Steel loves going out to the outer boroughs of New York to find real ethnic cuisine.
Tanya Steel I always am asked what my favorite restaurants are, and I’m always trying to keep some of them close to the vest because I don’t want everyone to go there. But I . . . I love, love, love Indian food, and Vietnamese food, and Thai food more than anything. So whenever I crave things it’s one of those. It’s kind of very gutsy flavors. It’s stronger food, so there’s a restaurant in Chinatown called Nha Trang that’s Vietnamese that I’m obsessed with. And in fact I told … about it once when I was interviewing him, and I described in detail about the soft shell crab, and how it’s perfect, and they do this beautiful salt and pepper soft shell crab. And I went the next day because I was craving the soft shell crabs, and lo and behold… is sitting next to me having soft shell crab. So that’s one of my favorite restaurants that’s kind of just . . . I can go there with my family and order a tremendous amount of delicious food. That’s one real favorite. There’s some great Indian places. I love some restaurants actually in Queens. Queens has probably the most interesting restaurant scene, the most interesting cuisines of any place in America that I can think of. I think it’s really the last bubbling pot or whatever . . . melting pot. It really is. And it’s got just an incredibly good, high quality level of restaurant cooking every different cuisine that you could possibly want. So I love going to Queens. There’s a Thai restaurant in Queens called Silver Pie, which I jump on the number 7 train and go there sometimes for lunch. And it’s so good, and it’s very, very fiery food, but you know you’re in an authentic place.
I love going to restaurants where I’m the only English speaker. I mean for me that’s kind of a thrill. I just love pointing to something and to say, “Give me that.” Or, “Just bring me whatever the chef thinks I should eat.” So that’s really fun for me.