Hal Rubenstein

  1. Star LiteGreat pasta, but Lo Scalco’s Michelin status is otherwise a mystery.
  2. Little Shop of PleasuresCookshop serves up fusion-free American favorites in a Soho- loft-kitchen atmosphere.
  3. The Son RisesAt Centrico, Aarón Sánchez does his legendary Mexican-chef mom proud.
  4. No Velvet RopeClub queen Amy Sacco’s first restaurant venture is surprisingly welcoming.
  5. Laid-Back FlayAt Bar Americain, Bobby Flay is uncharacteristically subdued.
  6. Koi PolloiThe city’s latest Japanese joint serves delicious food, if you can stomach the crowd.
  7. AAA BondBond 45’s family-style cooking and service evoke Italian restaurants past.
  8. Southeast Asian by SouthwestAt Sapa, Patricia Yeo’s fusion cooking is appealing. It’s the room and the menu that need work.
  9. Gray Is BeautifulGray Kunz won four stars at Lespinasse, then disappeared. Café Gray is his welcome return.
  10. HookedLure Fishbar’s snazzy décor and bracing new menu are oceans away from the former Canteen.
  11. August WarmthChef Tony Liu’s August brings a touch of the Mediterranean to the West Village. Never mind the no-reservations policy. It’s worth the wait.
  12. Raw AmbitionMatthew Kenney’s Pure Food and Wine aims to make “raw food” lovers of us all. He may be on to something.
  13. Egypt on the East SideCasa La Femme North has an odd location, a White Sheik atmosphere, and fabulous food.
  14. Megu-HitAt the city’s latest high-end Asian eatery, the menu is baffling, the portions are small, the prices are astronomical, and the result is f […]
  15. Market SavvyJean-Georges Vongerichten is back (again). This time he’s peddling reimagined Asian street food at Spice Market.
  16. Bravo, BivioDanny Emerman brings his unfussy Italian fare, and bubbling crowd, back to New York. Miss Barocco? You’ll love Bivio.
  17. Adoring GeishaGeisha may not offer the most Zen-like space in town. But chef Michael Vernon’s menu will definitely leave you blissed out.
  18. Sky ChefSure, the views of Central Park are great. But at Asiate, it’s Nori Sugie’s innovative Asian-fusion cuisine that’s really s […]
  19. Take HearthA pair of Gramercy Tavern and Craft alums bring a helping of professionalism to the East Village. Who cares if the locals don’t eat there?
  20. Well BiltmoreNever mind its neighborhood without a name. Chef Gary Robins’s Biltmore Room is a destination in its own right (so’s the cell-phone […]
  21. Wait GainInstant critics be damned. Two months after opening, Lever House has earned a spot among New York’s top power-dining palaces.
  22. Ol’ Man RiverIf the over-the-top theatrics of Rocco’s reality show make you crave old-fashioned restaurant professionalism, the River Café hits th […]
  23. Summer EscapeIf it’s a taste of the Riviera you crave, Nice Matin serves up a sunny South of France feeling—on the Upper West Side.
  24. Start the PartyThe food at Pampano is enough to set you cheering. So why is the atmosphere so quiet?
  25. The Gaul of ItDon’t take out your anti-French sentiment on the city’s chefs and restaurateurs. You aren’t making a political statement; you& […]
  26. Fast Boat to ChinaTraveling at the speed of light between his many culinary outposts, Jean-Georges Vongerichten has outdone himself again with the succulent new C […]
  27. Cold ComfortTwo relaxed, thaw-out restaurants—where you don’t have to worry about your hat hair—keep diners delightfully warm (eve […]
  28. Happy RestraintCharlie Palmer’s new spot, Kitchen 22, may lack the elaborate artistry of Aureole, but with a well-crafted — and recessionproof — me […]
  29. A Little Aix StaticAt Didier Virot’s vibrant new outpost on the Upper Ouest Side, dishes are artfully conceived to challenge the senses – even if sometimes our se […]
  30. Little ItalysTrue Italian warmth – plus great pizzas and pastas – is turning up in some very out-of-the-way places.
  31. Tudor KingTucked away in the cozy enclave of Tudor City, up-and-coming Italian monarch Scott Conant has begun a benevolent reign at L’Impero.
  32. Favorite HauntSeviche, merengue, mojitos – they’re a combination bound to give anyone’s spirits a lift. And at Noche, they even manage to exorcise a few ghosts.
  33. Captain of IndustryDespite restaurateurs’ best efforts, the East Village hasn’t quite transmuted into an upscale culinary mecca. Industry (food) is working hard to […]
  34. Dessert IslandIt’s fairly startling, and kind of disheartening, that a city with such a slurping passion for ice cream is handed so few dessert menus that act […]
  35. Déjà DrewBack in 1985, Drew Nieporent’s Montrachet ushered Tribeca into the gourmet era. The food is as good as it’s ever been, if the décor is disa […]
  36. A Man for All SeasonsEighties wunderkind Jonathan Waxman has returned to the kitchen, bringing his Greenmarket simplicity to Washington Park. It makes you wonder: Wh […]
  37. Sharp FinFight the tide of tourists and kids around Times Square and make your way to Stephen Hanson’s Blue Fin, where the show-stopping décor and m […]
  38. Hop to TrotTheo’s room is chic – the crowd is tony and talky – but don’t get up to table-hop. At this downtown spot, food will keep you happily sitting […]
  39. Hell’s BelleBasking in the grim light of the Hess station on Tenth Avenue, 44 & X is spreading some welcome warmth onto a chilly strip of Hell’s Kitchen.
  40. Circus TrickIs it a sign of the times? Le Cirque 2000 is pleasing the usual crowd with newly dense, rich dishes. Now it’s not only see-and-be-seen but be se […]
  41. Hit on ThirdShoppers, take note: Matthew Kenney’s Commissary, with its buoyant crowd and big-deal menu, is bringing bounce back to the Bloomingdale’s district.
  42. Star FishAt Citarella’s long-awaited restaurant, chef Brian Young makes the best of the purveyor’s bounty from the sea – though sometimes he casts his n […]
  43. Get Back, JoJoNo other restaurateur has spread around his success with the originality and panache of Jean-Georges – and with a luxurious new makeover, his o […]
  44. Thom MachineWhen it first opened, Thom got a critical drubbing, but after learning some lessons in hospitality (and fine-tuning the menu), it’s earned a sec […]
  45. Emergency RoomsRudy told him to go out to dinner, so he did: at two home-style Italian restaurants where the pastas and chops can soothe the weariest soul.
  46. Familiar CravingFed up with fabulous? At Zoë, creative comfort food – including a chocolate-pudding cake that recalls the lost wonder of Ebinger’s – is a […]
  47. Grand HotelThese days, a new hotel restaurant hardly sounds like a special destination. But with a risk-taking menu (and style to spare), Ilo gives you rea […]
  48. Unsung HeroesTwo local charmers – Maroons and ViceVersa – have won fans without relying on a rush of critical acclaim. It’s easy to see why.
  49. Go OuestThomas Valenti’s sublime new Upper West Side outpost should dispel the neighborhood’s culinary blues for good. That is, if the locals will let it.
  50. On the TownChef Geoffrey Zakarian, formerly of Patroon, just opened a new restaurant, but it already feels as familiar and inviting as home.
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