by Justine Goodman - 81 Reviews - 104 List
In a city with tens of thousands of restaurants from which to choose, finding the best is no easy feat. Yet some New York restaurants stand apart, earning their stripes meal after meal. From Per Se to Brooklyn Fare, here are five New York restaurants that deserve to be called the best in town. (Photo: Momofuku Ssam Bar)
Updated: October 21, 2011
Thomas Keller's legendary French restaurant has been one of the city's most extraordinary spots to dine since it opened. But that reputation was reinforced in October 2011, when outgoing New York Times critic Sam Sifton upheld its four-star rating and named it New York's best restaurant, period.
Mario Batali is famous for many reasons, but this airy Italian spot in the West Village is one of the biggest. Traditional dishes get an eclectic makeover, from spaghettini with spicy budding chives and a one-pound lobster to charred beef tongue with white beans, escarole and grain mustard. Be prepared to wait several weeks for a reservation.
You don't have to be fancy to be one of the top restaurants in New York. Case in point: David Chang's Momofuku Ssam Bar, an East Village foodie favorite. From delectable steamed buns to whole pork shoulder--which feeds six to 10 people, and must be ordered 24 hours in advance--there's a reason why people line up outside hours before the start of dinner service just to get a table.
New York's first fine-dining establishment opened its doors in the heart of the Financial District in 1837. Today, it continues to be one of the city's finest steakhouses, with private dining rooms, an extensive wine list and classic dishes that hold up as well today as they did in the 19th century.
Head to the intimate, 18-seater Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare for a meal you'll never forget. The borough's only three-Michelin-starred restaurant dazzles with a prix fixe menu of 25-plus small-plate courses. Even better: It's BYOB. Call ahead for suggested wine pairings.