This is an old-school Italian spot in every sense. It’s been open since 1932, and it’s one big room with big tables and white tablecloths - so it feels like the kind of place where you’d eat with some 1960s ad execs, or before catching Our Town or Hello, Dolly! on Broadway. The service is friendly, and while the menu is full of classics like a caesar salad and chicken, veal, and shrimp parmigiana, the steak happens to be very good, with a thick, crispy char on the outside. Get one the next time you have a group meal planned with your in-laws, or you need to eat alone at the bar after a long day in Midtown. (Pro tip: the bar has free peanuts.)
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Pera is a big Mediterranean restaurant in Midtown, and it’s a decent option for dinner with a group near Grand Central.
We typically love ourselves some Michael White. Though his new hotel restaurant Ai Fiori is a sprawling space with more room than they know what to do with. Set inside The Setai, this is a bit of a cookie cutter hotel restaurant - one that isn’t bad, but just isn’t quite our style.
Toloache ain’t cheap, but in an area where dropping dollars on grub is a given, it’s a breath of fresh air when the food is legitimately awesome.
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Marlow Bistro is an Italian restaurant on the Upper West Side that feels like the setting of a first date scene from a 90s romantic comedy.
Frankies (570) Spuntino
While this isn’t a must visit, Frankies 570 is a reliable option that will be consistently packed with carb seeking humanity who might just appreciate the fact that Grateful Dead’s American Beauty is playing in full.
Locanda Vini e Olii
We’d love Locanda Vini e Olii if we lived down the street. But when it comes to traveling this far for dinner, there are probably other restaurants in the area that we’d rather be.
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Bamonte’s is a red-sauce Italian spot that’s been open in Williamsburg since 1900, and things here don’t seem to have changed much since then.
Keens is as Old New York as it gets.. Open since 1885, this steakhouse is pretty much the Museum of Natural Meat Eating History.
Patrizia’s Of Williamsburg
Patrizia’s is a fairly standard neighborhood Italian restaurant in Williamsburg, and they offer a $50 prix fixe that’s popular for birthdays.
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