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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Very Fresh Noodles
Very Fresh Noodles is a great spot for Chinese hand-pulled noodles in Chelsea Market.
Cull & Pistol
Cull & Pistol is our new favorite destination in Chelsea Market. Say what you will about the crowds, but this is as good as workday eating probably gets.
Motel Morris is a slightly retro, motel-themed restaurant in Chelsea that’s cool enough for date night and nice enough for dinner with the parents.
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Peaches Hothouse is a casual restaurant in Bed-Stuy where you can find some good Nashville-style hot fried chicken.
Rippers is a little spot right on the boardwalk in Rockaway Beach where you can get hot dogs and burgers.
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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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