NYC: Your Restaurant Cheat Sheet

New York is like an in-law. Most of the time we get along just fine. Sometimes, we’re even thick as thieves. We laugh, we shop, we drink, we dine… and then it rains, snows, or throws an awful gust of rotten summer trash right up my nose. She frustrates me… this city that never sleeps, but hell, I still love her. Which is exactly why I like to elicit the aid of good friends and grub-loving gurus to help me determine where to do my dining and socializing when I’m off to the Big Apple.  This week, it’s Maryann Scaccia, previously Vice President of KB Network News, an influential restaurant public relations firm in NYC. This is what she’s got to say and we’re all ears.

If you’re seeking an escape from the madness of midtown, duck into Oceana where Chef Ben Pollinger has created an exquisite seafood menu using local and seasonal ingredients. With interiors designed like a luxury yacht and desserts that are otherworldly (caramel candy bar anyone?) it’s the ultimate fine dining experience.

55 E 54th St

Phone: (212) 759-5941

Casa Mono
Tapas lovers flock to Mario Batali’s cozy spot in Gramercy Park to feast on classic Spanish dishes such as Patatas Bravas, as well as sumptuous delicacies such as Duck Hearts with Faves a La Catalana, Ensalada Mono with Manchego, Dorada with Chanterelles. Muy delicioso!

52 Irving Pl.
NY, NY 10003
between 17th and 18th Sts.
Phone: (212) 253-2773

La Esquina

Although the west coast may have one up on New York for its authentic Mexican food, no one could argue that La Esquina doesn’t deliver when it comes to great food, funky décor and cool people. Still a place to see and be seen at all hours, there is a basement restaurant and bar, taco stand and café. Personally, I’m a big fan of the laid back atmosphere in the café and can be found there gorging on bistec tacos and ceviche most Sunday afternoons…..

106 Kenmare Street
NY, NY 10012
Phone: (646) 613-7100


Tucked away on a cobblestone street beneath the Manhattan Bridge in DUMBO, Superfine is situated in a graffiti splashed converted brick warehouse, which is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of cool factor for this little-known Brooklyn hot spot. Great cocktails, a seasonally driven American menu (with quite possibly the best pork chop on the planet!), comfy retro furniture and free pool attract local hipsters night after night. They also do a fab blues brunch with live music on Sundays.

126 Front St
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: (718) 243-9005

Café Mogador
Smack in the center of a busy East Village block, this Moroccan restaurant is the perfect place to gather with great friends to share plates of gloriously authentic tagine, cous cous and hummus. It’s lively, fun and reasonably priced – all in all, the perfect destination for a good night out.

101 Saint Marks Place
NY, NY 10009
Btwn 1st Ave & Ave A
Phone: (212) 677-2226

Straight from Maryann Scaccia, Friend/Foodie/Guest Blogger/Guest Guru, you now have the answer to that always baffling, ‘So where do we dine tonight?’

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