Office Poll: Here’s What the Interview Editors are Ordering During Quarantine

Published May 8, 2020

Photo by Nadia Lee Cohen and Charlie Denis for Interview‘s 2018 Winter issue.

Takeout is to New York City as water is to plants: essential. Restaurants are not only places where New Yorkers go to find physical nourishment, but they are also hubs where friends meet, families gather, and Tinder dates become more-than-one-night-stands. With the current state of the coronavirus pandemic, most of our favorite eateries have been shut down, while others fight desperately to stay afloat. However, some are still going strong. While our city heals and we continue to long for the days of dinner parties and alfresco lunches, the Interview editors share their most beloved New York restaurants that are still open for business—from clams in the West Village to mezcal negronis in Bed-Stuy.

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CHRISTOPHER BOLLEN

Editor at Large

Pies ‘n’ Thighs, Williamsburg

“I’m so inspired by my NYC mainstay in Williamsburg. Not only do they have the very best fried chicken for takeout and delivery (get the chicken biscuit), but they’ve been using customer donations to supply delicious meals to health workers at area hospitals. So you can “donate a bucket” while you order and it goes to a great cause. For example, I know for a fact that this Friday they are delivering to Planned Parenthood. I stopped eating red meat almost ten years ago, and I’m on the razor’s edge of doing away with poultry, and the thing I’d miss most is P ‘n’ T fried chicken. But I just found out they’ve started doing vegetarian meals too, so maybe this is the moment.”

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SARAH MORRISON

Production Director 

Chicky’s, Bed-Stuy

“In the pre-Corona world, I go there every morning before I head to 265 Canal. Now, they’re doing delivery groceries and pre-order market goods. I’m desperate to keep them around to outlive this shutdown.”

Bed-Vyne, Bed-Stuy

“My wine takeout, which is arguably more important. They’re literally one of four numbers in my speed dial and are still coming through with my favorite Italian Reds.”

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NICK HARAMIS

Editor-in-Chief

Cafe Alula, Greenpoint

“My boyfriend and I used to go every Sunday for lunch. It has the world’s best vegan mezze plate (if you’re not vegan, which I’m not because I’m not insane, get it with an order of halloumi). They always have sections of the Times for you to read, and there’s a really cute backyard, which comes in handy, because there are, like, five small tables inside. It’s a perfect little place, and I can’t wait to go back.”

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BEN BARNA

Executive Editor

Xian Famous Foods, Multiple locations

“I’ve been out of the city since mid-March (much to my embarrassment), but I’ve still managed to get a taste of my favorite restaurant in all of New York. It’s a chain of Northern Chinese restaurants that specializes in hand-pulled noodles and other incredibly fragrant dishes from a region of China whose cuisine has been historically overlooked in the West. They’re not doing takeout at the moment, but their incredibly enterprising CEO Jason Wang—who was nominated for a James Beard Award this week—had the brilliant idea to package and ship their hopelessly addictive, top-secret chili oil. I had the oil, which is ‘powered by over 30 different secret spices,’ delivered to me across state lines, and I can honestly say it was the best decision I’ve ever made in my life.”

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RICHARD TURLEY

Editorial Director 

The Clam, West Village

“Not a place I’d been to before the lockdown (sorry) but last week we walked past and there was a little group of people sipping beers through straws under their masks chatting outside on the sidewalk waiting for their take-out. The restaurant itself has turned into a fish market so you can get beautifully cut up pieces of fish to cook yourself as well as the take-out menu. More than that, for me, walking past that place was a sign things are returning to normal. That with a bit of ingenuity (become a fish market!) and lateral thinking (open a bar outside your place!) we’re going to get through this stupid time.”

RedFarm, West Village

“Our comfort food. We get the same thing over and over, the three chili chicken, sautéed snow pea shoots, and the crab rice (which seems to have disappeared). If you’re reading this, Mr. and Mrs. RedFarm, bring it back.”

Poulet Sans Tete, West Village

“Left Bank restaurant seems to have turned itself into this beautifully named takeout rotisserie chicken joint. I wouldn’t be surprised if this off-shoot extends way beyond things getting back to normal; this place would do well in any neighborhood. We get the chicken with salsa verde with a side of potatoes cooked under the chicken (fucking incredible, truth be known) and some sides with some chocolate mousse.”

Raku, West Village

“The new hangout for the old Souen crowd. About the best ramen I’ve had in the city in the last 10 years or so. We get the nameko, the hamaguri, the washugyu tataki, the chawanmushi. If you eat in, you get a frozen grape at the end, which might not sound great but just is. You can also buy a meal for a relief worker. No idea how that works—do they turn up outside the emergency room with boatloads of ramen? Kind of hope so.”

