Jul 05, 2023

Your Next Great Meal



Having a hard time keeping up with all your dining options? Here are some tips.

By Nikita Richardson

If you’re the type of person, as I am, who likes to try new restaurants as much as possible, keeping up can be tough. That’s especially true in a city as rich and diverse as New York, which I cover in my weekly restaurant newsletter for The Times’s Food section.

“How do you keep up with all these restaurants?” is a question I get a lot from my fellow dining enthusiasts. My to-dine list is long, but I have methods for staying on track. Here are my tips for dining smarter, not harder.

Have you ever arrived at the grocery store only to realize you don’t know exactly what you need? This is the genius of keeping a running shopping list. I do the same with the Notes app on my iPhone, but for dining out. My list has all the restaurants that I want to visit, organized by borough with descriptions of what they serve. I didn’t write this list in one sitting; I add to it every time I come across a restaurant — on Instagram, on a food news website, via a friend’s recommendation — that piques my interest. I tick off restaurants as I try them, to great satisfaction. This list is also a godsend when friends and acquaintances ask for restaurant suggestions and I need to remember where I’ve recently eaten. Swiping through my list brings up good memories and keeps me on top of my goal of visiting new places.

I know a lot of professional and amateur diners who love to use the Saved feature on Google Maps. It allows you to sort your saves into lists, like one called “Want to Go.” I prefer the Notes method, but one benefit of saving locations on a map is that you can be spontaneous.

Say, for instance, you’re out and about, and you suddenly realize you haven’t eaten in what feels like ages. If you’ve already started saving locations, you can open your Maps app and see if there are any restaurants nearby that you’ve been meaning to try. (Instagram has a similar feature, but it’s slightly more difficult to navigate.)

You can use this method on the road, too, if you’re planning a trip.

The early days of the pandemic forced me to dine hyper-locally, and I discovered amazing choices. We’ve all been guilty of passing by the same restaurant repeatedly without stepping inside. So I’ll end by challenging you to check out one neighborhood restaurant you’ve never been to. You might just discover a new favorite.

There’s still plenty of summer left. Here’s where to eat in New York City this summer.

What does being on a “plant-based diet” really mean? Melissa Clark explains.

Speaking of travel, here’s where you should drink wine if you’re ever in Madrid.

Meet the latest dining aesthetic: darkroom-core.

Sign up for my newsletter, Where to Eat: New York City.

Paul Reubens, who died this week at 70, was quiet. But his most famous character — Pee-wee Herman — was noisy and boisterous. See eight of Reubens’s best performances.

“Pee-wee’s Playhouse” celebrated the kind of anarchy that captivates kids and freaks out adults. James Poniewozik, The Times’s television critic, writes that he loved it “enough to marry it.”

Mark Margolis, a character actor who stole scenes in “Breaking Bad” and Darren Aronofsky films, died at 83.

For one night, Gwyneth Paltrow is renting her guesthouse on Airbnb. A Vogue writer imagined the possibilities.

Lizzo lost more than 150,000 Instagram followers after three former dancers alleged she created a hostile work environment, BuzzFeed reports.

“Back to the Future,” a musical based on the time-travel films, opened on Broadway. It’s a show with a “big wow factor,” The Times’s Jesse Green writes.

“The Notebook,” a musical based on the Nicholas Sparks novel, is coming to Broadway in the spring.

With Hollywood strikes shutting down film shoots, some actors have turned to Cameo, a personalized video website, to make money.

A.I. innovations have transformed visual effects, making it a grievance for actors worried they will be replaced.

A trombonist breaking barriers: Hillary Simms, 28, became the first woman to join the prestigious American Brass Quintet.

A masterpiece of outdoor art was installed in a saltwater marsh in Georgia. It’s been sinking for decades, just as its sculptor intended.

A conservative policy plan, meant to guide the next Republican president, calls for dismantling government clean energy programs and boosting fossil fuels.

Donald Trump’s legal team is a web of conflicting interests: Some could eventually become defendants, or witnesses, in the two federal trials.

Mike Pence believes history will judge him well for his defiance of Donald Trump. On the campaign trail, though, Republican voters have not been so kind.

The U.S. economy added 187,000 jobs last month, a sign of solid yet cooling growth.

The F.D.A. approved the first pill to treat postpartum depression. Trials found that the drug works faster than general antidepressants.

A Ukrainian naval drone damaged a Russian warship on the Black Sea, part of Ukraine’s push to bring the war home to Russia.

Aleksei Navalny, the jailed Russian opposition figure, received a new, 19-year sentence on charges of supporting “extremism.”

