In New York City, you see art every day and on every corner. One example that strays from your typical gallery or museum exhibit—food. Here are ten of the most visually stunning dishes in New York City.
Dish: Blood-colored peppercorn oil on the plate, reminiscent of a sun during an eclipse, is drizzled over fanned out slices of fish, as delicate as the flower they mimic.
La Chine: The menu takes a refined approach to Chinese classics like Szechuan chicken while offering less common options such as a raw bar and a chef’s tasting menu. Just wrapping up its first year of service, this is the city’s best option for a truly authentic and upscale Chinese meal.
Dish: This wholly unique take on the familiar deviled egg employs a breaded egg white and beautiful crimson chiles.
Tuome: The ingredient-driven menu combines New American and Asian flavors in a very modern take on fusion (another favorite: Berkshire pork with spicy peanut noodles).
Dish: Meatballs and trinxat—a Catalan pork, potato and cabbage mash—are scattered about the plate, looking like New England trees in autumn.
Andanada: Chef Manuel Berganza marries old and new Spanish cooking. Classic, never-fail tapas like croquetas share space on the menu with inventive dishes such as Nidos de Codorniz (a potato nest filled with chicken liver paté and a quail egg).
Dish: The minimalist beauty of this small plate starts with razor clams’ long, shiny shells. The white clams are finely chopped and enhanced with colorful fennel and pickled chiles, which also add texture and spice.
Charlie Bird NYC: This lively restaurant is known for its creativity, from the urban photography on the walls to the playful dishes (smoked onion ravioli) to the long wine list, which focuses on smaller, exciting wineries.
Dish: The visual brilliance of this winter dish comes from the bottom up. A layer of thin sliced squash is dotted with greens and creme fraiche, creating an artisanal pizza look.
Santina: This coastal Italian joint from the restaurateurs behind Carbone and Parm has maintained buzz since it opened in 2015. It’s not only the dishes that are gorgeous: Star architect Renzo Piano designed its popping modern look.
Dish: This dish arrives in style, on a bed of flaming hay. The chicken’s deep, complex flavor is developed over a 42-hour brining, three-day drying process before it’s steamed and roasted.
Le Turtle: Formerly of Brooklyn’s Blanca, chef Greg Proechel is now pushing boundaries with interesting combinations like the smoked cabbage, pickled mustard seeds and lamb belly in the Kohlrabi Bisque.
Dish: This steak has a crust so dark and meat so purple that it almost looks like ahi tuna. Arranged next to a mossy green leek puree and trumpet mushrooms, this rule-of-threes presentation is the culinary equivalent of a Wes Anderson shot.
Gabriel Kreuther: Formerly the celebrated chef at MoMA’s The Modern, Kreuther carries his classic skills into his own arena, where he executes contemporary takes on the food of his native region of France—Alsace.
Dish: Each of Babu Ji’s many curries (scallop-coconut, fire-roasted eggplant) comes with a vibrant sauce and a wisp of vegetables on top.
Babu Ji NYC: Babu Ji—a Hindu term for a know-it-all—is an unabashedly fun restaurant, with funky paintings on the wall and flavorful, updated takes on Indian classics (gingery beet paneer; papaya-and-nutmeg-marinated tandoori lamb chops).
Dish: Thick cookies, glass-like fragments of chocolate and a hefty, golden-charred marshmallow combine to make this dessert feel like a modern sculpture.
Dominique Ansel’s Kitchen: Helmed by the inventor of the cronut, this kitchen turns out unconventional baked-to-order treats alongside savory dishes like eggplant tartine and edamame avocado toast.
Dish: Delmonico’s invented this pointy crown of a dessert in 1876. It’s light, crunchy, and could probably be worn as a headdress in The Hunger Games.
Delmonico’s: This restaurant is one of the reasons that New York City is considered a steakhouse haven. A century-plus history and consistently amazing food keeps it high on the list of NYC’s best classics.