Some of today’s biggest cookbook authors recommend their favorite New York City restaurants.
Einat Admony, chef/owner of Balaboosta and Taim, Balaboosta: Bold Mediterranean Recipes to Feed the People You Love (Artisan, Sept.)
For casual fast food in Soho, I recommend the Hampton Chutney Co. (66 Prince St.; 212-226-9996); it has the best dosas by far. Go to Cafe Mogador (101 St. Marks Pl.; 212-677-2226) in the East Village for a simple, delicious (and cheap!) Israeli brunch. And if you want to shop for special ingredients such as spices, seeds, and grains, you must visit Kalustyan’s (23 Lexington Ave.; (212) 685-3451).
Shauna Ahern, Gluten-Free Girl Everyday (Wiley, Apr.)
I go to great restaurants where they understand real food and know what goes into their dishes. There are some sweet little gluten-free restaurants in New York City—Risotteria (270 Bleecker St.; 212-924-6664) and Lilli and Loo (792 Lexington Ave.; 212-421-7800), but I prefer to go to one of the finest restaurants in New York City and tell them I am gluten-free. I have eaten some of the most memorable meals of my life at Gramercy Tavern (42 E. 20th St.; 212-477-0777). (And I go for lunch, so I can afford it as a splurge!) To eat safely, you simply need to eat at a restaurant where they understand great food.
Mark Bittman, VB6: Vegan Before Six (Clarkson Potter, Apr.)
I recommend both Kajitsu (125 E. 39th St.; 212-228-4873) and Angelica (300 E. 12th St.; 212-228-2909)—the best vegan restaurants in New York City and completely different from one another.
Giada De Laurentiis, Weeknights with Giada (Clarkson Potter, 2012)
Balthazar (80 Spring St.; 212-965-1414): chicken paillard with a side of fries is the best thing ever; Feast (102 Third Ave.; 212-529-8880): a casual, hip spot, where the food is farm to table and absolutely divine; PizzaArte (69 W. 55th St.; 212-247-3936): a hidden gem in midtown and yummy Italian food; ABC Kitchen (35 E. 18th St.; 212-475-5829): great for Sunday brunch.
Scott Conant, The Scarpetta Cookbook: 125 Recipes from the Acclaimed Restaurant (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Oct. 2013)
Aldea (31 W. 17th St.; 212-675-7223): George Mendes’s food is the perfect balance of modern and classic; the dining room is intimate and fun; and watching him and his team in the open kitchen is a great joy.
Cheryl Jamison, coauthor with Bill Jamison of 100 Grilling Recipes You Can’t Live Without (Harvard Common, May)
Bill and I eat barbecue in lots of parts of the country, but hardly ever in New York. Danny Meyer’s Blue Smoke (116 E. 27th St.; 212-447-7733) is about the only exception to that. For a great grilled burger, we love the one in the bar at Gramercy Tavern (see Shauna Ahern, at left).However, we’re much more likely to go to David Chang’s very meat-centric Momofuku (163 First Ave.; 212-228-7293) or Momofuku Ssäm Bar (207 Second Ave.; 212-254-3500), or for a bigger splurge on seafood, to Eric Ripert’s Le Bernardin (155 W. 51st St.; 212-554-1515) or Michael White’s Marea (240 Central Park South; 212-582-5100). On the far West Side, south of the convention center, is April Bloomfield’s The Spotted Pig (314 W. 11th St.; 212-620-0393).
Mollie Katzen, The Heart of the Plate: Vegetarian Recipes for a New Generation (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Sept.)
Al di La (248 Fifth Ave.; 718-783-4565) in Brooklyn: it feels as though you’re eating in a friend’s cottage, and that they’re preparing the meal just for you. Very fresh, understated, purely delicious food; they are not trying to impress nor to be cool. They are simply cooking beautifully and lovingly, and you can feel and taste it.
Jacques Pépin, dean of the International Culinary Center, Essential Pepin: More Than 700 All-Time Favorites from My Life in Food (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 2011)
L’Ecole (462 Broadway; 212-219-3300), the restaurant at the International Culinary Center (formerly the French Culinary Institute). It features modern French food and is a great value for the price.
Michael Romano, Union Square Hospitality Group chef, Family Table (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Apr.)
Kyo Ya (94 E. 7th St.; 212-982-4140): Sono, the Japanese chef, does amazing seasonal Japanese meals.
Michael Ruhlman, Salumi (Norton; 2012) and The Book of Schmaltz (Little, Brown, Aug.)
I have a special fondness for Barbuto (775 Washington St.; 212-924-9700). Not only is the West Village/meat-packing district my favorite neighborhood, I love the food (shout-out to chef de cuisine Melissa Lopez), love the atmosphere, and especially love that one of America’s great chefs of the ’80s, Jonathan Waxman, continues to be great in 2013.
David Tanis, One Good Dish: The Pleasures of a Simple Meal (Artisan, Oct. )
Buvette (42 Grove St.; 212-255-3590) is great for drinks and snacks late into the night, and for an early quiet lunch. Calliope (84 E. 4th St.), one of New York’s best-kept secrets, serves really good, well-executed, simple French fare.
Virginia Willis, Basic to Brilliant, Y’all (Ten Speed; 2011)
I don’t often patronize Southern in New York City as I can get that at home, but when I do I pay a visit to Sarah Simmons over at City Grit (38 Prince St.; 646-580-5720)—a culinary salon rather than a restaurant. Sarah, who hails from North Carolina, often teams up with visiting Southern chefs so they can showcase their talents in the city. It’s always offering great food and fun, and often bourbon as well.
Katie Workman, The Mom 100 Cookbook (Workman, 2012)
I am a huge fan of sushi, so I recommend Japonica (100 University Pl.; 212-243-7752). And with kids, I really love Asian restaurants because you avoid that terrible moment where your kids are presented with the children’s menu, and all hopes that they might order something off the real menu goes out the window. So, love that there are no chicken nuggets to shoot down, and in general Japanese and other Asian food is well liked by kids. Finally, Landmarc (179 W. Broadway; 212-343-3883) has a great kids menu, and it is in Tribeca and also the Time Warner Center.