Serious Eats Neighborhood Guides: Alain Allegretti's Chelsea

Neighborhood Guides

Locals' guides to New York neighborhoods.

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French-born chef Alain Allegretti has lived in the Financial District and the Upper East Side but it's in Chelsea, where he's lived for three years, that he feels at home. There are galleries, the High Line and of course, plenty of places to eat. When he's not at his restaurant, Bistro La Promenade, which is located in the iconic London Terrace, he's often out supporting local businesses. Allegretti shared some of his favorites with Serious Eats this week.

Meatballs at Co.

[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Pizza: I always order the meatball or the stracciatella, which has this very soft cheese like burrata and some arugula on top, at Co. Those are my favorite by far. I'll eat the whole pie by myself. It's kind of healthy in a certain way and unhealthy in a certain way.

Rotisserie Chicken Sandwich at Foragers City Grocer

[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

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Sandwich: I do like to go to this place on 22nd and Eighth Avenue called Foragers. They have a restaurant in the back but if I'm running out of time, I like to grab something quick. I usually like the very simple one—turkey, Swiss cheese and lettuce on seven grain or whole wheat bread. It's a very organic, healthy, farm-to-table place.

Tapas: Boqueria. I like the fun vibe and the simplicity. It's very authentic food from Spain. It always changes what I order, but the hot chorizo and anchovy dishes are always perfect. The croquette is always spectacular. The octopus is also great. With a nice glass of wine, it's perfect.

Bakery: For like a real type of French bakery, I'll take Bergamote. I like their fruit tart, which is always seasonal and fresh. It's small bistro, too, so you can sit down and have a croque monsieur or French toast. Also, for cake, I like Billy's Bakery. I like the baby banana Nutella cupcake and the chocolate-mint cupcake.


[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

Bagel: I like bagels of course. I always go to Murray's Bagel. I'm a whole wheat or multigrain person. What goes with it just depends. It could be cream cheese and tomato or tuna salad. Or lox and cream cheese. I always get it toasted even though I know they don't necessarily like to do it.

Coffee: I just go to Joe's, which is just down the block from the restaurant. I may get an iced coffee or tea. It just depends on if I go in the morning or afternoon. But I like the place because it's all neighborhood people. You have the doggies attached to the tree, people talking with friends. I think it's very New York.

[Photograph: Zachary Feldman]

Japanese: I like sushi, so I always go to Izakaya. Their sushi is always solid. I love sake, too. I like to just go there and have some snacks with sake. Their spicy cucumber salad is pretty good, and the kimchee is pretty cool. They are open very late, which is good when you work late.

Bar: I'm not that far from the Americano. I'm a big rooftop guy. The view depends on where you're sitting. I just love being on the rooftop with a simple glass of rose with lots of ice or a mojito or Champagne. For the most part, I always order a glass of rose with a lot of ice inside. Very Euro!

Breakfast/Brunch: I like to go to Foragers. It's very simple in the corner and all windows. You don't feel like you're trapped inside. I think the chef works hard to give something different to the guests (it's farm to table). Always I order the parfait with the granola. I also like the vegetarian poached egg that comes with a nice cornbread.

Best Self-Serve: 16 Handles

[Photograph: Carey Jones]

Frozen yogurt: I really like to go to 16 Handles. I really love the vibe and fun energy. It's super cool. It's not fancy or gourmet, but that is okay.