While I may not have been my usual inventive, off the beaten path restaurant seeker self in April, I did go back to a few places that captured my attention (and my taste buds) the first time that I dined there. I also have continued to seek out coffee shops and all-day cafes that double as work spaces, and spaces in which to take a break and clear my head while working remotely. And of course, there was some pizza in there too. Because pizza is life. The rest is just details. Read on for my round-up of all of the NYC spots that I dined at in April.
Prune – You know that I’m all about a revisit, and when it comes to one of my favorite restaurants in New York City, you don’t have to twist my arm too hard to head back. Prune is one of those places that simply never gets tired, antiquated, or any less delicious. The key here is to go for dinner, sit at the bar, and pay attention to the specials. We enjoyed toasted green onions with romesco that were out of this world, roasted carrots with honey butter, lime-y mussels, and a classic spatchcocked chicken (juicy was an understatement). I will be coming here, again and again, for years to come.
Sonnyboy – A new Aussie cafe on the LES courtesy, this is one of those all-day cafes that you want to have on your radar, especially if you work remotely as I do. The space is lovely, the coffee is excellent, and they have a menu that can serve as both breakfast, lunch, or an afternoon snack. It also feels a bit more formal than some of the other all-day cafes I’ve visited, and could as well for a business lunch as for dinner with friends.
The Kati Roll Company – The Macdougal Street, NYU-territory staple, this is just what you want for a late dinner after feeling hunger pangs at happy hour. A kati roll is kind of like an Indian tortilla, and it’s filled with all of your favorite Indian flavors. I love the paneer roll and the chana masala roll, but the chicken tikka is ++ too.
Black Star Bakery – A new addition to the upper east side, I stumbled across the airy, all-white Black Star the other day and could not resist stopping in for coffee. And lo and behold, they also have an outdoor space so you can sip that iced americano in peace. There’s a simple breakfast offering too, including avo toast and egg scramble combos galore.
Tia Pol – Did you know that for years, I was probably at the bar at Tia Pol on a monthly or even biweekly basis? I lived in Chelsea from 2015-2018, and this tiny little tapas bar was one of my jams. Well, I settled in for a much-missed meal there this past month, and both the red wine that the bartender helped us to select, the subsequent conversation with him, and the tapas-style food that we ordered (get all the specials) were just as good as I remembered. Now if we could just clone it and move it to the YES…
Ops – This Bushwick pizza joint has been on my list for ages, and I had come to assume based on the glowing reviews from friends and strangers alike that it would be an excellent ‘za experience. They ferment their own sourdough for the crust, it feels like a neighborhood gem, and it’s consistently packed. But what I was not anticipating was their absolutely incredible natural wine selection, the starters and sides that were just as good as the pizza, and the incredible chocolate dessert torte that ended the meal with the perfect kiss of sweetness. Go here.
Good Thanks – My new favorite coffee-and-reading shop on the LES, Good Thanks is easy to miss while strolling down Orchard Street. Head to the back and post up at the bar, where you can grab an excellent salad and cortado, and sit and catch up on email or your book of the week. Note that they don’t have WiFi, so booting up your laptop is not an option at the moment.
Malai Marke – Indian restaurants are a dime a dozen in NYC, and I’ve found that many have a delivery emphasis and the food can be quite heavy (read, not feeling so hot the next morning). Malai Marke felt like a little oasis in the sea of competitors, and served food that was both delicious, flavorful, and a bit on the lighter side. Don’t miss the chicken xacuti, which is cooked with poppy seeds and roasted coconut, and the bhindi sasuralwali, which the waiter described to us as the “okra you would eat at your in-laws house” – it’s one of the best Indian dishes I’ve ever tried.