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Restaurant Spotting: Dirt Candy (2.0) is Dandy

Posted on Sep 25, 2015 in First Bite, Restaurant Spotting, Reviews

Dirt Candy’s tagline is, “Leave The Vegetables to the Professionals.” And to be sure, chef/owner Amanda Cohen has done wonders to change the way the restaurant industry looks at meat — seriously, how many “vegetable-focused” concepts have you seen debut over the last few years?

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Truly Innovative Thai Food at Ngam


Posted on Sep 17, 2015 in Ethnic Eats, First Bite, Restaurant Spotting, Reviews

Thai restaurants tend to fall into two camps — there’s highly Americanized spots, and resolvedly authentic eateries, featuring searingly spicy chili peppers and potentially challenging proteins. But Ngam in the East Village takes a playful and tasty approach, injecting complex, regional Thai dishes with a bit of American cheek…

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Restaurant Spotting: Superiority Complex

Posted on Sep 15, 2015 in First Bite, First Bite, Restaurant Spotting

If you thought the mayhem surrounding Fuku was insane — in the form of up-to-the-minute reports on lines wrapping around 1st Ave. — it can’t hold a candle to the commotion surrounding Superiority Burger and its killer veggie burgers…

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Beyond Goya: Miscelanea Brings Artisanal Mexican Groceries to the East Village

Posted on Aug 12, 2015 in First Bite, Food Markets, Reviews

We’ve asserted numerous times that New York’s multi-ethnic food scene is entirely unparalleled — and that’s in no way limited to restaurants. There are countless grocery stores around the city that make internationally inspired cooking a breeze, including Miscelanea, a welcome Mexican addition to the East Village…

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Inside Oleanders: Brooklyn’s Addition to the Hotel Restaurant Renaissance

Posted on Jul 23, 2015 in Brooklyn, First Bite, Restaurant Spotting

Hotel restaurants used to have a really bad rap, but nowadays, that couldn’t be further from the case; eateries situated in hotels are frequently counted amongst Manhattan’s finest, from Jean-Georges in the Trump Tower and Café Boulud in The Surrey, to The Breslin in the Ace, Marta in the Martha Washington, and The NoMad in, well, The NoMad…

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A New Start for Neta

Posted on Jul 16, 2015 in First Bite, Restaurant Spotting

Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau helped make Neta a star in the city’s already stacked sushi circuit, bringing their staggeringly high-end restaurant experience (at Masa and Bar Masa, respectively) to bear. But when the pair departed last year, to open their own, equally elite kaiseki spot, Shuko, it left Neta in a potentially awkward position — should they stay the course with $50 morsels of caviar-dotted toro, without the firepower of their two sushi celebrities, or find a way to set themselves apart?

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O-Ya – Review

Posted on Jun 30, 2015 in First Bite, Hottest Newcomers, Reviews, RG's Favorites

I’ll be honest: I thought I would hate O-Ya. It gave me anxiety right from the start. I mean, it’s not everyday that you have to put a credit card down for a mere two-top reservation. (Not to mention the $100 per person fee if you cancel within 24 hours.) In fact, the cheapest ticket to entry at O-Ya is $185 for an 18-piece “sushi” omakase. And if you’re really hungry or a glutton, you can splurge on a 23-course meal for a whopping $245 per person…

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Oiji Proves Upscale Korean Fare is More Than Just a Passing Fad

Posted on Jun 17, 2015 in Ethnic Eats, First Bite, Restaurant Spotting, Reviews

Korean food has definitely been on in exciting upswing in New York in the last few years, from the totally modern tapas at Hooni Kim’s Danji, to the fast-casual Kimchi Ramen at Esther Choi’s Mokbar. And with the newest entrant, Oiji in the East Village, it’s clear that interest in elevating the sweet and spicy cuisine is more than just a passing fad…

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Inside Dominique Ansel Kitchen

Posted on Jun 4, 2015 in Dessert, Hottest Newcomers

Ever since opening his very first bakery, Dominique Ansel has been a food news fixture. After all, it’s of utmost importance to stay abreast of the latest flavor of Cronut — or even more noteworthy — the pastry master’s newest, groundbreaking creations, from Magic Soufflés to Frozen S’mores to Milk and Cookie Shots. But the sugar wizard’s latest venture is his most exciting yet; a second, West Village outpost, called Dominique Ansel Kitchen…

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MAMO – First Bite


Posted on Jun 2, 2015 in First Bite, Reviews

I’m not going to lie. I had high hopes for the opening of MAMO in SoHo. I mean it’s hard not to get excited about a glamorous French Riviera import taking root right here in New York, and a wildly popular one at that. So I dragged a crew down to the newly minted eatery on a recent Friday night…

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British Invasion: Jason Atherton Debuts The Clocktower

