Pasta With A Purpose Inside this airy Italian restaurant is earthy, organic food


What is most apparent at La Pecora Bianca, the NoMad neighborhood’s new airy Italian spot, is a sense of balance. Dishes on this market-driven menu are as thoughtfully composed as they are procured.

With West Village Claudette already under his belt, restaurateur Mark Barak knows what he’s doing. The 85-seat space is breezy and bright by day, votive-soft by night, and puts its energy into il prodotto (the ingredient) rather than la tecnica (the technique).

La Pecora Bianco is located in the historic St James Building, built in 1896.

Pastas are made in-house each morning from New York and Pennsylvania-grown organic grains (a gluten-free option, made with corn or rice flour, is available upon request). There are as many whole-grain options as the bulk section of a co-op, from curly gramigna, made from ancient einkorn wheat, red fife tagliatelle and emmer maccheroni. Pasture-raised meat comes from Hudson Valley purveyors and includes a blistered roast chicken on a bed of mushrooms, corn and pickled serrano chiles ($26).

Vegetarians, take note: Chef Simone Bonelli knows how to gild a lily without going too far, supporting seasonal vegetables in salads and side dishes with small doses of intensely flavored ingredients. Charred rainbow carrots arrive doused with sheep’s milk labne, coriander seeds, honey and hazelnuts ($8), and roasted peppers bathe in a pool of romesco ($8). Just as raw ribbons of zucchini, lovely on their own, become even more so with buttery marcona olives, mint and a snow shower of pecorino ($12). To order them, along with some country bread, is to want for nothing.

La Pecora Bianca
1133 Broadway, New York, NY 10010
(212) 498-9696

Comfort Inn Burgers, mac'n'cheese and ice cream sandwiches go vegan


Chef Chloe Coscarelli is an equal opportunist.

When it comes to juicy burgers, crispy wontons and gooey mac n’cheese, she thinks vegans can have just as much fun as their meat- and dairy-eating pals.

Coscarelli is the best-selling author of the cookbooks Chloe’s Vegan Desserts and Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen, and her new Greenwich Village restaurant, By Chloe, is the edible incarnation of the happy vegan spirit found in her books.

Vegans (and their friends) need not feel ostracized by fussy ingredients or banished to some strange hole-in-the-wall when they are eating at this bright and welcoming spot, complete with a grab-and-go case and a communal table.

Sit back, relax and Enjoy all that this vegan joint has to offer.

Everything on the menu—from the classic burger ($9) with sunset pink beet ketchup to the kale cookies + cream ice cream sandwich ($5)—is about easy eating that is completely vegan, plant-based and kosher certified, all without saturated animal fats, preservatives and artificial flavors.

Get in while corn is still in season for the market side of street corn cobbettes with lemon and thyme ($2.50). An upgraded almond parmesan crumble steps in for the usual cojita cheese, but the delicious charred kernels remain.

Pro tip: By Chloe has ginormous portion sizes to match its comfort food vibe. You’d do well to order the spicy Thai salad ($11) with the peanut dressing on the side, and take home half of the apricot-sriracha glazed tempeh with quinoa and crispy wontons for later.

Folks have already been clamoring so much for more kale caesars with shitake bacon ($10) and roasted banana bourbon ice cream ($5) that the team has already announced a sophomore location in the Flatiron District, scheduled to open next spring.

By Chloe
185 Bleecker St.

Call Of The Wild Wildair does it right on the Lower East Side


It’s a bar? It’s a restaurant? It’s Wildair.

And with food and drinks this delicious, it doesn’t matter how Wildair wants to categorize itself.

The very talented Fabian Von Hauske (Jean-Georges, Noma) and Jeremiah Stone (Rino, Isa) have opened this Lower East Side spot just two doors down from their original creation, Contra.

While Wildair may be more informal than the tasting-menu-only Contra, the menu is packed with ambition and creativity.

Go somewhere else if you’re seeking a kale Caesar, but come here if you’re ready to start your meal with breakfast radishes in a swirled palette of seaweed butter ($9), summer squash with ricotta and tart, omega-3 packed purslane ($9) or a head of lettuce showered with sesame and flax seeds and a whipped buttermilk dressing ($8).

Chocolate Hazelnut Tart. Need we say more.

