By Hillary Latos
As the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting colder, the only relief in sight is good American comfort food that you can sink your teeth into. Save the salads and sushi for summer, nothing speaks to Winter more than a juicy burger, a succulent steak, fried chicken, or an overstuffed Reuben. Here we rounded up some of our favorite comfort food stops around the city that will warm the soul and satisfy the comfort food cravings.
Though Greenwich Village’s West Eight Street was formerly known for their plethora of footwear boutiques, it has recently been getting a makeover as a dining destination thanks to new hotspots like the Lodge Club. Designed by George Garrity, the interior combines an English countryside comforts with a Colorado ski lodge vibe, with dark plank wood floors, an antique bar, and a cozy stone fireplace with diffused chandelier lighting. Created by NYC nightlife veteran Terry Casey, he tapped Executive Chef Sean Olnowich who designed a menu fusing traditional American gastropub fare with Asian influences creating unique and lingering flavors. Delectable small plates include caramelized pork belly skewers with pomegranate glaze, roasted bone marrow with salsa verde, Montauk tilefish in a red miso broth and pickled vegetables, and the signature Lodge Burger made with chuck, hanger steak and short rib topped with grafton. Bespoke cocktails were created by William Rhodes with potent and original concoctions like the pisco mule with lime and ginger and the lodge fashioned with spiced rum, cherries, and bitters. Paired with world class DJs, this is destined to be the next Village hotspot.
The Lodge Club
35 West 8 Street
NY, NY 10011
212 253 2999
Originally founded in 2006 by displaced workers from the Windows on the World, the philosophy behind Colors has always been sustainability making it the feel good restaurant of NYC. From its delicious 100% gluten free menu to promoting sustainable wages and working conditions for its workers, Colors is owned by the non profit agency ROC-United to hire the graduates from the workplace development program CHOW- Colors Hospitality & Opportunities for Workers. After a brief hiatus, this October Colors relaunced their gluten free upscale comfort food menu with an array of vibrant dishes that were created by some of the city’s most renowned chefs. Highlights from the menu include the incredible buttermilk fried chicken that uses a blend of 6 gluten free flours, a flaky and tender roasted branzino, and the creamy and delicately spiced sweet corn risotto with manchego cheese and jalapeno. The starters have fresh and bold flavors like the roasted pear and bleu cheese salad, tuna crudo with wasabi and avocado and the crispy pork belly with harissa honey. End the night guilt and gluten free with a rich chocolate cupcake or light angel food cake decked with caramelized apples and lime Chantilly.
417 Lafayette Street
NY, NY 10003
212 777 8443
Though there has been a long-standing rivalry between the Rome and Naples over their local cuisine, Ribalta stays true to its Neapolitan roots producing some of the best Neapolitan style pizza in the city. For Italian chefs it’s not just about replicating the same style of making pizza in Naples but rather recreating an atmosphere that reflects the rich and vibrant culture of Italy. Neapolitan chefs Rosario Procino, and Pasquale Cozzolino are so passionate about their techniques that they even offer a cooking school for students to learn this special art. With an ambitious selection of 25 different pizzas, there are enough combinations and flavors to please everyone and if not, you can build your own choosing from the simple- hot dogs, spicy salami to the gourmand- shaved black, truffle sauce, speck, and parma ham. Equally as delicious are the pastas like the paccheri Genovese with onion and veal ragu or the penne Napoletano with a rich pork and beef tomato sauce. Highlights from the starters include the homemade creamy burrata with truffle, octopus carpaccio, and brussel sprouts with pancetta. As abbondanza, abundance, is a mantra for Italians, Ribalta is a perfect example of the Italian way of life- an abundance of great food and wine to be enjoyed with close friends and family.
48 East 12 Street
NY, NY 10003
A pleasant respite from the frenzy of Times Square the hip Jetson-esque T-45 Diner is the flagship restaurant at the Hyatt Times Square. Serving comfort food with a modern twist from breakfast to dinner, the cuisine is as vibrant as the colorful and cheery décor and friendly staff. Catering to an eclectic clientele hailing from all over the US and the world, T 45 offers a plethora of choices to suit various tastes. For breakfast choose from a range of an Americana styles from Low Country- fried chicken with biscuits to a juicy burger topped with an egg to a hangover special- cheese polenta with eggs, sausage and spicy onions to a New York smoked salmon bagel along with vegan and gluten free options. Dinner spans from dressed up burgers to fall specialties like butternut squash salad, seared scallops with red wine braised cauliflower, or a steak and sticky rice bowl with pickled vegetables and soy vinaigrette created by Executive Chef Nick Pelliccione. Whether its lunch, dinner or post theatre, it’s always a good time for dessert. Their divinely decadent brown butter cheesecake is simply heavenly and worth every calorie.
T-45 Diner at the Hyatt Times Square New York
135 West 45 Street
NY, NY 10036
Perched 54 stories in the sky atop the Hyatt Times Square, Bar 54 is the highest outdoor lounge in the city and offers an unparalleled 180-degree view over Midtown from the East river to the Hudson. For warmer months, the expansive terrace provides is one of the best places to catch the sunset while the warm and sleek interior with plush seating is an intimate and inviting spot for colder months to unwind after work or end the night with an autumnal nightcap. Enjoy cozy winter drinks like hot buttered rum, warm gloog- a spiced concoction of red wine, cognac and port or a cinnamon southern comfort bourbon. Other cocktails have a unique twist on NYC classics like the Tree House with whiskey, rum, macadamia nut syrup and bitters or the aptly named Rockefeller with dark rum, applejack & pimento bitters, which is who you will feel like as you admire the glittering skyline of Gotham.
Bar 54 at the Hyatt Times Square New York
135 West 45 Street
NY, NY 10036
646 364 1234
The Montreal version of a Jewish deli, Mile End Delicatessan serves old world Jewish comfort food with a modern sensibility and aesthetic. What began in a tiny garage in Brooklyn grew to a family run local business with a plant in Red Hook and an additional outpost in NoHo. Choose from traditional Jewish nonna favorites like matzoh ball and chicken soup, corned beef reuben or sandwich stuffed with whitefish or smoked brisket. Another specialty is their Middle Eastern cuisine that is one of the best deals in town. Feast on their generously sized five course Middle Eastern dinner menu for $40 that starts with crisp chickpeas and an assortment of pickled vegetables with homemade pita and hummus. This is followed by indulgent mains including fried sweet potatoes with spicy zhug, seared cauliflower with oranges and honey-harissa tahini dressing, grilled lamb merguez sausage with a grated carrot salad, and schwarma-spiced chicken with hearts of palm and preserved lemon. Be sure to order one of Canada’s most famous exports- poutine, aka disco fries smothered in rich roasted chicken gravy with a healthy dosage of cheese curds that are a perfect foundation for a long night out.
Mile End Deli
53 Bond Street
NY, NY 10012