Posted on May 27, 2015 in Hottest Newcomers, Restaurant Spotting

Ding-dong, London calling! The highly anticipated Clocktower is officially open for business on Madison Avenue, headed by Michelin-starred British chef, Jason Atherton. Located in Ian Schrager’s brand new, super-swanky Edition Hotel, and in partnership with Philadelphia bigwig, Stephen Starr…

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Meet Virginia’s : An East Village Winner from a Chicago-Based Crew

Posted on May 20, 2015 in First Bite, Restaurant Spotting, Reviews

Chicago may be considered one of the next great food cities, but it recently lost a bunch of talent to New York. The co-owners of Virginia’s, which recently opened in the East Village, first met while working at Charlie Trotter’s (chef Christian Ramos went on to become sous chef at Per Se, and Reed Adelson moved to Locanda Verde)…

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The Polo Bar – Review

The Polo Bar

Posted on May 12, 2015 in Hottest Newcomers, Reviews, RG's Favorites

21 Club and Monkey Bar, eat your heart out. There’s finally a new power scene spot in the no man’s land that is midtown, dubbed the The Polo Bar, and it’s single-handedly reviving the notion of “see and be seen.” Throngs of food and lifestyle writers have gushed about random Rihanna, Beyonce, and Barbara Walters sightings at this hot, New York haunt…

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Asia De Cuba

Asia De Cuba

Posted on May 1, 2015 in Hottest Newcomers, Reviews

I don’t know about you, but boy am I glad to see Chino Latino Asia De Cuba move back into town… into the space that formerly housed Butter, nonetheless.  Their savory-sweet Crispy Calamari and Banana Salad is back and just as good as I remembered it.  And so are a few other signatures, like the Tuna Tartare and the Crab Dumplings, though much of the menu has been reinvented by Cuban native, chef Luis Pous, who made a splash at Little Palm Island with his Cuban-cum-French cooking. At Asia De Cuba, Puis is trying his hand at a fusion of Latin and Asian cuisines, dreaming up Black Bean & Plantain Empanadas, Shrimp Churros, and Barrio Chino Steak.  There’s a slew of tasty Ceviches, including a beautifully balanced Scallop ceviche with grapefruit and pork cracklings, and supremely fresh ribbons of Fluke...

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Beaubourg – First Bite

Posted on Apr 21, 2015 in First Bite, Reviews

I’ll admit I get neighborhood envy. How could I not? I live on the Upper East Side. And while we’ve admittedly made strides with the addition of Ristorante Morini, Rotisserie Georgette and the like, we have a long, long way to go. So you can imagine how jelly donuts I was to hear about the new French marketplace that is Le District all the way down in Battery Park…

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Shuko – Review


Posted on Mar 30, 2015 in Hottest Newcomers, Reviews, RG's Favorites

The thing about Shuko is that it’s strangely not easy to find online. If you google this new, sushi joint in the East Village, a fashion site by the name of Shuku New York comes up for the bulk of the first page, which makes you wonder exactly how it ever became the hottest restaurant in town. And the fact that they have just 20 precious seats along the sushi bar (and a few tables for two) doesn’t help matters much…

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Santina – Review

Posted on Mar 3, 2015 in Hottest Newcomers, Reviews

You might say the Major Food Group is on, well, a major roll. It all started with Torrisi Italian Specialties, a deli by day, ambitious tasting menu destination by night, which redefined Italian-American cooking and then some. It was here that Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi, and Jeff Zalaznick single-handedly made red sauce joints cool again…

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Lincoln Square Steak Jazzes Up New York’s Pre-Show Dining Scene

Posted on Feb 27, 2015 in First Bite, Restaurant Spotting

There are at least two nonflexible prerequisites for a traditional steakhouse; the space must be grand and cozy, and you must source and serve a perfect steak (a killer wine list and assortment of cream and butter-drenched side dishes doesn’t hurt either!). Lincoln Square Steakhouse checks both boxes, plus a few more besides…

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Zuma – First Bite


Posted on Feb 17, 2015 in First Bite, Hottest Newcomers, Reviews

New York is an intimidating place to open a restaurant… to say the least. Even the most celebrated chefs in the world hesitate before dropping a restaurant in Manhattan. And many never dare. So it’s a big deal when a successful chain decides to open up shop on New York turf. Such is the case with Zuma, which just opened its ninth outpost on Madison Avenue near 38th Street…

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Restaurant Spotting: Bara


Posted on Feb 12, 2015 in First Bite, First Bite, Hottest Newcomers, Reviews

The East Village is arguably New York’s top dining destination right now, with more than its share of noteworthy newcomers (Tuome, Huertas, King Bee, GG’s, Bowery Meat Company, Root and Bone, & Empellon al Pastor), and just as many seminal institutions, like Russ & Daughters, Prune, & Momofuku Noodle Bar. But the restaurant we’re most excited about hasn’t made anyone’s “hot” list yet, which means you can actually still snag a prime time table…

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