This Gramercy spot opened in October 2020, serving bowls and platters that follow the usual formula for fast-casual food: one protein, some vegetables, and at least one form of carbohydrates. The difference here is that Milu serves Chinese-inspired dishes like Yunnan brisket with chili garlic mint sauce, and Sichuan-spiced cauliflower, plus some delicious and plump wontons. The ingredients themselves are given noticeably more care than whatever happens at your normal lunch grab-and-go place. For instance, the rice underneath your salmon will actually taste like it was steamed properly. And the delicate, ginger-scallion poached salmon won’t haunt you for the next couple afternoon meetings. Even still, nothing on the menu (not even the Mandarin duck) costs more than $15.
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Studio is the all-day restaurant on the second floor of the Freehand Hotel, and it’s a great place to eat a burger and people watch.
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Macao Trading Co.
"Look for the red lantern," instructs the Macao Trading Co. website. This is how you will know you have reached your destination - the Portuguese colony of Macao circa 1952, "a fugitive's heaven from which there is no turning back." Awesome. We're apparently having dinner at Universal Studios tonight.
Purple Yam serves Filipino food in a casual space with a nice backyard. Use it for a group dinner in Ditmas Park.
Tri Dim Shanghai
For casual Chinese food on the Upper East Side, Tri Dim Shanghai is probably your best option. Stop by and eat some soup dumplings.
Suggested by our writers
Gramercy Tavern is an incredible restaurant. But you already know that. The bar is the move you want to make here, and you want to make it often.
Málà Project is a great Chinese restaurant in the East Village that specializes in dry pot.
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