New York Journals

NYC Restaurants from a local's point of view

Best of IgoUgo

A June 2000 trip to New York by Constance

TRUST Photo, New York, New York More Photos
Quote: New York is full of restaurant choices but it can be difficult to separate the good from the average. These are some of my favorites.

NYC Restaurants from a local's point of view

Overview

Quote:
There are tons of 'tourist' restaurants here and it's best to avoid them. The lines are long and the food average. The chains are overpriced and the food isn't the best NYC can offer. Go with some local favorites vs. the big names and you won't be disappointed.

Quick Tips:

Best Way To Get Around:

Taxi's are the easiest way to get around but can be hard to find in the rain or during rush hour. The subway is often the best option.

Red Cat

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "The Red Cat"

Quote:
The Red Cat is one of my favorite NYC restaurants. The food is always wonderful and the service great! They have such a wonderful fusion of tastes that I actually slow down my frantic city pace and relax and enjoy the food. They cover all the bases - from vegan, to seafood, to plenty of options for meat lovers. The light tempura of green beans and parmesan french fries side dishes are a must! Desserts are unavoidable so go hungry! Appetizers range from $7-$14; entrees $15-$26 and sides $4-$8. For a wondeful night out, The Red Cat is the perfect beginning.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 25, 2000

Red Cat
227 10th Ave
New York, New York 10011
+1 212 242 1122

Blue Water Grill

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Blue Water Grill & Jazz Restaurant"

Quote:
The selection of seafood at the Blue Water Grill astounded me. Salmon, Tuna, Mahi, Swordfish and more! They also have sushi and more varieties of oyster than I knew existed. For those who aren't seafood fans there's also a chicken and steak entree. I tried the Roasted Pacific Mahi Mahi with Lobster Mashed Potatoes in a Pinot Noir Sauce. Outstanding! My fiance had the Jumbo Ravioli with Shrimp, Scallops and Crab with Sundried Tomatoes and Wild Mushrooms. Heavenly! The food here tastes like it was caught fresh that morning and it's one of those places that invites you to linger and enjoy. The ambiance here is wonderful. Jazz music softly surrounds you as you enter. It brings you the feelin...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 26, 2000

Blue Water Grill
31 Union Square West
New York, New York 10003
+1 212 675 9500

Metro Diner

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "The Metro Diner"

Quote:
One of my favorite places for a dependable casual breakfast. It's as affordable as eating at home and you don't have to clean up afterwards. The service is fast, so whether you want to relax and read the morning paper or you only have 20 minutes to spare you'll be taken care of. They have more types of omelets then you could ever think up and the Belgium waffles are out of this world. For those splurges, try the one topped with ice cream, chocolate syrup, whipped cream and strawberries!

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 23, 2000

Metro Diner
2641 Broadway
New York, New York 10025
(212) 866-0800

Punch

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Punch is a fun little restaurant near Union Square with a 'jester' ambiance about it. The American/Asian themed food is incredible. Appetizer starts at $7 and entrees range from $9-$20. Just reading the menu here is fun. They've come up with some interesting dishes. (Ramp Wrapped Spring Run Speckled Skillet Trout, Phat Phucs Lobster Laksa with Udon Noddles and my favorite, Tempura Crisped Buster Crabs, Pufferbellies of Andoulle & Herbs, Spring Slaw & Creole Remoulade). Have the waiter translate the menu for you and get ready to enjoy a wonderful dinner.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 29, 2000

Punch
913 Broadway
New York, New York 10010
(212) 673-6333

Manhattan Ocean Club

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
The seafood selection here is amazing and some of the freshest in NYC. It'll hurt your wallet if you're not on an expense account but the food is worth it. The decor is dark, rich and ornate but feels a bit masculine. They have a huge a la carte appetizer selection. You can create your own platter for the table with shrimp cocktail, crab, raw oysters & clams, etc. The entree selection is equally as impressive. This is a great place to go to impress a business client or for special occasions.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 29, 2000

Manhattan Ocean Club
57 West 58th St
New York, New York 10019
+1 212 371 7777

Mars 2112

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
This Mars themed restaurant is a great place to take the kids. Enter the main doors and walk to the 'launch pad'. Here you'll be treated to a simulated spaceship ride to the planet Mars, complete with moving seats to maximize the effect. It's actually quite a fun ride and even the adults enjoyed it. As you touch down on the planet and step off your spacecraft you see a huge room filled with rock formations. Look up and see stars twinkling and shooting comets moving along the ceiling. Top 40 music plays in the background and every few hours the 'martians' come out to see the diners! Wonderfully costumed, they come to each table to dance and 'chat' with the children. It's a great photo opportuni...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 29, 2000

