Portugal, a country that used to live in the shadows of more popular European peers like Spain, is suddenly the hottest place on the continent. As everyone jet sets off to Lisbon for a week of perfect weather and good food and wine, New Yorkers were lucky enough to have Portugal come to them at the 2018 Vinho Verde Wine Experience in Chelsea. Various Portuguese winemakers flew in and provided generous pours of their wine, which were paired with delicious bites and commemorated by attendees via photo booth and rooftop selfies.
The restaurant industry is tough. Even if you’re a famous, respected chef like Floyd Cardoz pushing the envelope on Indian food at a restaurant like Paowalla in Soho, it’s still not enough to make it. And it’s an even tougher sell when your concept is fancy Indian. Indian food hasn’t entered the mainstream dining consciousness in New York City like it has in London or elsewhere, so I’d imagine people would need to embrace regular naan bread first before going more upscale.Read More
Despite the name, Little Italy has never been known for its Italian food. There are plenty of red sauce tourist traps that line the streets, but actually eating at one results in disappointment. Which is why I was excited to hear about Dante’s residency at Genuine on the corner of Mulberry and Grand. Dante is a neighborhood favorite in Greenwich Village that is known for its $10 “Negroni Sessions” happy hour and solid Italian cuisine. My go-to meal there is always a glass of the Americano cocktail and a plate of the wild boar ragu pappardelle.Read More
Anyone who knows me knows that I was at one point absolutely obsessed with El Rey, a small cafe in LES that used to make my favorite bowl of kale salad in the city. I also loved their baked goods and would order the sweet potato bread any chance I could get. Even the small selection at dinner service was quite impressive. Gerardo Gonzalez was the mastermind chef behind all this, and it was clear that his talent would soon outgrow the tiny coffeeshop. It wasn’t surprising to see that he left to pursue those ambitions, and I also noticed that the quality of the kale salad and sweet potato bread at El Rey dropped after his departure.Read More
2016 was the year of Pasquale Jones. This restaurant makes delicious, accessible food at a reasonable price point (gratuity included!) in a great downtown location. I bring friends here repeatedly so that they can try the clam pie and the pork shank, which are two of Pasquale’s outstanding signature dishes, and no one has ever been let down. The same applies to myself. I’ve been back multiple times because the food is always good.
2016 was also a great year for poke bowls. There’s been an explosion of poke restaurants in the city, and my favorite one is Chikarashi in Chinatown. Indian food is also having a great year with the openings of places like Paowalla, Pondicheri and Indian Accent. So are sexy French restaurants, which are dishing up luscious meats and seafood in all sorts of creamy, buttery sauces in the prettiest of places. Brooklyn shows no signs of slowing down, New Nordic is still a thing, and you can never have too many new sushi restaurants. 2016 for me was also noteworthy for a lot of new overhyped restaurants I didn’t quite understand–Lilia, Llama Inn and Superiority Burger come to mind–but the ones that lived up to expectations really stuck. Here’s my list of the best new eateries that I think will have staying power.Read More