food 05.2.11

Neighborhood Faves

West 80s
Barney Greengrass, 541 Amst [86th] 212.724.4707
Cuisine: Deli
Average entree: $12
Teddy Roosevelt was president when 'the sturgeon king' first hung out its shingle and breakfast or lunch here continues to be a reliable wormhole to an earlier Upper West Side. The sturgeon scrambled with eggs and onions is a national treasure and at $17 makes the case for raising the debt ceiling.

Celeste, 502 Amst [84th/85th] 212.874.4559
Cuisine: Italian
Average entree: $15, pastas: $10
Crowded, noisy, delicious, and inexpensive—the fried artichoke and ravioli with butter and sage never disappoint. Cash only.

Kefi, 505 Columbus [85th] 212.873.0200
Cuisine: Greek
Average entree: $16
Michael Psilakis' much-loved splash of the wine-dark Aegean, where the meze, the octopus, the branzino, and lamb chops bring the warm Greek sun and spirit to the UWS.

Ouest, 2315 Bway [83rd/84th] 212.580.8700
Cuisine: American
Average entree: $32
This past weekend Ouest celebrated its 10th birthday and Tom Valenti's place, in spite of its Frenchy name, remains as American as the street where it lives. For the neighborhood, it's been a gift that keeps on giving. Chops, steak, pork tenderloin: go for anything meaty.

Five Leaves, 18 Bedford [Lorimer] 718.383.5345
Cuisine: American
Average entree: $22
An ideal neighborhood restaurant, the kind of place you wish were near you. To wit: comfort food that's full of thought (and some twists), making good use of ingredients from all over, particularly the Mediterranean. Plus: oysters and a serious burger. No reservations.

Lomzynianka, 646 Manhattan Ave. [Norman/Nassau] 718.389.9439
Cuisine: Polish
Average entree: $4
Time has stood still in parts of Greenpoint and nowhere more so than Lomzynianka, where Polish cooking—your kielbasa, your pierogies, your bigos—is done just right. It will probably cost more for the subway back and forth than for your rib-sticking meal.

Paulie Gee's, 60 Greenpoint Ave. [Franklin/West] 347.987.3747
Cuisine: Pizza
Average entree: $15 (whole pizza)
One of the city's top-tier pizzerias thanks to choice ingredients, some unusual creations (the 'Cherry Jones' has prosciutto and dried cherries), and vegan options. Bacon Marmalade turns up twice: on a pizza and in an ice cream sundae.

Big Wong King, 67 Mott [Canal/Bayard] 212.964.0540
Cuisine: Chinese
Average entree: $8
You'll get a lot of opinions about Chinatown restaurants (the WORST/the BEST), complaints about ambience and service, and it wouldn't matter what we recommended, someone's going to disagree. But for congee, roast pork, and noodle soups, you can't do much better for less. Cash only.

Great N.Y. Noodletown, 28 Bowery [Bayard] 212.349.0923
Cuisine: Chinese
Average entree: $8
Same caveats as above; focus your attention on pan-fried noodles and noodle soup. Cash only.

Xe Lu'a, 86 Mulberry [Canal/Bayard] 212.577.8887
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Average entree: $10
For years we've been loyal to Nha Trang, but Xe Lu'a has a growing fan base for its excellent pho, pork chops, and spring rolls.

Previous Neighborhood Faves
East 50s, Cobble Hill, Garment District

Soho, Murray Hill, Park Slope

East Village, Woodside, East 90s

Gramercy Park, West 90s, LIC

West 40s, Ft. Greene, W. Village

West 70s, East 70s, Tribeca

Lower East Side, West 100s, Corona

East 40s, Chelsea, Brooklyn Heights

I want to give a gift that has to do with Old New York. What do you recommend? Answer

Travels to An Irish Castle, $140 a night


The new smoking ban, which prohibits smoking in city parks, at beaches, and on pedestrian plazas, goes into effect May 23rd. Do you support the ban?






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