Since emigrating from Italy to the U.S. at age 12, Lidia's family has called Queens home. She has lived all over, from Astoria to Bayside to Douglaston, and shops in the borough nearly every day, after church or on her way into Manhattan. Here's where Lidia seeks out Italian ingredients on her home turf.
'celebrity neighborhood guides' on Serious Eats
After working together in the kitchen at Kampuchea, Ben Daitz and his college buddy Ratha Chaupoly opened cult favorite Cambodian sandwich shop Num Pang in the heart of Union Square. They've since opened an outpost near Grand Central, but Ben likes to keep it local: he lives and dines in Union Square, and loves the area as much as customers adore Num Pang's coconut tiger prawn sandwich.
Marc Murphy grew up all over—Milan, Paris, Villefranche, Washington DC, Rome and Genoa, all before he turned 12—but the Landmarc chef holds a special place in his heart for his TriBeCa neighborhood, where he opened his first solo enterprise. For such a cosmopolitan chef, Marc's tastes in his longtime home run largely towards comfort food, from Mister Softee ice cream to a Mac & Cheese BLT (yup). To find out where to find such a sandwich, check out his neighborhood staples.
Dave Arnold is a card-carrying member of the culinary avant-garde, with the gadgets and address book to prove it. Together with David Chang, the culinary science whiz opened Booker and Dax, a high-tech bar serving meticulously crafted cocktails made with hot pokers, centrifuges, and the like. But when he heads home to his wife and sons on the Lower East Side, he turns towards the classics: a club sandwich, spicy wings, or, you know, whatever his brother-in-law Wylie Dufresne is serving.
James Beard Award-winning chef Michael White is the man behind high-end Italian restaurants Marea, Osteria Morini, and Ai Fiori, but he's also a true Upper West Sider. Take a look at his favorite bagels, pizza, take-out, and more.
For a chef who's spent the bulk of her career attached to a single restaurateur, Shanna Pacifico isn't afraid of a little adventure. Where does she go for a bite and a drink in North Brooklyn? We chatted with her to find out.
Hamid Rashidzada of both Summit Bar and Prima is what you'd call a community fixture, having lived in Alphabet City for the past 22 years. He shared his neighborhood recommendations with us, including his off-menu pizza sandwich order and other secrets only a local could know.
Harold Dieterle knows how to take a break: with a pint or a plate of tater tots just blocks away from where he lives and cooks. Harold, who is himself quickly becoming a West Village staple, was kind enough to share a few neighborhood gems of his own.
After a long day at Soho's Harney & Sons, General Manager Emeric Harney loves heading home to his Chelsea neighborhood to cheat on his trainer's diet recommendations—but only once in awhile. We got his picks for where to eat in Chelsea.
Joel Hough's passion for bold flavors and fresh ingredients brought him to what's arguably the farmer's market capital of New York: Fort Greene, where he lives with his wife and two daughters. Occasionally Joel ventures East for a really, really good doughnut, but on most weekends you'll find him in the neighborhood. Here's where he goes to eat.
Jesse Schenker is a classically-trained French chef with a mean air guitar and an armful of heavy metal tattoos. That dichotomy characterizes the 29-year old Gordon Ramsay protégé, who has made a name for himself by taking high end risks like opening a private dining club in Harlem and making it public in 2010, moving Recette to the West Village. Today, Jesse has moved on from Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen and into his own, bringing his brand of cool to a neighborhood that has long deserved a second chance.
Raised in Bombay and Goa, Floyd Cardoz has always cooked Indian food, whether fused with Western techniques or in its most traditional form. After a 12-year stint at the now-closed Tabla, where he and Danny Meyer put together an exotic menu of Indian fusion dishes, he's making a comeback with Meyer's new North End Grill. The menu isn't rooted in one cuisine, but Floyd sneaks in elements of the Indian food he knows so well, such as the black pepper shrimp he often grills in his own backyard. We talked with Floyd to learn where he goes for Indian food in New York City. The short answer to finding the best: don't be afraid of traveling to Queens and New Jersey.
Marc Forgione is the real deal. He's got the pedigree: he started working in professional kitchens alongside his father, esteemed chef Larry Forgione, at age 16. He's got the praise: at 29, his TriBeCa restaurant Marc Forgione was awarded two stars by The New York Times, and he's the youngest American-born chef and owner to receive a Michelin star in two consecutive years. Marc also knows his neighborhood—he doesn't discriminate between the old-line TriBeCa watering holes and the hottest new restaurants, as long as they're good. And he gives back to the area where he works by participating in the Taste of TriBeCa, a culinary festival whose proceeds go to arts and enrichment programs at local public schools PS 150 and PS 234. Marc was kind enough to take some time out of his jam-packed schedule (he's got his hands full opening a gigantic new oceanfront steakhouse, Atlantic Cut, in Atlantic City's Revel Casino) to share his own TriBeCa tastes with us.
Cutting a tattooed figure as a judge on "Chopped" and in the neighborhood restaurants he owns and cooks in (last year's Beauty & Essex and the celebrity-studded Stanton Social), Chris Santos is something of a Lower East Side legend. When he's not running two busy kitchens, he's rocking out in the neighborhood, grabbing late night gyros to fuel an '80s dance party or scarfing down tacos at the Essex Street Market. Read on for Chris's greatest hits of the LES.
Pastry chef Karen DeMasco is living the sweet life. By day, she's in the kitchen at Locanda Verde alongside fellow Ohioan Andrew Carmellini, where she's whipping up seemingly simple yet inventively flavored desserts like her signature maple budino. When she goes home (right next door to the new Nets stadium), she's taking her husband and two daughters out for pizza, ice cream, or burgers and hot dogs—without ever having to leave the neighborhood. Read on for Karen's droolworthy tour of Prospect Heights.
Michael Lomonaco is a New York chef of the old-school breed, with the Upper East Side address to prove it. His go-to neighborhood spots pay homage to the classics as well as the brand spanking new, both the highbrow and the low, for a melting pot of choices that reflect a true New Yorker's palate.
In 2009, as banks began to make way for media firms and post-graduate apartment complexes, Shaun Hergatt moved in and put the FiDi on the food map. Read on for Shaun's favorite spots to eat and drink in the Financial District.
When Michael Laiskonis moved to New York eight years ago to take his place as Le Bernadin's pastry chef, he thought his Upper East Side digs would be temporary. He's been in the same place ever since, but he recently announced that he'll be leaving Eric Ripert's side to take a as creative director at the Institute of Culinary Education, where he'll teach and work on his first book. The past two months allowed him some time off to indulge at some of his favorite neighborhood spots, and from the looks of it, he'll be staying put for a while.
You've already seen our New York editors' neighborhood guides, in which the SE staff—Ed, Carey, Erin, and more—chat about their favorite places to eat in their own neighborhoods. But we're branching out to other food personalities. We've heard Tom Colicchio on the West Village; Eric Ripert on Midtown West; now here's Top Chef contestant and chef-owner Dale Talde on downtown Brooklyn and Boerum Hill.
You've already seen our New York editors' neighborhood guides, in which the SE staff—Ed, Carey, Erin, and more—chat about their favorite places to eat in their own neighborhoods. But we're branching out to other food personalities. We've heard Tom Colicchio on the West Village; Eric Ripert on Midtown West; now here's former Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni on the Upper West Side.