The third installment of my now-monthly column, this is the skinny on my favorite NYC restaurants that I dined at this January. Read on for all of the juicy details.
Nix – Vegetarian restaurants are having a moment in the sun in NYC, and Nix has joined the leagues of Dirt Candy and Avant Garden as another excellent option. You can go light or go heavy here, as we all know that just because it’s meatless doesn’t mean it’s healthy. I loved the kale salad, make-your-own cauliflower buns with house pickles, egg salad with crunchy potatoes, and gnocchi with chestnuts and celery root.
Nickel & Diner – This insanely well-designed spot on the cusp of TriBeCa is an updated diner for the fashionable downtown set. Grab a coffee at the front of the house while you wait (they have the Cadillac of espresso machines) and chow down on my personal favorite, the kale cashew bowl with farro, a poached egg, and avo on top.
Thursday Kitchen – Korean tapas done RIGHT. This little spot in the East Village is one of my favorite new places to open this year, and you can sip on a soju-spiked “Capri Sun” while you wait for a table (no reservations are taken). Don’t miss the sliced avocado, seafood pancake, $12 steak (but seriously, it’s $12), and softshell crab with wasabi crack sauce.
Lupa – An NYC classic that has been on my hit list for ages, I finally made it to this Thompson Street staple and have only three words for you: spaghetti alla carbonara. Get it, you won’t regret it. We also loved the grilled skirt steak and roasted cauliflower with pine nuts and currants (and save room for the ricotta semifreddo for dessert).
Casa Enrique – This Michelin-starred spot is supposedly the best Mexican food in all of New York, and was well worth the trek to Long Island City. I would return weekly for the tres leches cake alone, but the chile relleno, chicken enchilladas, and crab tostadas were also simple but mind-blowing.
Sushi Seki – The sushi spot that chefs go to when their shifts are over (it’s open ‘til 1am) , I would go back here solely for the specials. We sampled a salmon nigiri topped with bruleed tomato and a yellowtail nirigiri with jalapeno that were out of this world.