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
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
Stylish Millennials are drawn to kitschy downtown restaurants with bright neon lights like bees to honey. So expect to be surrounded by lots of crop-top baring, selfie-taking people, 99% of them women, when you have dinner at The Lucky Bee, the new Southeast Asian restaurant in LES run by the former chef of The Fat Radish and The Leadbelly. The attractive crowd is pretty Instagrammable, and so is the inside, which look like it was furnished from Pearl River Mart. Bright paper lanterns and paper fans will show up so well in your social media feed.
On a stretch of Forsyth St, which still retains a bit of the gritty LES nature, lies a small, colorful Parisian hangout called Cafe Henrie. It’s the latest pet project of Andre Saraiva, a hip tastemaker of sorts who runs the nightclubs Le Baron and Le Bain. Saraiva designed the space with the Parisian cafe culture in mind, in which people would feel free to drink coffee, eat light bites and linger for hours. Judging from the scene there on a recent weekend, I can confirm that Cafe Henrie is successfully serving that purpose. Cool cliques of worldly French expats and girls in Reformation-type wear instagramming their food took their places on the pastel chairs and tables so that Saraiva’s stylish lifestyle center was picture perfect.Read More
Le Turtle sounds like an inside joke between two jaded industry people in the know. Let’s give this restaurant a ridiculous name and decorate things in dystopian chic and see if people are dumb enough to fall for it. I’m being a little harsh here, I doubt the owners were thinking in such a cynical and calculating way, but manufacturing hype seems to be a motivator for this restaurant.Read More