Located in SoHo, Shuka is a popular neighborhood restaurant serving contemporary Eastern Mediterranean cuisine. The restaurant is lively, service is kind, and the food was even better than I expected. And that's saying something, because with executive chef Ayesha Nurdjaja (James Beard finalist for best chef in New York State) at the helm, my expectations were high. We were warmly greeted when we arrived, well taken care of throughout, and were continually blown away by each dish. We ordered the Parsnip Ganoush, Falafel, Crispy Cauliflower, Grilled Sirloin and Grilled Shrimp Kebabs. I can't pick my favorite among them. They were all fantastic and I'd order each of them again. The flavors were vibrant and balanced, never too much. You know how some flavors can exhaust the palate and others leave you wanting more? These dishes were definitely the latter. I'm already looking forward to my next visit.
Ci Siamo is located in Manhattan West, a new development cozied right up next to Hudson Yards. It is a high-end, highly reviewed Mediterranean restaurant featuring dishes cooked over a live fire, housemade pasta and a robust Italian wine list. Ci Siamo has been all the rage since opening in late 2021. I was lucky enough to get a reservation prior to my show and was curious to see if it lived up to the hype. The restaurant is expansive, with floor to ceiling windows brining in copious amounts of natural light and has an open kitchen at the end of the restaurant where I was seated. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the symphony of chefs creating and sending out beautiful plates. I ordered the Caramelized Onion Torta, Asparagus with Capers and the Rapini Agnolotti--a bright pasta dish with ricotta and lemon. I was completely satisfied with my experience from start to finish. I especially loved the Caramelized Onion Torta; it was rich and delicious.
If you've read my other posts, you already know that The Fulton is one of my favorite restaurants in the city. Located on Pier 17 in the Seaport District, it is known for it's amazing views and also it's creative seafood dishes. I've dined here multiple times, always bringing guests who have never been, because it is the perfect combination of gorgeous setting and delicious menu. I've enjoyed everything from the Longevity Noodles with Maine Lobster to Seared Diver Scallops to the Gruyère Cheeseburger au Jus. The Fulton's cocktail menu is worth mentioning too. I've never ordered a drink that I didn't enjoy. If they are featuring a seasonal cocktail, go with that!
I often get asked about my favorite brunch spots in NYC. At the top of my list is Cookshop, an American Restaurant in the heart of Chelsea. The restaurant is casual and energetic, it's menu largely driven by what is fresh and available at the greenmarket. They offer all of the classics, but with a creative and flavorful twist. They use ethically sourced meats and bake their delicious pastries in house. Do not sleep on the sticky date coffee cake! Or the Beignets! They are always worth the spurge. I especially love the Cookshop Egg Sandwhich and frozen Paloma. Tip: Walk the High Line in the morning and then walk over to a brunch reservation at Cookshop when you're done.
I made a reservation at Quality Bistro after getting sucked into their Instagram posts about their Butter Service. I can't stand by and merely look at pictures of such a thing, I must try it! Let me assure you, it is WORTH it. So much so, that I've been back and ordered it again! Quality Bistro is a steak-centric brasserie in Midtown serving contemporary takes on French Classics. Aside from the aforementioned Butter Service (A+, 5-stars, Highly Recommend) I've enjoyed the French Onion Soup, Steak Frites and Scallops. Absolutely everything has been delicious and Quality Bistro has become a dinner staple, prior attending Broadway or a performance at Radio City Music Hall. You can easily walk from the (gorgeous) restaurant to most theaters in 5-15 minutes.
If you are going to New York City for the first time, or for the first time in a long time, it can be helpful to work with an NYC travel expert. I will help you navigate the logistics of timing, budget, and travel party dynamics while incorporating your unique needs and interests. This sets you up to actually enjoy your time in NYC. Reach out! Let's plan your trip together.