GUIDE: New York

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    The National

    557 Lexington Ave.

    Midtown East

    Cuisine: American, New American

    $$$

    This David Rockwell-designed hit offers a quiet cool you won’t find elsewhere in Midtown. Small bar tables, round leather banquettes and black and white checker tiling turns an otherwise culinary wasteland around with this booming palatial bistro. And the food matches the vibe. READ REVIEW

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    The Peacock

    24 E. 39th St.

    Midtown East

    Cuisine: British

    $$$

    It doesn’t get much classier than high tea. And at the Peacock, it’s served in floral china sets, with the works—along with a bountiful and boozy brunch. READ REVIEW

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    The Red Cat

    227 10th Ave.

    Chelsea

    Cuisine: New American

    $$$

    Perched on the western edge of Chelsea, the Red Cat has gone from being a neighborhood pioneer to a perennial favorite, drawing not just the artsy types that throng the galleries west of Tenth Avenue, but an Uptown crowd as well.This is what Sam Sifton, writing in the New York Times well before he became the paper’s restaurant reviewer, called “new American bistro fare.” In a room that manages to be simultaneously elegant and homey, with a well-informed staff, this place hits every note just right. READ REVIEW

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    The Royal Munkey

    438 Second Ave.

    Kips Bay

    Cuisine: Bar, Indian

    $$

    This spot in Kip’s Bay is the new little sister to Upper East Side restaurant Drunken Munkey, and trades in the same brand of upscale Indian cuisine. Classic cocktails accompany a menu that embraces the colonial era with dishes like Bombay lamb chops and Goan pork vindaloo. READ REVIEW

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    The Smile

    26 Bond St.

    NoHo

    Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean

    $$

    For six years and counting, this popular subterranean, Mediterranean cafe has lured loyal patrons with fresh-ingredient-driven, farm-to-table fare. Some of the family-style dishes look almost too pretty to eat—until you give in and have a taste, and then you just can’t stop yourself. READ REVIEW

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    The Stanton Social

    99 Stanton St.

    Lower East Side

    Cuisine: Eclectic, New American

    $$$

    Where else can you order high-end sliders, arepas, pierogies, pizzettas, oysters… whole branzino, tuna poke wonton tacos, and mac-and-cheese—and expect them all to be good? READ REVIEW

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    The Vanderbilt

    570 Vanderbilt Ave.

    Prospect Heights

    Cuisine: New American

    $$

    The New York Times calls it “big, open, a far larger space than Brooklynites are used to in restaurants, and it vibes bar more than restaurant. Eat some house-smoked kielbasa with simmered greens, though, and discover it’s a bar with good food.” READ REVIEW

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    The Wright

    1017 Fifth Avenue

    Upper East Side

    Cuisine: New American

    $$$

    There is something decidedly chic about slipping into this gleaming white dining room. There are only 58 seats; the room—designed by Andre Kikoski of AKA Architects, who won the James Beard Award for the Wright design in 2010—is spare, yet not cold, and the food is as artfully arranged as a small show of watercolors. READ REVIEW

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    Tiella

    1109 First Ave.

    Upper East Side

    Cuisine: Italian

    $$$

    Of course you must try a tiella, perhaps the one with stringy stracciatella and truffles, a moist and chewy minipizza baked in a wood-burning oven at this eight-month-old gem of a neighborhood restaurant. A staple of the two owners’ Neapolitan heritage, the tiella the first clue that this place is about the authentic cooking of Naples, not red-sauce-heavy creations that are mostly American interpretations. READ REVIEW

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    Tijuana Picnic

    151 Essex St.

    Lower East Side

    Cuisine: Asian, Mexican

    $$

    If you’re feeling that undeniable hankering for Mexican but can’t get shake the urge for some Asian spice, this new-ish LES spot, brought to you by the team that runs Acme and Indochine, has all your cravings covered. READ REVIEW


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