You can’t make a reservation at Emilio’s Ballato, but you can just walk in (early) and hope you get a table. There will likely be a wait, especially on weekends, but it’s worth it if you want to eat some excellent red-sauce Italian food in an NYC institution where both Barack Obama and Rihanna also like to hang out. The restaurant is behind a discreet entrance on the South side of Houston, and while the interior might not look that impressive, as soon as you settle in for a meal and start observing the scene around you, you’ll start to feel like you’re in a clubhouse.
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Nagomi is a non-descript sushi restaurant on Prince Street that can be summed with one new tag on this website: Perfect For When You Can’t Get In to Blue Ribbon Sushi. It’s a solid stand-in for when you can’t get into the more exceptional spots in the area.
Little Prince needs a lot of fine tuning. We really wanted to love this place. But don’t hire a bunch of waiters just because they look cool, and don’t fail on technique when you’re serving French food.
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Al Di La
Al Di La is the ultimate neighborhood Italian restaurant. If you live in Park Slope, congratulations.
Gaetana’s Cucina Italiana
Gaetana’s is an old-school Italian spot in the West Village that tends to stay quiet. If you want to hide from the world, stop by for a chicken parm.
Bocce Union Square
Bocce USQ is an outdoor Italian restaurant in Union Square Park, and it’s perfect for an after-work spritz when you’d rather be in Rome.
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Estela might not be the cushiest restaurant in NYC, but it’s still an excellent choice for a fun night out or next-level brunch in Nolita.
Peter Luger Steak House
Peter Luger is a New York City steakhouse institution, and eating here is an experience unlike any other in the city.
Dirty French is a Lower East Side French restaurant from the people behind Carbone, and like that place, dinner here is definitely an event.
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