There are so many restaurants in New York City that it can be mind boggling. This New York restaurant guide is here to help. It is a collection of fabulous restaurants for couples or groups. Some are neighbourhood restaurants, others swish, many are cozy and homely. All of them are thoroughly tried and tested (tasted) by us. They are all different, for example, one of the restaurants is in the ‘Friends’ (US hit series) apartment block and another by a lake in Central park! So, be warned before you browse through this New York restaurant guide, mouths will be watering, tickets may get booked…
The idea behind Craft is that here is somewhere you could enjoy a plate of mushrooms or other seasonal vegetable, cooked and served simply at their best. This isn’t to say the cooking itself is simplistic, rather that here you can find straightforward food served in a family-style way, in the centre of the table ready for you to pile onto your plates.
The service is very smooth and we were welcomed, seated and served warm bread and an amuse-bouche to pop into our mouths.
We chose a very light starter of spring nettle pasta. The broth was scrumptious with masses of flavour and I felt decidedly healthier for eating it.
This octopus was another beautifully fresh dish. The pink grapefruit cleans your mouth ready for the next bite.
We went for a glass of refreshing white wine to start with, but the red was poured to breath in time for our mains.
I chose venison. It’s a very lean meat, but it was still very soft to eat.
Andy’s choice of braised short rib was absolutely delicious. It was served in a copper pot, which I always love.
We had a selection of sides. Do go for sides. The mains are simple so you need them. But also, they are done extremely well. Yum!
It’s well worth leaving a little room for pudding here. The chocolate soufflé was exceptional, with a deep chocolate flavour.
CRAFT – 43 East 19th Street, NY 10003
The Little Owl
Fancy eating in the ‘Friends’ New York apartment block (the famous US series)? The Little Owl is the tiny restaurant that sits at it’s ground level.
Expect a constant stream of (mainly young women) taking photos outside. It also was a very popular neighbourhood restaurant.
Inside, it’s a little worn, cute, cozy and friendly. It filled up in no time with locals meeting up and had a great atmosphere.
There is a quirky waiting area (that I couldn’t photograph because it was occupied). But anyway, if you have to wait, expect to sit up high with a super view over the busy little restaurant!
The service came with a hurried but genuine smile.
The food is great here. This short rib taco was so juicy and moreish.
These gravy meatball sliders are pretty famous. People talk about them all over the internet. They live up to the hype, so you don’t want to miss these!
This is like a hunters stew. It was delicious and Andy enjoyed it hugely.
My chicken was super juicy. I loved the Brussel sprout home-fries. But the gravy and potatoes were heavenly!
We wasn’t sure what to expect when we ordered the fruit crisp. It turned out to be Apple crumble. The crumble was wonderfully crunchy, but only order it if you like your fruit crumble very sweet. I personally prefer the fruit to have a little tartness to it.
The Little Owl – 90 Bedford St, NY 10014
OK. This isn’t a restaurant. I’m sneaking in a little cocktail bar for you. They serve food too, but as we were heading to a restaurant we only stopped by for a quick ‘sharpener’.
It’s dark and urban but really friendly. The cocktails were probably the best we had sampled, and yes, we had sampled quite a few!
Generally bars in New York are lacking compared to London bars. Well, we are a nation of drinkers, I suppose. This was one of the best, with a good selection of liquors.
Ampersand- 294 3rd Ave New York, NY 10010
When I was doing my research this restaurant really confused me. It kept popping up on all the standard restaurant guides but it was part of a retail chain. Did I really want to eat and buy a bath towel within the same space?
It turns out, yes. There are actually two restaurants: ABC Cocina (Mexican inspired) and ABC Kitchen (American food). We chose ABC Cocina with it’s dark and sultry interior, bare walls and sea creature sculptures.
I ordered their ‘spicy whiskey sour with widow jane bourbon and oloroso sherry’. Be warned, it was really spicy!
Cool and soothing, however, was this absolutely divine spring pea guacamole. I loved the pine nuts on the top and with a squeeze of lime, perfect!
Andy loves Iberico ham and this was a very good quality.
Empanadas are not really my thing. But, I have to admit these ones were really rather good!
I love dishes like this raw asparagus salad. It is packed full of health but it was also hugely satisfying to eat.
Anybody know a man who wouldn’t order these beef tenderloin ‘burntends’? Me neither! They come with a chimichurri sauce.
These spicy glazed ribs were so soft and not dry at all. Very moreish.
American cookies are famous. This cookie plate was nice because there was a little salt to off set the sweetness.
The warm fritters, however, are the dessert you need. The Mexican chocolate is to die for!
The coffee was really delicious, deep and luxuriant – and I loved the cups they came in.
ABC Cocina – 38 east 19th street, ny 10003
The Loeb Boathouse – Lakeside restaurant.
We’ve been to this lovely lakeside restaurant many times over the years. Usually for brunch. I think actually, I prefer the lunch menu best!
This cocktail was really delicious. It lasted about two minutes and if I wasn’t flying out that day I would have asked for a vat!
Today was rather windy and grey so the restaurant wasn’t quite open to the lake. However, in summer tables for 4 line the lakes edge, and you have turtles swimming by your feet! It’s true. No, it’s not a typo! The lake is home to hundreds of turtles, right in the middle of Central Park.
The food here is fantastic. Simple but perfectly done. Often restaurants in great locations can let you down with the food, but not here. The quality is very high.
My beetroot salad was fresh. I really loved it.
Andy’s soup was exceptionally tasty.
We both went for the twin burgers. You get two each. They were juicy, flavoursome and very filling!
I simply couldn’t stop pinching the chips!!
Feeling rather full but wanting a dessert because everything had tasted so good, we shared this fantastic peanut and chocolate tart. It oozed salted caramel and was a little stunner!
Find the Boat House by ‘the lake’ in Central Park.
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