Categories Billions Dining Guide Food/Dining

Billions Dining Guide Season 4, Episodes 1-5 UPDATED – April 16, 2019

Eat and Drink Like a Billionaire

by Damianista | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | April 16, 2019

One of my favorite things about my favorite TV show is how it showcases the New York dining scene from hole-in-the-walls to neighborhood gems to Michelin-starred restaurants. And it has been my pleasure to share the information about restaurants appearing on the show first in my weekly recaps and then in a full dining guide by the end of the season for Season 1Season 2, and Season 3.

And now that our Billions dining guides are some of the most popular posts on the blog, and that we constantly get questions about the restaurants on the show, I have decided to kick off our dining guide early with the restaurants our characters visited in the first two episodes in Season 4 and update the post as we go.

Before we dive into another wonderful season of the New York food scene, massive thanks go to the show creators Brian Koppelman and David Levien for loving and honoring the dining capital of the world. And you can see how the world of food is integral to the show from this tweet from Koppelman when some Mr. Gavin Scott asks on Twitter whether someone can summarize the first three seasons of Billions in a couple of tweets.

Some of the restaurants and bars that appear on Billions are my personal favorites, and some gems I discover thanks to the show. And I try my best to make it complete using a combination of hints from the scene, social media, keyword search on Google and, hey, Google earth, too!

So I describe each place below with a picture of the scene as a refresher, a link to the restaurant/bar website, its location as well as its Yelp review where available. 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 add it to the list.

Bon Appetite!

Episode 1: Chucky Rhoades’s Greatest Game

Season 4 opener has this incredibly hilarious sequence where Chuck goes on a tour of diners, cafes and restaurants in NYC trading one favor at a time to get a gun-carry permit, almost impossible to get as a private citizen in NYC, for a big shot. Brian Koppelman explains the idea behind this sequence in the following tweet.

The one where Chuck kindly asks Police Commissioner Sansome if he could help him with getting a gun  permit for one of his clients

Barney Greengrass: Barney Greengrass is the Sturgeon King of New York.  A true institution, the deli opened its doors in Harlem in 1908 and moved to its current location on the Upper West Side in 1929. Their signature dish is the sturgeon scrambled eggs. Keep in mind that they still only accept cash and that even if you are not in NYC you can still buy their smoked fish online!

The owner Gary Greengrass makes a cameo in the episode asking Chuck if he wants a table and hears back that he should “save his fine sable for someone whose fortunes warrant it.”

541 Amsterdam Ave, 86th Street, New York City, NY 10024

Yelp Review

The one with Chuck trading favors with Mr. Eisen 

E.A.T.: Before I talk about E.A.T. I need to talk about Zabar’s, a city institution on the Upper West Side and my all-time favorite gourmet deli. Zabar’s has incredible variety of food items and it is particularly specialized in smoked fish, cheese, coffee, caviar, and, did I mention cheese 🙂 The upstairs is an adventure on its own, a delicious chaos of shelves full of kitchen tools and appliances but believe me you will find whatever it is you are looking for!

So, Eli Zabar of the Zabar brothers, who wanted to have a food store different from his family’s Upper West Side deli, opened E.A.T. but on Madison Avenue in 1973. The upmarket deli doubled and later tripled in size over time and moved to its current location. E.A.T. serves salads, sandwiches, baked goods and more. There is a dining area where we see Chuck finding Mr. Eisen as the latter is enjoying his “tower of bagel” sandwich. You can reserve the second floor space for your next brunch or children’s party. And Mr. Zabar makes a cameo in the episode shaking hands with Chuck!

1064 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10028

Yelp Review

The one where Chuck trades favors with Donny Deutsch

Michael’s: A midtown Californian eatery that has been a power-breakfast-and- lunch place for who is who of media since 1989. The space features interesting art works by Frank Stella, Jasper Johns, Richard Diebenkorn and Robert Graham. It turns out that the restaurant gives priority to longtime customers over celebrities where coveted seats are concerned, e.g. Table 1 in the front of the house where Bill Clinton, Michael Keaton and Warren Buffett have dined. I wonder if this is the table Donny Deutsch and Kenny Dichter are power-lunching in the episode.

24 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

Yelp Review

The one where Wendy delivers First Tracks Deer Valley for Chuck

The Pool: A new seafood restaurant created by the Major Food Group, The Pool is located in the iconic setting of the former Four Seasons Restaurant in Seagram Building. The restaurant’s interior, designed by the landmark building’s legendary architects Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson, has remained almost unchanged since its construction in 1959. And the Four Seasons Restaurant was designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission as an interior landmark in 1989.

Lewisto and I “discovered” Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi of Major Food Group when they opened their first restaurant Torrisi Italian Specialties, a homage to Italian American cooking where they insisted on using domestic products, on Mulberry Street. They served a truly ambitious nightly-changing prix-fixe menu for $50 for quite a while. And there was no corkage fee! The trick was that you had to go and wait at the door in the afternoon until someone came out around 5pm to take your name down for the 6:30pm or 9:30pm setting. I am still missing the restaurant four years after it shut its doors, but I also understand that Carbone and Torrisi, along with their partner Jeffrey Zalaznick, wanted to move on to new culinary adventures and have since become an empire with great restaurants all over New York such as Carbone, Dirty French, Santina, Parm, Sadelle’s, ZZ’s Clam Bar and recently  The Grill and The Pool.

99 E 52nd St, New York, NY 10022

Yelp Review

The one where Chuck finally finds someone who would be happy to get a Park-Anywhere permit 🙂

The Grill: A mid-century style steakhouse created by the Major Food Group in Seagram Building.

99 E 52nd St, New York, NY 10022

Yelp Review

The one where Chuck, along with Sean Ayles, solves Ambassador Suarez’ problem

Marea: A two-Michelin-star restaurant on Central Park South, Marea is a high-end place serving seafood and house-made pastas. I am not sure if it is the decor or the fact that most men are wearing jackets but the restaurant has a corporate, power-joint feel to it.

Michael White, the head chef and the owner of the Altamarea Group has a number of restaurants in New York, two of which, namely Ai Fiori and Vaucluse, appeared in the earlier seasons of Billions. And now Chef Michael White makes his first cameo in Billions Season 4 opener as we see him chatting with Ambassador Suarez at the Marea bar area as Chuck and Ayles enter the restaurant.

240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

Yelp Review

The one in front of which Paul “Big Paul” Castellano was whacked

Sparks Steakhouse: An old school midtown steakhouse, and a former mob hangout, Sparks will forever be remembered as the place in front of which Gambino crime family boss Paul Castellano was killed under the orders of John Gotti in 1985. We see Chuck and Police Commissioner Sansome reenacting the scene from that night in the closing scene of the episode.

210 E 46th St, New York, NY 10017

Yelp Review

Episode 2: Arousal Template

The one where Rudy asks Mafee for a job

Emmy Squared: A square pie joint with a sweet love story behind it. They have two locations, one in Williamsburg and the other in East Village. Emmy Squared uses high quality and as much as possible local ingredients and serves delicious Detroit-style pizza. I have only been to the East Village location where we, six people, shared four pizzas all of which were yum! I am not positive but I bet Mafee is having their signature “Roni Supreme” with mozzarella, lots of pepperoni, and Calabrian chilies.

364 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Yelp Review

Read the rest of the original article at Fan Fun with Damian Lewis