New York City restaurants
With the recession hitting the New York restaurant scene hard, the city's top toques and food impresarios have lately been scaling way back, launching modest bistros and casual brasseries. New fine-dining hot spots like Corton have adjusted their prices for the economic realities, and extravagant haute-cuisine destinations like Jean-Georges have begun offering prix fixe bargains, helping to transform the city into a far more democratic place to dine out. While a reservation at Nobu or Thomas Keller's Per Se is only slightly easier to score these days, the real stars of the New York food scene—the places that are still packed every night—are the casual drop-ins offering great value meals (Fatty Crab, Momofuku, Double Crown). We distilled the city's 18,000-plus restaurant options into this cheat sheet to dining out, an opinionated guide to everything from the best splurge-worthy classic to the finest dirt-cheap burger in Midtown.