It’s unheard of to see a traditional Korean restaurant operating in Manhattan outside of 32nd St, so imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon Tofu Tofu in Chinatown of all places. Not that taking the train up to Herald Square is all that inconvenient, but walking 10 minutes along Bowery to a Korean restaurant downtown has been the best thing ever. Of course, the meat here will not be on par with the bbq at a place like Kang Ho Dong Baekjong, but that’s ok. You come here because Tofu Tofu has a good selection of Korean favorites at very reasonable prices and it’s the only place downtown.Read More
Le Bernardin is Eric Ripert’s world famous, three Michelin star restaurant in Midtown where the dinner tasting menu will run you $187 per person, $282 if you include a wine pairing. A meal here may seem inaccessible, but one trick to getting around the prices is to eat in the Lounge, where you can order off of the a la carte menu or enjoy the $57 3 course City Harvest prix-fixe, which is offered exclusively in the Lounge.Read More
Here’s another excellent Midtown East lunch special that should be on your radar. Mifune is a high end Japanese restaurant run by a cast of pedigreed chefs who trained at some of the best restaurants in Paris. While a dinner tasting will run you $100 a person, or $250 if you do the omakase at the sushi bar Amane downstairs, the lunch menu entrees hover at around a reasonable $25.
The thing to get is definitely the Mifune chirashi box, and it’s because the sushi rice that comes with it is so good. The rice is served separately from the raw fish in two different compartments, one topped with cooked egg and roe and the other with some pickled vegetables. They’re both fantastic and could shine on their own as independent dishes. There are also Western entrees on the menu, reflecting Mifune’s Franco-Japanese point of view, which is great if you’re in the mood for something more hearty and filling, and the juicy and tender roasted duck breast with brown sugar vinegar sauce will do the trick. If you were never jealous of people who worked near the UN or Grand Central, which are both comfortably within walking distance of Mifune, then you might be now.
245 E 44th St (between 2nd and 3rd Ave)
New York, NY 10017
Whenever I want to bring out-of-town guests to a very “New York” type of restaurant, I always take them to Russ and Daughters Cafe. It’s historic, having operated since 1914, and they preserve the look and feel of that era with the attractively retro decor that looks like something out of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” or “Mad Men”. And more importantly, the food is great–think traditional Jewish deli foods like latkes, matzo ball soup and smoked fish spreads. The only downside is that for brunch, the restaurant only takes walk-ins, and you’re guaranteed to wait for at least an hour. But I say it’s worth the wait. Suck it up, put your name down, get coffee somewhere else, and come back when you get that wonderful text saying your table is ready.Read More
January so far has been a month of bitterly cold bomb cyclones and broken resolutions. What is there to look forward to now that the holiday parties are over and winter is just getting started? Before you resign yourself to several more months of hibernation, you should know that you can have your one last hurrah at Aquarius, an arctic chic cocktail and sustainable seafood festival thrown by the organizers of the fabulous annual summer soiree Secret Summer, which will take place on Saturday, January 27th at the Foundry in Long Island City, Queens.Read More