363 Greenwich St., Tribeca
This dressed-up restaurant has all the elements of an old-school Mad Men-style steakhouse: Oysters, tick; an excellent Caesar Salad, tick; crabcakes and shrimp cocktails, tick. And of course, if it's steak you’re after, this is one of the best places in town to get it, with all the classic options for dressing it up, from Bearnaise sauce to an egg on top. The private space is moodily-lit.
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.
77 Worth St., Tribeca
This sleek (and tiny) foodie destination in Tribeca has only 18 seats, meaning that reservations are hard to come by. If you manage to snag one, you're in for a pretty great experience. The modern multi-course prix fixe menu (expect ingredients like birch sap or moss) is served opposite an open kitchen, which is fascinating to watch.
428 Greenwich St., Tribeca
When the beloved owner behind Mercer Street’s Honmura An moved back to Japan, and closed his restaurant in Soho, many a foodie’s heart was broken. But the soba noodles at Azabu (formerly known as Azabu) might be just as authentic and exquisite. Beyond the noodles, which are shepherded to perfection by Soba master Shuichi Kotani, they also specialize in small plates and sushi. The uni soba is insane, as is, weirdly, the California Roll. Go for lunch, as they have a great special.
239 W. Broadway, Tribeca
The concept here is a simple, yet welcome one: Incredible French food at an affordable price. How incredible? Think braised artichokes, granny smith and sweetbreads strudel, and caramelized milk bread. How affordable? $55, $65, and $75 for two, three, or four course prix-fix-only options. The interior is by no means extraordinary and it can get a little loud the later it gets, but the vibe is nice, made even better by a lengthy wine list.
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.
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.
163 Duane St., Tribeca
For many years David Bouley's eponymous restaurant in Tribeca has been one of the top fine-dining establishments in the city. The formula: quality ingredients, prepared according to traditional gourmet practices, and served accordingly. You're guaranteed a world class meal under the arches in this elegant dining room, but nowadays, chef Bouley’s yet again exploring new territory: Health food. While each meal is as delicious and elegant as ever, he's folding in ingredients packed with healing properties. Healthy or not, don't skip the bread basket: Bouley is known for its French-style boulangerie.
120 Hudson St., Tribeca
There’s not much to confuse or offend on this un-intimidating, all-American menu. It’s based on comfort food, meaning you’ll find casual basics like great mashed potatoes, pancakes, and pies galore. The no-frills, laid-back atmosphere make both outposts equally kid-friendly, as do sweet offerings, like the homemade pie (they're most famous for key lime).
135 Watts St., Tribeca
At this new spot in Tribeca, the interiors are a contrast between a lofty, classic downtown space, and the jazz age Shanghai of our imagination, full of old-fashioned touches, ornamental light fixtures, and dark wood bookshelves lined with pretty flea market finds. The food carries some of the same contrast: The menu (including the Dim Sum) is typically Shanghainese, but presented beautifully, making the meal a cut (well) above a typical family-style joint. The space is broken up into a few partial rooms, which is great if you're planning a private event because they can accommodate any size party.
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