The Up & Up – Greenwich Village

Right on MacDougal, The Up & Up is a hidden gem. It’s easy to miss — you have to go downstairs into a relatively spacious dark room. First, outside, there is usually someone who puts you down on the waiting list. I am surprised that there is usually almost always a bit of a wait,…

Gatsby’s Landing – Roslyn

Right on the water, Gatsby’s Landing boldly claimed a rather powerful name. Naturally, Long Islanders and visitors alike must be drawn to the allure of any restaurant willing to claim the grand name of Gatsby. Gatsby’s Landing has a relatively modest interior, considering its name. It has a rather Hamptons, chill and relaxed atmosphere. The…

The Polo Bar – Midtown East

The Polo Bar has easily risen as one of my favorite restaurants in New York City. Elegantly designed by Ralph Lauren’s taste, the restaurant is ordained in handsome and classy brown leather, green plaid, and plenty of horse-related decor. A reservation is absolutely essential. Perhaps you could squeeze yourself in if you are truly lucky,…

Lobby – Aruba

Right outside of the long strip of hotels in Aruba is a small area full of nightlife, and right at the heart of this area is a relatively new restaurant with chic and beautiful design called Lobby. At first, I was relatively skeptical of going to a “new” restaurant near our hotel, especially with a…

Scarlatto – Midtown

Right around the corner from tons of Broadway theaters is an Italian restaurant draped in red called Scarlatto. The restaurant has a classic Italian family restaurant feel with the walls and decor in a rich red color. Many places were packed Sunday evening, but this restaurant was able to sit us rather quickly. They had…

32 Star — Montauk

32 Star is located within Gurney’s Montauk Yacht Club, which apparently is a very recent endeavor. The restaurant replaced the previous restaurant there called Coast Kitchen, and supposedly 32 Star is also a temporary visitor at the location. Nonetheless, we hit the restaurant on none other than my birthday. Gurney’s Yacht Club is generally a…

Taras Bulba – SoHo

Taras Bulba is on West Broadway right by the heart of SoHo. I never noticed this restaurant before, but the entryway is very inviting and intriguing. The restaurant is Ukrainian with plenty of old-school Eastern European decor, and waitstaff dressed in traditional outfits. There is live music in the evening around 8 PM. There is…

Maison Kayser – West Village

Maison Kayser is a French bakery founded by Eric Kayser back in the 90s. There are many locations throughout the city, including the first Maison Kayser in the USA located in Upper East Side. The bakery is very inviting from the outside, with many colorful and delicate pastries in the window. My dad and I…

Carbone – Greenwich Village

I’ve wanted to go to Carbone for a long time, especially after seeing Insta after Insta of its famous spicy rigatoni vodka pasta. There was only one problem — getting a reservation. Acquiring a reservation at Carbone requires some diligence and luck. They are usually booked for a week or two in advance, and their…

Giovanni’s Table – Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas

Aside from the specialty steakhouse restaurant called Chops Grille on Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas, there is an Italian restaurant. I overall ended up preferring the Italian restaurant more than the steakhouse, all from to the atmosphere, service, and food itself. We ended up coming back here twice. A disclaimer: A number of pictures from…

Commander’s Palace – New Orleans

Commander’s Palace is very famous in New Orleans, and is considered the premiere upscale dining experience. It is not located in the French Quarters — it was about a 15 minute taxi drive from our Hotel on Royal Street. The area around Commander’s Palace is a bit sketchy, but the restaurant itself has a colorfully…

Oso – Harlem

Right next to CCNY is another hidden gem. Oso — a trendy and tasteful authentic “Mexican street food” restaurant with dim candlelit wooden tables and overhead greenery. The kitchen is open and everything is made before your very eyes. The prices are reasonable, and the waitstaff is phenomenal. The atmosphere is very comfortable, hip, and even romantic….