If you are staying local this summer, these four restaurants offer a range of global cuisine within New York City’s five boroughs as featured in the Spring 2021 issue of Array Magazine. From Korean barbecue to soul food, vegetarian dishes, and French bistro bites, these landmark establishments offer a variety of choices sure to please even the harshest critic! Bon appetit.
328 Malcom X Blvd. Sylviasresturant.com
The paragon of New York soul food, Sylvia’s has been serving up the city’s best Southern cuisine since 1962. This Harlem staple offers an array of home-style dishes – the famous fried chicken, tender short ribs, all manner of catfish, and Sylvia’s “sassy” wings. Mouth-watering sides include collard greens, potato salad, a must-have mac& cheese, and grits. Wash that all down with an iced tea or any number of soulful cocktails, and you won’t believe you’re up north. The generous family meals evoke a true “gather ‘round the dinner table “atmosphere for getting takeout or dining in. Family is everything at Sylvia’s, which is owned and operated by the children and grandchildren of the late Sylvia Woods, the “Queen of Soul Food” and restaurant’s founder. Remember that Sylvia’s offers a special “gospel brunch” on Sundays and live music on Wednesdays.
Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong
1 E. 32ndt Street Baekjeongnyc.com
This Midtown eatery is renowned for its superior-quality meats and lively atmosphere. Unlike in many spots where you grill the meat yourself, the impeccably friendly staff at Baekjong handles everything for you. Baekjong further distinguishes itself from the Manhattan K-BBQ pack by enlisting smoke vacuums at each table to keep you from smelling like charcoal, as well as a delightful halo of egg batter and creamy corn cheese circling the grill, which slowly cooks over the meal’s duration. A few standouts include the thinly sliced brisket, beef tongue, pork belly, and pork skins. Combo packages of beef and/or pork make large orders a breeze, and you can opt for singular meals such as bibimbap or kimchi stew. Lines are notoriously long, so make reservations or be prepared for a long (but worthwhile) wait.
338 E. 6th Street awashny.com
Awash has been providing deceptively affordable, delicious Ethiopian fare since 1994. With two locations in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn, Awash is a humble establishment (meals range between about $11and $30), but it punches well above its weight class. Even the staunchest of carnivores will be tempted by the enticing, varied vegetarian options, including Shiro Wat, a ground spiced chickpea and split pea stew; savory veggie sambusas; and various bean, collard greens, and beet dishes. You’ll also find plenty of meat-based options like Doro Wat (a flavorful chicken dish) and beef-cube Tibs stew. It all comes together with the Ethiopian staple of injera sourdough bread to scoop and sop up whatever fillings tickle your fancy. Embrace the relaxed pace when you head to Awash that gives you time to appreciate the subtleties of these rich, textured dishes.
42 Grove St. Ilovebuvette.com
One of several acclaimed ventures from the virtuosic duo of chefs Jody Williams and Rita Sodi, Buvette is a wildly popular French bistro in the West Village. The Michelin-recommended “gastrothèque” lets patrons escape into a rustic setting filled with old-world charm, Parisian coziness, and a range of unassailable dishes to satisfy any craving. Bread abounds happily at Buvette, whether topped with salmon and steamed eggs for breakfast, dipped into a creamy crock of mustard sauce and rabbit for dinner, or served as a late-night sandwich (the buttery croque monsieur does not disappoint). These rich offerings pair transcendently with the well-curated wine selections, but disciplined cocktail list offers a great way to start the meal if you’re so inclined. French excess continues with dessert, which you absolutely should not skip — Jody Williams’s chocolate mousse is sublime.