NYC Dining-- The Best of the Best

Last summer I was fortunate enough to intern in New York City so I ended up spending a lot of time eating at new and interesting restaurants with family and friends. I am a big foodie, and I consider myself to have a pretty adventurous palate, so I love exploring new restaurants and trying new dishes and treats.

This past summer, my mom and I decided to play a game, and every other week we would take turns picking a different restaurant we wanted to experience with each other. Some of the restaurants we visited were: Catch NYC, Amaranth, Mezzaluna, JG Melon's, Shun Lee and more.

At the start of the summer, when this game first began, my mom had first pick. She chose Koi - Bryant Park. I had never been to Koi, let alone heard about it, but as I scrolled through their Instagram page, and other photos that the account was tagged in, my mouth watered. I want to "bury my ashes" there because Koi is such an unbelievable restaurant with an experience unlike any other establishment. I would do anything to go back. 

avocado, salmon
Mikaela Orenstein

Why Koi?

Koi is claimed to be a great mix of old school Japanese food, with a new flare. It is located in Bryant Park, which is a great area in the city, filled with shopping, fun restaurants, and funky art. The area of Bryant Park spans from 40th-42nd street and from 5th to 6th avenue. This neighborhood is known for its large lawn, which is the longest expanse of grass in Manhattan, south of Central Park. I would love to spend my days in this area, and "bury my ashes" here because of how beautiful and cultured the area of Bryant Park is.

Anna Sokolowski

Sushi Lovers Unite

I have always been a sushi lover, but Koi is unlike anything else. When we first walked into the restaurant, I immediately noticed the different vibes of the front bar room and the dining room. The room nearest the entrance was centered around the wooden and glass bar which faced outward toward the rest of the restaurant. Surrounding the bar were smaller tables and chaise lounges. The restaurant was packed with tourists, theater goers, and business women and men trying to get a quick dinner before heading back to the office for a long night of paperwork.

Madeline Dennis

What to Order?

My mom and I sat down at our table by the sushi bar and I glanced over the menu as water was immediately poured into my glass. We decided we were going to get a number of dishes to share so that we could try as many things as possible. The first thing that caught my eye was the spicy tuna and crispy rice appetizer. This is my absolute FAVORITE Japanese dish, and every time it is on the menu I always order it. Nothing compares to the crispy rice at Koi. It is cooked to perfection, and the spicy tuna instantly melts in your mouth.

We also ordered the salmon carpaccio with truffle oil, which was truly unreal, the edamame dumplings with sake butter sauce, foie gras on seared tuna, which surprisingly I liked, and the hamachi fusion with truffle essence.

The service was amazing and our waitress was extremely engaging and attentive. There was never a lull in our meal, and one dish arrived promptly after the previous one. My water glass was always full, and I left my meal feeling perfectly full: not too stuffed, but not still hungry, which is always the best combination. Without a doubt, this was one of my all-time favorite and most memorable dining experiences of my life. So, I wanted my ashes to be buried here.

Madeline Dennis

My mom started this game of picking a new restaurant, and we have continued playing, and enjoying, since. I now look forward to continuing our game and our shared love for food over Thanksgiving and the winter break.

But, Koi has by far been the best restaurant we have tried so far. If you ever have a chance to try Koi, I highly recommend it. It will be a dining experience you will never forget because, trust me, I certainly haven’t. 

pho, vegetable, meat, miso soup, soup
Michelle Galliani