Manhattan is a well known Mecca for foodies. There are so many restaurants to choose from that it can be daunting to decide which restaurants are good and which are tourist traps, especially during a holiday weekend (a good hint is if they there are petrified samples of their entrees in the window on a sidewalk display). My recommendation for good food in NYC is to head to Brooklyn.Brooklyn’s Smith Street (otherwise known as restaurant row) spans a small cluster of neighborhoods including Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens. It is short subway ride (4, 5, 2, 3 and F trains) from Manhattan and has some of the best food in town.
Not long ago this area of brownstone Brooklyn was depressed with few good places to eat. Thanks in large part to the real estate boom in the early 2000’s when all the Manhattanites flocked here for more space, the area now boasts a self-proclaimed hip and diverse population of people, shops and food. Although restaurant row refers to Smith Street, there are many great restaurants on the surrounding streets. Most restaurants in this part of Brooklyn are kid-friendly and many feature organic ingredients and follow sustainable food practices.
Thanksgiving Dinner Menus:
Frankies 457 and its sister restaurant Prime Meats
457 Court Street
Will be serving its regular menu as well as a Thanksgiving menu with all natural roasted turkey breast confit, turkey leg & pretzel dumpling stuffing candied sweet potatoes roasted turnips, carrots, and green beans, brussels sprouts & cranberry sauce and dessert at $40 per person not including tax or tip. These restaurants usually don’t take reservations but for Thanksgiving, they’re making an exception.
The River Cafe
One Water Street 718-522-5200
For families that want a fancy Thanksgiving and great views of Manhattan, this Dumbo neighborhood restaurant will be serving a 5-course menu for $135 per person. The meal will start with a roasted onion flan in an eggshell with smoked salmon tartare, and be followed by an appetizer (such as a seasonal salad, foie gras, or oysters), a main course (turkey with two stuffings, cornbread, brown and giblet gravy, or rack of lamb, steak, venison, sea bass, duck, or lobster) and dessert. Each table will also receive a selection of family-style sides such as yams, brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, and pearl onions.
271 Smith Street 718-243-0049
Chestnut starts serving their 4-course Thanksgiving meal at 1pm and will seat parties until 9pm. Each course includes 3-5 choices and all tables will be covered with lots of fresh breads, cranberry sauce and endless chestnut stuffing. Adults pay $65, children under 12 are $30 for the full meal with smaller portions, and babies are free. Check the website for details.
Some year-round favorites:
The Grocery (American) – expensive but good
288 Smith Street 718-596-3335
SeerSucker (Southern inspired)
329 Smith Street 718-422-0444
Buttermilk Channel (Southern inspired) – reviewed in Gourmet and Bon Appetite
524 Court Street 718-852-8490
Fragole (Italian) – homemade pasta
394 Court Street 718-522-7133
Lila Café (American) – best brussels sprouts ever
126 Union Street 718-855-5700
Saul (French) – expensive but reputable
140 Smith Street 718-935-9844
Joya (Thai – good by noisy)
215 Court Street 718-222-3484
Zaytoons (Middle-eastern) – casual but yummy
283 Smith Street 718-875-1880
Alma (Mexican) – great views of Manhattan
187 Columbia Street 718-643-5400