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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Motel Morris is a slightly retro, motel-themed restaurant in Chelsea that’s cool enough for date night and nice enough for dinner with the parents.
Sullivan Street Bakery
Sullivan Street Bakery is a little counter-service cafe with breakfast, lunch, and excellent baked goods.
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Bayou is a New Orleans-inspired brunch and dinner spot on Staten Island with an outdoor area that looks like it’s always celebrating Mardi Gras.
Most everything on the menu at Charlie Bird is fantastic. They do service and wine better than almost anyone else.
The Daisy is an Upper East Side restaurant and cocktail bar that serves American-ish food that you’ve likely already tried before and know you like.
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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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