Until travel restrictions are lifted in Europe, there won't be any trips to France, Spain, Germany, or elsewhere in the E.U. Luckily; you can get a taste of Europe right here in NYC. Here are a few restaurants that will help take the edge off of that itch to travel.
Experience the lively eating and drinking culture of northern Spain without ever leaving NYC. Huertas specializes in Basque-inspired foods and offers a rotating selection of pintxo (small bites) that are both seasonal and classically Spanish. The tinned fish (with accompaniments) is as Basque as it gets. Boquerones, mackerel packed in oil and briny clams are just a few of the exquisite offerings, and there are also specialties like Galician octopus, chorizo with green garbanzos and a Basque cheesecake for dessert. The wine, beer, cider and cocktail list have something for everyone.
Buvette is a beloved Parisian bistro in the heart of the West Village. It's open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so that you can stop by anytime for delicious fare or a quick espresso. Start the day off right with a perfectly made Croque monsieur or madame. For lunch, the salad nicoise is not to be missed. At dinner, share a variety of small plates with friends. The slow-poached duck cassoulet pairs brilliantly with any of the vegetable options. The wine list is extensive and features varietals from every major wine-making region in France.
The best old-school French food can be found in an unassuming eatery in Hell's Kitchen. Chez Napoleon has been open since the 1960s, but the Bruno family has been at the helm since 1982. Chef "Grandmere" Marguerite Bruno specializes in French comfort foods like you'd find on any French table during a Sunday evening meal. Menu items include fan favorites like garlicky escargot, a signature steak au poivre, beef bourguignon stew and dessert soufflés that defy gravity. It's the perfect spot for a leisurely French meal any night of the week.
Max Bratwurst Und Bier
Head to Astoria and visit Max Bratwurst Und Bier for authentic German food and beer. The beer hall-style interior is airy and the perfect place for larger groups to get together. There are ten different sausages to choose from, and each one comes with two toppings. Top a knackwurst with caramelized onions or a rinderbratwurst with sauekraut. Don't forget the beer! The rotating tap list features familiar German brews like Radeberger and lesser-known Oktoberfest specials.
Salinas has been serving both traditional and inventive Spanish tapas since 2010. Chef Luis Bollo is originally from San Sebastian and highlights some of the lesser-known dishes (and some family recipes) from his home region. The menu has classic dishes like patatas bravas or grilled country bread with shaved tomatoes and olive oil. Or, go for the multi-colored cauliflower in Greek yogurt with citrus pepper. The "Arroz Vasco" is a showstopper main with Bomba rice, salted cod risotto, Manila clams, shrimp, asparagus and parsley broth.
Heidelberg Restaurant is one of the oldest family-owned German restaurants in NYC and arguably the most iconic. It's still using the same, time-honored recipes of yesteryear that have been pleasing customers for generations. Fill up on hearty sausages (two per order) like bauernwurst, bratwurst, or weisswurst. Tuck into filling entrees like beef gulasch, schweinshaxe (oven-roasted pork shank) and the house fondue, which is a blend of Emmenthaler and gruyere (serves two). There are also four schnitzel options and sausage platters.