Five Savvy Places to Eat New York 2012

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1. Ino

This little Italian place has only 25 seats but the mirror behind the red beer tap makes the confined space feel airy and cosy. The menu consists of bruchetta, panini and dolce. A small bruchetta is around 6 dollars and a panini around seven. The staff is very knowledgeable and relaxed. This place is perfect for a romantic date, after work or for some wine with light snacks before the theatre or nightclub.

Where: 21 Bedford Street, mellan 6:e Avenyn och Downing Street, West Village

2. Sakagura

Sakagura has an atmosphere that feels directly imported from Tokyo with the majority of seats occupied by Japanese. Any way you want your sake – dry, sweet or in between – here is one for every taste. A good introduction is to order many small meals and taste a little of everything – the octopus is super-tasty. For the meat eater is recommended the raw steak you grill yourself on a hot round stone at the table. Japanese flowers, candles, and at the toilet seat equipped with heating coils makes your bathroom visit an experience in itself.

Where: 211 East 43th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenue

 3. L’Ecole

The reputable French Culinary institute deserves its reputation. The motivation of tomorrow’s top chefs makes the food served divine, but the price affordable. Here you get classic French and Italian cuisine with matching vine. The restaurant’s panoramic windows, with the pulsating traffic outside, creates a great contrast to the tranquillity inside.

Where: 462 Broadway på Grand Street, Chinatown,

4. Peasant Wine Bar

This Italian wine bar is hidden behind a mysterious cellar door in Nolita. Prices are cheaper compared to the restaurant one floor up, but the tables can’t be reserved so you have to be in time 7 p.m. if you want to be sure to have a seat. Once at the table you are surrounded by brick walls, dark brown furniture and wooden beams along the white roof. The Candlelight creates an underground atmosphere. The food is served in solid terracotta vessels, and wine lovers are cheer of delight for all the different, white whine bottles to choose from in the bar.

Where: 194 Elizabeth Street, between Spring and Prince Street

5. Di Palo

If you say mozzarella, former President Bill Clinton probably says Di Palo. In a corner of the colourful Chinatown, this is the Italian deli, where the former president is said to buy his favourite cheese rolls. The attractions for him as well as countless others is their mozzarella roll with baked thinly sliced prosciutto. Buy a big roll and share with friends in the park, or just a couple slices to munch along the way. Excellent as a snack “to go”.

Where: 200 Grand Street, Little Italy,