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European Cuisines

Afternoon Tea 2.0 at The Plaza

Neighborhood: | Featured in First Bite, Restaurant, Sneak Peek

The Plaza is practically, by definition, a destination for indulgence. And the Afternoon Tea Service with a tasty new menu from Geoffrey Zakarian, just reinstituted after a long period of renovation, is the ultimate in pinky-lifting luxury, so if you go, resist the urge to worry unduly about the bill to come…

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Batard – Reviewed

Neighborhood: | Featured in First Bite, Hottest Newcomers, Restaurant, Reviews

It’s always sad when a restaurant doesn’t work out. Restaurateurs put a lot of money into building out a restaurant in hopes that people will come and return often. But let’s be honest: Corton didn’t really work even when Paul Liebrandt was in the kitchen, so there was no love lost when he left for Brooklyn to launch The Elm. Which is exactly why Drew Nieporent smartly teamed up with John Winterman and chef Markus Glocker (Gordon Ramsay at The London) to transform what was refined, but a tad too serious into a warm, friendly neighborhood spot with good food and wine…

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First Bite: Bacchanal

Neighborhood: | Featured in First Bite, Restaurant

We’ve gotten used to finding buttoned-up restaurants in Alphabet City, or destination-worthy eateries in industrial Brooklyn, but it’s still a surprise to stumble upon Bacchanal, situated in a former lighting shop, on the otherwise dumpling shop-dotted and Peking duck-slung border between the Bowery and Chinatown…

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Try This: Slovak Dumplings, Two Ways

Neighborhood: | Featured in Ethnic Eats

You may be familiar with spaetzle, the Central European egg dumpling found on menus at popular New York Austrian restaurants like Edi & the Wolf and Blaue Gans, but does the name halusky ring a bell? Restaurant Girl samples this lesser-known Slovak cousin to spaetzle at East Village eatery Korzo Haus.

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The Marrow – Reviewed

Neighborhood: | Featured in First Bite, Restaurant, Reviews, What I'm Loving

There is marrow on the menu at Harold Dieterle’s new West Village eatery, of course. It comes roasted and topped with sea urchin, teeny nibbles of fried potatoes, a few wisps of baby celery greens, and a drizzle of meyer lemon aioli. Looking for a light bite? Consider eating elsewhere. But if you’re looking for some heart-warming (or stopping) cooking to cozy up to this winter, The Marrow has quite a few terrific options.

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The Marrow

Neighborhood: | Featured in Hottest Newcomers

There is Marrow on the menu at Harold Dieterle’s new West Village eatery, of course.  It comes roasted and topped with sea urchin, teeny nibbles of fried potatoes, a few wisps of micro celery greens, and a drizzle of meyer lemon aioli.   Looking for a light bite?  Consider eating elsewhere.  But if you’re looking for some heart-warming (or stopping) cooking to cozy up to this winter, The Marrow has quite a few terrific options.  Perhaps you’d be interested in the  hand-cut Fettucini with Pork and Sage Sausage or the Pan-Fried Duck Schnitzel with Quark Spaetzle, Stewed Wolfberries and a Cucumber-Potato Salad?   And just what are Fettucini and Schnitzel doing on the same menu?   Dieterle’s newest venture was uniquely inspired by both his Italian and German roots, so expect the food to follow suit.  That means dishes as dichotomous as...

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Yonah Schimmel Knishery

Neighborhood: | Featured in Best Of, Winter Eats

This Lower East Side knishery has been cooking whole grains for over one hundred years now.  Just what is a knishery exactly?   It’s a place that peddles Jewish knishes, big, pudgy dumplings filled with anything and everything, and often stuffed with kasha, which refers to a large family of grains eaten in Slavic Europe (make it plural and you get Kashi, thus the name of the eponymous cereal and snack bar purveyor).  The Kasha Knishes at Yonah Schimmel are round, baked shells of dough filled with a savory mixture of kasha and chopped onion.  It doesn’t matter if you lack Eastern European roots – these knishes are undeniably...

