I feel like the Jean-Georges restaurants I’ve visited have been a bit of a hit or miss. There are a few that I love (like Nogatine & Dune) and some that I really don’t (Lagoon in Bora Bora). But after 3 visits to ABC Kitchen, I can assure you that this one definitely falls into the love category. It won a James Beard best new restaurant award in 2011, and is consistently serving up delicious organic and locally sourced dishes. Everything is super fresh and seasonal (pretty much all of nyc has jumped on the farm to table bandwagon). It’s great to know that there is always going to be something new and delicious each time you go, but I have a few favorites that I would really like to see back on the menu this fall (squash toast and fried chicken, please!). At this visit, we started with a heirloom tomato toast, then split the burger and squash blossom pizza. The pizza was amazing, and worth going back for in itself. For dessert we had the ice cream sundae, which includes popcorn and candied peanuts and is swimming in chocolate sauce. Hungry yet?
The decor is also reason enough to visit. It’s pseudo located within ABC Home and is full of chic, modern furniture paired with elegant and mismatched china. It’s charming and sleek all at the same time. If you can’t get a reservation, we’ve had great luck just walking-in on the earlier side. You might have to have a drink at the bar if you want to wait for a table, but there are a number of bar tables that you can order from as well. Best of all, the staff is among the friendliest I’ve met. They’re a great source for information on what dishes to try since the menu changes frequently – definitely ask for their recommendations!
Another farm to table concept, David Burke Kitchen is delicious, laid-back, and, as we’ve come to expect from Burke, quite inventive. One of the standouts of our meal were the peanut butter stuffed, bacon wrapped dates, which were just as crazy and amazing as they sound. We also loved the pretzel crusted crab cake and the peach bbq short rib. Best of all, we got it on the cheap since it was restaurant week!! They even had specially priced bottles of wine, which you know we took advantage of. For dessert, a must have is the toffee monkey bread for 2. It’s massive, and even after it’s served for 2 (table side) half of it is still left in a cute little tin to take home and enjoy the next day. The woman next to me actually made the comment that it was the best thing she’d ever eaten. I certainly was glad to have that 3rd & 4th serving! The staff was attentive and helpful, and when our dessert was taking a little too long, they promptly brought over champagne to make it up to us. A classy touch. We will definitely be back!
Everyone has their pick for Little Italy, and this is ours. If you are visiting nyc, Little Italy should definitely be on your go-to list. They close the street to vehicular traffic, so there’s tons of people walking around, vendors selling everything from pashminas to gelato, and a plethora of outdoor cafes serving up classic Italian fare. I’ve had great experineces at a number of restaurants down there, but I’ve been going to Il Palazzo since I first came to the city as an intern nearly a decade ago. There’s outdoor and indoor seating, and they also have a great atrium type space. The staff is always friendly and helpful and the food is excellent. If you are looking for classic Italian cooking, you really can’t go wrong here. The portions are also large so plan on sharing! My husband and his family absolutely love their capellini primavera. Ferrara Bakery is also right around the corner, so you must stop there for something sweet and delcious – I vote for the chocolate dipped cannoli!
Have an occasion coming up, like an anniversary or birthday? Look no further than Robert, which is located atop the Museum of Arts and Design. From their spot at the top of Columbus Circle, you get fabulous views of Central Park and Broadway. Ask for a table next to the window! I loved the vibe from the decor – very modern and fitting of a museum restaurant. The crowd was decidedly chic, as was the food. The menu isn’t extensive, but everything we tried was delicious and presented beautifully. I’ve been to The Modern, inside the MOMA, and I would choose Robert any day. You just can’t compete with the views and food.
Classic French food all the way. This is a neighborhood haunt, and has pretty much zero scene. I really don’t have too much to say about this one. If you are in the area (great for early dinner before hitting Lincoln Center) and are in the mood for excellent traditional french food without all the fanfare, this is your spot. Some might call it romantic, and some might call it small and quiet – while I really enjoyed my food, I would have to side with the latter.
And Kimster you’ve won the kitchen scale giveaway on behalf of Slimkicker! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will make sure you get set up. Congrats!