Our evenings tend to be pretty unpredictable - someone wants to post up at Blue Ribbon at 1am? Yeah, we're probably down. But our mornings are standard -coffee, cereal, and the TV tuned to NBC for the Today show.
This installation of Friday Fives comes from Natalie Morales, one of Today's hosts, specifically acting as news anchor and co-host of the third hour. Today is currently expanding its food-focused programming, a decision we of course fully support. In one of the recent new Today Food segments, Natalie made a family recipe ropa vieja in her apartment that we have to say, looked pretty excellent.
She also knows what's what in terms of eating out in the city - check out her restaurant picks below. You can also catch her new Dateline series "My Kid Would Never Do That," which airs this Sunday at 8pm/7c on NBC.
Natalie's "Perfect For" Picks
The Best Burger
21 Club (21 W. 52nd St.) - "The secret is in the sauce. I love a good burger and have tried all the best burger wannabes in the city but nothing tops the classic 21 burger. Nothing takes care of a burger craving better. And while you’re at it, never skip on the fries."
Del Posto (85 10th Ave.) - "If I died and went to food heaven this would be what it looks and tastes like. Perfection in every course. The trifecta of Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich, and Joe Bastianich have set the bar so high, very few surpass."
Babbo (110 Waverly Pl.) - "You know my love of all things Mario Batali (yes Eataly, I love you too). Babbo is all-time favorite go-to for birthdays, anniversaries, any special event. The romantic and intimate setting makes everything taste that much better, if that's even possible, as every dish is perfection."
Action at the Bar
Gato (324 Lafayette St.) - "So - I have no idea what action at the bar means these days except I love a good lively bar scene with good eats and of course drinks. This goes to Gato, Bobby Flay's newest creation. The restaurant and food are awesome, but I love the bar scene. It reminds me of an old Spanish bar, right in the middle of the restaurant. The tapas-style bar plates are also perfect for lighter eating and of course great wine.
Gemma (335 Bowery) - "This Bowery establishment never disappoints with its cool decor, outdoor seating and delicious comfort food. It's my kids' favorite for brunch. Anything with truffles is a must."
Patsy's (Multiple locations) - "For family-friendly good eating and the best pizza in the city (that says it all), Patsy's. It's a go-to Sunday in the city for us."
Papardelle (316 Columbus Ave.) - "Papardelle is an overall kid and adult favorite too for casual Italian cuisine done right. No fussy foods, just hearty Italian fare with the freshest ingredients."