this month in nyc

Where to eat in NYC ... that's what everyone wants to know. Me included. There are so many options - it's ridiculous. Every type of food you can imagine, at every price point, in every neighborhood. It can get a little overwhelming - in a good way! - which is why it's always a good thing to have friends who know the scene well and can give you recommendations. I've been eating at some great places this way, and so I'm going to start sharing what I'm learning and where I'm eating with you.

Let me make it clear that I'm not considering myself an expert or a professional food critic by any means - these are just some of the places I've enjoyed, along with a few dish recommendations. If you've been to any of these places and have a favorite dish or something else to add, or an entirely different place you want to recommend, definitely share in the comments! Likewise, you can let me know if you need a recommendation for a place (be sure to include type of cuisine or vibe, neighborhood, and price point) and I'll do my best to send you to the right spot. Bon appétit!

// my must-go list //

  • Il Buco Alimentari e Vinera {NoHo, Italian} - Market/wine bar spin-off of the first Il Buco, located a block over on Bond Street. Great date night spot - impressive food, but not trying too hard. The salumi is to-die-for, all made in-house (pigs are raised antibiotic and hormone-free), but you've got to go for the short ribs. They're oven-roasted, so way different than the braised variety you're used to. The meat becomes super-crisp on the outside, but still melts in your mouth the way good short ribs should. Served with my favorite uncured green olives, this is hands-down one of my favorite dishes thus far in the city.
  • Lupa {Greenwich Village, Roman Italian} - A laid-back Batali restaurant that consistently delivers a great dining experience. What should you order? The pasta. Any and all. It's some of the best I've ever had. I'm still dreaming about their Cacio & Pepe - one of the world's most simple pasta dishes, done perfectly.
  • Mission Chinese {Lower East Side, Americanized Oriental} - This place started as a pop-up/food truck in San Francisco, and the vibe is very cool and underground. The food is super-spicy and flavorful ... sort of an inventive-American take on Sichuan Chinese. Make sure to go early as there's always a crazy wait - but they will give you free beer while you do it. Try the Salt Cod Fried Rice, Kung Pao Pastrami (my fave!), Sizzling Cumin Lamb Breast. Cocktails are great, too.
  • The Dutch {SoHo, American} - Justifiably trendy. Fun place to meet for drinks - great cocktails (try the Vida Old-Fashioned made with mezcal) and amazing oysters. Try the Local Beet Salad with Smoked Egg and the Korean Hanger Steak with Kimchee Fried Rice and Farm Egg (I'd also go for the Chicken Fried Quail on my next visit). Also - be warned that the French fries taste like McDonald's on crack. Danger.

// also worth a visit //

  • Lure Fishbar {Soho, Seafood} - Cool decor, looks and feels like you're dining in a yacht. Skip dinner and go for the super-popular happy hour: $1 oysters, cheap drinks, and more.
  • Momofuku Ssäm Bar {East Village, Asian-American} - The menu changes often, but you'll always find rice cakes and pork belly steamed buns. If you're one of the few who haven't tried them (like I was!), you should go for it. Be warned: The rice cakes are addicting! Also well-known are the whole pork butt (bo ssäm) and whole rotisserie duck you can order in advance for groups. (Go for the duck for two during lunch - cheaper, and you don't need to order in advance.)
  • Mermaid Inn {Multiple Locations - I went East Village, Seafood} - Cute place for a night out with the girls. Good oysters, and also has a good happy hour. Try the Seared Calamari appetizer salad and the Roasted Local Skate.
  • Osteria Morini {SoHo, Italian} - We went all pasta here, but they're famous for their Porchetta. (The pasta doesn't hold a candle to Lupa, in my eyes - though it is a different type of pasta than that of the Roman-style. The pasta here is heavier, more buttery.) The build-your-own crostini appetizer is a fun starter.
  • Luke's Lobster {Multiple Locations, Seafood} - Perfect lobster rolls; great for a quick lunch. Perfect amount on mayo, perfectly buttered bun. Heaven if you're into it.