Pearl Oyster Bar
A favorite always and forever. Must have the salt-and-pepper shrimp, eat the tails and all. A real plus if Abby is working the bar.
Go for the perfect roast chicken with salsa verde and the crispy potatoes. When it’s too packed and the wait is too long, walk to Corsino just a few blocks away for similarly good Italian food.
Owned by Jean-Georges Vongerichten and helmed by his son Cedric, Perry Street is super elegant without being obnoxious and is ideal when you need a really quiet restaurant, an ever-increasing rarity… The prix-fixe lunch here is one of the best deals in the city.
The best falafel we know and the sabich sandwich, packed with fried eggplant and sliced egg, is also insanely good. Great hangover food! While there are a few Taim’s around town these days, the original on Waverly is the best.
Skip the steak and go for the admittedly expensive but incredibly delicious hamburger. The chocolate soufflé is no joke either.
Big soft spot for Gabriel Stulman’s spots. Go to Joseph Leonard for breakfast (soft scrambled eggs and perfect avocado toast), Jeffrey’s Grocery for a glass of cold white wine and oysters, Perla for an excellent(!) dinner and Fedora for a late drink and a nosh. Really excited to check out his new spot, Chez Sardine.
So chic, so good. This Italian star is hidden on Christopher Street.
Go for the cheapest beer, a very decent (and rarely, but occasionally, perfect) burger and very crispy French fries.
Stellar Mexican food from Alex Stupak, the pastry chef from WD-50. Who would have thought? But he’s a perfectionist and it shows in his food. The cashew salsa is a standout and the tacos are always excellent. Both locations are worth a trip: the Tacqueria is in the West Village and the Cocina is in the East Village.
This place is super cozy and quite chic and you feel a bit transported to a world that really loves worn, gray wood and piles of newspapers and striped St. James shirts. Don’t especially love it for lunch or dinner, but no biggie—it’s terrific for breakfast, especially on a weekday, a coffee or tea in the afternoon or a late-night drink at the bar.
Fatty Crab / Fatty ‘Cue
Malaysian food with a twist. Zak Pelaccio’s two places in the West Village are not for the faint of heart. The food is spicy and filling and pairs beautifully with their signature drink – a Fatty Manhattan. The spicy crab with pullman toast is a favorite at Fatty Crab and the ribs at ‘Cue are finger-lickin’ good.
Mario Batali’s place on the corner of 8th (‘otto’) and 5th Avenue serves consistently great pizzas of the small, thin crust variety with inventive toppings. Great for big groups or kids, but avoid on Thursdays and the weekends when it’s jammed. We love it for takeout or late bite at the bar. Say hi to Dennis the bartender — he’s a real gem.
Seamus Mullen, you stud. When Tertulia opened, it seemed a piece of Spain found it’s way to the West Village. There are a few things on this menu that are just so so good, namely the tosta matrimonio, with soft, white cheese and a tomato compote kind-of jammy thing and perfect, perfect anchovies and you get lush, acid and salt in one bite and we’ll just stop here. Dinner gets raucous and loud, so best to go for lunch.
Jews have long loved Chinese food. Chef Joe Ng and Ed Schoenfeld are making magic at this modern Chinese restaurant on Hudson. The food is fresh and decidedly un-greasy. We happen to always over-order/over-eat here: the crispy beef is insane and ALL the dumplings are stellar. They don’t take reservations and the place is small so go early or be prepared to wait.
The Standard Grill
Located in The Standard Hotel, this restaurant has surprisingly good food and is especially fun for out-of-towners. At night go up to Le Bain or the Boom Boom Room following dinner for an incredible view of Manhattan or go for brunch and walk off your meal on The Highline afterwards.
The Little Owl
A small, cozy neighborhood restaurant on the corner of Bedford and Grove. The modern American food is always solid and the atmosphere is oozing with charm.
A W&R favorite, Bar Pitti is a real NYC institution that serves delicious Italian food all day while drawing an attractive Euro crowd that often encourages a glass of wine at lunch. Anytime really. Don’t miss the burratta, pastas, and chicken or veal Milanese. Cash only.
A quaint Brazilian restaurant with a warm ambience and good food. Start with a refreshing caipirinha and move on to the pao de queijos and pleasing feijoada (black bean/pork stew served with collards and toasted yucca flour).
Jack’s and O Café
On a daily basis, we make the decision between these two. Both have some of lower New York’s best coffee and both also have a cool atmosphere, extremely friendly staff and hip customers too. If you freelance like us, best to go after coffee rush hour to get a seat…
This dive-y bar on Washington Street is totally uncool and therefore nearly too cool. Love coming here for a beer and they’ve actually got a pretty decent kitchen too.
Around the corner from Wallsé, a very fine Austrian restaurant run by Kurt Gutenbrunner, this small, dimly lit bar (also owned by him) is a fine place for a date.
A tiny bar on West 11th that’s good for a cocktail or two before dinner.
All of the little, thoughtful dishes are magnificent here and the wine selection is incredible and breakfast is a dream (those steamed eggs!) and the coffee is perfect and the whole thing is warm and fun and perfect.