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86 Very Good

A high-concept menu that focuses almost obsessively on the raw materials.

43 E. 19th St., New York, NY, 10003


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The lowdown

Even before he ascended up into the TV studio, Tom Colicchio had always been a fanatic for the integrity of fresh ingredients and simplicity in cooking, and this much-discussed, much-imitated landmark restaurant is the extreme, almost priestly expression of his views. You may not like the conceit of building your meal one spare ingredient at a time, but almost two decades after the opening of this original green-market institution, the there’s no denying the quality of the sweet day-boat scallops the top-notch kitchen turns out day after day, or the blue-foot mushrooms lovingly foraged in the piney forests of Oregon, or the radical genius of Colicchio’s original concept, which took those obsessions of the professional chef — technique, terroir, the purity of ingredients — and turned them into the height of big-city gourmet chic.

Adam Platt

What you need to know

DrinksFull Bar

Noise LevelCivilized