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Exclusive | A Taste of New York

Exclusive | A Taste of New York

Work up an appetite for the Big Apple.

If you're hungry for it, it's here. Without a doubt, the best destination for a culinary adventure, New York has got every world cuisine on the menu. If you're craving something specific -- Puerto Rican, Vietnamese, Senegalese, or even Scottish -- it's on the boil, grill, or over the coal in this city. Tuck in and discover New York's whole world of flavors.

Fresh Sheet
Taste the finest flavors of Lyon at renowned chef Daniel Boulud's new Bar Boulud, where charcuterie star Sylvain Gasdon helms the blades. A counter and tasting table provide the perfect vantage point for discovering bistro gems, from coq au vin to steak frites.

Translating as ?little shoe? in Italian, La Scarpetta has dipped its elegant toes into the Meatpacking District and made its own distinct footprint on the culinary landscape. A busy bar precedes a cozy dining room where regional Italian and Italian-American classics reign.

The casual Kampuchea celebrates Cambodian street food at communal tables within sight of the bustling open kitchen. Ratha Chau's thrilling Southeastern Cambodian fare offers an explosion of tastes, from Lemongrass Smoked Duck Breast to specialty Katiev white rice noodle soups.

Graze theGayborhoods

Hell's Kitchen
Though not yet known as one of New York's top restaurant neighborhoods, Hell's Kitchen is certainly on the culinary rise, and is meanwhile home to the city's famed Restaurant Row on 46th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues. Although hopelessly tourist-laden, the strip includes some decent options (the Italian-cuisined Becco being among the most popular) that are undeniably convenient for a pre- or post-theatre dinner (though superior Italian can easily be had a few blocks further afield at ViceVersa. The gay incursion into the neighborhood has naturally brought shamelessly gay dining to the table, among the more popular (and fortunately better) of this ilk being the French-Asian HK and the Asian-Asian Bamboo 52. Thanks to its mix of mingling nationalities, Hell's Kitchen also offers a vast bounty of small under-the-radar dining options, many of which take part in the wonderful International Food Festival that commandeers Ninth Avenue between 37th and 57th Streets the weekend after Mother's Day every year.

East Village
Cheerfully priced options and long-established restaurants and cafes with character reign in the laissez-faire East Village. Try the more upscale Knife and Fork, which charts new East Village territory by merging top-notch prix fixe dining (best new outlet in the city, say TimeOut NY readers) with the wonderful laid-back vibe the neighborhood does best. David Chang of Noodle Bar fame now brings us Momofuku Ss?m Bar, which offers truly inspired Asia-influenced cuisine, featuring such unexpected wonders as an impressive collection of Southern country hams. Upscale Asian fusion with a flirtini chaser may have been unthinkable not so long ago on Avenue C, but thankfully Nolia (158 Ave. C, at 10th St; 212-228-8103) has come along to prove that it can be done, and done well.

West Village
Restaurants in the historic West Village run the gamut from downscale dives to delectable date dens. At Mas (farmhouse), slats of antique barn hang overhead as delighted diners tuck into culinary marvels from the Provence regions. The trout piscator and monkfish in black olive paste are particular standouts of this Greenwich Village gem. Lupa is a casual bistro-style Italian restaurant in the Village offering perfect pasta and delectable, savory fare to a mixed (gay/straight) crowd. Celebrity chef and part owner Mario Batali (also of the aforementioned Babbo) puts plenty of interesting pork, fish, and vegetable items on the menu, so there's something for everyone. Another great local Italian bistro is Extra Virgin, serving up creative Mediterranean on one of the neighborhood's lovelier tree-lined blocks.

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