My favorite restaurant in NYC? Hands down it is Ten Bells in New York City. It is kind of a thing amongst my friends that whenever I get everyone together or have a special occasion, I am going to hold it there. If you love wine, small plates, good ambiance and excellent service, it is the place to go.
When I originally moved to New York, I lived on the Upper West Side. From 72nd street to Harlem was my stomping ground. I lived on Amsterdam in the upper 80s so most of my favorite places were either on Columbus or Amsterdam. During my heyday in NYC, I got into a relationship and we moved in together. My favorites became his favorites in addition to the places we found together. My favorite restaurant servers and bartenders became his as well. So when we broke up I found myself not wanting to run into him and redirected myself to the other side of town, the Lower East Side.
Suddenly I found myself hanging out with those Lower East Side friends. I was single now and this was the place. One night, I was meeting a friend for happy hour and wanted to find an inexpensive place for a change. Since, I find almost everything on Yelp or Google there it was. A happy hour with $1 Oysters which is the same special one of my upper west side favorites The Mermaid Inn. At the advice of my knowledgable server, I found a bottle of wine that has become my staple. After 6 small plates, a dozen oysters, 2 bottles of wine, 6 friends joining us and 4 hours later, I was in love with a new restaurant. It wasn’t as inexpensive as I planned but worth every penny.
After that I fell in love with the Lower East Side as well. Every once in a while I will travel uptown but for me the Lower East Side and Ten Bells is where it is at! In my opinion, New York has a lot of great restaurants but there are those few where you can tell that the owner lives and breaths everything that makes the restaurant what it is. To me Ten Bells is one of those places. That is one of the reasons it is my favorite restaurant. It is more than great decor, and the menu is phenomenal. I have yet to try something on the menu that I am not crazy about. So, if you live in the city and you haven’t tried it, make your way there. If you are visiting, carve out some time to go.
If you make it to my spot, let me know what you think. I am always just an email away.