Manhattan – West Village
110 Waverly Place (bet. Sixth Ave. and MacDougal St.)
Manhattan, NY 10011
Even though it’s been open for more than 10 years, orange-Croc-rocking celebri-chef Mario Batali’s Italian gem (which won the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant in 1998) is still harder to get into than a top-secret Cayman Island bank vault. Proverbial velvet rope and bouncers aside, once you do secure a seat, it’s a feast for the mouth, thanks to one of the best wine lists in the City as well as Batali’s signature dishes, including Spicy Two Minute Calamari and Barbecued Skirt Steak.