Mars 2112
1633 Broadway
New York, New York 10019
(212) 582-2112

City Crab and Seafood Company

Restaurant | "City Crab & Seafood Company"

Quote:
The seafood choices here are overwhelming. They have a great assortment of fish and shellfish, including a raw bar. The food is good but not spectacular. The decor has a fun, casual feel. It's perfect for a large group but not for a special night out.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on June 27, 2000

City Crab and Seafood Company
235 Park Ave South
New York, New York 10003
(212) 529-3800

City Diner

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "The City Diner"

Quote:
The City Diner has the largest menu around. Everything from lobster to pancakes, served 24 hours a day. Breakfast is my favorite meal here. The service is quick and the food affordable and delicious. They have a great Belgium waffle but the coffee is terrible. Bring along a cup of Starbucks. This is also the perfect place for those post-bar/theater evenings.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 27, 2000

City Diner
2441 Broadway
New York, New York 10024
(212) 877-2720

Cosi Sandwich Bar

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Looking for a quick, yet healthy alternative for lunch? Cosi is the perfect solution! The bread is baked fresh in open flame heated ovens. You can sample it still warm as you walk in the door. They have a delicious selection of vegetarian and meat sandwiches. My favorite is the goat cheese and cucumber combo. If you're lucky enough to find a table (grab one when you see one), you can eat there - otherwise these sandwiches are great for on-the-go. Find a outside fountain and have an impromptu picnic.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 27, 2000

Cosi Sandwich Bar
11 West 42nd Street
New York, New York
212-588-0888

The Vinegar Factory

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Eli's Vinegar Factory"

Quote:
Eli's is located in a industral warehouse part of the Upper East Side. The lower level features a wonderful market with fresh cheese, breads, oils, fruits, etc. Upstairs you'll find the cafe that's only open on the weekends. It has a rustic open feeling. They serve an amazing brunch, either buffet style or menu ordered. Their blueberry pancakes are the best in town. There is always a crowd and it seems to be a favorite for families with small children. I go early to ensure a peaceful dining experience. If there is a wait, they also have a shop of kitchenware upstairs. Everything from cookbooks to pots and pan to stuff that I have no idea what it's used for.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 27, 2000

The Vinegar Factory
431 East 91st Street
New York, New York 10128
(212) 987-0885

Josie's

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Looking for a great healthy meal that tastes better than mom's? Check out Josie's! This unique restaurant is one of my favorites in the city. They serve everything from vegan dishes to free range meats and their menu is expansive. There is absolutely no dairy here but you'll never miss it. Even the fresh bread is served with a sweet potatoe pate instead of butter. It's usually quite crowded so call ahead for reservations unless you go very early in the evening. Even with the long waits it's worth it! Try the watermelon lemonade or one of the other fresh juice blends. The stir fry dishes are huge and you'll have plenty left over for lunch the next day. If you like Calamari you must tr...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 27, 2000

Josie's
1900 Broadway
New York, New York 10023
(212) 490-1558

Pastis

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Pastis - French Restaurant"

Quote:
Patis is one of the hottest NYC restaurants now so the reservations are hard to get and the waits are long. The restaurant is loud and crowded and you're seated at long tables with several other parties. We were asked to move chairs several times to accomodate other groups as they came and went. The food is good and priced affordably. I had a Mushroom Ravioli with Sage and butter that was great! They also have a selection of seafood, chicken, beef, etc. I recommend going for lunch to avoid the dinner and evening bar crowd.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 27, 2000

Pastis
9 Ninth Ave
New York, New York 10014
+1 212 929 4844

Asia de Cuba

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
The Philippe Starck interior is reason enough to venture to this restaurant. It's always crowded and reservations need to be made well in advance. The interior features expansive ceilings and sleek decor. There are individual tables and a large 'sharing' table where several parties sit side by side. The bar located upstairs provides a great bird's eye view of the dining area. Drinks are pricey so don't linger too long. The food is a delicate fusion of tastes and delicious. From the appetizer to the dessert it's a joyful experience.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 27, 2000

Asia de Cuba
237 Madison Ave, Morgans Hotel
New York, New York 10016
+1 212 726 7755

