Chef Bobby Hellen's Favorite NYC Eats

The chef behind GG's shares his favorite haunts
August 1, 2016
by Zagat Staff

Staten Island native Bobby Hellen is the chef behind Alphabet City neighborhood favorite GG's, known for their Grandma Pie (which even inspired a beach towel) and killer burger. When he's not working those super-hot pizza ovens, here's where you can find him dining around town.

Denino's Pizzeria
Pizza · Elm Park · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.2 · Service 3.7

“Always a contender for Staten Island's best” , this circa-1937 Elm Park pizzeria (with a Greenwich Village offshoot) turns out “phenomenal” pies with “the most remarkable” crispy crusts (not to mention “out-of-this-world” fried calamari); it's cash only and the space is “no-frills” to put it mildly, but “bargain” tabs help keep it perennially packed.
American · Crown Heights · $$
Food 4.1 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.0

“A real find” in Crown Heights, this “comfortable” New American offers a “creative” lineup of “Southern-influenced” plates in charmingly “rough-and-tumble” digs; staffers who “know what they're doing” suit the happening neighborhood, but the “price point is vintage Brooklyn.”
Sushi · East Village · $$
Food 4.4 · Decor 3.5 · Service 4.1

“Creative sushi” and “excellent” Japanese home-cooking basics at a favorable “quality-to-price ratio” earn these neighborhood spots “favorite” status; a “helpful” staff adds warmth to the “nothing-fancy” setups, which “bustle” at prime times.
Goodnight Sonny
Cocktail Bar · East Village · $$

Replacing Simone, this East Village hangout comes via the owners of The Wayland and offers market-driven cocktails, a raw bar and sandwiches till the wee hours. Designed with a tile floor, a light-wood bar and lots of vintage framed photos and books, it’s also brightened up by tall, expansive windows and a bar full of seasonal fruits.