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Serious Eats Neighborhood Guides: Todd Mitgang's Midtown East

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Back in 2008, Todd Mitgang's Crave Ceviche Bar fell victim to a terrible crane accident. But he didn't let it stop him from doing what he does best. Since then, he's done Mexican food for Cascabel Taqueria on the Upper East Side (we've fallen hard for the sandwiches), and opened a raw bar-heavy restaurant in the surf town of Montauk called South Edison. He's recently handed over the reins in order to make a serious Midtown comeback: this July, Todd opened Crave Fishbar across the street from the original Crave, and this time, he's keeping close watch. He lives above the restaurant, and prefers to dine out or order in from his Midtown East home base.

Todd's Picks

Pizza: Angelo's has been a favorite for some time. The pizza is tasty; it has a slightly charred crust which delivers both chew and crunch.

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P.J. Clarke's burger [Photograph: Nick Solares]

Burger: P.J. Clarke's wins this category. They nail everything a burger is supposed to be. Order a side of Old Irish Cheddar Bubble & Squeak.

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Pernil with a Twist [Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Sandwich: Sophie's Cuban for their Cubano sandwich. Order extra green sauce and douse it up.

Bagel: Tal Bagels is great. I've been into their tuna salad on an everything bagel with Jarlsberg cheese. Don't forget to say salt and pepper. Makes a world of difference.

Coffee: I think Joe (in Grand Central) has a great pedigree with coffee. They take it seriously and roast very delicious beans. Since working with Steven from Ground Support I've turned to espresso-based drinks, which in the summer means iced Americanos.

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Spicy scallop hand roll [Photograph: Zachary Feldman]

Sushi: The spicy scallop roll at Sushi Seki is a favorite, as well as most everything else they do there.

Delivery food: I'm a sucker for a bowl of noodles. Mee hits the spot time and time again. I like the soy sauce chicken in soup with thin egg noodles.

Dive bar: I'm not so sure the Pig 'n' Whistle on 2nd is exactly a dive, but it's one I frequent. They have great beer on draft and all sports on all of the time. Say hi to Ken if you're in; he's got legendary stories.

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[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Chinese takeout: Szechuan Gourmet is my favorite takeout Chinese. I pay a pretty penny for it every time I slurp down the buckets of chili oil everything is served with, but I can't keep away from the Spicy Spring Bamboo Shoots with fernbrake.

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Kati rolls [Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Can't-miss neighborhood spot: Since it's newly opened, I'd have to say Kati Roll. I used to only be able to eat this on nights spent near MacDougal Street, but now they have a shop a couple of blocks away, walking distance.

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