Everything’s better when you’re together, as the saying goes. But the dishes below truly hue to that maxim: indeed, they’re designed to be split. These are some of the best dishes in New York City, and the fact that they’re meant to be shared means you won’t have to begrudge your dining companion a single bite. There’s enough for you both. By Jessica Allen.
Named for a stream that once flowed across Washington Square Park and into the West Village, Minetta Tavern is itself a reincarnation of the eponymous restaurant that served Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, and other early 20th century luminaries. Restauranteur Keith McNally recaptures some of that magic in this buzzy bistro, which serves an extraordinary Côte de Boeuf for two, dry aged in a special room at the headquarters of Pat LaFrieda, and served with a gem salad and roasted marrow bones.
Like Minetta Tavern, Red Rooster Harlem seeks to reinvent some of the joie de vivre of earlier days, in this case, golden era Harlem. It’s a fun place with a lively mix of people, and the food’s great too. The Harlem Chowder for two includes salt cod, scallops, shrimp, potatoes, arugula and a whole roasted lobster in a spicy tomato-mussel broth — a melange of flavors and colors and textures.
Rubirosa, in Nolita, uses a crust recipe that’s been in the family for more than 50 years to make its special thin-crust pies. But we’re here to talk about the other dishes on the Italian-American restaurant’s menu, specifically the luscious, melty, heart-warming, rib-sticking Lasagna Napoletana for Two. It includes pasta made fresh every day, sausage, meatballs, tomatoes, and mozzarella, so much mozzarella, making for ooey, gooey, creamy layers and rich, indulgent bites. Just look at it!
When it comes to steak, Peter Luger is the place. This Brooklyn institution has been around since 1887, serving select cuts of USDA prime meat (picked out each day by the family of owners). You can get the Steak for Two, Three, or Four — a huge hunk of buttered meat dry aged on site. Complement your porterhouse with the fresh broccoli for two, onion rings for two, creamed spinach for two, or the Luger’s special German fried potatoes, crisscrossed carbs perfectly browned.
The Whole Roasted Chicken for Two at Commerce takes 40 minutes to prepare, and the wait is worth it. The legendary dish brings French technique and ingredients to a staple of the American dinner table. It’s so beloved that people call ahead to request it (and to ensure that Chef Harold Moore is in the kitchen). One of his secrets? Squeezing herbed butter between the meat and the skin. The stuffing contains pan-seared foie gras, croutons, and chicken jus, and the plate has a bottom layer of truffle potato puree.