It looks as if there are many choices for dining in NYC, and sure there are lots, but the more time I spend in restaurants here the more it becomes clear that only several stand out.
PERLA is my new favorite Italian in town. It’s in West Village, right near the basketball courts in Waverly Square, where back in high school it was for me a slice and lots of walking. I didn’t know where to eat then and even if I did I didn’t have the money. PERLA excels at vegetable driven Italian food served in a room with low ceilings, a chill staff, great cocktails, and a musical track that makes me feel as if I’m at home minus the jazz: Ray Charles, James Brown, et. al. Delicious pastas and beautiful antipasti.
ESCA is my favorite restaurant in town, I go about six times a year: Crudo, smoked eel with an egg and some mustard, bignoli with sardines and walnuts, crazy-delicious lobster with spaghetti.
ROTISSERIE GEORGETTE is brilliant, ingredient driven food in a part of town where casual dining is needed: Upper East Side. Amazing Amish country chickens, glasses of good Burgundy, a lovely and well-lit room in which romantic music plays, and really, truly the best chicken pot pie I have ever tasted.