Known in the food world as a low-key excellent restaurant arbitrator, Showtime show Billions premiered its third season on Sunday night and highlighted four well-regarded New York City restaurants. Wo Hop, Veselka, 4 Charles Prime Rib and Del Posto all made the cut this go-round.
Billions chronicles the life of hedge fund titan Bobby Axelrod (played by Damian Lewis), who a U.S. attorney (Paul Giamatti) is trying to take down. Axelrod’s rich antics take him to many restaurants around NYC, and various outlets, from Eater to Esquire to Thrillist, have praised the dining choices. Past locations have included Momofuku Ko and Ssäm Bar, Katz’s, Sushi Nakazawa, Keens, Crif Dogs, Peking Duck House, Peter Luger, and more.
With Season 3 starting, it’s clear that tradition will continue. All three restaurants featured are food lover destinations: Wo Hop is known as a late night Chinatown must, and longtime East Village Ukrainian diner Veselka is an NYC essential. (This isn’t Veselka’s first turn in the limelight; it also has an upcoming cameo in Ocean’s 8.) The show has gone to Mario Batali restaurants before — Babbo was in a prior season — and the Del Posto scene was shot last fall. Since then, the Chelsea fine dining Italian restaurant took a reputation hit when allegations of Batali’s rampant sexual misconduct surfaced.
Update: The show also visited 4 Charles Prime Rib, the exclusive, expensive steakhouse in the West Village.
Co-creator Brian Koppelman has been open about the role restaurants play in the show, saying on Eater’s podcast The Upsell about certain scenes, “There’s a lot of stuff that [scene] can tell you, about how the New York food world works, what Bobby Axelrod’s place in New York City is, what he’s trying to show the guy that he’s taking to dinner.”
That’s indeed the case already, with the finance guys having a high-roller “Ideas” dinner at Del Posto, while the prosecutors sniffing their trail head to the affordable Wo Hop. Veselka’s purpose was to serve as a comforting place for one of the old-school, nostalgic characters to hide.