Though she's one of five hosts of ABC's food talk show, The Chew, Carla Hall has no trouble standing out from the crowd. You can tell her apart from her cohosts, such as restaurateur Mario Batali and wellness enthusiast Daphne Oz, in numerous ways: her funky glasses, her penchant for calling out "hootie hoo," or, perhaps most unique of all, her love of homestyle comfort-food cooking.
Born in Nashville, Hall specializes in Southern staples, made with French techniques she perfected at Maryland's L'Academie de Cuisine. Her creations earned her a slot on two seasons of Bravo's Top Chef, where she earned raves from the judges for her gumbo. The secret behind the stellar dish? Cooking with love. Hall believes the chef's feelings shine through in the food, which is why angry people can only make hot sauce. Hall still cooks with love today, too, whipping up bite-size sweet and savory cookies and creating original recipes for her cookbooks. She recently announced the development of her very first restaurant—Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen—slated to open in New York City next year. A fast-casual love letter to Nashville, the restaurant will feature iconic Nashville hot chicken and southern sides, which are anchored by Hall’s family recipes and perfected with her personal touches.
Carla on Cooking Hacks and Backstage Antics
Learn how to spice up your sides, and discover who's pranking who on the set of "The Chew."
Lombardi's Bar and Restaurant is bringing back the rustic Italian flavors we all know and love.
Guess what? Lombardi's Bar and Restaurant serves food that's free of gluten and low in fat, so everyone can find something that tastes and feels great.
Drinks are also on the menu here, so diners can start the night off right.
Gather the whole family for a trip to this restaurant — everyone will find something to like (even the pickiest little eater) on the menu here.
Lombardi's Bar and Restaurant offers an affordable happy hour.
A tad noisy, the restaurant is well-suited for those who don't mind a little extra hustle and bustle.
Reserve a table in advance and steer clear of long wait times.
You'll find most people wearing their favorite T-shirt and pair of jeans, as casual dining is Lombardi's Bar and Restaurant's style.
Take the comfort of your own home and add great grub from Lombardi's Bar and Restaurant to create the perfect night.
Enjoy this restaurant's cooking from your own home with their carryout and delivery options.
At Lombardi's Bar and Restaurant, we supply free parking. No fees, just your car and our lot.
Bicyclists will also find lots of space to safely lock up their bikes.
No matter what you choose off the menu at Lombardi's Bar and Restaurant, you won't completely break the bank with prices averaging around $30.
For authentic Italian food done right, make your way over to the highly-rated Lombardi's Bar and Restaurant.
Regarded as one of the freshest sushi spots around (ratings are superb), Kyoto Sushi III serves top-of-the-line sashimi, maki, and nigiri.
Vegans and health nuts unite and find your way to Kyoto Sushi III.
Having trouble finding that family-friendly restaurant everyone will love? This sushi spot serves all ages, so little ones are welcome to come along, too.
Tables at Kyoto Sushi III are available first-come, first-served, so be sure to show up a bit earlier on busy weekends.
Kyoto Sushi III will even bring the amazing food from their kitchen to yours.
You might have thought your order was a tough decision, but you still have one more. Delivery or carryout?
Kyoto Sushi III's diners can park in a nearby lot or on the street.
For great dishes that fall smack dab in the middle when it comes to price, Kyoto Sushi III is a reasonable option for diners of different budgets.
Convenience is essential at Kyoto Sushi III, and food is served from morning until night.
Kyoto Sushi III is serving up some of the most highly-rated sushi in all of Cedar Grove.
From the classic California to the colorful Caterpillar, there's ingenuity in every roll of sushi at Kyoto Sushi III.
Load up on toppings or opt for a simple slice of cheese at Esposito's Pizza and Deli, Cedar Grove's classic pizza venue.
At Esposito's Pizza and Deli, the prime seating is on the patio. Come check out what all the buzz is about.
Not a popular place for dress-up dining, most Esposito's Pizza and Deli patrons come in casual attire.
For the nights you just want to stay in and cozy up, order in great takeout or delivery from this pizzeria.
Catering from Esposito's Pizza and Deli will take your party to the next level.
Parking is always free and easy when you dine at Esposito's Pizza and Deli.