The affable staff circulating the communal high-top tables and herringbone patterned oak floor makes it easy to pick a little, drink a little and then order an extra dish of Georgia white shrimp poached in olive oil ($12) and eat some more.

Most of the menu happens to be gluten-free, and vegetables are sourced from the Greenmarket as a matter of course. Van Hauske and Stone also work with farmers to grow ingredients specifically for the restaurant.

For wine buffs (or those who just want a good glass with dinner), this is a place to move to the top of your list. The wine list is packed with natural and biodynamic wines and naturally fermented (without the addition of sugar and yeast) lightly sparkling wines with a low alcohol content called pétillant naturels.

138 Orchard St.

Good Fortune Old school soy sauce meets garden-fresh Chinese food


Kings County Imperial is unlike any neighborhood Chinese joint you know. For evidence, look no farther than the soy sauce.

Fermented in small-batches by a fourth-generation soy sauce family in southern China, the inky elixir is dispensed from a wood-handled tap behind the bar. It’s a center stage tip-off to the serious sourcing happening throughout the restaurant.

The menu of this new Williamsburg restaurant opened by Josh Grinker and Tracy Jane Young (the team behind Park Slope’s Stone Park Cafe), is driven as much by the cuisine of Central China as the working garden in back.

Get a load of that day boat catch! Photo credit: Levi Miller

Dishes hew to the classics, but their ingredients are just-picked: The weeping tiger salad ($9) is a leafy tangle of cilantro hit with long peppers and dried shrimp, and a bright foil to thick wedges of garlic-smacked Kung Pao-style eggplant ($9). In its first year, the raised beds—planned by a Brooklyn Botanical Garden horticulturalist to make the most of the tight space—have been wild with Chinese greens like tat soi and choy sum, long beans and goji berries. The restaurant plans to triple its output next year.

Order the day’s Shanghai soup dumplings and you’ll be rewarded with brothy purses filled early each morning with Berkshire heritage pork ($12). The whole fish, dependent on the dayboat catch off Eastern Long Island, is steamed with black beans and arrives on the plate feted with ginger and scallion confetti (market price). The crispy garlic chicken ($24) is Lancaster County-bred organic and polished with honey from Younger’s own backyard bees.

There’s take-out for local Williamsburg-ers, but the space is perfect for a sit-down date: Cast in an amber glow, the opium den dining room is pure romance. This is food for more than a Netflix night.

Kings County Imperial
20 Skillman Avenue, Brooklyn
718 610 2000

Go Fish


Seamore’s, the hottest new fish restaurant in town, looks like it was built just for Instagram.

The airy Nolita digs are flooded with natural sunlight from floor-to-ceiling windows: All the better to show off the white oak chevron flooring and the open kitchen’s backdrop of zig-zagged tiles. Even the swirly ceramic lights were designed by Brooklyn-based potter Helen Levi. It’s like a hip Montauk seafood shack on the corner of Mulberry and Broome.

Michael Chernow, co-founder of The Meatball Shop empire, and chef Gregg Drusinsky make sure Seamore’s is not an all-beauty, no-flavor situation.

Chernow describes the restaurant as “supply driven.” He says, “This means that we consistently use produce and seafood that is in season, readily available and abundant. We work with partners, not purveyors.”

it’s like a hip Montauk seafood shack on the corner of Mulberry and Broome.

He wades into the always-confusing process of buying sustainable seafood by letting folks like Dock to Dish and Sea to Table tell him what their haul looks like and from there they decides fish will be put on the menu.

The choose-your-own-adventure spirit carries over to the eating. Does baby lettuce salad with grapefruit, sunflower seeds and a coconut-cumin vinaigrette ($11) need an extra oomph? Simply add a piece of seared monkfish or porgy from the daily catch board ($8). And you can add an avocado to anything on the menu for $2.50. We recommend doing just that with the roasted mushroom and eggplant tacos that come on gluten and GMO-free corn tortillas ($13).

The menu is almost totally seafood- and vegetable-centric, but if you can’t stop yourself from ordering the burger with bacon and cheddar ($16), know that the local, antibiotic- and hormone-free beef comes from Fleisher’s.

Wrap up the sweet experience with a cup of vegan, coconut milk based ice cream from OddFellows Ice Cream Co.

