You can’t make a reservation at Emilio’s Ballato, but you can just walk in (early) and hope you get a table. There will likely be a wait, especially on weekends, but it’s worth it if you want to eat some excellent red-sauce Italian food in an NYC institution where both Barack Obama and Rihanna also like to hang out. The restaurant is behind a discreet entrance on the South side of Houston, and while the interior might not look that impressive, as soon as you settle in for a meal and start observing the scene around you, you’ll start to feel like you’re in a clubhouse.
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La Mercerie is a cafe and luxury design store in SoHo. It has expensive pastries and expensive furniture, and it’s a great spot for a daytime meeting.
A classic New York City gem, still standing from a time when horse and buggies were bringing people here to drink. Eat the chicken club sandwich, drink a Stella from the tap, and imagine that you're about to head off for a sweet vacation aboard the Titanic.
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Vic’s in Noho is a restaurant to keep in your back pocket for when you need something easy and good.
Even though it might not be the coolest of the East Village Italian restaurants, Lavagna is right up there with the best.
Antica Pesa is both crazy and endearing, and a far cry from some of the other restaurants around here that hand you some food and a paper napkin and then wait for you to leave.
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Carbone is red sauce Italian restaurant theater, and it’s a show you shouldn’t miss. This is one of New York City’s absolute best restaurants.
Estela might not be the cushiest restaurant in NYC, but it’s still an excellent choice for a fun night out or next-level brunch in Nolita.
There were exactly zero restaurants we enjoy hanging out in Meatpacking until Santina arrived. Now there’s one.
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