I know I am a broken record but Billions is a dream coming true. Not just because it is one of the most, if not the most, smartly written show in the history of TV. Not just because it is bringing my favorite actor Damian Lewis to my screen. But also because it is being shot in NYC, my favorite place on earth: Let me put it this way. If I had not blogged about Damian Lewis, I would probably have blogged about New York, in particular about its fantastic dining scene since my husband and I are crazy foodies. He loves to cook and we both love to eat. That is why NYC dining scene making some memorable appearances in Billions, from some of its “special occasion” restaurants to yummy hole-in-the-walls to cozy neighborhood joints to dining landmarks and take-out places, makes me SMILE big!
So, here is our Billions dining guide as a thank you to the show for showcasing the dining capital of the world in the best way possible: Some of these places are my NYC favorites and I believe, being the forensic fan that I am, I have been able to figure out almost all of them using hints from the scene as well as Google and, hey, Google earth, too! 🙂
I describe each restaurant as the one with what we see happening there (the one with being my tribute to another all-time favorite show Friends) attach a pic of the scene as a refresher and a link to restaurant website as well as its Yelp review where available. By the way, if you don’t have Yelp on your smart phone, download it now, it is free and comes very handy!
I really hope you have a chance to try one or several of these places and send us feedback. Please let me know if I am missing anything and I am happy to work on it.
Episode 1: The Pilot
The one with our first meeting with Bobby:
Bruno’s pizza joint, Capparello’s was Axe’s go-to place when he was a kid and he is still a regular. Bruno seems to be a father figure to him. And, hey, I am a believer in San Marzano tomatoes, too.
Rosa’s Pizza: Pizza. It seems patrons LOVE their Sicilian slices
7559 Metropolitan Ave, Middle Village, NY 11379 (Queens)
You know, pizza is serious business in New York and hats off to Damian for eating his NY slice so authentically! JaniaJania — who also lived and went to school on Long Island — approves and says “ya gotta fold it to keep the grease from dripping and envelope that cheesy goodness right into your gaping mouth, amiright or amiright?” — you are damn right, partner!
The one with Axe serving Steven Birch’s head to Dimonda on a silver platter:
Brazen Fox: Pub, American (traditional) Eat without Breaking the Bank
175 Mamaroneck Avenue, White Plans, New York 10601 (They also have a sister location in NYC).
Episode 2: Naming Rights
The one with Axe meeting Garth Sykes and Ken Malverne:
Hunt and Fish Club: Steak House
125 W 44th St, New York, NY
The one with Chuck buying donuts for his kids and the guy in blue shirt
Carpe Donut NYC: Food trucks are all the rage in NYC and everywhere else! And the red Carpe Donut NYC truck, serving yummy donuts made with local and organic ingredients, makes an appearance in Billions!
It seems they now have a seasonal shop: 157 Prospect Park Southwest near the Vanderbilt Street Playground but check @CarpeDonutNYC on Twitter to see where their truck is serving on a given day!
Episode 3: Yum Time
The one with Lara is the owner and her sister Lu is the chef:
Wellfleet, the farm-to-table restaurant Lara owns and her sister Lu serves morel and asparagus beggars’ purse at, is the restaurant of a lovely inn, Bedford Post, in Westchester, New York.
Campagna: Italian and Seasonal dishes, Fine Dining
954 Old Post Road, Bedford, New York, 10506
The one with Chuck Sr and his wife celebrating their wedding anniversary
We don’t see this one in action. We just hear Chuck Sr telling Chuck Jr about their anniversary dinner plans at La Greounille, a classy old school NY restaurant that absolutely deserves a mention here.
La Greounille: Classic French
3 East 52nd Street, New York, NY
Episode 4: Short Squeeze
The One with Chuck and Bryan feeding Pete Decker as he feeds them information on Axe:
Shake Shack: Burgers, Fries, Shakes Eat without Breaking the Bank
Yelp Review (for the Upper West Side branch, one of my go-to places for take out)
The one with Axe and his Yonkers friends eating on Axe’s jet
Momofuku Ssam Bar: It is a part of brilliant chef David Chang’s dining empire and serves inventive Asian food. I vouch for their out of this world pork buns 😀
207 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10003
Episode 5: The Good Life
The one whose signature dish Axe is serving for breakfast based on his mom’s recipe
210 10th Avenue, New York NY
The one with Chuck and Bryan having Knishes from:
Yonah Schimmel’s Knish Bakery: Iconic NY institution making Knishes at its original place since 1890.
