THE FORBES 2021 ALL-STA� EATERIES IN NEW YORK
The best thing for the future of Big Apple restaurants is the city’s new mayor, Eric Adams, who actually likes the industry and delights in dining out. He’s the happy antithesis of his lazy, nasty, utterly inept, chipon-the-shoulder predecessor, Bill de Blasio, who took grim joy in making life unnecessarily more miserable for eateries during the pandemic. Adams, who wants his city to thrive again, is also well aware of how critical this industry is to such a renaissance. Fine dining in places with traditional and excitingly creative offerings was a crucial attraction for tourists of all kinds, not to mention one of the things that made Gotham a magnet for the ambitious. Our stellar team of discerning tasters—Forbes’ chief content officer, Randall Lane; Forbes contributor Richard Nalley; preeminent media maven Monie Begley; and brothers Kip and Tim—herewith unveil their list of where you can enjoy the city’s most savory comestibles.
Four stars barely do justice to chef Daniel Boulud’s new creation, Le Pavillon: breathtaking space, welcoming and impeccable service, sensational seafood, a dizzying array of vegetable dishes and other outstanding offerings. During the pandemic, Boulud extensively renovated his beloved Daniel. What hasn’t changed here are the awe-inspiring courses; they remain magical, so splurge. At $225 apiece, The Modern’s prix-fixe tasting menu isn’t cheap, but it’s worth every penny. Portions are perfectly sized and keep you wanting more. A sleek, sophisticated space on which staggering sums of money must have been spent gives Gabriel
Kreuther an unobtrusively rich look—a perfect setting for a magnificent meal. For instance, the miso-marinated steak could be cut with a fork. Its outside dining area is among the most sophisticated in town. La Grenouille is still here, and the food is as fabulous as ever. End your delectable meal with the espresso soufflé.
Marea has long been known for its seafood and homemade pasta, but there’s much more to rave about, including possibly the best roasted duck breast around.
Danny Meyer waited three years to open Ci Siamo, and it was well worth the wait! Chef Hillary Sterling and crew are creating outstanding Italian fare. At Nougatine the food is beyond sublime, and the setting is sleek with a Scandinavian vibe.
Gage & Tollner, the Gilded Age jewel (previous incarnation 1879–2004), is gorgeously back—a glittering hall of mirrors, wrought-iron chandeliers, dark wood and tufted banquettes. Its richly satisfying food is back, too. A posh yet easygoing Londonchophouse import, Hawksmoor provides locally purveyed meat, seafood and cheese. You have to find Estela, a snug-fitting sliver of a room up a flight of stairs, but once there, you’ll be transported to another world by the vividly flavored small-dish cooking. Sixty Three Clinton’s seven-course, $92 prix-fixe menu is a delicious bargain. Another outstanding bargain is Sushi Nakazawa, which delivers 21 remarkable pieces of fish for $120. If you want to go Greek, Avra Madison is the place to go. Atera remains one of the city’s great American culinary experiences, with two seatings a night. It’s still tough to get a reservation for L’Artusi, a jostling West Village staple, but a few bites into your meal you’ll know what lures the regulars back. Since reopening in June,
Crown Shy’s majestic space has been packed. Many of the shared-plate favorites have returned, such as citrus-marinated chicken with house-made hot sauce. Back after what was thought to be a permanent closing, Gotham features a redesigned space and a refreshed menu of seasonal fare with creative flourishes. Reopened in a dramatic new space, Junoon continues to delight with its sophisticated Indian dishes and extensive wine list. Under the watchful eye of Jacques Le Magueresse, one of the city’s greatest maître d’s, service at Majorelle remains impeccable. Portale is a deliciously delightful, authentic Italian-American trattoria.