Photos courtesy of Ingas Bar; Max Berney; Dandelion; and Jack & Charlie’s 118. Photo composite by Tania Bou Samra

Staff PicksNew York

The New York Restaurants We Loved in October

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There’s finally a chill in the autumn air in New York, and this month’s Resy Staff Picks are all about cozy locales — snug corners, roaring fireplaces, and heart-warming fare included. Right this way.

San Soo Kap San

  • Flushing

Xiang Hotpot

  • Sunset Park

Resy Staffer Spotlight: Gina Chun

Photo courtesy of Gina Chun
For Gina Chun, Resy’s technical product manager, dining out is so much more than just having a good meal. “Part of the reason why I joined Resy is because of the service industry,” she says. A native New Yorker from Queens, Gina started working in the service industry at an early age — first at Paris Baguette and later at Bouley — and it’s given her a unique perspective on what it means to dine out. “Every time I walk into a restaurant, I see the hostesses running around, staffers setting up for an event, or the GM going over guest notes, or I think about the chefs on the pass in the back. It makes the dining experience feel more magical to me, especially having been on the other side. I have this deep appreciation for those whose livelihood it is to make dining come alive for others,” she says.

Her one piece of advice for fellow New Yorkers, aside from tipping well? “Make your own trendy spots. There will always be different people on social media telling you what their favorite spots are [Editor’s note: Us included!], but then it sort of becomes a vacuum where everyone goes to the same 20 spots, and they don’t realize there are all these other incredible restaurants.” And with that, here are some of Gina’s favorite spots in the city which she hopes you’ll check out, too.

Where Everybody Knows Her Name: Baar Baar
My fiancé used to live in the building that it’s in, and it became our pandemic restaurant. We used to eat there all the time and when Covid happened we ordered takeout from them every week. We really built up a repertoire with the staff and they always knew what we were going to get each week. Their approach to Indian food is so creative; everything I eat there just tastes beautiful. They take these classic dishes like pani puri, chicken tikka, and naan and reinvent them into exciting versions of their original selves.

Where Wine Is a Must: Pinch Chinese
This is the Resy restaurant I’ve been to the most — at least nine times on my account but it’s probably more like 15 or more. I love that they have an amazing wine program that’s embedded into their menu, and I especially love going for their Flight Nights, when you can get any order of soup dumplings and a whole wine flight from these visiting purveyors for just $35. My friends and I will each get our orders of soup dumplings — so small, juicy, and perfect — with our wine flights, along with the eggplant, fried rice with steak, zha jiang noodles, and dan dan noodles, and it’s just so good.

Where She Feels Most at Home: San Soo Kap San
It’s a traditional family-owned Korean restaurant that’s been around for 30 plus years and I grew up going here. Naengmyun (cold noodles) is my favorite dish in the world, and it deserves so much recognition here; I also love the galbi here, and I’ll eat here with my family every time I go home to Bayside. Sometimes it’s hard to find food that’s just done well with no fanfare, and they do that. They don’t try to be anything fancy, and it feels like home to me.

Where She Feels Coziest: Union Square Café
It’s pretty special to us. It epitomizes a lot of what I learned from working in restaurants, about the importance of delighting diners, and putting in a lot of thought and care into the dining experience; I’ve always felt that so deeply every time I’ve eaten here. Every time we’ve been the food has been immaculate, very classic, and very seasonal. The sommelier does a great job or recommending wines that we will enjoy, instead of upselling us, or trying to get us to try the next new Pét-nat. In a city where everything is changing all the time, dining here just feels so familiar and inviting — it’s like a warm blanket.

Where You’ve Got to Dine With a Crew: Take31
I’ve probably been here as many times or maybe more as I’ve been to Pinch Chinese; I started going here when I was in college, and I think it brings me a lot closer to my Korean culture. There’s a big culture of sitting and enjoying your food and drink, and not feeling rushed, especially when you go to a sooljib like this, and they encourage you to treat this like it’s your living room. You can go and enjoy and take your time and place as many orders as you want. Being Korean American and never having lived in Korea, it’s exposed me to a side of my culture I would otherwise not have really experienced as much. Within the AAPI community here at Resy, we have these quarterly dinners and I invited my colleagues here for a recent dinner to have boonsik food, or snack foods you’d have as a kid, like ddukboki and kimbap. They’re the foods I ate growing up and it’s not at all fancy, but I love it.

Follow Gina on Instagram. Follow Resy, too.


It feels like you’ve stepped into old New York …

Whenever you walk into . It’s perfect for date night, or the place to go with a few friends where you order everything and share, which is exactly what we did. We had the wedge salad, pretzel bites, mussels, and clams casino to start, and then steak frites and the duck meatloaf, followed by the sticky toffee carrot cake. My advice is to look for anything on the menu that goes into the wood-fired oven. I’m looking forward to coming back for their brunch prix fixe.

Erika Greengarten, Restaurant Success Manager

 

We went to La Vara for a real girl dinner …

Not the kind my little brother told me about on TikTok. The kind where the server recommends two to four small plates per person, and you get five per person instead. Walking up to this restaurant is almost so idyllic Brooklyn you start to cry. Every other table was filled with regulars and you just love to see it. Go with a group early or late so you can try lots of things and sit at one of the big window tables.

