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.
Bombay Bread Bar
195 Spring St., West Village
Chef Floyd Cardoz grew up biking around Mumbai, India. It follows that he became an expert in Indian street food. His new SoHo restaurant celebrates the foundation of so many of these snacks—namely, the puffy, buttery, herby kulcha flatbreads slathered in spicy chutneys. We loved the Indian version of a panini, with spiced lamb, cucumber raita, and mustard mashed potatoes pressed between two slivers of toasted naan (he calls it the lamb naanini). But there are also plenty of less carb-y options, like the Bengali banana-leaf-wrapped halibut. The interior, meanwhile, was dreamed up by Kris Moran, a member of filmmaker Wes Anderson’s creative team who worked on The Darjeeling Limited. As you’d expect, it’s a whimsical collection of Pop Art, citrus-patterned oilcloths, and entire walls covered in Bollywood-inspired murals by artist Maria Qamar.
241 W Broadway, Tribeca
Balthazar and Minetta Tavern alums Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson got together and decided to redo the idea of the French brasserie. What they came up with is Frenchette in Tribeca. The proof is in delicious if unpronounceable dishes like the brouillade—a buttery, garlicky scrambled egg and escargot dish. Technically, it’s an hors d’oeuvre, but who cares about technicalities? This could easily stand in as an entrée (especially with a side of charred carrots with labneh). And while ordering roast chicken at a restaurant might seem like a cop-out, Frenchette’s is perfectly roasted and presented on a bed of croutons that soak up all the drippings, along with a little pot of puréed potatoes. The biodynamic wine list, meanwhile, is a departure from the usual and a very welcome one.
350 Hudson St., Tribeca
Dig Inn’s philosophy is “farm to counter,” which means that they serve sustainably sourced, usually local food in a casual setting and in a price range that makes it a reasonable option for everyday lunch. The salads and the market plates are easy to take back to the office (or home for dinner), and the menu changes with the seasons, so you won't ever be bored with the offerings. There are locations in Morningside Heights, Union Square, Tribeca, and in Midtown on 52nd, Madison, and 55th, in Lower Manhattan on Pine, Liberty, and Broad St., in Nomad, and off Madison Square Park.
301 Church St., Tribeca
Exposed wooden beams on the ceilings and plentiful bar-height tables and chairs make this a cozy, yet lively hideout on frigid nights (both the Tribeca and Midtown locations are decorated in the same warm, rustic style). With plenty of small plates like guacamole, ceviche, and tacos, the menu is all about traditional Mexican cuisine. In keeping with the theme, the beverage program offers a long list of tequilas, which can always be ordered straight.
139 Duane St., Tribeca
If you've traveled in Austria and Germany, you know how uniquely delicious (if carb-heavy) the cuisine is—and also how hard it is to find good versions stateside. Blaue Gans' menu goes way beyond the obvious weiner schnitzel and wurst by including a hearty beef goulash, a traditionally made sauerkraut, and spätzle. Meanwhile, the kaiserschmarrn is apple-filled, with perfect batter and plentiful powdered sugar. The entire space can be rented for small gatherings.
99 Hudson St., Tribeca
Avtar Walia's dressed-up Indian restaurant earned a Michelin star for its classic dishes, which are beautifully presented in a spacious, organically decorated environment. The recently opened Lotus Room at their Tribeca location is open for tea during the day, and makes a sophisticated space for private events come night.
White Street (Closed)
221 W. Broadway, Tribeca
This spot—partly backed by media duo, David Zinczenko and Dan Abrams—is really beautiful done. It's situated in a former armory from the 19th-century, and while it's been completely refurbished, it still feels quite old-world. It's a bustling, relatively fancy destination, complete with white tablecloths and dressed-up classics like mushroom flatbreads, oysters, and short ribs. It's the sort of restaurant where you'd steer the in-laws for a fancy, post-theater meal, though we think the lounge is the most compelling spot: They serve strong cocktails and good bar food like duck fat fried potatoes and salmon tartare. There's a very kid-friendly brunch on the weekends, and plenty of options for private events.
145 W. Broadway, Tribeca
It might not be one of Tribeca's most envelope-pushing restaurants, but it’s inarguably one of its classics. It’s been open since the ‘80s, luring locals and uptowners alike for its fun bar scene and a reliable brasserie-style formula. You’ll find all the standbys, like moules frites, french onion soup, a chèvre salad. It’s loud and busy and a good option for weekend brunch with an extended group of friends.
121 Hudson St., Tribeca
Michael Chow made his name in the London and Hollywood art and music worlds before opening in New York on East 57th Street in 1979, where his restaurant quickly became one of the city’s main touchstones for the art world. Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, David Bowie, Madonna, and John Lennon were just a few of the restaurant’s faithful patrons (watch Julian Schnabel’s Basquiat to get a sense of the scene). To this day, a meal at Mr Chow's isn't about the food: It's about the tuxedo and white glove service and the fun, party vibe. The outpost in Tribeca is just as beautiful and scene-y—an Andy Warhol portrait of Chow in the dining room sets the tone.
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