You could spend a lifetime restaurant-hopping in New York City and never have the same meal twice. But finding the truly standout spots is harder than it seems: Online review sites aren’t always reliable, knowledgeable friends may not have veered off the beaten path, and the tried-and-true places are so mobbed you’re lucky to snag a reservation three months ahead of time. So how’s a hungry traveler supposed to track down the best eats? Easy: Ask the pros.
It’s a given that chefs know great food, but even better, when your job involves a steady stream of amazing meals, you’re less likely to be blinded by hype or high price tags. We civilian food lovers might get so caught up in the pomp and circumstance of a pricey tasting menu that it’s easy to overlook less-than-stellar cuisine, but chefs can recognize greatness whether it comes expertly plated on bone china or hastily scooped into a takeout carton.
The New York City Wine and Food Festival brings some of the best culinary minds in America to five boroughs, so we polled the pros to find out which dishes they can’t miss in New York City. Read on for great Szechuan noodles, unmatched Italian food, and the deceptively simple chicken dish that two top chefs can’t stop thinking about.