Tess Gostfrand, Senior Product Marketing Manager

 

I would definitely get two orders of the fried chicken …

If you happen to go to Lula Mae in Brooklyn. It’s this lovely, intimate neighborhood spot, and I loved going here with my friends. They seated us in the corner booth, and it was perfect for family-style dining. The 50-50 fried chicken here was just incredibly good; one side has this lime pepper dressing that we were obsessed with, and the other has a soy tamarind sauce, which was also amazing.

Felicity Lin, B2B Marketing Senior Analyst

I’m always a big fan of a tasting menu …

So dining out at Essential by Christophe for our wedding anniversary just made perfect sense. The service was very classic French in style, and it made for a very special occasion, with plenty of table touches from the entire staff. You could just tell from all the little details that this place cares about pushing for a fine-dining experience that you won’t forget. We opted to do a wine pairing with our eight-course tasting and it was excellent. The star of the menu was the Iberico pork — melt-in-your-mouth good — and we also loved the braised black sea bass with razor clams and a turmeric emulsion, which was divine. I also love that they have a la carte and bar menus, too.

Sarah Showers, Software Engineer – Consumer Web

I am shooting for regular status at Graziella’s

And I am a repeat guest, big time. It’s the best casual red-sauce spot near me with exceptional service and it is so good for groups. After I’d been a few times, I reported back to my Resy coworker and favorite influencer Lala, and she asked me if I had tried the pasta purses. I hadn’t and boom, I was influenced once again! Do order the four cheese and pear fiocchi with the creamy gorgonzola sauce and candied walnuts; they are nothing short of life changing.

Tess Gostfrand, Senior Product Marketing Manager

 

In the last month, I’ve dined here three times …

Twice for dinner and once for brunch and I can’t get enough. (Neither can Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce, too.) The ambiance at The Waverly Inn is by far my favorite part about dining there. Whether you’re looking to have a cozy dinner by the fire, dinner under the stars in their vine-covered and enclosed garden, or a naturally lit brunch in their covered garden, it is the perfect place and offers the perfect ambiance for whatever you’re looking for. My favorite thing on the menu is the duck two ways: sweet and savory and absolutely delicious. I also love the tuna crudo special. If you have a preference for dining in the indoor garden, main room, or outdoors, I’d recommend putting that in your reservation request; they’ll always try their best to accommodate you.

Callie Randall, Premium Loyalty Strategy Manager

 

For whatever reason, New York seems to be obsessed …

With rain on Saturdays lately. So, on one of those cold and wet days, I finally made my way to the popular Xiang Hotpot in Sunset Park (they have a location in Flushing as well) to satisfy a craving for hot soup on a gloomy day. As soon as you enter, it feels like you’re transported to western China, which is one of the most popular regions for hotpot, with lavish wooden decor and bright lights. The all-you-can-eat deal is one of the best in the city and even includes all the sashimi your heart desires. The broths were flavorful and spicy, paired with the butter bear (you’ve probably seen it on social media) to give it a rich and umami-packed flavor. It’s quite the dining experience, perfect for a rainy day. Just be sure to come hungry!

Charles Zhao, Director of Restaurant Product

 



In the middle of what seemed to be a weeklong New York City rainstorm …

My sister and I met for an early Sunday dinner at Txikito. I had heard they served tapas and knew it was a block away from Shukette in Chelsea, but didn’t know much more, but it was exactly what I needed that night. Txikito has a very cozy ambiance: The largely instrumental playlist sets the tone for quiet conversations, while other diners sat alone with a book and a glass of wine. The server was incredibly friendly and walked me through the menu in such quick, clear detail that I felt like a regular doing the same for my sister minutes later. We ended up getting the hot jilda (which must be eaten in one bite!), the blistered shishito peppers, and the rough-cut potatoes to start off, but the highlight was the off-menu suckling pig special that was as crispy and succulent as the server had promised.

Shane Gilligan, Strategic Partnerships Analyst

 

I feel like this spot is a bit under-the-radar …

But Lingo in Greenpoint is a truly great addition to the neighborhood. The dining room is bright and spacious, and the maitake tempura is this delicious nutty umami combo. The beef pie was perfection, especially as we start to head into cooler fall nights. I highly recommend coming here for an unfussy, yummy meal.

Ria Mar-Fan, Product Services Manager

 

If you can snag a Resy …

4 Charles Prime Rib really lives up to the hype as a place to celebrate special occasions. We went here to celebrate my fiancé’s 30th birthday, and it was the perfect meal for the occasion. The vibe of the space feels very exclusive because they only have a few tables in the restaurant. (Note: They also have covered patio seating that is just as nice.) The food was great, so you should definitely go hungry, and ready to share.