390 Broome St.

Superiority Complex At Superiority Burger, you won't miss the meat


Chef Brooks Headley is a Renaissance man of the best sort. That is, if men of the 1400s knew the secret to making the best vegetable burger ever, the most delicious labneh gelato and a mind-blowing cashew-based cheese.

If you want to taste his exploits, you need to get yourself to Superiority Burger in the East Village ASAP.

Much has been written about this burger, there was even a dedicated following long before Headley opened the shop. Here’s exactly what you need to know:

1. Brooks Headley is legit. The former pastry chef at four-star Del Posto and has brought the sourcing practices of a place with unlimited resources to his teeny slice of spot. He says, “I know it’s a cliché but I spend a lot of time at the farmers’ markets. Obviously the quality of the produce there is unmatched by anything you can get delivered.”

This East Village spot has become quite the popular vegetarian eatery.


2. His burgers deserve mad respect. His secret-recipe burger ($6) consists of nuts, quinoa, beans and tofu and comes on a pleasingly squishy bun wrapped in brown wax paper. We’ve never eaten a veggie burger that gave us such meaty satisfaction, but at the same time left us feeling really good after we scarfed it down. You can bring your vegan friends, too. The menu happily announces: “Everything is vegetarian a lot is accidentally vegan—just ask!”

3. You can afford it. We ordered literally every single thing on the menu and still came in under $50 (we brought some friends, OK?). That means you get a side of burnt broccoli salad ($4) peppered with bright red chilies and cilantro, an Arnold Palmer ($3) and finish with whatever gelato is on offer to finish ($4.)

4. He wants you to try to recreate the experience at home. For those who want to achieve veggie burger nirvana in their kitchen, Headley counsels, “Listen to your favorite piece of music ever and then start cooking. I would also suggest turning up the heat on whatever veg/bean/grain combo you are using. It’s amazing what vegetables at high heat can do for a veggie burger.”

5. He is humble. When we asked Headly how he decided on “humility” as the restaurant’s core value, he responded, “We think food should be taken seriously but it’s gotten out of hand. At the end of the day, Superiority Burger makes the best plant-based burger in the universe, but also that doesn’t mean much, right?”

Superiority Burger
430 East 9th St.

You Dig? An apple tree (and so much more) grows in Brooklyn on the city's hippest farm


When we when reached farmer Ryan Watson on the phone, he was in the middle of planting a grove of crabapple, pin oak and chokecherry trees…in the shade of the Williamsburg Bridge.

That’s because Watson has the pleasure of working the land at the new North Brooklyn Farms. This 35,000 square feet strip of highly coveted and highly unlikely urban farmland has to be seen to be believed, with its views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline.

The all-organic North Brooklyn Farms is a place to walk your dog, stop by the farm stand (check the Facebook page for rotating hours) for kale, volunteer or sit down for a three-course Sunday Supper where the distance between farm-to-table is less than 20 feet. Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming tickets to a cider dinner with Aaron Burr Cidery, or rent the space for a bash of your own.

The CSA “magic box” promises local, tasty goodies.

Or sign up for The Magic Box ($45 a week), a CSA that includes what’s fresh from the farm (last week included a bouquet of flowers, cucumbers, purslane and okra) along with curated picks from local producers like Northern Farmhouse Pasta.

Watson was as unlikely to become a farmer as it would be likely to find a mini orchard of 15-foot-tall apple trees in Brooklyn. He came to New York intending on studying law, but found himself entranced by the idea of creating a public farm that could also function as a community space.

The farm sits on the old blueprint of the Domino Sugar Factory. “Maybe we will grow stevia leaf next year in homage,” Watson says.

North Brooklyn Farms
320 Kent Ave.

Get me to the Greek EONS has you covered for healthy-fast-casual lunch


For all the focus on the heart-healthy benefits of the Mediterranean diet, it’s a wonder the streets of New York aren’t running with extra-virgin olive oil.

But when it comes to fast-casual and healthy options to get your intake of whole grains, olive oil and smart protein shot through with the flavors of herbs and lemon, the choices are scant.

Chef George Georgiades noticed this dearth and has opened EONS Greek Food for Life in Kips Bay, where he serves the delicious Greek flavors that he was raised on.

The food here is fresh, organic and reasonably priced, the flavors are authentically Greek and the fast-casual service is quick and comes with a smile.

