By: Gracie Deale
For some, finding where to dine on the weekends or after a long workday is time consuming and annoying. No one has the energy to figure out where the eff they want to eat on Friday night because there are a zillion places to pick from. What’s the coolest or trendiest? And where can we go if we’re recently single and want to mingle in a vibey spot to meet a new prospective suitor? And then there’s the endless lists of restaurants or places you want to try but never get to because you end up just going to your favorite place again. For some, where to dine doesn’t matter at all because it’s just food, but for me being a foodie and all, where to dine is something I devote time to and carefully pick to make sure I’ve tried all the bucket list options in my ‘Notes’ folder on my iPhone. There are always new places popping up and you don’t want to get behind or miss out. Check out my top picks of some old and new spots below and follow me @graciedeale for more of what I love to do in the city.
Finding the best place to dine is a great art. My friends and I love checking off a restaurant when we’ve finally tried it and usually I’m the one to post about it and write a good (or bad) review on Yelp. I find reviews on Yelp to be the most insightful because they reflect a customer’s true experience at a restaurant. See my below roundup of fabulous finds I’ve loved dining at and broken them down based on who you should bring to each restaurant.
When you’re with your girlfriends:
Location: 38 East 19th St. NYC
This brand-spanking new Jean-George restaurant just opened up 6 weeks ago on 19th and park ave and I am already obsessed. The interior is very cute with big disco-like balls that hang from the high ceiling and give out pink light and good vibes. The inside reminds me a lot of its neighbor restaurant, ABC Kitchen (another amazing spot for Italian dining). Currently, abcV is just open for breakfast and lunch but I bet once more people learn about its existence, it’ll turn into a dinner spot too. Grab your girlfriends or mom and try abcV. Everything is fresh and delicious, but I particularly love the blueberry bowl, dosa (crepe with fried egg and veggies), fresh spinach spaghetti, and vegan chocolate mousse.
For a first or second date:
Location: 40 Kenmare St, NYC
I have a lot of great memories from Bread. It’s a very cute spot in Nolita that used to be located on Spring st. but has moved to the Nolitan hotel. I think it is a perfect place to go for a first or second date because it’s not too crowded, has a chic interior and a city vibe atmosphere as it’s located right in the heart of Nolita. Dishes to try are the pasta lasagna, arancini, and bucatini. There’s also outdoor seating for summer so you can have the option to enjoy your meal outside too and enjoy some people watching. If you hit it off with your date, you can always check out the nearby bars after dinner or drinks and get to know each other even better.
Dining with the man you love and live with:
Location: 567 Union Ave, Brooklyn
If you and your boyfriend or hubby are feeling hip and cool, make that trek out to Lilia in Williamsburg. They accept reservations but it is very tricky to get one so try to make it a month ahead of time. Share a few dishes like the goat cheese filled tortellini, grilled veal flank steak and must-try cacio e pepe. I’m sure he’ll love it just as much as you because it’s a fun adventure to get to BK and once you’re there, the place is so romantic, quaint and lit with candles! There’s nothing better than having a little Italian to indulge in for a special occasion like birthday or anniversary. For dessert, I highly recommend the chocolate soft serve with chocolate stracci and salted hazelnuts. So get on your hipster shoes and citibike or subway into Williamsburg to enjoy some delicious well-deserved carbs.
Dining with dad:
Location: 378 Park Ave South (btw 26th & 27th
You can never go wrong with fries and a juicy burger when you’re out with dad for dinner. Flatiron’s Hillstone restaurant on Park Ave is spacious, and has a beautifully inviting bar that appeals to older crowds. It’s a vibey spot that will make dad feel hip and cool. The ambiance is lively, the portions are huge and there is a long list of bold wines for your dad to navigate. Dishes I highly recommend are the crispy chicken sandwich, beef burger, emerald kale salad, and brussels sprouts. You’ll both be leaving very full and happy.
Dining with dad, mom, grandma, grandpa, cousins, mother-in-laws:
Location: 80 Columbus Circle, NYC
Don’t flop on your folks again and take them somewhere lousy when they’re visiting you in NYC. Reserve a table at Asiate, the yummy fusion cuisine spot everyone is dying to try, and you won’t feel bad about having them splurge a little on you because after eating there they’ll know it was worth it. The floor-to-ceiling windows will give you a breathtaking view overlooking Central Park South. Remember to show off your city when family comes to town. It’s all about the views here and showing off the city that is so nice they named it twice!
Thank you, and have a great week! Follow my blog at www.inner-bloom.com for more about me and what I love to write about.