Breakfast bites, light lunches, and delicious dinners are all offered at Esposito's Pizza and Deli.
When you don't feel like cooking dinner, pay Esposito's Pizza and Deli a visit and enjoy a hot and fresh pizza pie.
Give your dining routine the Italian boot! Try the fabulously authentic dishes at Esposito's Pizza and Deli today.
So if you're looking for a deli to get some delicious eats, Esposito's Pizza and Deli is exactly the place you want to go.
For fresh maki, West Caldwell's Ginza Restaurant has got you covered.
Grab the kids when you head to this restaurant — its family-oriented menu and ambience are perfect for the whole clan.
Tap into the free wireless Internet at Ginza Restaurant.
At Ginza Restaurant, your large or small group can be seated quickly and comfortably.
It's best to call ahead for a table as the restaurant can get packed.
Comfort is prioritized at Ginza Restaurant, and guests are encouraged to come as they are.
No time to sit down? No worries! This restaurant offers a take out option so you can grab your food on the go.
We believe in rewarding our loyal customers. To do just that, we give all patrons free parking in our very own lot.
Typical diners should plan to spend about $30 per person on Ginza Restaurant's moderately priced fare.
When you have a hankering for some rice or noodles, make your way over to Ginza Restaurant and indulge in some great Japanese fare.
You can't beat the classics. Stop in at Grasshopper for some good home American cooking.
This restaurant diners can also take advantage of the many drink options offered here.
Don't go off the grid! With the free wifi at Grasshopper, you can surf the web and get some work done.
Skip long waits and head to Grasshopper with your large group for easy seating.
Make plans ahead of time and reserve a table to avoid the wait.
Grasshopper tosses the jacket-and-tie dress code convention in favor of a more casual dining experience.
Catering from Grasshopper will take your party to the next level.
If you're strapped for time, take out food from this restaurant.
Free parking is available in the adjacent lot.
Make use of the safe and efficient bike parking at Grasshopper.
If you don't want a night that will cost you an arm and a leg but you do want a delicious meal, come to Grasshopper.
Don't put it off any longer, and give Grasshopper a try.
Prospect Park designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux famously preferred the airy lawns of this Brooklyn oasis to their earlier design of Manhattan’s Central Park. So if you're heading to the park for a show, it makes sense to make a day of it and spend some time on its sunny, open meadows. Before the doors open, cool off (and use real bathrooms!) while enjoying an affordable meal at any one of these restaurants, all within a 10-minute walk of the park.
For alfresco diners: Brooklyn Larder (228 Flatbush Ave.)
OK, this isn’t a restaurant, though there are a few tables for eating and a good lunch special: sandwich, chips, beer or soda, and a cookie for $15, available 11 a.m.–3 p.m. If you prefer dining alfresco, come here for a fantastic selection of cheeses, breads, salads, and any number of jams, jellies, and preserves in cute jars to eat in the park. Drinking alcohol in the park is, of course, prohibited and can lead to a ticket. On an unrelated note, Brooklyn Larder has a great selection of beers, starting with Dale’s Pale Ale cans for $2.50 each.
For cheap vegetarians: Dao Palate (329 Flatbush Ave.)
A mainstay of vegetarians, Dao Palate serves fresh vegetables and mock meats in typical Chinese sauces that are a few notches lighter and fresher-tasting than average. Great for larger groups, the big restaurant’s main dishes run around $12, and their filling lunch specials around $9. My favorite, black-pepper seitan on a bed of chinese broccoli, comes with a spring roll and a miso soup to boot.
For those with time to kill: Cubana Cafe (80 6th Ave., right off Flatbush Avenue)
The food here is less of a draw than the cocktails and the decor, but it’s still consistently good, with a menu that hews closely to the dishes I’ve seen served in Havana: black-bean soup, roast chicken with rice, plantains. Most plates are meat-heavy and generous with the portions—beware ordering an appetizer and a main dish unless you’re very hungry. As you wait for the show to begin, linger over a mojito or a cold beer in a breezy dining room painted turquoise, pink, and yellow, where the floor-to-ceiling windows are flung open all summer long.
For picky eaters: 67 Burger (234 Flatbush Ave.)
