Serious Eats Neighborhood Guides: Michael Anthony's Midtown East

Neighborhood Guides

Locals' guides to New York neighborhoods.

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Midtown East isn't the first neighborhood we'd peg as home for Gramercy Tavern chef Michael Anthony. But he's done his homework. He's been living in the neighborhood with his wife and three daughters for about five years. While they often cook and entertain at home, he shared with us his favorite restaurants, from slices of pizza to sushi.

Michael's Picks

[Photograph: Adam Kuban]

Pizza, slice: It's kind of uneventful, but Patsy's is where we usually go. There's also Certe, where it's all handmade and healthy enough that it almost doesn't feel like a New York pizza.

Sandwich: Num Pang. It was close to restaurant but close to us now. The five spice glazed pork belly is delicious.

Falafel: Soom Soom. It's not spectacular, but they use fresh ingredients and you can get it warm. That was a lifesaver when I was working on my book.

Coffee: Joe Coffee in Grand Central. I go there for a great macchiato. I'll buy the coffee beans whether I'm just walking by there or stopping in.


[Photograph: Kathy YL Chan]

Cupcakes: Sprinkles. You've got kids, you've got to buy them cupcakes. We're on the birthday buying circuit.

Bagel: Ess-A-Bagel. You can say what you want, but where can you get better bagels? I don't know. It's always packed, especially on the weekends—a line forms down the block. Here's a secret: There's a separate counter by the oven. You can skip the line and get a bag of bagels and leave in five minutes.

Delivery: Truth be told, we order from Fusia. I can't say it's miraculous, but it works It's like lightly curried noodles, some Thai flavors. It's kind of embarrassing, but it's close to us and consistent.

Dive Bar: The Subway Inn. It's the worst bar in the best neighborhood in New York. A few years ago, it was a true dive bar. Then it was listed in Time Out New York or something and now it's a little more popularized.

Fine Dining: The Modern. Not because it's plugging my own company, but we spend a lot of time at the museum for a couple of reasons. They have an awesome children's area learning center. I love the dining room. I also like the bar room. It's flexible and spontaneous. Daniel is perhaps more Upper East Side and of course it's extraordinary. It's a luxurious experience, but it's a special one.

Brussels sprouts with chipotle, anchovy, and radish at Ma Peche ($12)

[Photograph: Christine Tsai]

Can't miss spot: Ma Peche. You can roll off the street and roll into the bar. They had this furniture in the lounge, and you could get out of there quickly with a child [too]. But the reality is it's cool and delicious food. And it's right around the corner from where we live.

Chinese: Shun Lee Palace. It's right there. I think it shows off when you're there. It doesn't translate as well if you're taking out. It's also a family tradition.

Ramen: Hide-Chan Ramen. One of their specialties is the black tonkastu ramen, which is a little bit spicy and a little fatty but great flavor.


[Photograph: Zachary Feldman]

Sushi: Sushi Yasuda (at the bar). It's carefully prepared sushi. Clean and you know, excellent quality. On the other spectrum, there's Sushi Seki. We go there for more Americanized flavors. Spicier, richer flavors.

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