137 East Houston Street, New York
The one with Axe and Raul Gomez of NYC Police Pension Fund having beer
Kelly’s Sea Level: American (Traditional) Bar Food
413 Midland Avenue, Rye, NY 10580
Episode 6: The Deal
The one with Lara finding out from Lilly her sons were uninvited to Bancrofts’ party
By the Way Bakery: Bakery
They have locations in Westchester (where Billions has shot the scene) as well as in the Upper West Side and the Upper East Side.
Yelp Review (for Upper West Side branch)
Episode 7: The Punch
The one with Bryan & co. wiring up Donnie
20 Mountainview Avenue, Orangeburg, NY 10962
The one with Chuck and Wendy dining with the creepy cute Gilberts
Babbo: Italian Fine Dining. Now this one deserves more than a mention. Not just because it is a NY staple or it is the flagship restaurant in Mario Batali‘s dining empire. But also because it’s one of my favorite restaurants. I am a pasta monster and, Babbo, as far as I know, is the only fancy place with a pasta tasting menu. It’s certainly a special occasion place but it is PERFECT for any kind of celebration. You cannot go wrong with anything on that menu but I highly recommend the Beef Cheek Ravioli – it is out of this world!
110 Waverly Place, New York, NY 10011
The one where Axe gives Mike Dimonda an opportunity to become the next Charlie Rose
394 City Island Avenue, City Island, NY
The owner, Spiros Chageres, in a Bronx Times news report, says Damian Lewis enjoyed their “shrimp and scallops over glazed tomatoes.” So, go for it!
The one with Chase and Wendy having Negronis:
275 Mulberry Street, New York, NY
Episode 8: Boasts and Rails
The one with Mark Teixeria of the Yankees and Axe talking at Big Apple Circus
Juice Press: Serving Cold Press Juices, Super Food Smoothies, Raw Food and Hot Soup! Mark Txeiria of the Yankees is, in fact, a partner of Juice Press.
Branches all over New York City.
The one with Chuck making Dimonda his guy
Saigon Vietnamese Sandwich Deli: Serving authentic Banh Mi since 1988.
369 Broome Street, New York, NY
The one with Chuck putting Kimchi on Bryan’s plate with the chopsticks that were just in his mouth 🙂
199 Grand Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211
The one with Bryan meeting the Sackers
This one, I am still looking for… If anyone could catch it, please let me know!
Update: May 2, 2016. And the answer comes from the most reliable source: Thank you so much, Mr Koppelman!
The funny thing is we have been to Perla several times, how did I miss that?
Perla: Italian neighborhood restaurant in West Village. Pasta monster (me!) loves everything on their menu, but particularly recommends the cacio e pepe!
234 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10014 (They have just moved to this new location and re-named the place Perla Cafe)
The one with Chuck and Bryan getting drunk and fucking The Pouch 🙂
463 Hudson Street, West Village, New York, 10014
Episode 9: Where The F*** is Donnie?
The one with Axelrods finding their Bentley graffitied with “Fuck you Pigs”
MP Taverna: Greek restaurant by chef Michael Psilakis. If you don’t want to drive to Roslyn, NY, you can always try chef Psilakis’ delicious food at his wonderful Kefi, one of our go-to neighborhood joints in what we call Upper Best Side 🙂
1 Bridge Street Irvington, NY 10533
The one with Axe asking Orrin and Wags: “Where The Fuck is Donnie?”
American Dream Diner: American Diner Food
512 Route 303, Orangeburg, NY 10962
Episode 10: Quality of Life
The one with Chuck Sr having dinner with his buddies
We don’t see this one in action. We just see Chuck Sr mentioning to Junior, as he feeds him Plan B, on his way to dinner at Peter Luger.
Peter Luger Steakhouse: An old world steak house serving the perfect steak since 1887.
178 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211
The one with Axe trying to convince some of his clients to give up on the three rats’ Ionosphere Fund
Maialiano: Fine Italian dining. Have the Cavatelli. HAVE THE CAVATELLI! 😀
2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010
Episode 11: Magical Thinking
The one with Chuck and Ari talking about Tinder and all:
Gold Bar: A luxurious night club dedicated to innovative drinks
389 Broome Street, New York, NY
Episode 12: The Conversation
The one with Lonnie not sharing his burger with Bryan 🙂
45 East 18th Street, New York, NY 10003
CHECK OUT our Billions Season 2 Dining Guide HERE!