Behind the Brand > The Social Diary

NYC I ❤️ You: Our 13 Favorite Restaurants

I can't tell you the number of times we've received requests for our favorite restaurants list so here they are! Instead of focusing on the "best or fanciest," (there are many a list on that and I am no culinary expert!), I'll be sharing our regular go-tos and sweet favorites from over the years-- the places we've made memories! I hope you'll come along!

Cafe Cluny / West Village
From little anniversary dinner dates and big family brunches to my last stop with a sweet West Village livin friend before leaving the city, Cafe Cluny is always a cozy stop serving up classic American dishes. The two topper in the below left hand corner has been the scene of many a bubbly toast! 

Fish / Greenwich Village
I cannot tell you the amount of times we've frequented Fish. We almost always somehow get lucky and get the two spots at the outside window. Our most recent visit was over Halloween. It was in the 60s and we posted up outside eating oysters, drinking wine, and watching all the Halloween passersby. Austen Kelly was baby Frida! We always order the same thing- the Red, White, and Blue special and the Lobster Special plus a lobster add on.

Santina / Meatpacking District
OMG, the food! The decor! This is a new to me restaurant. We visited for a sweet friend's birthday and it was the perfect spot for a special dinner. We loved it so much we got two orders of the Spicy Tuna Tartare, but I honestly could've gotten two orders of everything else ;) It's a bit pricey so I would reserve it for a splurge-y night. 

Rosemary's / West Village
Boasting vegetables harvested from their rooftop garden and Hudson Valley farm, Rosemary's hits all the notes from delicious Italian dishes to the ambiance prime for the grammurtunity. Simple pasta dishes and the octopus app are my faves! After dinner here (and at Fish!) we would make it a habit to slow walk over to the nearby Washington Square Park to mingle with the park musicians and park go-ers.

Root & Bone / East Village
Thoughtful southern fare in a rustic chic space. Root & Bone is truly one of my top faves. We've tried almost everything on the menu from the fried chicken basket to the biscuits to the mac 'n' cheese to the brisket and more. This is the perfect little restaurant for the fried chicken and elevated soul food lover. Cocktails are on point, too!

Sant Ambroeus / Soho
Chic, chic, chic. You may even see Don  Draper or Betty having a gin ricky at the bar. Sant Ambroeus is quite pricey but every now and then we would sneak out of the Spring Street showroom to enjoy its bar bites, smancy cocktails, and glam surroundings. We had our Spring Street holiday lunch here in 2017 and I've had many a special biz meeting here al fresco under the stylish orange awning! 

Pete's Tavern / Gramercy Park
A neighborhood fave, we would often walk to Pete's for a quick meal or to hang at the bar/dominate the juke box ;) Most recently we went for a Sunday supper of insanely juicy steaks and a bottle of red! Pete's is best characterized as a vintage-y, old NYC kinda bar. It's been in operation since 1864. I prefer to head here in the winter, as it is dark inside but twinkly lit, so it's a great hide out from the cold.Han Dynasty / East Village
Frequented by the late Anthony Bourdain for good reason: no fuss, an always bustling and casual East Village crowd, and perfectly spicy Sichuan. A spot for the locals! It was just a few blocks from our Gramercy Park apt so we would often slow walk down and even slower walk home ;) Our order every time: Dan dan noodles, beef cumin, pea leaves, and mapo tofu. Mmmm. Come with a crowd-- it's family style.

Mission Chinese / Lower East Side
Spicy Sichuan but more fussy than our favorite Han in a good way! Think a cool downtown ambiance, inventive modern Sichuan, and incredibly creative cocktails. My last order at the bar? The "Phil Khallins" Gin, Coconut Milk, Kaffir Lime,  Tainjin Chili, Ginger, Lemongrass, Sesame oil. This is spot is not for the basic. Hit the LES bar scene for after dinner drinks if that's not enough. A great spot for out of towners looking for an experience!

Casa Mono / Gramercy Park
Perhaps one of my top 3 all time favorites and conveniently in our old neighborhood. Casa Mono is intimate, candle lit, and Michelin starred. It serves up the most special Spanish style tapas and its comprehensive wine list can't be beat. We reserve this spot for special occasions because it's $$$. We last went for my birthday right before baby and let's just say mama did not hold back. ;) November 19, 2017. Baby girl came 10 days later! <3

Hudson Clearwater / West Village
We first visited this dear to us little spot within the first month of moving to NYC. It's another one of those we've been to too many times to count. Woody and warm on the inside, airy and twinkly lit on the outside (see below outside garden patio), it's been the scene for anniversaries to casual dates to cocktails and more-- read about my night at the Chef's table here!

Mercer Kitchen / Soho
So $leek. So hip! So fance. I had to put at least one on here that was a scene! The last time I visited Cuba Gooding was hanging in the lobby and Lindsay Lohan was apparently romping about. Creative dishes by a celebrity chef that do not disappoint. Writer's note: 99% of the time we are such casual, creature of neighborhood habit diners. This would not be an everyday spot for us but totally a fun NYC experience ;) 
Delicatessen / Soho
On the list because this was our go-to spot for special team lunches down by our Spring Street showroom. From holidays to birthdays, my order every time was the Nicoise Salad and parm truffle fries. Even Oscar and Ophelia (the Spring Street puppies!) have dined al fresco here. This is a great spot for a lunch time Soho shopping break. This and Soho Park for quick and cheap bites right across the street!

That is all for now, but we've frequented so many delicious restaurants I could name 20 more! These are just a few that we've loved to visit over the years. Happiest dining to you! Also, if you would like to share your favorites below, I would love to put them on my to do list! 


p.s. I have a whole separate list for JUST PIZZA!