With a long and flexible list of food options, 67 Burger has something to please everyone. The menu has your cheeseburgers, your curly fries, and your Lagunitas on tap, but also real salads and two veggie-burger options, all of which can be customized with many extras like goat cheese, chipotle mayo, and olive tapenade. Burgers range from $6.75 to $10. There’s also a wine selection and something called a beer shake, which intrigued me but not enough to try it on a weekday alone.
Photos by Kasia Mychajlowycz.
The saying “less is more” has perhaps never been truer than it is at Porchetta (110 E. 7th St.) and Porsena (21 E. 7th St.). At both East Village hot spots, Chef Sara Jenkins has built a cult following by keeping her menus tightly focused rather than trying to do it all. Crowds gather at Porchetta to savor one specific thing: slow-roasted pork (served in varying ways yet always the central focus of each dish). At Porsena, they come for perfectly cooked artisanal pasta.
Jenkins’s straightforward approach reflects a distinctly Italian state of mind, which makes sense, considering her upbringing around Tuscany and Rome. Mario Batali summed it up succinctly when he called her “one of the few chefs in America who understands Italy and how Italians eat."
“I think Italians in Italy eat with a certain fairness that Americans and Italian-Americans don’t have,” Jenkins said, asked about what prompted Batali’s praise. “An Italian is perfectly happy with a perfectly cooked artisanal spaghetti with great olive oil and chilies, while an American would want to add three or four [more] ingredients.”
When Jenkins isn’t working in her own kitchens, she can often be found exploring other rich, delicious, and straightforward flavors around the city. Here are a few of her favorites.
For Italian (outside of Porsena): “I eat at Cesare Casella’s place on the West Side, Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto (283 Amsterdam Ave.). He’s a Tuscan chef who’s been working in New York for many more years than I have. He’s very authentic.”
For gelato: “Il laboratio del gelato (188 Ludlow St.). They have traditional and nontraditional flavors.”
For espresso: “Abraço Espresso (86 E. 7th St.) on 7th Street. They are maniacal about making it right.”
For wine or cocktails: “I like to drink wine at Bar Veloce (175 2nd Ave.) on 2nd Avenue. It’s an Italian wine bar that’s been there more than 10 years. It’s not over the top, not pretentious or precious. Just a great wine selection in a nice space.”
Check Groupon for deals on Italian restaurants in New York City.
The dim sum lunch, or yum cha (literally “drink tea”), is the Cantonese answer to Spanish tapas. It is as much a tradition in New York City's Chinatown as weekend brunch on The Lower East Side. The bustling scene is all too familiar: packed tables, servers pushing metal carts while hawking their selections, the din of impatient, hungry diners. They wait for shrimp dumplings, steamed pork spareribs, roast pork buns, pork and shrimp shu mai -- the seemingly endless variety goes on and on.
But for vegetarians, the choices can be few. When it comes to dim sum, seafood and meat dominate the menu. New York vegetarians need not despair, because there are two very appetizing dim sum havens for non-meat eaters, and they’re right in Chinatown.
Buddha Bodai on Mott Street serves a completely vegetarian and kosher menu of dim sum favorites, ranging from shrimp dumplings to beef rice rolls. The restaurant is usually packed on weekday lunch hours with City Hall municipal types, while the weekend clientele consists of tourists, locals and the environmentally conscientious. An all-day menu of vegetarian iterations of Chinese standards is also on offer, with creative takes on dishes like roast pork and sesame chicken. Using seitan, tofu and yam starch (among other vegetarian and kosher-friendly ingredients) as substitutes, many of these plates will fool even the committed carnivore in appearance and flavor.
The line outside the door on Sunday afternoons may be the best way to spot Vegetarian Dim Sum House on Pell Street. Crowds tend to gather on weekends, anxious for healthy vegetarian takes on traditional dim sum dishes. The array of vegetarian dumplings -- pan fried, watercress, snow pea leaf, monk dumplings -- draw in voracious vegetarians who want the variety of a full-scale dim sum restaurant without sacrificing their principles or lifestyle choices. The menu is comprehensive, full of inventive vegetarian fare using Eastern and Western-style vegetables, not to mention an exhaustive list of diced, sliced or sautéed mushroom dishes. At Vegetarian Dim Sum House, there’s no need to solely imitate meat dishes. Here, vegetables are allowed to take center stage.