New York's Best Restaurants, By Daniel Boulud

Interview by Andrew Purvis, The Daily Telegraph, March 20, 2014

New York in five courses
Where Daniel Boulud would enjoy…

A typical brunch

Frankies Spuntino in Brooklyn (pictured below) is a great American bistro that opens at 11am and serves brunch specials at weekends: Lancaster County farm-fresh eggs, thick-cut bacon, two types of frittata – prosciutto, potato and red onion, or wild mushroom with pecorino. The lunch menu has salads, sandwiches, home-made pasta, cured meats and classics such as meatballs with pine nuts and raisins. It’s not a steakhouse but they do a very good slow-roasted rib-eye.

Frankies Spuntino, 457 Court Street, Brooklyn (001 718 403 0033; ). Brunch specials £2.45-£7.40 per item; salads £5.50-£8.60; sandwiches £6-£7.40; cured meats £5-£9.20; Italian classics £8-£13.50; pasta £9.20-£12.30.


If you’re on a budget, Sweetgreen is a new chain of salad bars that are very good but inexpensive. You choose from a menu or customise your own, with some protein, a healthy salad and a great dressing. The ingredients change with the season and they work with local farmers; I like the one at the NoMad hotel. The Meatball Shop is another chain that’s very trendy. They do chicken, beef and pork meatballs with different sauces, and there’s one on the Lower East Side. For a real New York experience I’d go to Katz’s Deli for a pastrami sandwich. It’s where they filmed the “I’ll have what she’s having” scene in When Harry Met Sally and it looks like a Fifties cafeteria. They do hot sandwiches with brisket, corned beef, turkey and knoblewurst [beef sausage].

Sweetgreen, NoMad, 1164 Broadway (646 449 8884; ). Signature salads £4.90-£7.30; customised salads from £4.50.

The Meatball Shop, 84 Stanton Street (212 982 8895; ). Four meatballs with sauce £4.90, sides £3.

Katz’s Delicatessen, 205 East Houston Street (212 254 2246; ). Hot pastrami sandwich £10.40.

Fine dining

New York has some of the world’s best seafood, and I have two favourite places to enjoy it, one Japanese, one French. For Japanese, I love 15 East, which has one Michelin star and does sushi and sashimi à la carte, from tuna, salmon, eel and octopus to squid, shrimp, crab and clams. There’s a starter of 11 varieties of Japanese seaweed and a main course of cherry-wood-smoked duck, shiitake mushrooms and satsuma yam.

The other place would be Le Bernardin (pictured below), the legendary seafood-only restaurant with three Michelin stars, where Eric Ripert is the chef. The tasting menu has dishes such as “barely cooked scallops” with brown butter dashi, and a lobster lasagne with celeriac and truffle butter.

15 East, 15 East 15th Street (212 647 0015; ). Prix fixe lunch £20 for three courses; sushi/sashimi £3-£7.40 per item; dinner £34-£98 for three courses; tasting menus £58 five courses, £86 seven courses.

Le Bernardin, 155 West 51st Street (212 554 1515; ). Lunch prix fixe £47 for three courses; dinner prix fixe £83 for four courses; tasting menus £95 for seven courses (£150 with wines), £121 for eight courses (£206 with wines).

An aperitif

Can I recommend my own place at the Surrey hotel? It’s called Bar Pleiades and it’s very cute. The drink to have is a Sazerac: cognac or rye whisky, absinthe and Peychaud bitters. It’s like an American negroni from New Orleans.

Bar Pleiades, the Surrey hotel, 20 East 76th Street (212 905 1477; ). Cocktails £10-£13.


We’ve had a lot of young chefs from Korea in the past 10 years, learning in the New York cooking schools and working with some of the best chefs. They’re all opening their own restaurants now. I like Momofuko Saam Bar. It’s fun, and people go back again and again. They do pork shoulder and pork belly steamed buns which are very good, in soft bread, Chinese-style. They have wonderful seafood and spicy dishes as well. I also love Il Buco Alimentari in NoHo, a spin-off from the long-established Il Buco on Bond Street. They make their own salumeria [charcuterie] and do great Italian food.

Momofuko Saam Bar, 207 2nd Avenue (212 254 3500; ). Three courses £19-£25.

Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria, 53 Great Jones Street (212 837 2622; ). Cured meats £11 for two; three courses £24-£44.

Daniel Boulud's New York: Gourmet Getaways
Cosmopolitan New Yorkers are spoilt for choice when it comes to eating, says Daniel Boulud. The celebrated chef gives us a guide to his favourite restaurants and delis in the city

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