Even the most ravenous eater, granted boundless capacity, infinite resources, and the mother of all appetites, would be hard pressed to gather in New York's riches in one day. But if you are here for only 24 hours, this is your hit list. Good luck, soldier!
Sometimes called the Mecca of deli, Katz's is more accurately the Dome of the Rock of Deli: the sanctum sanctorum, the source and shrine of all that deli means in America. Go for the mystique -- but stay for the pastami.
Combining Keith McNally's flawless art direction with co-chefs Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson's equally accomplished cooking, this elevated take on old New York outdoes both its models and its rivals.
In nearly every other respect, this is a run-of-the-mill cantonese restaurant -- except for its amazing ribs. No one knows why this is so.
Yes, it's in the middle of nowhere. Yes, you have to wait a million years while owner Dom DeMarco painstakingly makes his pies one at a time. And yes, the pizza costs more than the crap sold on every corner. But these are masterpiece pies, unique in the world, and the standard by which all other pizza is judged. Live with it.
The world's largest menu, served by the world's grumpiest man, Shopsins is a New York legend, and the food actually lives up to the myth. Kenny Shopsin is actually as hostile as everyone says, but he is a true master of American vernacular cooking, and his menu is truly staggering: there are nearly 800 items on it, and practically every one is good.
Known, rightly, as the city's most admired Italian restaurant, the secret of Marea is that Michael White's pastas, and not the restaurant's fish entrees. How could they not be anti-climactic after the "Sultan of Spaghetti's" signature dishes?
What started out a loving tribute to Italian-American food from two talented young line cooks has morphed under their genius into a true culinary destination, a French Laundry for the Sunday Gravy set. No reservations.
Michael White, arguably New York's preeminent Italian chef, has done four-star seafood at Marea, Northern Italian at Alto, and French-Italian at Ai Fiori, but his heart will always be in the meaty ragus and robust pastas of emilia-romagna, the spirtual home of Osteria Morini. Its pastas are dense and rich, festooned with cream or meat sauce, and as often as not butter too. The grilled meats are superb, and the cured ones even more so. A big selection of area wines, including 8 different Lambruscos, goes with it.