Healthy-fast-casual dining just got interesting.

Eating at EONS will be familiar to Choose-Your-Own-Adventure diners. Pick your base (pita, rice or organic salad greens), choose your protein (options include hormone- and antibiotic free chicken, grass-fed lamb, sushi-grade wild octopus or wild shrimp), select your sides and go wild with toppings, if the spirit so moves you. A full meal will run you $9 to $15.

It’s like Chipotle went on a dreamy Mediterranean vacation.

It’s hard to pick just two of the vegetable-driven sides. There’s a beet salad with a citrusy dressing, dill-flecked Gigante beans, plump lentils with sundried tomatoes and the requisite Greek salad loaded with tomatoes, cucumber and peppers. EONS sets itself apart from the fast-casual crowd with its attention to detail, like compostable dishware and just the right amount of tang in the tzadziki. For a place that gets you food so speedily, EONS does an impressive job.


EONS Greek Food for Life
633 Second Ave

Off Island Italian lesson 101: Faro translates to  "Lighthouse".Photo credit: Michael Tulipan


To get to Faro, you’ll need to take the L train past those initial Brooklyn stops where it seems the entire car empties out, then navigate a short walk to a gritty-looking block where building numbers are few and far between.

But the trip will be worth it, we promise, when you arrive and get swallowed up by this restaurant (whose name means “lighthouse” in Italian) because nobody is making food quite like this back in Manhattan.

Faro is a passion project for husband-and-wife team chef Kevin Adey and Debbie Adey. Together, they’ve created a beacon for clean eating, a place where ingredient sourcing is just as important as the food, drinks and service.

Photo credit: Michael Tulipan


The restaurant manages to be ambitious in its cooking, yet comfortable (there’s actually space between the tables!) and shockingly affordable considering what’s on the plate.

It’s hard to pass up bread ($5) when the wheat is milled in house and it comes with cultured butter that is some kind of magical. Start with a rooftop greens salad ($11) and a wood-oven roasted beet with pistachio pesto ($13). The center of the menu is dominated by pasta (ditto on fresh flour for the pastas too), like an incredible cavatelli with pork ragout, ricotta and parsley ($20) and bucatini with pastured chicken confit ($18). Housemade gluten-free pasta is also available.

Adey sees the farmers he works with, like Tim Haw of Autumn’s Harvest, as allies in his quest to serve the best food possible. That means exclusively serving grass-fed, antibiotic- and hormone-free meat, vegetables from the Brooklyn Grange, fish that is only local, sustainable, abundant and often considered “trash fish” such as porgy.

The L train awaits.

436 Jefferson St.
Bushwick, Brooklyn

Edible Art Untitled's chic space and vegetable focused menu anchor the new Whitney


There’s a new installation at The Whitney Museum of American Art. And it’s a permanent one: At the museum’s restaurant, Untitled, you can eat everything in sight.

Just like the Whitney, the move downtown gave the restaurant an opportunity for a chic makeover. Where in its previous location Untitled took inspiration from the city’s classic diners, the new downtown incarnation goes gangbusters on vegetables. The Renzo Piano-designed restaurant, punctuated with poppy red chairs, got the same careful consideration that the galleries did.

While we don’t pretend to understand all of the art upstairs, we do know that chef Michael Anthony is clearly a master artist when it comes to creating dishes like pole beans with calamari and hazelnuts ($14) and turnips with string beans, guanciale and pecorino ($14).

another restaurant Danny Meyer can add to his exceptional service portfolio. Photo credit: Alice Gao


The menu has a fun mix-and-match feel that is free of defined categories. While the larger main courses (featuring Dock to Dish fish and antibiotic- and hormone-free meats) sounded lovely, we found ourselves ordering mostly from the small plates, which are based around vegetables and make up the “meat” of the menu, like beets with yogurt and summery lemon verbena ($12).

Even for a restaurant that’s part of Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group (Gramercy Tavern, Maialino and others), the service goes above-and-beyond. Questions are answered happily, special requests are honored and a welcoming, familial spirit is ever present.

Untitled even has a full time staffer—purchasing manager Jenny Jones—who works as a bridge between farmers and the restaurant. She sums up Untitled best when she says, “We source from people who we know, who we trust, and who produce delicious food.”

99 Gansevoort Street