The Barking Dog Luncheonette

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
This is an upscale diner that gives you quality food like your grandma used to make. The breakfasts are wonderful and the lines on the weekends are long. Go early! As with most diners, the menu variety is wonderful so they'll be something for everyone in your party. This is the perfect place for some casual 'comfort' food.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 27, 2000

The Barking Dog Luncheonette
1678 3rd Avenue
New York, New York 10128
(212) 831-1800

Bryant Park Grill

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Located in a beautiful park square next to the NY Public Library, the restaurant has wonderful views. The bar can get crowded with the after work crowd and it's definitely a 'yuppie' scene. I recommend doing lunch vs. dinner. The wait staff is wonderful and the food great.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 27, 2000

Bryant Park Grill
42nd St.
New York, New York 10019
(212) 840-6500

Bubby's

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Bubby's - (for brunch!)"

Quote:
One of my favorite places for breakfast! It's a little bit southern and has been called 'farm-style'. It's in TriBeCa but worth the trip. The waits for brunch are long so opt for an early one. They have everything from mimosas to milkshakes and incredible pancakes! After breakfast enjoy walking around the cobblestone streets or venture to the park along the river to work off your meal.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 27, 2000

Bubby's
120 Hudson St
New York, New York 10013
+1 212 219 0666

Cafeteria

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Cafeteria is a wonderful 24 hour Chelsea restaurant. It's open and bright and can be very loud but the food is always dependable and keeps me going back. On nice days the front walls are rolled up for an open view of the street. The bar is usually busy but blocked off from most of the restaurant. Too bad the noise can't be blocked off. The food is great. Try the macaroni and cheese! YUM! Save room for desert. Theirs are some of the best in the city.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 27, 2000

Cafeteria
119 Seventh Ave
New York, New York 10011-1802
+1 212 414 1717

China Grill

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Now a chain, China Grill is an eclectic mix of Asian and American combinations. The place is massive and decor a bit cheesy but the food makes up for it. The big drawback is the bar. It draws the after work crowd and makes the restaurant incredibly noisy. Fighting your way thru the smokey bar to your table is also unpleasant. The food is served in large portions and meant to be shared with everyone at the table. It's a great way to get to sample more than just one entree. I recommend going with a larger group and avoiding coming here for an intimate dinner.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 27, 2000

China Grill
52 West 53rd St
New York, New York 10019
+1 212 333 7788

Tabla

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
As a general rule I don't like Indian food. Tabla is the exception. The food here is Indian fusion and incredible! I went with a large group of people and everyone shared my enthusiam for the place. Tabla offers a wide menu selection so everyone will be happy. They recommend you order a variety of items that are shared among the table. It's perfect because you can get a great sampling of everything they have to offer. Our waiter was terrific in recommending menu items for us. My favorite was the rosemary and cheese Nan. There's also an amazing cocktail menu with some unique house specialities that I highly recommend. And to complete the evenings the deserts were great! We went...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 11, 2001

Tabla
11 Madison Ave
New York, New York 10010
+1 212 889 0667

Cynthia's

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Cynthia's offers delicious home cooked food in a charming environment. It's a great place to go when you're craving a "home-cooked" meal. They even offer turkey dinners on Thursdays! Our appetizers and dinners were great. Especially the mashed potatoes! Unfortunately, the extremely poor service made it a less than pleasurable experience. Our waiter just didn't have a clue. For a while we thought he was the busboy filling in! We ended up asking other servers and even the bartender for items he forgot to bring (i.e. butter for the bread, beverages). It really seemed none of the staff really cared about their jobs or their customers. The restaurant is very cute but small and a bi...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on February 11, 2001

Cynthia's
212 West 14th Street
New York, New York
(212) 633-2820

TRUST

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

TRUST Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Check out this great restaurant/lounge/bar in one of NYC's hottest neighborhoods. Trust is definitely on the higher end of the sophistication chart. Everything here from the decor to the patrons is beautiful. Trust has three sections; a bar, a lounge, and an elegant dining room. The minimal and chic decor allows you to relax while enjoying the great drinks and food. I tried the Fried Goat Cheese Salad appetizer, which was incredible. Lightly breaded and fried goat cheese was served with yellow and red beets and mixed greens. It was light, yet decadent and satisfying. To get back on track with my diet, I chose the Trust Vegetable Plate for my entree. It consisted ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 18, 2003

TRUST
421 West 13th Street
New York, New York
(212) 645-7775