There are so many great restaurants in the city – and outside of it – that in a way I find it difficult to list anything. You want to try everything and eat everywhere.
Still, many of the top rated places are not ones I would return time after time. Like Kosaka, which was outstanding – I prefer to leave places like that for special occasions only.
To make each choice count, I will list four restaurants only, that I look forward to returning on my next visit. For the ultimate experience, order several small dishes to share and try out different wines by glass.
Café Altro Paradiso
234 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013
Beautiful open space with marble, leather and wood detailed interior, this modern Italian serves soulful food in a casual setting. We ate mainly appetizers and pasta – and loved the selection of small, everyday wines such as minerally Etna whites.
47 East Houston Street, New York, NY 10012
The older sister restaurant of Café Altro Paradiso is smaller, louder and slightly more intimate but the concept is pretty much similar: Mediterranean-inspired food with a strong New York vibe, focus on small dishes and interesting wines.
119 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10003
Taking a fresh and modern approach to Korean cooking, this East Village restaurant managed to serve nothing but excellent dishes – food that tasted so good it was difficult to focus on anything else but praising it. Fantastic dinnerware too, with lots of handmade ceramics lovely to touch and look at.
268 Clinton Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
A long taxi drive away yet worth it, this Cobble Hill restaurant has one Michelin star yet the ambience is as laid-back as in any residential neighborhood bistro. The cuisine is “improvisational Spanish” with a focus on Jewish and Moorish traditions. We tried different vegetarian dishes along with meatballs and paella, and loved all of it.