Do you have a favorite steakhouse in New York City? Foursquare CEO and co-founder Dennis Crowley and editor-at-large Sarah Spagnolo consider this question and more in episode 2 of Play.it’s Foursquare On the Pin podcast. Special guests Lockhart Steele, editorial director of Vox Media, and Kevin Kearney, CEO of Hard Candy Shell—two of Crowley’s long-time friends—reveal their top spots for steak frites, consider what makes a memorable restaurant, and ponder the question: what IS the best lobster roll?
To see the list of all bars and restaurants mentioned in the podcast, download the Foursquare app and save the list here.
First up: the epic, often debated topic of where to eat in midtown Manhattan. The guys settled on Quality Meats for a post-podcast dinner, though questions remain about whether Betony, helmed by executive chef Bryce Shuman (former executive sous chef of Eleven Madison Park) would have been a better choice for the best steakhouse in New York City. Other meat-centric choices include Bowery Meat Company, the new East Village restaurant by the team behind Lure Fishbar, as well as Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecote, Minetta Tavern, and Lucien, an old favorite, on First Avenue and First Street.
The discussion quickly veers into what makes an outstanding dining experience, whether it’s stellar service, light-filled interiors, or simply a feeling of a certain occasion. Steele picks Schillers Liquor Bar in the Lower East Side, while Crowley loves Lafayette, Andrew Carmellini’s French bistro. Other New York dining standouts the trio listed off: MarkJoseph Steakhouse, in Tribeca; Parm for the incomparable mozzarella sticks; hot dog lunch delivery from Breakroom; the mouthwatering pork buns at Momofuku Ko (listen in for an update on David Chang’s soon-to-come sandwich launch); and rustic Italian outpost Charlie Bird. And then the debate about the best NYC sports bar. Professor Thoms for the win (here are more options).
In honor of spring, the crew touched on top spots with outdoor space. Kearney recently moved to Gowanus, in Brooklyn, where he grabs brews at Lowlands and Gowanus Yacht Club. Crowley’s choice spot close to home is an outside picnic table at Zum Schneider, in Manhattan’s Alphabet City.
Using Foursquare when you travel is an expert move, as it quickly connects you to the local scene. That was the case in Mozambique, Copenhagen, Charleston, and Tokyo—four recent travel destinations for the podcasters.
And lastly, the crew wraps it up with our speed round (best lobster rolls; biscuits versus waffles; stadium food) and then with a game of Foursquare taboo. Can you guess that taste? Listen in and play along.
By Sarah Spagnolo, Foursquare’s editor-at-large