There’s a certain charm to New York. Walk just off a busy Avenue, and you’ll find yourself in the West Village amongst the charming blocks of West 4th Street, Charles Street, or Bedford Street. Or, wander into a quiet little neighborhood spot that is quintessentially New York. If you’re looking to get a real feel for New York and its restaurant scene, these restaurants are a must visit.
When Via Carota opened on Grove Street in the West Village just a few years ago, those passing by knew it would be a hit. After all, it has the charm of the West Village, the restaurants setting was quaint, and it just looked like a restaurant that was well suited to represent New York City. This Italian trattoria serves traditional fare in a rustic and cozy space thanks to cherished downtown chefs Jody Williams and Rita Sodi. The restaurant is part of some other incredible West Village restaurants: I Sodi and the beloved Buvette.
North of Union Square
Someone walking by this 18th street venue might walk by and see it as just a rug shop (ABC Carpet), but walk through the retail store, and a charming kitchen awaits. The chic New American eatery thanks to Jean Georges is a must visit. Large wooden tables are surrounded by bright white modern chairs in a simple, elegant and charming setting that is sure to delight the senses. The Jean Georges backed restaurant offers the freshest organic and local ingredients with a menu that focuses on seasonal produce. Meat, fish and dairy and locally sourced, and the restaurant utilizes an amazing rooftop garden to provide herbs, spices, wines, juices and more for its menu items. While the menu is constantly changing, you can depend on inventive items like their roasted kabocha squash toast, a housemade ricotta with fig compote and grilled bread, housemade pastas that can’t be missed, pizzas, and tasty entrees.
It may be tough to get a reservation at Gramercy Tavern, but that’s generally a good thing. That means it’s one of the best in the city. The neighborhood mainstay in Flatiron is one of the city’s best and serves up contemporary American cuisine in a space that is quintessentially New York. Constantly topping the list of the best restaurants in the city, Gramercy Tavern is an experience unlike any other. Sip on tasty cocktails as you are served inventive and beautifully plated meals. The restaurant is also unparalleled when it comes to hospitality and service. Sit in the dining room and opt for their fixed price and tasting menus with tasty servings like striped bass, a goldbar squash soup with sweet peas, almonds and miso and choices of plenty of vegetables. Chef Michael Anthony’s seasonal menu consists of refined dishes with a rustic influence that showcases the restaurant’s relationships with local farms.
Dine on American fare at this East Village popular eatery that’s mainly known for its Brunch. But, come by for lunch or dinner and you won’t be disappointed. For brunch, a bloody mary with eggs is a right of passage. And, not many restaurants around NYC serving brunch do it better than Prune. This neighborhood hotspot is a standout thanks to Chef Gabrielle Hamilton who serves up a curated menu of tasty New American dishes.
TriBeca’s favorite upscale restaurant is undoubtedly Locanda Verde. Chef Andrew Carmellini serves up a soul-satisfying urban Italian menu with dishes for all times of the day – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The beautiful corner restaurant serves up Italian spirit cooking with heart, including dishes like their Mezze Rigatoni with white veal bolognese and aged parmigiano, as well as mains ranging from Sicilian-style cod, a Colorado lamb, and much more. The ambience mixed with tasty Italian fare make this restaurant that opened in 2009 a NYC mainstay.
Brooklyn / DUMBO
Whether you love Mediterranean food, or you’re trying it out, you’ll love the food at Celestine in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood. The views from the Brooklyn waterfront that overlooks the entire Manhattan skyline are spectacular! Located under the Manhattan Bridge you get to sip fine wine, dine on seasonal soulful fare that draws inspiration from the Mediterranean coastline thanks to Executive Chef Garett McMahan. The restaurant is open for brunch, lunch and dinner, and offers a great dessert menu as well!
The restaurant, associated with Via Carota and I Sodi just blocks away, is a favorite for tourists and locals alike. If you’re a picky eater, Buvette may not be the place for you. The menu is quintessentially French, but please try anything on the menu and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. The brunch is fantastic (make sure to try the Bellini’s and Mimosa’s) with items like eggs with caviar. The restaurant doesn’t disappoint for lunch or dinner either, and you’ll generally find lines out the door. It’s a small space, but it works with the charm of the neighborhood. It’s a favorite for its food, ambience and decor.