Local Notes: New York’s Cafe Culture
Cafes, old world charm and gems of restaurants in New York City.
Some of my most favorite memories of New York when I had first arrived with $900 in my pocket and no home, was gathering with friends in sidewalk cafes and European style restaurants for brunches and late lunches. It confirmed everything I had dreamed about the city…elegance, history, conversation.
A few of our favorites, if you’re planning to visit our town.
Bottega Del Vino is a Northern Italian restaurant located in the heart of the city. Situated near FAO Schwartz, The CBS Studios and The Plaza, this little gem is the closest I have come to visiting Europe while feet still planted firmly on New York City ground. With wood decor and yellow walls, this restaurant feels as if one has walked into an Italian Alps restaurant after a day of skiing. There is an outside cafe; an indoor counter for quick espressos and pastries; a more relaxed area for quick lunches; and, then a more formal dining area. Most of the pastas and pastries are homemade…it’s perfect.
Il Gattopardo. I would walk miles for the homemade soups and ravioli served at Il Gattopardo. Located across the street from the MOMA, this little Italian restaurant has become a second home for many New Yorkers who want to escape the busy New York City scene, still feel welcomed and cared for, and to enjoy good food and wine. We lived in the neighborhood for years and I will always remember this restaurant as having kept me nourished through two pregnancies. Sweet. Romantic. Cozy. Great food.
Balthazar. If one wants to feel as if they have escaped to a French Bistro then Balthazar is offers the escape hatch. A favorite to many New Yorkers, Balthazar offers ambiance and a setting that is the equivalent of being transported…somewhere else. There is a bakery on site. Lots of french foods – rich, but with plenty of lighter fare for others. It’s an event.