As a chef, one of my favorite things to do is go out for dinner. I hate the thought of cooking at home—hate hate hate! I figure if I spend 60-plus hours a week in a restaurant, one of my luxuries when I am not at work is to have someone else cook my dinner. So, behold, my list of places I go on my night off.
In Glen Park. My girl Sharon hooks up some of the best pizza in this city. As a New Yorker, it's always a pleasure to find good pizza out of that foodie mecca and with Gialina I finally have. The servers are awesome, I always get a table and Sharon always overfeeds me. After eating here, I can't get much in besides some Gossip Girl. Four words: potato and bacon pizza, 'nuff said.
2. Bar Crudo
On Bush street. Ok, I have a soft spot in my heart for the crudo boys, mostly because I worked there once upon a time but: The beet, lobster and burrata salad is a revelation. Seriously. Fish and cheese does work together sometimes, and when it does, its killer! I also really enjoy the crudos, but I have to admit, I'm a sucker for Mike's chowder. Can you say yum (and bacon)?
In Japantown (1723 Buchanan St., 415-292-6002). Korean tofu sizzling hot pot soup. My favorite thing to eat when I am grumpy, fluish, tired or just plain hungry. The spicy tofu soup with rice cake and dumplings is SO good here. I love this place because they give you plenty of freebies as well, including a whole fried fish, kimchee, pickled cucumbers and fish cake. Totally no frills, no descript dining at it's best.
The one on Fillmore. I kinda have a crush on this new space. This is where I have been going if I am feeling fancy on my day off. Which is rare, since I usually want to go out in my Converse. There are amazing new items, including quite possibly one of the best Southern Indian fish curries I have ever tasted. I have dreams about that dish. Oh my god, so frickin' delicious.
Obviously, this is just a small handful of the places that I like. Sometimes, I'm lazy and I stay home and order take out—Indian, Thai or Chinese. And on very, very, very rare occasion, I sometimes cook for myself. Will it happen anytime soon? Highly unlikely, but who knows—anything is possible.