The blog-turned-book (available for pre-order here), gathers the favorite salad recipes of noteworthy creatives and she photographs them making the salad in their home. What started as a funny creative outlet for Sherman, a trained photographer, has become a unique, intimate glimpse into how these people live.
Based on the wisdom we gleaned from her in our brief meeting, we had to hear more of her life philosophies. Here are Julia Sherman’s favorite food spots in New York City.
Hart’s is the very best version of a neighborhood joint. Cozy and unpretentious, this is food you could eat every day without fatigue. The menu is a parade of seasonal produce changing daily except for the clam toast (thank god)—my personal favorite and a fixture on the menu. Two thick pieces of bread are griddled in aromatic olive oil, and soaked in a savory sauté of cockles in white wine. Don’t miss it.
Clinton Hill, Brooklyn | Website
Sure, ramen spots are a dime a dozen in the city these days, but what makes Chuko a standout for me is their option of two vegetarian bases (their pork broth is great, too, but you can only eat that so often). My go-to order is the miso broth, rich but delicate, and best enjoyed with a soft egg, extra veggies, and even added chicken. The wait for a table is always a silver-lining: Weather-Up is an excellent cocktail bar just up the street, and their gingery Penicillin cocktail is the best I’ve had.
Prospect Heights, Brooklyn | Website
The current zeitgeist of natural wines can be challenging for the uninitiated, with a whole range of funky bouquets and unfamiliar tasting notes to expand your mind. Despite the small size of biodynamic vineyards and limited quantity of these wines, natural wine enthusiasts are refreshingly unpretentious. Enter Ops, a warm and fuzzy wood-fired pizza joint in Bushwick, where every wine is poured by the glass and priced at an even $10. Sit at the bar and let owner Marie educate you on the wide array of unusual whites, red, bubbles, and orange wines on their ever-changing list.
Bushwick, Brooklyn | Website
When the former pastry chef of Del Posto opens a vegetarian burger spot, New Yorkers pay attention. The unlikely shift in chef and cookbook author Brooks Headley’s career was not for nothing. Superiority burger is mostly take-out (there are a few seats, but it’s tight), and their veggie burger is just the start. What devotees crave is his creative approach to vegetable sides (the burnt broccoli is to die for) and his sophisticated take on junky American classics (like ranch dressing and sloppy Joes). And of course, the dessert is always on-point with seasonal gelatos and sorbets.
East Village, Manhattan | Website
The old-timey sign on the ground floor of the brownstone reads, “Lewis Drugstore,” but don’t be mistaken, this is one of Brooklyn’s most charming spots. The pharmacy-turned-restaurant has date-night written all over it, with warm lighting, wood paneling, library ladders, vintage apothecary bottles, and glass shelving with collector’s items on display. The food is traditional Tuscan fare and the Negroni menu features the classics (the prosecco based negroni sbagliato included), alongside adventurous twists like an Artichoke negroni made with cynar. Don’t miss the citrus marinated green olives, the branzino in parchment paper, or the dense nutty cookies, Brutti Ma Buoni (ugly, but good).
Clinton Hill, Brooklyn | Website
El Quinto Pino is a godsend in Chelsea, where casual, intimate restaurants have gone extinct. Sit at the bar and enjoy a rolling menu of tapas (say yes to the uni panini), best enjoyed with a crisp, effervescent glass of Basque wine called Txakoli. If El Quinto Pino is busy, just pop across the street to Chef Alex Raij’s other restaurant, Txikito, where the best Basque food in the city is served (I dream of the marinated anchovy on toast).
Chelsea, Manhattan | Website
This tiny, unassuming storefront in Alphabet City opens up into a walk through the Morrocon souks, filled with spices, vinegars, oils, and culinary ingredients from all over the world. You can find the stunning owner, Ataf, climbing the ladders and taking orders from the cities best chefs all day, any day of the week. This is where you discover that black pepper is a category, not a single ingredient, or that passion fruit or tomato can be enjoyed in powder form.
Alphabet City, Manhattan | Website
Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday year-round, busy Union Square gets even busier, as the greenmarket pops up at 8am and down at 6pm (in the winter vendors thin-out at around 4pm, but you can still catch some of the action later on). Sample seasonal, heirloom veggies, taste local spirits, and buy yourself a bunch of flowers for the road. If you’re looking for gift ideas, go find Tremblay Apiaries’ Saturday stand; I love their cast-beeswax candles in fun shapes like corn cobs and fat Buddha’s. And don’t forget to tip the Hare Krishna for their songs.
Union Square, Manhattan | Website
Native New Yorkers love their smoked fish. It’s a nod to the Eastern European Jews who blessed this city with their appetite for gravlax, sturgeon, and kippered salmon. While spots like Russ & Daughters Café and Mile End have managed to make the Jewish delis chic, all the smoked fish on the lower east side hails from the same warehouse in Greenpoint: Acme Smoked Fish. This wholesale business opens their doors to the public from 8am - 1pm on Fridays only, and trust me, it’s worth the line. Samples are generous, and the prices can’t be beat.
Williamsburg, Brooklyn | Website
(Fridays, 8am-1pm only)
It’s not much to look at, but Han Bat is my go-to for traditional Korean food in New York. As soon as you sit down, your table will be bedazzled with tiny bowls of banchan, an array of kimchi-pickled veggies and simple salads that will make you hesitate to order anything more. But go for it. The hot stone bibimbop is a must, the whole grilled mackerel is perfectly cooked and well-matched by all the salty, spicy flavors in the treasure trove of condiments.
Korea Town, Manhattan | Website