Sweet Rehab, Soho

“Never thought it was possible to have a craving for lemon yuzu tarts before eating one here. If I still smoked weed, I’d be eating truckloads of it.”

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SARAH NECHAMKIN

Digital Editor

Lantern Thai Kitchen, Brooklyn Heights

“Anyone who knows me even a little past the point of acquaintance knows I will find any excuse to order pad thai—a workout, a breakup, Lana Del Rey. While I have yet to find one in the city that replicates the sweet, greasy goodness of my college stand-by (shout-out to Sugar & Spice), Lantern comes pretty damn close. Forget chicken soup; this is food for the soul. When we’re not in lockdown due to a global pandemic, I like to bring friends to the restaurant and take a little stroll down the Promenade afterward. Sigh.”

Henry Public, Cobble Hill

“You haven’t really lived until you’ve tried the Turkey Leg Sandwich at Henry Public, but luckily, unlike many other things, you can now do that from home. I won’t lie—the ideal setting to tear apart a gargantuan pile of shredded, marinated turkey between two perfect slices of toast is tucked away in a wooden both at the Cobble Hill bar, which is dimly lit and reminiscent of a 1920s saloon, and preferably after a couple whiskeys. But throw some swing on your Google Home and order the Turkey Leg Sandwich with a side of pickles and a stiff cocktail. You won’t regret it—until maybe the next morning.”

Economy Candy, Lower East Side

“Perhaps my favorite relic of old New York, this place truly lives up to the whole ‘kid in a candy store‘ thing. While you can’t peruse its tight aisles of Bazooka bubble gum and chocolate cigarettes, you can order Candycare packs to send to friends who might be in need of a spoonful of sugar (or several). I’ve sent them to two friends so far, and it’s only a matter of time before I order one myself.”

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MEL OTTENBERG

Creative Director

Poulet Sans Tete, West Village

“The best chicken delivery I’ve ever had in NYC!”

Van Leeuwen, Multiple locations

“Carrot cake donut flavor ice cream: it’s a REAL WOW.”

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MICHAEL QUINN

Photography Director 

Doctor’s Cave Cafe, Bed-Stuy

“I’m not in the city, But if I was, I would definitely be getting fed by this cafe on my block, on the street level of a family brownstone. The bottom of the house is a converted kitchen/restaurant. Jean is from Jamaica, she owns the house, lives upstairs, and runs the cafe with her son, the artist/actor Morell, and her husband Tim, who both live there too. Jean and Morell do pretty much all the cooking. They make home-cooked comfort food: breakfast sandwiches, oatmeal, soups, smoothies, different daily lunch specials, stews, curries, desserts, etc. Walking into the cafe is like walking into a family kitchen on the block. We became friends over the years, and I love going to see them and getting lunch to bring home or snacks to take to the beach in the summer (back when that was a thing). Jean will make pretty much anything you’re in the mood for on the spot, and she bakes the most delicious banana bread every single day. It’ll knock your socks off.”

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ERNEST MACIAS

Editorial Assistant

Oaxaca Taqueria, Bed-Stuy

“They have my favorite enchilada plate, and I’m a tough customer to please. This place reminds me of Texas, which I miss dearly. I have to highlight their barbacoa tacos. They are excellent paired with their salsas and an ice-cold Jarritos. Despite this being a place I found through a past lover, I refuse to let it go. Boys come and go, but delicious Mexican food is forever.”

Archie’s Pizza, Bushwick

“Their pizza is delicious. Aside from that, this pizza joint holds a special place in my heart. One of those quarantine weekend nights after the bodegas had closed and no alcohol was in sight, I was able to order cold tallboy beers for pick-up, and yes, it felt oh so Bushwick. I hope to go back there as soon as this is over and drink some of their hops IRL.”

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ALEXA LANZA

Market Director

Hibino, Cobble Hill

“It’s difficult to get through to Hibino, so I usually place my order in person. It’s worth the effort for their fresh and simple Japanese cooking. I usually get the daily obanzai and a sushi plate. The staff is also very friendly—easily my go-to neighborhood spot.”

Roman’s, Fort Greene

“My favorite restaurant has been closed most of the quarantine. On a daily basis, I dream of Alejandra’s warm hello, sipping funky wine at the bar, exchanging smiles with Dale, and inhaling a stew-ey paccheri dish. Luckily, I hear to-go is coming soon! I plan to be first online for takeout.”

Lovers Rock, Bed-Stuy

“When in need of a good cocktail, I take a stroll to Lover’s Rock. Shane makes the best mezcal negroni and always keeps the vibe right.”