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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Coffeed is a chain with a few outposts in Queens as well as one in Manhattan. The location in Chelsea is particularly good for getting some work done.
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Frankel’s is a Jewish deli in the same vein as Russ & Daughters, but on its own level entirely.
Now that the food and the crowd have improved for the better, Hudson Clearwater gets an improved rating, and more frequent Infatuation visits.
Westville East is a great utility spot, especially if you’re looking to eat something kind of healthy.
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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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