In NYC, a new bar or restaurant opens up every other week. However, newer isn’t necessarily better… GrandLife explores some of NYC’s best ‘tried & tested’ spots that definitely still deserve a stop.

Balthazar
balthazarny.com
80 Spring St. (Crosby St.)
212-965-1414
Keith McNally is the New York restaurant world’s king of re-creation, and the jewel of his downtown empire is this stunning tribute to a Parisian bistro. 
Go for: Pure style. There’s a reason this spot has been continually jammed since it opened 15 years ago: Every detail is right, down to the wooden cafe chairs and frosted glass panels, not to mention killer raw-bar platters and steak tartare.

Blue Ribbon Brasserie
blueribbonrestaurants.com
97 Sullivan St. (Spring and Prince Sts.)
212-274-0404
Open since 1992, Bromberg Brothers’ original Blue Ribbon helped turn once-sleepy Sullivan Street into a serious restaurant street.
Go for: Late-night bites. The eclectic, Southern-leaning menu (try the oysters, bone marrow, and fried chicken)  is served until 4 a.m., making Blue Ribbon a favorite wee-hours hang for chefs and drinkers.

Ceci-Cela
cecicelanyc.com
55 Spring St. (Mulberry and Lafayette Sts.)
212-274-9179
This longtime neighborhood charmer is sweet and French, with a narrow counter for ordering patisseries up front and a small plant-filled cafe area in back.
Go for: Pastry perfection. Airy, flaky croissants might be the best in the city, and other French staples like eclairs, plus various gateaux, don’t disappoint either. 

Ed’s Lobster Bar 
www.lobsterbarnyc.com
222 Lafayette St. (Spring and Kenmare Sts.)
212-343-3236
New York is currently engulfed in lobster-roll mania, and we can blame Ed’s for being one of the restaurants that started it. 
Go for: Sublime seafood. The classic lobster roll is served, deliciously, on a brioche bun. If you’re feeling decadent, the lobster pot pie is made with about a stick of butter, and worth every calorie.

Fanelli’s Cafe
94 Prince St. (Mercer St.)
212-226-9412
This onetime speakeasy opened in 1922; these days the floor is worn and the wooden bar weathered, but none of its regulars would change one detail.
Go for: A drink and a story. Besides its anachronistic appeal, the watering hole boasts a bartender, Bob Bozic (a former boxer) who gives chat like nobody else in the neighborhood, at least if you believe a little magazine called The New Yorker.

Raoul’s
raouls.com
180 Prince St., New York, NY (Sullivan & Thompson Sts.)
212.966.3518
Opened in SoHo by two brothers newly arrived from Alsace, France, Raoul’s has become a New York bistro for the books, and only getting better with time. The locals used to come here in the 1970s for the fine French steaks with crispy frites and the undemanding bohemian atmosphere. And then there’s the sexy crowd: artsy, business and model types all milling through the dark front room and aphrodisiacal atrium out back. It’s all this and the laid-back austerity that will keep the impossibly sophisticated set coming back for generations to come.
Go for: The steamed artichoke, the frisée salad with lardons of bacon and a poached duck egg, the organic chicken with jambalaya risotto, andouille sausage and bell peppers, the thick, tender steak au poivre with pommes frites: these are your various stages of seduction.

Front page image courtesy of Luxirare.