Higa's Go to NYC Eats

My musts eats in NYC
  1. 1.
    Chef Gabrielle Hamilton is all about simple is best. The pork chop or whole branzino may look plain when it arrives at your table but packs a deep flavor punch. Brunch is on a whole other level here. The fried oyster omelette is an ethereal silky egg with a crispy complex oyster inside. Spice it up with the tabasco surrey and you have a home run. Hash browns with everything please.
  2. 2.
    Le Bernadin
    I don't wear a suit often but I'll knot up that tie without hesitation for a meal here. Hailed as the best seafood restaurant in NYC. No argument from me there. The 3-course lunch for $80 is the way to go. It's a down right luxurious epicurean experience. It's hard to be decisive with the menu but don't fret. Every dish will be more inventive than you imagined. Just do it. Get dressed up and splurge on yourself and someone special. You deserve this. experience for way less than at dinner.
  3. 3.
    I know it's a bit hipster but you had me at the Pear Salad with Daikon, Hazelnuts & Pecorino. As you can see in the photo, it doesn't looked nor taste like ANY salad I've had. I haven't had the signature chicken so one more trip is needed. Disclosure. I have a soft spot for the Nomad. It was the last place I broke bread with David Carr, the truest no bs voice there was in culture & tech writing. I'll always picture him here, head thrown back, that throaty laugh, and a Diet Coke. We miss you.
  4. 4.
    Ramen Lab
    A test kitchen by day and a slurp fest by night. The lab was cooked up by Kenshiro Uki of Sun Noodle, the #1 purveyor of ramen noodles in the US. A cast of rotating chefs take up residence to R&D recipes by day and open the door to a waiting public at night. I've had a shockingly complex classic torigara soup via chef 'Jack Nakamura', and a Tampa style braised ramen with habaneros by Ichicoro. I feel the birth of a vibrant regional ramen movement underfoot. Get in line & grab some chopsticks.
  5. 5.
    Del Posto
    Sometimes, you just gotta go for it. Del Posto is opulent, theatrical, and over the top in all ways. The setting is luscious. The tasting menu is a triathalongish 4hrs. The food is an opera on every plate. Chef Larder deserves all his stars but gird your belly and your wallet for this extravaganza. But when all is said and done and the legions of plates are cleared, ohh the pastas. They are to die for.
  6. 6.
    Del Posto is trying to elevate Italian cuisine to French. Carbone is more reinvention of the classics. From the cheeky Godfather-esque interior to the tux clad waiters, everything is a throw back, but somehow modern. The baked clam trio looks like bread crumbs but then you bite into the uni on top. I've had rigatoni and I've had vodka rigantoni, but not with a hint of almost citrusy spicy. It's a hard booking to get and the $50 entrees can be daunting but it's an adventure in dining, no doubt.
  7. 7.
    Eleven Madison
    For sure, one of the best tasting menus around. For sure, the best service I've had on his continent. But, I gotta move it lower down the rankings as north of $200 even for lunch is nosebleed territory. Especially when you harken back to the $38 lunch special from way back when which was without a doubt the best value for $ meal ever.
  8. 8.
    Katz Deli
    Just like I avoid eating sushi outside of Tokyo and am always disappointed when I do, it makes no rational sense to eat pastrami anywhere else but in NYC. Yes, the whole get your ticket, go to separate stations, pay as you exit system can be befuddling the first time, but all is forgotten and forgiven after that first mouthful of airy, flavor packed, mount of meat that keeps calling you back here.
  9. 9.
    L’Artusi checks all the right boxes. Inventive and yummy food. Friendly and competent service. Great wine list with Coravin pours. Start off with the roasted mushrooms topped with pancetta, fried egg and ricotta. It's a plate full of piquant goodness. Then move onto any of the pasta dishes that strike your fancy. It’s bound to be a new addition to your taste palatte like the linguine with negro shrimp, chilies, and breadcrumbs. Go for the bar seats which are roomier than the tables.
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