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100 Best City Restaurants

Aldea

Jessica Schwartzberg

New York: Dinner

Next up: an elegant meal at Aldea (dinner for two $105), where Portuguese-American chef George Mendes’s menu (the most perfect salt-cod croquettes west of Iberia; refined-rustic rice studded with bits of chorizo, olives, and duck confit and cracklings) is a succession of highs. Book a seat at the open-kitchen counter to watch Mendes and his tattooed team in action, grating Meyer lemons onto a gorgeous composition of smoked fluke, almond milk, and crunchy soy pellets. Finally, how could we not mention Marea (dinner for two $150), where chef Michael White romances frutti di mare in a luxe Central Park South space. The setting might be subdued but his jewel-like crudi, boldly sauced pastas—try the fusilli with red-wine-braised octopus—and the seafood brodetto ferry you straight to the Italian coast. —Anya von Bremzen

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