Lincoln Square • Nightlife, Lounge
This Italian behemoth at Lincoln Center is one of New York’s glitziest restaurants, the kind of place you’d go to celebrate a special occasion when you are also craving killer pasta. The massive open kitchen lends dinner a sense of theater while the food is classic high-end fine dining Italian, the kind of cuisine that doesn’t get as much attention these days as New York falls back in love with old-school red sauce restaurants. WATCH: Chef's Night Out with Jonathan Benno
Midtown West • Steak, Classic establishment
Do you want to eat like a Tammany Hall boss? Eat at Keen’s. The space is mostly unchanged since it opened in 1885 and is one of New York’s most quintessential steakhouses. The dining rooms alone are enough to get the more-carnivorous bits of your mouth watering and then there’s the justifiably famous mutton chop: 26 ounces of some of the best meat eating experience money can buy. Eat too much and order almost all of the sides (the creamed spinach might be one of the greatest things in Midtown). You only live once, and at this rate, it’s not going to be very long.
Williamsburg • Nightlife, Restaurant
One of the more upscale sushi places in the neighborhood, 1 or 8 is our choice for special occasion omakase—chef’s choice—in Williamsburg. It’s not cheap, but worth every penny. WATCH: Chef's Night Out with Walters Foods
East Williamsburg • American, Restaurant
One of the hardest reservations to land in New York might just be this comparatively-cavernous tasting room from Roberta’s own Carlo Mirarchi. If you can get a seat—check the website and get ready for some first of the month speed-dialing—get ready for a culinary ride that is among the best in the city. The often four-hour long dinner boasts more than twenty courses spanning the globe. Mirarchi’s reputation for screamingly fresh seafood and deeply satisfying, unexpected textural combinations is well-deserved. WATCH: Chef's Night Out with Carlo Mirachi
Lower Manhattan • Private dining, Special occasions
Blue Hill represents the apotheosis of the farm-to-table movement in New York City, and for that, pay homage to this farmy menu by eating a menu that serves up meticulously crafted dishes made from the area’s best seasonal produce and artisanal wine. The food this team puts out is revelatory: Their parsnip steak and salt-baked rutabaga will lift your culinary IQ. WATCH: Chef's Night Out with Blue Hill
Midtown • Nightlife, Restaurant
Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio has a lot to answer for. Many of New York’s contemporary food trends and the chefs behind them trace their lineage back to Craft: the exaltation of the ingredient above all else, the understated elegance of cooking techniques—which are so complex, they make them look simple—and the farm-to-table ethos. It's also delicious. WATCH: Chef's Night Out with Craft
Midtown East • Bar, Seafood
New York can survive just about anything, but if the Grand Central Oyster Bar ever closed, the Big Apple might cease to exist. This place is old-school, a little hard-edged, and utilitarian in that way real American oyster bars are supposed to be. Head straight through to the back room and start with a martini and a few oysters before switching to cold beer and digging into the menu with gusto: the oysters, of course, but also the perfect little briny raw clams, textbook shrimp cocktails, crab legs, chowder, broiled fish served with Béarnaise sauce or fired whole on the grill. The Grand Central Oyster Bar rewards tipsy overindulgence and will transport you to a time when the entire country did, too. WATCH: Chef's Night Out with M Wells
Long Island City • Steak, People watching
This modern take on a steakhouse from the M. Wells team is the hottest place to eat in Long Island City, boasting a fatty seafood spread and over-the-top reimagined steakhouse fare like stacks of pork chops with seaweed and anchovy butter, escargot in bone marrow, and wagyu flank au poivre. If you have the money, spring for the full $225 Porterhouse Dinner, and don’t sleep on the blue trout and the insanely cheesy, gooey mashed potatoes. WATCH: Chef's Night Out with M Wells
Williamsburg • Steak, Seafood
Maybe it’s because it’s cash only. Maybe it’s because there’s no surf and turf bullshit here. The sides aren’t bad either. Whatever the case, this is where you will experience the greatest dry-aged, mouthwatering steaks anywhere in Brooklyn. And if you can’t handle an entire steak for two, the burger is equally worth waiting in the hour-plus waitlist. Just don't forget the onion rings.
Midtown • Seafood, Italian
Maestro Michael White’s Central Park South temple to fresh seafood and homemade pasta serves some of the best of both in the city. Live like Action Bronson and enjoy “one of the most extravagant meals of your life” by ordering the crudo and all of the pasta—especially the homemade fusilli, which is so delicious, it makes Action want to “slap the shit out of someone’s father.” Or you could live like the real heathen that you are and order the 50-day, dry-aged steak that’s served with a side of bone marrow bread pudding. Yes, bone marrow bread pudding. WATCH: Fuck, That's Delicious Presents: Cooking with Mr. Wonderful Featuring Michael White
Lower Manhattan • Japanese, Sushi
Shuko is a restaurant that plays with the traditional understanding and boundaries of what constitutes Japanese dining. From the hip-hop that fills the sushi bar to the apple pie that caps the meal, the restaurant’s masterminds Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau are finding a balance between their traditional training with chef Masayoshi Takayama (of the sushi empire Masa) and their diverse backgrounds. It combines the best impulses of traditional omakase and kaiseki while taking a more relaxed, youthful approach to using local non-Japanese ingredients and modern techniques.