The Low Down on Chowding Down in NYC

IMG_7225Ever ask yourself “Where should I go to dinner tonight?”, “Where should I take my guests to dine when they come visit?”, etc.? I know I do, and I feel like this is the never ending debate that can literally go on forever. Why? Well, whether you’re in search of breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even a late night snack, there are so many dining destinations, your head will spin. With more than 16,000 full service eating establishments (and that’s not including cafeterias, counter service, or the like), choosing where to chow down can sometimes feel like the world’s biggest battle. So, being the food lover that I am, I made a personal decision to stay away from repeating restaurants and am trying to enjoy a new eatery for every occasion. To make it easy, I’ve come up with a list of go-to’s (stored on my iPhone “Notes” section for easy access and recall), and check them off after I’ve checked them out.

With friends in town, catch up sessions, and just my pure love of food to blame, I was able to check out three of these eating establishments on my seemingly endless list (and one that I’m constantly adding to), just this week. Here’s a recent restaurant recap –

Charlie Bird – Drawing inspiration from all things New York, Charlie Bird was established as cool, downtown diner paying homage to legends of music (hip hop in particular, I’m told). This vibrant venue is a foodie’s (and music lover’s) paradise. The food is local, the décor is linear, and the vibe… well, just lively. Between a silhouette of Run DMC on the door, old school Hip Hop jams playing overhead, and a menu that opens up into a poster of music legends, it’s no wonder this is such a happenin’ hot spot. Keep trying until you get a rez, and when you do, I highly recommend the Montauk Fluke, Live Diver Scallops, Caramelized Cauliflower, and of course the Warm Chocolate Budino. Go ahead, get down!

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Bobo – If you want to dine in a space that feels like you’re invited to dinner at a friend’s house, Bobo is definitely the spot. Tucked away, in a basement off 7th Ave in the West Village, the space is swanky, sophisticated, yet subtle. With eclectic décor, delectable dishes and service like no other, eating at Bobo made me feel like I didn’t want to leave. A twist on classic French food, Bobo offers some amazing dishes, as well as cocktails, making it hard to choose. But don’t let that stop you. Just a few recommendations from my visit include the Salad Bobo, Tartar de Thon, and a Bohemian Bourgeois to wash it all down. Bon Apetit!

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Chalk Point – We’ve heard farm-to-table a million times, but Chalk Point does it “with style and grace” (a Biggie reference because playing in the background is cool, old school hip hop beats). I mean, an entire wall of Polaroids of patrons upon entry…How awesome is that? While the décor might lead you into thinking you’re in for a farm feast, things like Fresh Chickpea Falafel, Creamed North Fork Corn and Pan Roasted Maine Cod, combine the flavor and flare of Downtown NYC markets for fare that’s stylish, yet sustainable! And when you’re done with your meal, you can’t miss the Handy Liquor Bar – a hidden speakeasy just under this Soho sweet spot with a killer cocktail list and a hip history that will leave you coming back for more.

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