Looking back on it, there is an argument to be made that Anthony Bourdain is at least partially responsible for the existence of this website. Years ago, before either of us had read Kitchen Confidential or become obsessed with certain episodes of No Reservations to the point of embarrassing familiarity, we were watching A Cook’s Tour and trying to figure out how this man made a living out of going to foreign lands and eating amazing sh*t. Stang actually booked a food vacation to San Sebastian after seeing Tony (yep, we’re cool like that) feature it on one of those early shows. Thus, the seeds were planted, and on we went on our path toward Immaculate conception five or so years later.
But it wasn’t just seeing Bourdain on television that had an impact on future Stang & Steinthal. What has always stuck with us the most is the guy’s guts when it comes to being honest. Read Kitchen Confidential (or the internet) and you’ll have no doubt that Bourdain speaks his mind without consideration for politics or consequence. You might disagree with him, but you’ll never wonder where he stands. That’s the way we have always tried to operate this website, and Bourdain has always been an inspiring example of how far you can go when you give zero f*cks about what people think of you.
So here we stand today with a contribution to this website from Anthony Bourdain himself. That’s pretty incredible, and we can’t really think of anyone better to be dropping New York City restaurant advice on you that isn’t us. Check out Tony’s Perfect For picks below, and you should obviously be watching No Reservations and The Layover for the full scope of his eating endeavors.
Oh, and one last thing. Tony, we heard that you’re looking to hand off The Layover to someone else after this season. Please consider this website to be our official application. We have no doubt that you will find a love for food and an appropriate disregard for our own personal health that makes us perfectly qualified. We’ll be waiting by the phone.
Bourdain’s “Perfect For” Picks
Takashi (456 Hudson St.) – “Takashi on Hudson Street is terrific if you’re unafraid of tripes and guts – but also great if all you want is impeccably sourced slices of beef grilled at your table, Korean style (you do the grilling). Their uni (sea urchin roe) over raw beef, wrapped in shiso is absolutely killer. Some of the most fun you can have at a table.”
Balthazar (80 Spring St.) – “I hate brunch. I hate the whole concept of brunch. But I love Balthazar. They do everything right. A big tower of shellfish, followed by some eggs and boudin noir? Awesome!”
Osteria Morini (218 Lafayette St.) – “Osteria Morini has a damn fine steak.”
Yakitori Totto (251 W. 55th St.) – “My wife and I love Yakitori Totto. Brilliantly, carefully grilled, succulent bits of chicken on skewers. The chicken skin is particularly great. Get there early before they sell out of chicken “butt” and grilled hearts. Good sake and cold Japanese beer.”
Desmond’s, (433 Park Avenue South) Subway Inn, (143 E 60th St.) Rudy’s, (627 9th Ave.) & Wakamba Lounge (543 8th Ave.) – “Desmond’s is a great example of a good afternoon drinking establishment. Professionals only, please. Rudy’s is also good – during the day. It quickly goes to Hell after work when it fills up. Subway Inn is excellent daytime. But the best is The Wakamba Lounge on 8th Avenue.”
Le Bernardin (155 W. 51st St.) – “Le Bernardin is very, very fine dining. And they treat people nicely – it’s not designed to intimidate. Great food, and even after the whole tasting menu, you don’t go home feeling like you swallowed an antelope.”
Great NY Noodletown (28 Bowery)
The John Dory Oyster Bar (1196 Broadway) – “The John Dory has the best oysters I’ve had in New York. Their bottarga sandwich on Sardinian flatbread is also a thing of beauty. And the lobster roll.”
Rogue (757 6th Ave.) – “Rogue shows UFC matches on the big screens with good visibility, cold beer, and remarkably good service – all with minimal douchery.”
Bourdain’s Twitter People
@antderosa – Anthony DeRosa
@carr2n – David Carr
@joebeef – Dave McMillan
@AngryBFlay – Parody Bobby Flay
@BorowitzReport – Andy Borowitz