NYC Restaurant Reviews – Lunch/Dinner

The Dutch (131 Sullivan St. btwn Prince & Houston)

We had a late lunch here as we got a little distracted from shopping!  The Dutch is located in Soho on Sullivan Street.  We ordered one three-course lunch menu and shared it.  The first course was a watermelon salad with ricotta cheese, snap peas and mint.  The key to this dish is being certain you get a piece of mint with each bite.

Next up was orecchiette with bacon, corn, and sweet cherry tomatoes.  Light and delicious.  For dessert we had a rocky road semi-freddo, very good and light.

 Manzo in Eataly (200 5th Ave. btwn. 23rd St. & 24th St.)

For those unaware, Eataly is an amazing Italian food and wine marketplace opened by Mario Batali in 2010.  There are several small “markets” inside – cheese, fish, pasta, wine, etc.  There are several eateries inside where you can order at the counter and stand at a counter to eat.

Manzo is one of only a few sit down places in Eataly.  We ate there on our last trip and loved it, so it was definitely on our list to return to.  I started with the arugula salad with pecorino romano, and Lauren chose the mozzarella with brown butter and almonds.  Then I had steak with oyster mushrooms and fingerling potatoes.  The steak was cooked to perfection and a nice size for a lunch portion.  Lauren had carne cruda with mushrooms.

Hot Kitchen (104 2nd Ave. btwn. 6th & 7th St.)

This small Chinese restaurant located in the East Village serves up pretty good Sichuan food.  I had a cup of wonton soup and Lauren their sweet & sour.  Then we shared wontons in oil (the oil was hot!!) and salt and pepper shrimp.  The salt & pepper shrimp was slightly fried, which is not the way we have had it before but the flavor was excellent and the slaw underneath delicious.

NoMad (1170 Broadway btwn. 27th St. & 28th St.)

This restaurant is located in the NoMad hotel which is in the NoMad neighborhood (North of Madison Park).  The restaurant is in an atrium that provides a lot of natural light which, is very nice since the restaurant is decorated in dark clubby colors.  This was our most “uptown” meal and male diners were dressed in coats and ties and women in dresses and heels.  It appeared to have a fairly popular bar at the end of the restaurant.  We shared an order of beef tartare.  Then Lauren had a strawberry gazpacho and I the asparagus with poached egg, quinoa and pecorino cheese.  I thought this dish was the star of the evening.

For our mains Lauren had marrow crusted steak and I chose the duck with roasted peaches and fennel.  Perfectly crisped skin and the roasted peaches were a perfect compliment.

For desert Lauren had “Milk & Honey” which is shortbread, brittle and ice cream.  I chose the chocolate tart with caramel, hazelnuts and fleur de sel because I love the combo of chocolate and salt.  However, it was a bit rich and I preferred the lightness of the Milk & Honey.

Peasant (194 Elizabeth St. btwn Prince and Spring)

This is another place where we had eaten on a previous trip, but loved it so much we wanted to go back.  It is in a beautiful rustic space with a large open kitchen with a wood-burning oven.  It is located in Nolita.  They serve you ricotta cheese with your crusty Italian bread, which was a nice change from butter.  For starters we shared the burrata with tomatoes and the proscuitto with figs.  I had never had that combo (proscuitto with figs) but we loved it!

For her main Lauren had gnocchi with tomato and basil and I had the spaghetti with clams and sweet tomatoes.

This restaurant is not as hard to get a reservation as some of the other ones.  I was able to get a 6:30pm reservation just by going on Open Table the day before – that is not the case with many of the other restaurants.

Dell’ Anima (38 8th Ave. corner of Jane St.)

Dell’ Anima is located in the West Village, so an easy walk from our Meatpacking district hotel.  This is a small restaurant that was crowded and quite loud.  You almost had to yell in order to have a conversation, but the food was fabulous.  We began with sweatbreads with roasted peaches and chorizo.  This was excellent – very smooth and the sweetness of the peaches went really well with it.

We also had the charred octopus with frisee, chorizo, and cannelini beans.  The octopus was a bit tougher than I would like, but the flavors worked really well together.

Lauren had the risotto with sausage for her main course and I had the parppadelle with mushrooms.  Both of the dishes had savory, hearty flavors, but I loved that the pasta with my dish was so thin and light.  Much too full after this meal to order dessert!!


Recette (328 W. 12th corner of Greenwich)

We ate here on our last night in NYC.  It is located in the West Village but very close to the Meatpacking district.  This is a small plates restaurant with a fairly extensive menu.  But they also have a five-, seven- and ten-course menu.  With so many choices to choose from we went with the five-course tasting menu and let the chef do his work.  You can let the chef know if you have any food aversions or food allergies.  We also requested that we not each get the same dishes so we could try more things.  The waiter said that could be done for some courses but not all.  I did not write down all the dishes we had, but here are the ones that I took pictures of.

Tomato salad with lobster.  Lauren described this as “a little bit of summer on a plate!”

Corn soup with peekytoe crab and squash blossoms – one of the best dishes of the night.

Sweetbread roulade – a disappointment, particularly after the amazing sweetbread dish the night before

Scallops with local beets and asparagus

Pork belly with rock shrimp – very tasty, loved the perfectly crispy skin

Deconstructed s’mores – not as good as all the rave reviews


Txitio (240 9th btwn W. 24th/25th)

Located in Chelsea, this is a great restaurant serving Basque tapas.  It was a lot more casual than any other restaurant we had been to – felt a bit more Portland.  This restaurant does not take reservations but they told me as long as we came before 7:30pm we should be fine.  We were having dinner with a friend and forgot to take pics!!  We have been to Spain twice and absolutely love tapas.  We ate at Mercat on a previous visit and were sorely disappointed so did some more research to find a better tapas restaurant.  There were three of us for this meal and the waitress suggested we order two to three dishes each, so we each picked our top two and then we threw in one more for good measure.  We had seared peppers with fleur de sel, octopus carpaccio, mussels with white beans, a cod dish, gambas and a mushroom dish.  We enjoyed everything, although Lauren and I agreed later that we did not pay as much attention to the food since we were visiting.  I do recall that the dessert menu was small and had nothing of interest so we skipped it and bought ice cream at the Chelsea market.

Read the breakfast/brunch reviews here.

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