Erika Greengarten, Restaurant Success Manager

 

When you need to impress out-of-towners …

Might I suggest a Brooklyn Heights stroll followed by a cozy night at Ingas Bar? Ingas is one of my all-time favorite restaurants, so I had to take some visiting family here to show them why. The neighborhood spot is unfussy but still cool. For food, while at least one cheeseburger is a requirement for the table, don’t sleep on the exciting small plates and other entrees: We loved a blue cheese salad, a creative hybrid of a bacalao/Scotch egg appetizer, and the hake curry. Ingas is the type of place you want to hole up in for hours, between the energy of the room and the consistently lovely service, offering an ideal backdrop to catching up with loved ones. We may or may not have spotted a few notable actors at the bar that night as well, topping off the perfect New York visitor experience.

Isabelle Andrews, Director, Technical Product

 

While I love fancy and expensive omakase experiences for special occasions …

I can’t do them all the time. That’s why I love to see the rise of more accessible and affordable omakase spots pop up around the city over the past few years. I recently went to Koi Omakase in Downtown Brooklyn and had a lovely meal that rivaled even some of the better omakase meals I’ve had. We were welcomed with sake (which they continue to pour for you throughout the night, for free!) before a lovely (and efficient) 14-course meal that included sweet shrimp topped with uni, tuna with caviar, and scallop with jasmine flowers. The creativity was on display and for the price, it’s definitely something I can find myself coming back to regularly!

Charles Zhao, Director of Restaurant Product

 

My new mission is to go back yearly …

To . We went here for a celebratory, fancy dinner, and the scene and the steak were phenomenal. (I also highly recommend staying at The Hotel Elysee for a staycation and asking them to get you a table here.) The highlight for me was the service: the door team was so warm and totally got in on celebrating with us, and our server let us stay in our own little world while taking incredible care of us, keeping all of our glasses filled, clearing all of our plates, and making us feel so special.

Tess Gostfrand, Senior Product Marketing Manager

 

Sailor’s look is bringing some West Village vibes …

To Clinton Hill. It’s a familiar but nevertheless tasty menu, and we went with the smoked mackerel pate, pork rillettes, roast chicken, braised chicories, and my favorite bite, the veal sweetbreads. I also love a reasonably priced house wine option, and I will definitely be going back.

Ria Mar-Fan, Product Services Manager

 

My friend calls this her ‘happy place’ …

And if you’ve ever dined at Maison Premiere in Williamsburg, you understand exactly why. The dining room and covered garden are the very epitome of cozy, and when you’re there, you feel a bit suspended in time. My friend, who used to live here before moving back to Copenhagen a few years ago, told me she’d dream of this place from time to time. So, when she came back to the city for a visit, we knew exactly where we needed to go for a long-overdue catch-up. The oyster bar in the back is the perfect perch for taking it all in. Oh, and don’t sleep on the littleneck clam toast or the absinthe crème brûlée.

Deanna Ting, New York Editor, Resy Editorial

 

Two strong endorsements of Double Chicken Please

We had a team dinner at Double Chicken Please. Most of us had never been there before — it’s a hard reservation to get! — so we were excited to try the fun cocktails that they’re known for. My favorites were the Red Eye Gravy and Cold Pizza cocktails. We also tried a lot of the sandwiches, and our overwhelming favorite was the hot honey chicken sandwich. Also, the popcorn chicken had no right being as good as it is! If you can’t get a reservation, do know that the restaurant takes walk-ins for the front room.

Sam Goldstein, Senior Data Analyst

 

Reading the menu at DCP, in and of itself, is a good time, and I landed on their Mango Sticky Rice cocktail to start. It was delicious and strong — the perfect complement to their incredible lineup of chicken sandwiches. The absolute showstopper was the mochi donut chicken sandwich with pickled pineapple and habanero: sweet and sticky, savory and spicy. The contrast of the crispy chicken with the perfect mochi chew of the donut was simply spectacular.

Jamie Goldstein, Resy Strategic Partnerships

 

Midtown is kickin’, especially at …

Fresco by Scotto. It’s a family-owned Italian restaurant, with happy people serving giant portions. (I have a type.) It’s great for a big get-together when you need to meet somewhere in the middle. I ate the half chicken scarpariello off my fiancée’s plate and inhaled my rigatoni Bolognese. If you have leftovers, bring them home!

Tess Gostfrand, Senior Product Marketing Manager

 

Bonus: If you’re dreaming of being upstate …

You owe it to yourself to dine at Dandelion in Big Indian, N.Y. Whether you’re checking into the Eastwind Hotel in Oliverea Valley or just stopping by for dinner, Dandelion’s meals and surroundings will inevitably convince you to start doing cabin searches on Zillow. Start with their list of local beers seated by their fireplace, or campfires (blankets included). Continue with the focaccia and acorn squash ring slices. You also can’t go wrong with any of the hunter-gatherer mains. If you’re staying there, the croissants are a must (lactose-intolerant friends, do know they are worth popping a Lactaid). They say they don’t have a pastry chef, but we still don’t believe them.

Max Berney, Lead User Researcher

 


Deanna Ting is Resy’s New York Editor. Some of her other favorite meals this month took place at Bangkok Supper Club, Café Chelsea, Foul Witch, and Mắm. Follow her on Instagram and X (formerly Twitter). Follow Resy, too.