Use La Shuk like you’d use an upbeat indie playlist when you have people over - mostly to make yourself seem extremely likable. This quiet Morrocan restaurant is great for everything from a dinner with your kids on a Sunday night to a casual date you can share a hot and roasted eggplant salad with. If you’re just ordering one thing, make it the incredibly juicy chicken kebab that comes with rice and a lemony side salad, and whole wheat pita that radiates so much heat it would embarrass your apartment radiator. Also, at brunch they have a $30 bottomless deal that includes any entree and unlimited mimosas for two hours.
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Elio’s is an old-school Italian restaurant on the UES that’s great for a birthday party or a night of martinis and veal parm with a friend.
An import from Nantucket, Sfoglia is one of the few Upper East Side joints that, if transported to downtown, wouldn’t feel out of place.
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Cafe Gitane is the quintessential Nolita place to “see and be seen,” especially if you’re hoping to see some avocado toast.
The original is in the East Village, but the Williamsburg Cafe Mogador is brighter and more spacious. Get your Moroccan food here (including brunch).
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Shuka is a crowd-pleasing Mediterranean restaurant that will save you when you need to plan a last-minute 10-person dinner.
Uva is a rustic, cozy little Italian Upper East Side spot that is ideal for date night, mostly because it’s easy.
Flex is a restaurant import from Prince Edward Island, which immediately gives it some credibility - "P.E.I" as they call it, is the source of some of the best mussels the world has to offer.
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