5 Excellent Tips On Choosing A Good Restaurant in New York City

There are times that you stumble onto a restaurant you never knew existed. The experience is 50/50 — maybe great, maybe not. There are certains areas in New York City where you don’t want to stop in to a random. For example, many of the Times Square area restaurants are overpriced for moderate offerings. So you need to do your homework. Other neighborhoods like Turtle Bay, Murray Hill, and the West Village are more likely to serve up quality in the price range you’re paying for. An area of New York City that has been on the upswing since 9/11 is the financial district, the neighborhood in close proximity to where the Towers fell. There was a lot of work done, tax concessions given, resulting in good-priced apartments filling up quick. With that came restaurants and bistros to service the new inhabitants.

Pick The Right Location

Choosing a restaurant for tourists certainly depends on what part of town the attractions they are visiting are in. Upper West Side features Columbus Circle, Lincoln Center, the Museum of Natural History and access to central Park. The upper East Side has the Metropolitan Museum, The Guggenheim Museum, the Frick, and others, the Plaza Hotel, and many others, access to Central park, 5th Avenue, on which you’ll find Trump Tower, St Patrick’s Cathedral and Rockefeller Center.

You can find any type of food in New York City. If you want Indian, for example, a good Southern Indian spot is upper eat on 1st Ave at 58th called Adyar Ananda Bhavan. Or anywhere east of Lexington ave. in the 30s — the neighborhood of Murray Hill — there is so many Indian places they call it Curry Hill.

If you want small bistros check out the East Village, Bleeker Street or SoHo. And the New York City Financial District has been completely rebuilt post 9/11, with many long-stayed restaurants and new entries as well.

Look For An Ambiance That’s Cut Above The Rest

It’s not only the individual décor of a restaurant that makes it welcoming, but also the overall atmosphere — including the attitude of the staff — that makes it inviting or not. For example, Suspenders has that camaraderie feel to it; you’re part of the group even if it’s your first visit. For me mood is everything. The taste of great food without that atmosphere can get lost. Dining out isn’t just the food, or just to atmosphere, or just the staff, but a combination of them all to create a dining experience. find a restaurant that has a great ambience with vibes that are sure to bring some fun time for you and your friends or family members. Want a romantic little spot in the nice weather? Get a nighttime table on the patio of East of Eighth (253 West 23rd Street). With friends looking for something different? Belly up the bar at Arturos on Houston Street. order a pizza bar pie, and knock it back with a bottle of Prosecco while you enjoy the jazz trio playing in the corner.

Always, Always, Pick A Restaurant That Offers Good Food

Well duh, of course you want a place with good food. New York City is one of the cities that has a rating posted right on their front door by the Health Department. But more than Health Department approved, you want exceptional food. Some of the best chefs in the world are in New York City. And there are plenty of places to get some insight. Zagat.com, the food section of the Village Voice, Food Republic, Serious Eats, Grubb Street, and the Restaurant Girl, to name but a few. Food is more than sustenance in New York City, it is art, in some places. You have to find the one that is right for you, which of course is subjective.

Check What’s Cooking

So many of NYC restaurants have specials of the day, or world-renown specialties. Check for these. You can find soe real gems that you won’t find at home; be adventurous. It is how I became a lover of Thai Tum Yum soup, Japanese Ramen, and Vietnamese Pho. Explore all the tastings NYC has to offer, which is extensive.

It All Comes Down To The Service

The meal and experience begins and ends with service. In those first few moments you either feel welcome or not. Throughout the meal having someone promptly paying attention as to whether you need something, it’s time to remove a completed course is essential. Knowledgeable make dining better, in the same way a knowledgeable guide can bring history to life. Knowing what is fresh, what the signature dish is, and what goes well together from appetizer to dessert is key to a great dining experience. New York can be a bit intimidating with it’s fast paced non-stop movement. But it can also be a friendly city if you have the nerve to ask. Do ask, you’ll be get great advice from people in the know.