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Acme

Neighborhood: | Featured in Hottest Newcomers

Teaser: Nordic cooking is having its moment in New York right now and perhaps the most exciting spot to sample it right now is Acme, where Noma’s co-founder Mads Refslund fortuitously turned up in the kitchen this winter. Talk about a makeover…

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Prime Meats

Neighborhood: | Featured in Reviews

Good meat, well-aged ambience Cuisine: Northern European Vibe: Victorian barroom Occasion: Neighborhood dining; bar bites; meat cravings. Don’t Miss: Daily punch, herb and Gruyere spaetzle, Vesper Brett, Prime Meats burger. Price: Appetizers, $9; entrees, $13; dessert, $5. Reservations: No reservations accepted. Cash only. Phone: (718) 254-0327 Location: 465 Court St., at Luquer St., Brooklyn Remember when Sam the butcher used to make house calls to the Bradys? The Brady-era butcher shops were different from earlier ones. Through the end of the 19th century, most New York butcher shops were owned by Central European immigrants. They didn’t just sell ground meat, tenderloins and pork chops. They also sold sausages, spaetzle and sauerkraut. Prime Meats, a new restaurant in Carroll Gardens, honors the tradition. In fact, the restaurant was inspired by a German butcher-shop sign from the 1880s that hung on...

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Bar Blanc

Neighborhood: | Featured in Reviews

Address: 142 W. 10th St., at Waverly Place. Phone: (212) 255-2330. Dinner: Tues.-Sun., 5:30-11 p.m. Closed Mondays. Cuisine: Creative European. Vibe: Stylish lounge. Occasion: Intimate date; chic dining. Don’t Miss Dish: Four-cheese ravioli; ginger-roasted red snapper. Price: Appetizers, $12-$18; entrees, $26-$36; desserts, $10. Reservations: Recommended. Everyone looks beautiful at Bar Blanc. Perhaps it’s the way the candlelight bounces off the polished white tables that casts an unmistakably flattering glow throughout the space. It’s a stylish stage set in the West Village, where diners lounge on shimmery banquettes in the 65-seat dining room. Bar stools wear plush leather and even the servers are fashionably dressed. But make no mistake: Bar Blanc is an ambitious restaurant in a laid-back disguise. This supposed “wine bar” offers a four-course tasting menu ($72) that begins with steamed foie gras and follows with sea scallops...

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Allen & Delancey – Reviewed

Neighborhood: | Featured in Reviews

115 Allen St. (btwn. Delancey & Rivington Sts.)  Phone: (212) 253-5400 Hours: Dinner, Mon.-Sat., 6 p.m.-12 a.m., Sun., 5 p.m.-11 a.m. CUISINE  Contemporary European. VIBE Cozy lower East Side haunt. OCCASION  Romantic dinner; Bar dining. DON’T-MISS DISH  Caramelized bone marrow, Sweetbread raviolo PRICE Appetizers, $12-18; entrees, $20-29; desserts, $10. RESERVATIONS  Highly recommended.   At Allen & Delancey, a well-heeled woman spooned bone marrow into her mouth. It was a nonchalant bar gesture, followed by a leisurely sip of a cocktail. This is a culinary sign of the times. Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “Live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.” Dining on bone marrow was likely not what the philosopher had in mind, but fitting, as this is not an uncommon sight at New York City restaurants in the 21st century. Allen & Delancey is the...

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Bobo

Neighborhood: | Featured in Reviews

At Chez Bobo, beauty runs only skin deep. 181 W. 10th St., at Seventh Ave. (212) 488-2626 Dinner: Mon.-Thur., 6 p.m.-11 p.m., Fri-Sat, 6 p.m.-12 a.m., closed Sundays. CUISINE  European bistro VIBE  Brownstone chic OCCASION  See-and-be-seen dinner; cocktails. DON’T-MISS DISH  Tarte flambee PRICE  Appetizers, $8-16; entrees, $18-26; desserts, $7. RESERVATIONS  Recommended Checking in for dinner at Bobo feels like you’re checking into a bed and breakfast – in the West Village. Reservationists answer the phone, “Bobo residence.” Hosts greet from behind an antique desk. The only thing missing is the little bell on the counter. Once you pass the hostess desk, you feel as if you’ve entered a European dinner party or a chic supper club with homespun charms. Chef Nicolas Cantrel’s European bistro menu similarly follows suit: bouillabaisse, steak frites and tarte flambee. Owner Carlos Suarez has also...

