The list never ends! In a previous postI mentioned a group of restaurants (Quality Meat, Park Avenue Summer, Dressler, Public, and Oceana) that are run by chefs I work with frequently but don’t visit nearly enough. So far, I’ve only made it to Quality Meats since that post, but I will continue to make my way around to the others as my bank account will allow (note: none of these places would be considered “cheap eats”, even if my friends do take amazing care of me when I’m there).
This list is an add-on to that first group except that I don’t know the chefs at some of them, yet. Though none of these really qualify for the “cheap eats” category either, they take a little less financial planning to enjoy.
1. Salt: Chef Melissa O’Donnell is hands down one of my favorite chefs in NYC. Her restaurant is warm and welcoming, comfortable and classy (love the alabaster votives). Melissa is always challenging herself with diverse products and techniques and there’s nothing better than being on the receiving end of her many successful discoveries. The food here seems deceptively simple but the flavors are deep and complex. Definitely have the homemade merguez (spicey lamb sausage) if it’s available, and the honey-glazed dates wrapped in bacon make an equally good dessert as appetizer!
2. Fatty Crab: Either the original downtown location or on the Upper West Side if you prefer (that’s a bit high up there for a Brooklyn girl). I’m fairly certain that I’m the only person I know here who hasn’t been to this restaurant! I’m actually planning to remedy this one in just a few hours… fatty sliders? watermelon pickle and crispy pork “salad”? chili crab? Hmmm… I’ll tell you all about it soon.
3. Bar Breton: I’m no stranger to the gallettes of Breton, at least in their American incarnation… Ti Couz was my favorite restaurant in San Francisco for many years – but when a Michelin-star chef (Cyril Renaud) decides to go a little low-brow and focus on comfort food, I’m in!
4. Ippudo: Another place that I’m cowering with embarrassment to admit that I’ve not been to yet… supposed to be the best ramen in NYC, and this is coming from some serious ramen eaters (Mindy…). I’ve even written recommending this place based on the raves of trusted palates! Now, if I can only justify the 1-2 hour wait to slurp… maybe in the fall when the humidity drops below 80%!
5. Porchetta: OK, maybe this one qualifies for the “cheap eats” category… this place is more of a take-out sandwich shop than a restaurant, but I trust that Chef Sara Jenkins is not messing around here! I’ve been itching to get back to Rome for a while now… I may need to visit Porchetta to hold me over until I can make that happen.