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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Buddakan is a massive restaurant just above the Meatpacking District. You don’t need to go, but if you get talked into it, know it could be worse.
Chama Mama is a Georgian restaurant in Chelsea where you can get a good stew and some excellent khachapuri. Bring a group, and order a lot.
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The Wooly Public
The Wooly Public is a bar in the bottom of the Woolworth Building in FiDi where you can grab a drink after work and swap jokes about the strange decor
Hotel Chantelle is where you go when it's your 21st birthday and you need to dance because your internship is totally stressing you out.
Paul’s Daughter is a counter-service spot on the boardwalk in Coney Island that has everything from lobster rolls to soft serve.
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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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