Favorite Restaurants
Credit: Blue Water Grill

Manhattan is full of some of the best restaurants in the world, but which spots have become our absolute favorite in 2018? Check out our list of our favorite restaurants we’ve visited so far this year.

The year is still young, as we’ve only made our way through three months of it so far.  However, these five spots have definitely made us happy in more ways than one, as their food, ambiance, hospitality and more make us want to come back over and over again.

Violette's Cellar
Credit: Violette’s Cellar

Violette’s Cellar: Staten Island

Yes, it might be weird that we are starting in a place that is NOT in Manhattan, however chef Peter Botros’ restaurant is worth the drive, Uber or ferry to get to.  Essentially, he’s taking classic dishes and giving them a much needed and modern twist, such as items like his Artichoke Bread Pudding, Crab Cake Spring Roll with Saffron-mustard Aioli, and their Fried Shrimp in a garlic soy caramel. I’m getting hungrier just writing this.  Check out our review here.

Credit: Javelina

Javelina: Upper East Side

We are officially back in Manhattan now, or more specifically in the Upper East Side at Javelina.  After enjoying much success in Gramercy for the past three years, Javelina opened a second location further uptown where Manhattanites can experience the best of the best in delicious Tex-Mex cuisine.  Several dishes truly stand out, however their Bob Armstrong Queso: traditional queso, guacamole, ground beef, pico de gallo and sour cream, is something you want to dip into over and over and over again.  Check out our review here.

Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecôte
Credit: Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte

Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte: Midtown East

No menu, no problem. Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte, located in Midtown East right off the 6 line by 53rd and Lexington, prides itself on the simplest of items that taste out of this world amazing. Steak Frites, otherwise known as Steak and French Fries, with a secret sauce on top that makes the entire dish scrumptious. Want more?  Sure, they keep coming back to you.  It really is a unique experience and one that showcases how having one item can equate to something so much greater than 100. Check out our review here.

Wok Wok
Credit: Wok Wok Southeast Asian Kitchen

Wok Wok Southeast Asian Kitchen: Chinatown

Chinatown is immersed with some of the best authentic Asian cuisine you could imagine, and Wok Wok stands out for more reasons than one.  The menu is inspired by “hawker street” favorites and highlights flavors known to Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, with the heart of the cuisine showcasing Malaysian and Thai influence.  Chef Erik Cheah expertly crafts dishes with these flavors in mind, with items such as Grilled Chicken Satay, Vietnamese Crispy Spring Rolls and more.  Check out our review here.

Blue Water Grill
Credit: Liz Clayman

Blue Water Grill: Union Square

Blue Water Grill has been an iconic staple in Union Square for over twenty years, and it saddens me that this writer has only discovered just how good it is recently.  They pride themselves on some absolutely incredible seafood dishes, but also excel in their pasta ones as well such as their Lobster Tortellini with a bouillabaisse broth.  If you are looking for a surf and a turf option to split with a friend, then their Seared Sea Scallops with sunchoke and apple brown butter and their Ocean Brined Sullivan Farmhouse Chicken with nori whipped potatoes and soy braised mushrooms will do the truck.  Yummy indeed. Check out our review here.