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FR.OG

Neighborhood: | Featured in Reviews

Address: 71 Spring St., btwn. Crosby & Lafayette Sts. Phone: 212.966.5050 Cuisine: French-bent global Vibe: Modern swank Scene: Euro crowd Hours: Dinner, Mon – Thu, 5:30pm – 10:30pm; Fri & Sat, 5:30pm – 11pm; Lunch, Friday, 12pm-2:30pm. First Bite Impressions: Lost in translation Price: Appetizers, $14; Entrees, $30. Reservations: Reservations recommended. www.frognyc.com Chef Didier Virot & his partner Philip Kirsh are testing their luck at NYC’s restaurant roulette again.  While Virot’s first venture notably brought refined French to the Upper West Side, he’s decided this time to tempt fate in Soho with a mixed bag of nearly every cuisine under the “French sun” (Lebanon, Morocco, Vietnam, & Africa to name a few).  The two-level space also happens to be in throwing distance from Balthazar, which makes it nearly impossible to avoid side-by-side comparisons to McNally’s French tour de force. ...

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Azza

Neighborhood: | Featured in Reviews

Address: 137 East 55th St., btwn. 3rd & Lexington Aves. Phone: 212.755.7055 Cuisine: French-Moroccan Vibe: Exotic Arabian escape Scene: Euro crowd Hours: Dinner, Mon – Sat, 5:30pm- 12am.  Lounge hours, Mon – Fri, 5:30pm – 4AM, Sat. 10pm – 4am. Scoop: Multitask – shop while you imbibe in the downstairs store filled with Moroccan wares Price: Appetizers, $5-11.  Entrees, $22-34. Reservations: Reservations accepted. www.azzanyc.com Ever wonder what happened to Fizz, that members-only supper club & lounge in midtown, which suddenly lifted its exclusionary policy to fill the swanky void within?  Neither did I, but apparently it “fizzled” into the night, not shocking considering the allure of downtown Lotus, Marquee and Stereo.  In its wake, Restaurateur Djamal Zoughbi and his partner Thierry Pomies have ambitiously revamped the space, unveiling French-Moroccan Azza.  Gone are the moneyed namedroppers and impossible Fizz guest...

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Amalia

Neighborhood: , | Featured in Reviews

204 West 55th St., btwn. 7th & Broadway Aves. 212-245-1234 TYPE: Mediterranean-American VIBE: Whimsical opulence OCCASION: Chichi date or group gathering DON’T MISS DISH: Roasted sea bass with rock shrimp DON’T BOTHER DISH: Stuffed ribeye steak DRINK SPECIALTY: Aperitifs & global wine list PRICE: $55 & up HOURS: Dinner, Sun – Mon, 5 PM-10 PM; Tue – Thu, 5PM-11PM, Fri & Sat, 5 PM – 12 AM.  Lunch daily, 11 AM – 3 PM (Start date TBD). INSIDE SCOOP: Lounge open with a separate 55th St. entrance, Sun – Wed, 5PM – 2AM, Thu-Sat, 5PM- 4AM (Start date TBD). RESERVATIONS: Reservations accepted. RESTAURANT GIRL RATES: 5.5 on food, 8 on atmosphere FINAL WORD: While undeniably posh, this well-heeled newcomer leans on style over substance: the cuisine slightly falters.  When in midtown, drop into Amalia for exotic desserts & handcrafted...

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The House

Neighborhood: , | Featured in Reviews

121 East 17th St., btwn. Park & Irving Place 212-353-2121 TYPE: Continental grab bag VIBE: Charmed townhouse OCCASION: A romantic date or glass of wine DON’T MISS DISH: Roasted zucchini with pattypan squash & cracked olives DON’T BOTHER DISH: Seared branzino DRINK SPECIALTY: A sturdy wine list with quartino & half-bottle offerings PRICE: $50 & up HOURS: Dinner, Sun – Tue, 5 PM – 2 AM; Wed – Sat, 5 PM – 3 AM; Sat & Sun, Brunch, 11:30 AM – 3:15 PM. RESERVATIONS: Reservations accepted, recommended for third floor dining. RESTAURANT GIRL RATES: 4 on food, 8 on ambience FINAL WORD: You’ll want to move into this bewitching Gramercy townhouse, but beware of a grumpy master of “The House” and a dull hodgepodge of undistinguished fare. It’s not often you discover a restaurant quite as inviting as The...

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E.U.

