Chef Michael White's Favorite NYC Eats

The pasta master reveals his favorite local haunts
July 25, 2016
by Zagat Staff

Chef Michael White is known for his exceptional pasta and Italian cuisine throughout his mini empire (Marea, Osteria Morini, et al). But when the busy chef has a night off, here's where you'll find him eating around NYC.

Thai · Woodside · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.4 · Service 3.7

Worth the “trek," this Woodside “holy grail of Thai food” (with a Williamsburg branch) offers an “enormous choice” of “memorable” dishes at varied heat levels ( “make sure you really mean it if you ask for ‘very spicy’” ); although cash-only with “perfunctory” service and decor, it's affordable and “out-of-this-world.”
Wondee Siam
Thai · West 50s · $
Food 4.0 · Decor 3.0 · Service 3.7

“Consistently delicious” Thai fare brings back “memories of Bangkok” at these “hole-in-the-wall” Westsiders; OK, they're “not fancy” and “seating is limited” , but service is “fast” and regulars say the “rock-bottom prices” are the key to their enduring “popularity.”
Chinese · West Village · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.0

“Intense” flavors and “innovative” preparations make for “unbelievably good” Chinese plates and “contemporary” dim sum (a “strong suit” ) at these “lively” hangs from Ed Schoenfeld and Joe Ng; “long waits” (no reservations) and “elbow-to-elbow” seating are the downsides, but “incredible” cocktails help ensure “everyone leaves happy.”
Lure Fishbar
Seafood · SoHo · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.0

Still “trendy” and filled with “beautiful people” , this SoHo staple wins ‘em over with “fresh seafood par excellence” and a “swank” , “yachtlike” setting tucked below street level; tabs “on the pricier side” don’t seem to dampen the “active bar scene” or “challenging” decibels.
Bánh Mì Saigon
Little Italy · $
Food 4.3 · Decor 2.7 · Service 3.2

“Super-delicious” Vietnamese sandwiches with “airy-yet-crusty” French bread and “flavorful” pork are the eponymous specialty at this cash-only Little Italy storefront; “dirt-cheap prices” make it “popular with the lunch crowd” , though spare seating at “countertops with stools” encourages takeout.