There are a few reasons you might end up at Portale. It’s from the chef who ran the kitchen at Gotham Bar & Grill for 34 years, it’s in an attractive space near Union Square, and the menu has crowd-pleasing options like burrata, housemade pastas, and dry-aged steak. But you shouldn’t go to this big Italian spot in Chelsea if you’re looking for excellent food. Besides some very good blowfish tails that were available on one of our visits, and the rich short rib lumache, everything here is forgettable, and considering the high prices, there are plenty of other Italian places near Union Square that you should prioritize instead.
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Sullivan Street Bakery
Sullivan Street Bakery is a little counter-service cafe with breakfast, lunch, and excellent baked goods.
Trailer Park Lounge & Grill
Trailer Park in Chelsea is a trailer park-themed bar, which is actually a lot better than it sounds.
Piggyback is a pan-Asian spot in Chelsea from the people behind Pig and Khao, and it’s a great option for dinner before a show at MSG.
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The Long Island Bar
The Long Island Bar looks kind of like an old-school diner, and it’s where you go for great cocktails and a top-notch burger in Cobble Hill.
Circa Brewing Co
Circa Brewing is a beer hall and brewery in Downtown Brooklyn. The beer is decent, and it’s good for groups, but we aren’t really fans of the food.
Barking Dog is a casual American spot on the Upper East Side where you can sit outside during brunch with your dog.
Suggested by our writers
The Tribeca restaurant is less of the celebrity scene it once was, but still makes very good Italian food.
Loring Place is an upscale Greenwich Village spot that should please just about everybody.
Marea is about as good as upscale eating gets in Midtown, and there’s a lot of that around. Don’t miss the bone marrow and octopus fusilli.
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