Tens of thousands of years ago, man learned to cook with fire. In all these many millenia, he has never improved on the technique. Here are eight of its masters in New York City.
Still, to my mind, the defining New York restaurant, Gramercy Tavern is the crown jewel in Danny Meyer's restaurant group, partially as the result of chef Michael Anthony's amazing greenmarket cooking, and partially because of its incredible service, great cocktails, and Nancy Olson's superb dessert program. One caveat: the front room is all air and color and excitement, and the back room is a drab dungeon.
One of the city's first fine-dining Greek restaurants, Periyali brings complete integrity and crystal-clear flavors to its interpretation of traditional Greek food.
This Argentine steakhouse has been doing it forever, and has never slipped. No one does the authentic gaucho beef better, especially with the aid of unyielding, garlicky chimichurri.
Wonjo is the best Korean bbq restaurant in Manhattan, period. Why? Because somehow they are still allowed to use live coals, and live coals make all the difference.
In a city where wood-burning ovens and rustic Italian food are common, Peasant has an unusually large number of devoted admirers. Maybe because it was the first, or because the atmosphere and food, under the direction of Frank DeCarlo. Getting in can be a hassle, thanks to all the regulars, but you can usually get a seat at the bar.
A fresh and irreverent Brooklyn take on the steakhouse, the prices are right and the crowds are nuts at St. Anselms. It's not all that, not really, but it's a lot of fun.
Seamus Mullen goes back to basics with this tribute to the cider parlors of northern spain -- and the rustic, wood-fired dishes that make them so memorable. Everything is great, but look especially for the fried paella rice and the extraordinary aged beefsteak cooked over coals
Floyd Cardoz, formerly of Tabla, turns his formidable powers to American casual cooking at this FiDi gastropub. Look for wood-fired meats and fish first.
Wood grilling gets the haute cuisine treatment at this very fine West Village restaurant, a kind of American take on Etexbarri, the basque grilling mecca.
A big, heavy, J&R Woodshow Broiler, the Rolls Royce of grilling, is the star at this excellent all-wood-fire restaurant in Williamsburg.