Chef Jesse Schenker
On rare days off, I often let my passion for food run wild. If I have one night off a month, I like to take advantage of it, crisscrossing all over town with my wife or friends, sampling as many meals as I can get my hands on. I often eschew the new, trendy spots in favor of established restaurants where I know I'll get a great meal. I’m keen on knowing what’s going on the industry and supporting my co-workers. There’s so much talent out there.
Head into an ethnic neighborhood and find a spot the consists of few Americans eating and sit down. You are guaranteed a great meal.
My Eating Guide For New York
COFFEE | Kava Cafe
It's great for a doppio, an espresso double shot that's extracted using a double coffee filter in the portafilter.
803 Washington Street, New York, NY 10014 | T: 212.255.7495
470 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036 | T: 212.239.4442
BREAKFAST | Murray's Bagels
I only get bagels at Murray's. I love that they refuse to toast it because they're so damn fresh and delicious—to toast would be sacrilegious.
500 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10011
T: 212.462.2830 | www.murraysbagels.com
MARKET | Blue Ribbon Market
This is a one stop shop!
4 Bedford Street, New York, NY 10014
T: 212.647.0408 | www.blueribbonrestaurants.com
SEAFOOD | Marea
This is one of my favorite restaurants and their lunch is one of NYC's best. Order all the crudo, the fusilli with baby octopus and bone marrow, and the sea urchin crostini with lardo.
240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019
T: 212.582.5100 | www.marea-nyc.com
CHINESE | Vanessa's Dumpling House
When you visit, I suggest you try Sesame Pancakes at Vanessa's Dumpling House. With three locations in NYC and cheap yet great quality food, this local Chinese institution is a must.
118A Eldridge Street, New York, NY 10002 | T: 212.625.8008
220 East 14th Street, New York, NY 10003 | T: 212.529.1329
310 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211 | T: 718.218.8809
MEDITERRANEAN | Bar Bolonat
After walking around all day check out Bar Bolonat for some shared apps like the housemade Jerusalem Bagel with Za'atar and olive oil. The Fluke Ceviche with tomato, fennel, jalapeño, black lime, cilantro and pistachio is also great.
611 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
T: 212.390.1545 | barbolonatny.com
JAPANESE | Soto Sushi
This is my go-to place for Japanese. They use the best quality ingredients and everything is really fresh. One of the things they're most known for is their extensive use of uni. It seems like almost every other course has uni on it and for someone like me, who loves uni, it's basically heaven. Pair that with their house made yuba, the skin that forms on top of soy milk when it's heated, and the dish is money. I could literally eat this every day. If I could go anywhere three or four nights a week, and money was no object, it would be Soto. And not for the sushi, but the uni and yoba starter. It’s basically two ingredients with a little bit of dashi, and it just blows my mind. It kind of opened up the world of Japanese cooking and the concept of umami for me.
357 6th Avenue, New York, NY 10014
This Cuban joint is open 24 hours. The Cubano sandwiches and Ropa Vieja is exactly what you need after a long day in the kitchen. Plus, since I grew up in South Florida, it gives me a taste of home.
207 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10011
T: 212.858.5001 | coppelianyc.com
EDIBLE SOUVENIR | Macarons from Bouchon Bakery
My favorite locally-made edible souvenir that I think would make a great gift to take home is macarons from Bouchon Bakery because you can experience Chef Thomas Keller’s distinctive cuisine in a casual setting.
Time Warner Center | Ten Columbus Circle, Third Floor, New York, NY 10019 | T: 212.823.9363
Rockefeller Center | One Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020 | T: 212.782.3890 www.thomaskeller.com
Chef Jesse Schenker
Schenker is the executive chef and owner of Recette and The Gander in New York City. He began his culinary career in his home state of Florida before moving to New York where he worked with chef Gordon Ramsey at the two-Michelin-starred restaurant The London. Named James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef of the Year and Best New Restaurant semifinalists in 2011.
"My contemporary approach to creating American classics is a reflection of my devotion to highly-refined technique combined with my passion for comforting and satisfying food."
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