Don Angie in West Village

Italian always seems like a safe choice when it comes to eating out, and lasagna in particular is the most basic of pasta dishes. It’s for the unadventurous person who never quite progressed beyond the comforts of eating from a Stouffer’s lasagna box. But at Don Angie, the new Italian restaurant in the West Village run by the team behind Quality Italian, the familiar lasagna has been given a fantastic face lift that would make it unrecognizable to many of its devotees. This lasagna’s also upgraded to fancier digs, trading in the checkered table cloth and humble wood tables of a red sauce joint for fancy blue banquettes, a chic marble bar and an overall upscale nautical bistro look and feel. Which means, like Anna Kournikova, you may not be able to afford it–expect to shell out $64 for the two of you.Read More

Hwa Yuan in Chinatown

hot tang tang noodles (NOT the cold noodles with sesame sauce)

What do you do when a restaurant runs out of its signature dish? This would be like going to Momofuku Ssam Bar and finding out they ran out of the pork buns, or walking into Russ & Daughters only to discover that they were out of bagel and lox for the day. The equivalent of this happening at Hwa Yuan, an iconic Chinese restaurant run by deceased restaurateur Shorty Tang that was recently revived by his son in its original space, is if it ran out of its famous cold sesame noodles.Read More

Cervo’s in Chinatown

cervo’s in chinatown

Portugal is one of my favorite countries in the world. You can’t beat the gorgeous weather, the friendly people and the simple, tasty Mediterranean food, all of which come at reasonable prices. So when I heard that a new Portuguese restaurant called Cervo’s had opened up in Chinatown, I made reservations asap, anything to have a taste of the seafood-driven specialties of Porto and Lisbon that I enjoyed several summers ago.Read More

Madame Vo in East Village

It finally feels like fall, which means pho season is underway. And now there are even more options in New York to give in to your Vietnamese noodle soup cravings. Lately the trend in pho seems to be fancier bowls with higher quality ingredients and cleaner flavors than what you would find at a more traditional place, a function of the second generation updating the recipes of their relatives for the modern palate.Read More

Celestine in DUMBO

mixing drinks at the celestine bar

I’ve always thought of DUMBO as home to the scrappier, Millennial set – after all, a lot of startups are based out of there, and it’s also where Dan Humphrey the “poor” kid on Gossip Girl lived. So it took me by surprise to see such a polished and grown-up restaurant like Celestine¬†open up here. When you step into the beautiful space and marvel at the stunning waterfront views, you don’t feel like you’re in Brooklyn at all. Maybe a high-end Los Angeles or Chicago restaurant, because there’s just so much space and there’s sophisticated jazz playing in the background, which is not something you come across all that often in Brooklyn. Celestine was¬†clearly designed with the intent of being an impressive destination restaurant, and it succeeds, drawing guests from beyond the local Brooklyn Millennials judging by the well-heeled couples and families taking their seats on a recent Sunday evening.Read More