Well guys, apparently I’m back in the NYC restaurant game. After a few months of belt-tightening, I think that I ate out more often this past month than I have any other month this year (and it’s November, so that’s saying a lot). I tried some of my favorite new dishes this month, and also had the chance to explore some new cuisines that will be going into heavy rotation, both while dining out and in my own kitchen. Read on for my top restaurant picks from October!
Nonono – From the folks behind Her Name is Han (one of my favorite Korean spots in the city), this yakitori-focused restaurant is all about the chicken, and about utilizing all parts of the bird. We tried the full spectrum of the chicken yakitori, from gizzard to liver to heart tissue, and all were delicious. However, the highlight meal for me was the duck nanban, which blew the entire table away (just order it!).
Frenchette – Ah, one of those hot new spots that can either be right on the money, or a waste of your time and funds. Frenchette falls firmly in the former category, and I cannot wait to go back there again soon. Go early, sit at the bar, and share everything – including their famous duck frites, which comes with a sauce I could drink daily (note that it’s too big for one). I also loved the trout roe Spanish tortilla, smoked trout beignets, and jambon et comte madeleines. Plus, their natural wine selection is fantastic.
Sen Sakana – I love Japanese food, I love Peruvian food, but trying a fusion of the two? Even better. This is one of the few spots in midtown that I would actually seek out to dine at again. The bar is fantastic, the cocktails inventive, and dishes like salmon tartar (with peruvian yellow potato), mushrooms wrapped in pork belly (also known as robata), and the halibut sudado de mariscos were top notch.
Clinton Street Baking Co – For a girl who doesn’t love pancakes to go to a place whose speciality is giant breakfast stacks took a lot, but I’m glad I did. The highlight here is secretly the chicken and waffles – they’re fantastic. I also had a simple but well-executed omelette.
Xi’An Famous Foods – One of the legendary NYC take-out spots, this northwestern Chinese restaurant has long been infamous for its spicy lamb noodles. Having tried them (and the amazing spinach dumplings), I can say that they live up to the hype 100%, and will now be added to my very selective roster of takeout spots.
Jajaja – Two words: vegan Mexican. Yes it exists, and yes it is really good. The space is gorgeous and so photo-worthy, the heart of palm ceviche was divine, and don’t get me started on the dinosaur kale salad (best deal in town – I got two meals out of it!).
Urban Backyard – My new favorite NYC coffee shop, complete with greenery, a chill vibe, and excellent coffee. Tucked away in NoLiTa, this is a place I’ll go out of my way to visit.