A chef’s guide to NYC’s best dishes

By Daniel Boulud, chef and restaurateur

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May 2017

When it comes to finding out about a city’s eclectic food scene, who better than one of its world-famous chefs? We asked award-winning chef and restaurateur, Daniel Boulud, to give us the lowdown on the Big Apple’s most interesting bites.

There are two elements that make the New York food scene unlike anywhere else in the world: diversity and ambition. Few cities can rival the sheer number of cultures that collide and mix in the city every day, and it’s evident in our restaurants, markets and the international ingredients we have access to. Yet what makes NYC even more exceptional is the fact that the city attracts the most ambitious, creative culinary minds and talents from all over the world. Together, it’s a recipe for constant innovation and discovery.

What makes NYC even more exceptional is the fact that the city attracts the most ambitious, creative culinary minds and talents from all over the world

The classic Crif Dog

Everyone knows about the hot dogs you can buy from New York street vendors, but you have to go further to get a really great hot dog. While I love the creative dogs we make at Epicerie Boulud and DBGB, my other favourite spot is Crif Dogs. They serve smoked house beef and pork hot dogs with all the toppings – from sauerkraut to jalapeños and even diced cucumbers.

Insider tip… Take a walk into the phone box inside and find yourself in the top-secret cocktail bar, PDT.

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  • Let a chef serve up their best sushi dish at Sushi Seki.

    Did you know…?

    Beginning his culinary journey from an early age helping his mum cook the perfect crispy rice, owner Seki Shi is now a master of the art of sushi.

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  • Join the ‘new American flavour’ revolution at Morgenstern’s.

    Weird and wonderful

    Morgenstern’s offers a range of colourful and creative ice cream flavours. Give the Black Coconut Ash or Sweet Potato Mello Caramel a whirl – your taste buds will thank you.

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  • Try the quirky yet comforting porridge at Mission Chinese Food © Greg Wong.

    Time for something different

    Mission Chinese Food is open for lunch Wednesday to Sunday 12.00-16.00. Dinner is served 17:30-23.00 Monday to Sunday, and 17:30-00.00 Tuesday to Saturday.

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The omakase (‘from the heart’) tradition in sushi is essentially the original tasting menu – allowing a sushi master to show you the best of his skills. What makes it so great is the fact you don’t have to choose what to eat, you let the chef decide. And the best spot in New York for sushi (especially after midnight) is Sushi Seki. Head to the restaurant on 1st Avenue, it’s the original and still the best.

Westlake rice porridge

The kung pao pastrami and spicy wings at Mission Chinese may be the most popular dishes in the menu, but you can’t beat the comforting quality of the porridge. It’s a twist on traditional congee with sweet shrimp, braised beef, egg and cilantro. Plus, it’s a wonderful way to balance out the spices in Chef Danny Bowien’s other mouth-watering dishes.

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  • Savour the fine dining at Le Bernardin.

    Exceptional private dining

    Located directly above the main restaurant, with an exclusive entrance, Les Salons Bernardin can host up to 80 guests – perfect for exclusive parties. Book flights to New York, plus a five-night hotel stay from:€428 pp

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Yellowfin tuna, foie gras and toasted baguette

Foie gras on a toasted baguette, draped with thinly pounded yellowfin tuna, then garnished with chives and olive oil, what could be better? This is one dish that’s always on the menu at Le Bernardin. The chef, Eric Ripert, is a good friend of mine, and he changes the restaurant’s menu all the time according to the wonderful fish he has access to. This dish really showcases what he does best, with its unique and satisfying balance of flavours and textures.

Lemon shiso espresso ice cream

Nick Morgenstern used to work in the pastry kitchen at Daniel, and his creative take on ice cream is why a visit Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream is a must. Combining lemon and shiso with coffee offers an intriguing flavour combination to create a creamy coffee ice cream with bright and herbal notes.

Aldea icons

Chef George Mendes applies the technique of French cuisine to the classic flavours of his Portuguese heritage at Aldea. The result is always delicious and deeply satisfying, and as with all good restaurants, the menu is always evolving. I once had a divine pressed suckling pig terrine with littleneck clams, cauliflower and carrot pickles, and golden nugget potatoes. Try the Seven Signature Bites from the bar menu to get a taste of the restaurants most iconic dishes, all in one sitting.

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