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One of the most beautiful parts of living in New York is that there is always somewhere delicious to eat. World renowned chefs flock to NYC to put their culinary skills on display, and no matter where you are, every variation of restaurant imaginable is just a short subway (or taxi) ride away.

I’ve lived in New York City for years, and in that time, a few restaurants have completely captured my culinary-heart. This list is made up of restaurants that have become staples for my family and I. Some of them are places we frequent for casual get togethers, and others are places reserved for celebrations. But no matter what the occasion, all of the restaurants on this list never fail to deliver a beautiful, delicious meal every single time.

 

Narcissa – American Cuisine (East Village)

Narcissa is located in the beautiful East Village Standard Hotel. It’s the brainchild of Michelin-starred chef John Fraser and manager Andre Balazs, and it’s exactly as perfect as you’d expect it to be. Despite being housed within The Standard, it’s an intimate, cozy space with a beautiful garden area for the warmer months. The indoor area has two main rooms to dine and they tout a state of the art open kitchen, so you can watch the chefs work their magic from the comfort of your table.

The food at Narcissa is a sophisticated, contemporary twist on traditional Californian-American cuisine. Think slow-roasted meats and unbelievably fresh produce. All of the vegetables are sourced directly from Balazs’s farm in the Hudson Valley area, so they are quite literally farm to table. I love dining at Narcissa because they’ve found a way to seamlessly incorporate their vegetables into every single one of their dishes. You leave feeling satisfied and healthier for having eaten there.

 

Kyo Ya – Japanese Cuisine  (East Village)

Unfortunately, Kyo Ya doesn’t have a website, so you won’t be able to eat with your eyes before you get there. But, I promise you that it will be worth the trip. Kyo Ya is a small Japanese restaurant that is tucked away in the Village. Before you enter, you already know that you’re in for a treat; the entrance is at the bottom of a short, but beautiful flight of stairs off of the street. Once you enter, you’re greeted by a softly little room that’s 75% sushi bar and 25% perfectly curated wooden furniture: it’s the perfect space.

Then, there’s the food itself. The menu at Kyo Ya is inspired by the traditional Japanese kaiseki, which is a multi-course meal served during a formal tea ceremony. If you’re feeling particularly lavish, you can dine on the full tasting menu, which, if you want to order it, requires a day’s advance notice. But you can also pick and choose from Kyo Ya’s delicious a la carte menu, which features the freshest, most interesting dishes. If you’re not particularly familiar with Japanese cuisine, this may be an adventurous menu for you. Don’t let that deter you though, pick foods you’ve never tried before, all of it is meticulously prepared and beyond delicious.