There are a few reasons you might end up at Portale. It’s from the chef who ran the kitchen at Gotham Bar & Grill for 34 years, it’s in an attractive space near Union Square, and the menu has crowd-pleasing options like burrata, housemade pastas, and dry-aged steak. But you shouldn’t go to this big Italian spot in Chelsea if you’re looking for excellent food. Besides some very good blowfish tails that were available on one of our visits, and the rich short rib lumache, everything here is forgettable, and considering the high prices, there are plenty of other Italian places near Union Square that you should prioritize instead.
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Empire Diner has opened and closed a few times over the years, but now it’s a sleek Southern-inspired restaurant in the same vintage space.
One of the few New York City restaurants you can count on for an excellent meal regardless of circumstance. Go for any meal or for a day on the patio.
Milk & Hops Chelsea
Milk & Hops is a casual spot in Chelsea with a huge beer selection, as well as some cheese, meat, and sandwiches.
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At The Fly, you eat chicken and drink wine. In other words, it’s pretty ideal, and you should grab some dinner at this Bed-Stuy spot.
Blue Ribbon Brasserie
The original Blue Ribbon in Soho, in which you can eat bone marrow, fried chicken, and oysters from a white table cloth at 3am. What a world.
Sayra’s Wine Bar
Sayra’s is a nice little wine bar in Rockaway Beach with bar food that’s more upscale than most of the other places in the area.
Suggested by our writers
The Tribeca restaurant is less of the celebrity scene it once was, but still makes very good Italian food.
Loring Place is an upscale Greenwich Village spot that should please just about everybody.
Marea is about as good as upscale eating gets in Midtown, and there’s a lot of that around. Don’t miss the bone marrow and octopus fusilli.
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