Neighborhood: | Featured in Reviews

235 East 4th St., btwn. A & B Aves. (212)254-2900 EU Website TYPE: European gastropub VIBE: Rustic farmhouse meets brasserie OCCASION: Neighborhood nibbles or casual date DON’T MISS DISH: Grilled octopus with chickpeas, tomato & preserved lemon DON’T BOTHER DISH: Foie gras-stuffed quail DRINK SPECIALTY: International beer & wine list PRICE: $40 & up INSIDE SCOOP: During daylight hours, E.U. will double as a greenmarket/deli (TBD) HOURS: Dinner, Tue – Thu, 5:30 PM – 11:00 PM, Sat, 5:30 PM – 12 AM, Sun, 5:30 PM – 10 PM; Brunch, Sat. & Sun, 11 AM – 3:30 PM.  Closed on Mondays. RESERVATIONS: Reservations accepted, recommended on weekends. RESTAURANT GIRL RATES: N/A (Opening night for Chef Akhtar Nawab) FINAL WORD: With a menu that seems to span the global map, this European gastropub overextends itself.  Perhaps E.U. should hone in on...

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Honey

Neighborhood: | Featured in Reviews

243 West 14th Street (betwn. 7th & 8th Aves.) (212)620-0077 TYPE: Global cuisine VIBE: Moody Meatpacking (sans the velvet rope) OCCASION:  Dining in packs or “seal the deal” late-night with a cocktail and dessert DON’T MISS DISH: Honey’s ceviche trio DON’T BOTHER DISH: Paella tapas & apple cobbler PRICE: $40 (with a cocktail) HOURS: Monday through Wednesday, 5 PM-2 AM; Thursday-Saturday 5 PM-4 AM; Sunday 5 PM-12 AM. RESTAURANT GIRL RATES: 6 (above average) SEATING: 90 seats & private room in the back (holds 40) FINAL WORD: Eat with a fast crowd – commitment phobic diners can load up on appetizers before taking their place in line at Marquee or Bungalow 8. Honey isn’t a dining destination per se, but it’s certainly an appealing Meatpacking alternative to the bouncer and velvet rope-plagued, mob scenes of late.  Happily lacking the...

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FIKA – NYC’s First Swedish Espresso Bar

Neighborhood: | Featured in Reviews

41 West 58th Street (btwn. 5th & 6th Ave.) (212)832-0022 Website TYPE: Swedish espresso bar VIBE: Sleek coffee oasis OCCASION: A fika (Swedish for coffee break) DON’T MISS PASTRY: Vanilla dreams cookie DON’T MISS CHOCOLATE: Dark chocolate-covered lingonberry PRICE: $2-4 for coffee; $2-4 for chocolates & pastries; $8-10 for a sandwich or salad HOURS: Monday through Saturday, 7 AM-9 PM; Sunday 7 AM-6 PM. SEATING: No tables, just 7 generous counter seats and take-out. RESTAURANT GIRL RATES (1-10):  9 FINAL WORD:  FIKA gives new meaning to the concept of the coffee break. And if you’re not a coffee drinker, you might want to pick up the habit. Starbuck’s beware: there’s a new coffee shop in town and this Swedish arrival takes its coffee very seriously.  With modern trimmings – white walls, steel counters, wood stools and black & white...

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Tour

Neighborhood: | Featured in Reviews

102 8th Ave., at 15th St. (212)242-7773 Tour’s menu CODE.TV Video (with Restaurant Girl) TYPE: Global fusion cuisine VIBE: Basement lounge sleek OCCASION: Get your social amusement fix GO WITH: Trendy insomniacs DON’T MISS DISH: Wild mushroom risotto DON’T BOTHER DISH: Chicken spring rolls PRICE: $40 & up HOURS: Lunch & dinner, Monday – Friday, 11 AM – 6 AM; Saturday & Sunday, 9 AM – 6 AM.  Special brunch menu on Saturday & Sunday. RESERVATIONS:  Brunch reservations are recommended. INSIDE SCOOP: So loud, it’s hard to hear yourself chew.  Stake out a quieter outside table. RESTAURANT GIRL RATES (1-10): 4.5 FINAL WORD: Can’t sleep?  Get your late-night munchie fix while you people watch the club crowd. CHEAT SHEET: DRINK: Sparkling rose START WITH: Maryland lump crab cake ORDER: Wild mushroom risotto FINISH WITH: Stroll over to Billy’s Bakery for...

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