New York's Classic Tables

Tasting Table · Guide to New York · created over 7 years ago

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  • Gazpacho at La Nacional Restaurant in New York, NY

    Homesick Spaniards have been flocking to La Nacional for camaraderie and tapas since the 1920s. Over the years, these expats have been joined by a mix of chefs and in-the-know diners for good reason: The city's oldest Spanish restaurant is also one of its best.

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    Tagliatelle Alla Bolognese at Emilio's Ballato in New York, New York

    Emilio's Ballato is the kind of restaurant you always hope to find on the streets of Little Italy, but never do. You can count on the namesake owner, Emilio Vitolo, always being on the premises, where he keeps a trained eye on patrons from the edge of the bar. The other constant is the menu of standout classics, including the perpetual daily special of spaghetti and meatballs.

  • Boneless Half Chicken at Red Cat in New York, NY

    After 11 years, this West Chelsea restaurant still purrs: It’s home to the city’s best pan-roasted chicken and a host of other signature dishes (see: tempura-fried green beans) that never get old.

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    Buttermilk Marinated Fried Chicken at Five Points in New York, NY

    Before the Greenmarketing of New York restaurants and the bourgeoisification of Noho, there was this Bowery restaurant, which is still one of the city’s best spots for dining solo (at the bar or the chef’s table). May we recommend the oven-baked pasta?

  • veal sweetbreads at Saul Restaurant in Brooklyn, NY

    When Saul and Lisa Bolton chose a spot in Boerum Hill for their first restaurant, their friends called them crazy. But 10 years later, Saul is equal parts neighborhood fixture and dining destination, anchored by remarkably consistent seasonal food and a staff that sticks around.

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    Kibbe at Tanoreen in Brooklyn, NY

    Although there is no dearth of Middle Eastern cuisine in this city, those who demand more from their lamb and labaneh trek to Tanoreen in Bay Ridge and willingly wait in the queue outside--rain or shine--for the food of owner Rawia Bishara's childhood.

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    Arancini at Joe's of Avenue U in Brooklyn, NY

    Joe's of Avenue U doesn't serve Italian food, it serves Sicilian--and if you don't know the difference, then you definitely haven't been to this Gravesend, Brooklyn, institution. Don’t miss the arancini (ask for them “special” style, doused with red sauce, ricotta and Parmesan).

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    Bulgogi at Dok Suni's Restaurant in New York, NY

    Crossing cultural barriers through atmosphere, location and menu, this East Village restaurant quickly established itself as a neighborhood institution when it opened in 1993. Although the menu will not seem revolutionary to today's kimchi-savvy palates, it’s staunchly composed classics have kept the restaurant relevant. Just don't come looking for deviation: Each dish is prepared the same way it was the day the restaurant debuted.

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    Steak Au Poivre at Raoul's Restaurant in New York, NY

    Thirty-five years after its debut, this Soho pioneer is a classic. The place is always bustling--even on a blustery night, after 11 p.m., and during a recession (or all three). Once you're packed into one of the banquettes (upstairs if possible), you'll see why: The restaurant's dimly lit, art-filled dining rooms and hearty dishes (try the generous steak au poivre) are perfectly suited for winter meals.

  • Beef Negimaki at Restaurant Nippon in New York, NY

    Talk about forward thinking: Nippon is credited for inventing a dish called beef negimaki--grilled scallion and beef roll-ups that have since become a Japanese restaurant standard--and for being the first NYC restaurant to serve sushi, back in 1963. And long before it was hip to know where your food came from, Nippon was on top of it: The restaurant's own farm in Quebec grows the buckwheat flour and soybeans it uses for house-made soba and tofu.