From an Indian village where “no one wanted girls,” one father of two daughters is taking on the patriarchy.

By Gilbert Cruz

📺 “Only Murders in the Building” (Tuesday): Season 3 of this marvelous Hulu comedy leaves the titular building and heads to the Great White Way. After a Broadway actor (Paul Rudd) dies onstage, our true-crime podcasting trio (Martin Short, Steve Martin and Selena Gomez) must investigate. Meryl Streep joins this already stacked cast.

📚 “Whalefall” (Tuesday): This is a novel about a 17-year-old scuba diver’s attempt to escape from the belly of a sperm whale after he accidentally gets swallowed while searching for his father’s remains off the coast of Northern California. Do I even have to tell you more? (In our review, Sarah Lyall writes that the author Daniel Kraus “brings the rigor of a scientist and the sensibility of a poet to his descriptions of the undersea world.”)

By Melissa Clark

Do you really need a recipe for scrambled eggs? For a quick weekday breakfast, maybe not. But for something far more special, J. Kenji López-Alt’s extra-creamy scrambled eggs turn a quotidian dish into an exceptional weekend brunch. The secret, which Kenji adapted from Mandy Lee of the food blog Love & Pups, is whisking a starchy slurry into the eggs before cooking. That way, they don’t set up too firmly and stay especially fluffy and tender. Add some good coffee and generously buttered toast and set the tone for an excellent day.

Mortgage-rate envy: With interest rates climbing, the newest form of one-upmanship is the mortgage humble brag.

Rent or own? Can’t figure out whether to rent or buy a home? Take this quiz.

Leaving California: A couple dropped everything to move to New York for the hustle and bustle. Was it too much?

What you get for $1.2 million: A saltbox house with an attached 1830 barn in Hartland, Vt.; a two-bedroom condominium in a 1914 building in Brooklyn; or a Tudor Revival house in Akron, Ohio.

The hunt: They wanted a place above Central Park for less than $800,000. Which one did they pick? Play our game.

Midlife workouts: How to tweak your fitness habits and mind-set once you hit 40.

Is menopause changing my hair? Yes, but you can manage it.

Don’t quit: Find happiness at work when leaving isn’t your best option.

Dance on the Albanian Riviera.

If you want to extend the shelf life of your farmers’ market bounty, consider a vacuum sealer. Vacuum sealing allows you to preserve your perfectly ripe summer fruit to enjoy months later. I like to make a blueberry pie in the depths of winter for a little taste of summer and a brief respite from dreary weather. For best results, freeze the fruit first on a quarter-sheet pan before bagging, sealing and sucking all the air out. Don’t forget to date and label the bag before returning it to your freezer. Come February, you’ll be glad you did. — Michael Sullivan

United States vs. Sweden, Women’s World Cup: The U.S. team looks mortal. They were nearly eliminated in the tournament’s first stage, when a late-game shot by Portugal bounced off the goal post, and the offense has looked uninspired. Now the knockout rounds begin with a matchup against a Swedish squad that won its first three games with authority. There is reason for hope, though: The U.S. defense, anchored by Julie Ertz, has allowed only one goal. 5 a.m. Eastern tomorrow on Fox.

For more:

The early struggles took an emotional toll on the Americans. “We’re just going to do a couple of Kumbayas, and we’ll be good,” Kelley O’Hara, a veteran defender, said.

After several upsets, it feels as if the field of potential World Cup winners is now broader than it was when the tournament started, Rory Smith writes.

Here is today’s Spelling Bee. Yesterday’s pangrams were bighead and bigheaded.

See the hardest Spelling Bee words from this week.

Take the news quiz to see how well you followed this week’s headlines.

And here are today’s Mini Crossword, Wordle and Sudoku.

Thanks for spending part of your weekend with The Times. — Melissa

P.S. W.J. Hennigan is joining Times Opinion from Time magazine to cover nuclear threats.

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THE WEEK IN CULTURETHE LATEST NEWSCULTURE CALENDAR“Only Murders in the Building” (Tuesday):📚 “Whalefall” (Tuesday):RECIPE OF THE WEEKREAL ESTATEMortgage-rate envy:Rent or own? Leaving California: What you get for $1.2 million: The hunt: LIVINGMidlife workouts:Is menopause changing my hair? Don’t quit:Dance ADVICE FROM WIRECUTTERGAME OF THE WEEKENDUnited States vs. Sweden, Women’s World Cup:For more:NOW TIME TO PLAYThanks for spending part of your weekend with The Times. — Melissa