that had been a staple of the area for almost fifteen years. Luckily, Fausto was equal to the task. It quickly became a new favorite, thanks to chef Erin Shambura’s house-made pastas (like buckwheat rigatoni with shiitake mushrooms, dandelion greens, and Parmesan), and a clean-lined, sophisticated mid-century modern dining room. The wine list is as close to flawless as a wine list can be—which makes sense given that it was conceived by sommelier (and co-owner), Joe Campanale, the restaurateur behind popular NYC Italian spots Dell’Anima and Anfora.
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