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Manhattan & NJ (Bergen County) Restaurant Reviews

Ian Hunter's Guide to Manhattan and Bergen County, NJ's Best Restaurants, Bars, and Gourmet Markets

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AMERICAN/ CAJUN/ BBQ
 

Milling Room: American. 446 Columbus @ 81st-82nd; 25/24/$57; 595-0380; First up – gorgeous dining room; Spacious décor and high ceilings with natural light; Delicious cocktails and a huge bar; Perfect date scene; Daily happy hour 5-7pm with $6 drinks;  Have a ‘Tavern’ pub in front; Menu includes salads, Salmon tartare, grilled octopus, cheese plate, Mushroom Risotto, Maine Skate, Day Boat Cod, Scottish Salmon, Orzo Mac n Cheese and Chilled Spinach.

 

Dovetail: American. 103 W 77th @ Columbus; 26/22/$105; 362-3800; Extremely upscale New-American; Gorgeous food creations; Works of art on your plate; Pricy- & limited menu (see online); Received 3-stars from NYT and 1-star from Michelin;  Two levels;  Fine dining and certainly the presentation and service are the greatest strengths. If you like the options on the menu – go – it will be prepared top notch. Prix fixe only, 4 courses $95. 3 for $82;  “Sunday Suppa” – bargain time to go as its 3 courses $58 for dinner. 

 

South Gate:  American. 154 CPS @ 6th-7th Av; 24/25/$74; 484-5120; Just a relaxing, airy, beautiful setting; Sophisticated cooking; Mixologist is supreme; Romantic and also an epic brunch spot; Obviously overpriced; See website for the bar, lunch, brunch, cocktail, dinner and wine menus; Lamb porterhouse, Duck breast, Swordfish, Halibut, and Veal Chops on menu. 3 course Jazz brunch $55. Open bar brunch is $42 (1 course); 

 

Redeye Grill: American. 890 7th Av @ 56th; 21/21/$62; 541-9000; High energy, always crowded and fun; Seafood-centric; Huge place; Sushi and sashimi available; Raw bar and seafood towers; Alaskan King Crab, Lobster Mac N Cheese, Mayan Shrimp, Peking Duck Quesadillas, Several cuts of steak; Many pasta dishes & they offer Seafood Paella, Yellowfin Tuna, Salmon & more. Basically – something for anyone.  Even have a raw bar and several steak offerings. Brunch served with bottomless Mimosa/Bellino option. 

 

Bar Americain: American. 152 W 52nd @ 6th -7th Av; 23/23/$64; 265-9700; Owned by Bobby Flay – his American brasserie; Mega Bistro; Very spacious though a bit noisy; Eclectic menu including a top Raw Bar and steaks. Brunch is served as well, though pricy ($17-$24 drink not included); Dinner menu includes Duck, Red Snapper, Venison and Lamp Chops – 10 items; Appetizers are amazing.  Spacious and great for visiting guests – has that ‘wow’ factor for tourists. Deviled Eggs, Shrimp & Grits, Tuna Tartare.

 

Thalia: American. 828 8th Av @ 50th; 23/22/$52; 399-4444; Creative dishes; Great for Brunch as well; Very good date spot with spacious, well done décor. Fun location near nightlife. Excellent Raw Bar. Spacious bar area. Gracious service. Known for excellent oysters. Really is underrated. Best for pre-theatre or brunch (free drink).   Reliable – been around forever. 

 

Print: New American. 653 11th Ave @ 48th; 24/24/$62; 757-2224; Stylish, cool as hell set up and décor; Rooftop lounge for drinks before or after at the Press Lounge; They serve breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner; Famous for their grilled octopus; Also, try the Rabbit, Rib Eye, Garganelli with Lamb Ragu; Bread comes with 3 types of butter; Menu items are seasonal; Pan Roasted Bronzino; 

 

Glass House Tavern: American. 252 W 47th @ B-Way-8th; 20/21/$46; 730-4800; Perfect for pre-theatre; Huge place with stylish décor- more airy than tavern; Top notch service will get you to your show on time; Bi-level setting; Brunch, lunch, and pre-theatre specials available; Rock Shrimp Risotto; Lamb Shank; Lots of fun pasta dishes; Fresh Mozz; Just a fun place a large crowd can all enjoy.  Quieter upstairs. Prix-fixe available. 

 
Daisy May’s BBQ: BBQ. 623 11th Av @ 46th; 22/7/$23; 977-1500; Amazing smokey ribs, chicken and Southern classics; Tasty sides; Get it to go; Stay – if you like a dive-diner setting. Real south in NYC. The BBQ overall is great for NYC standards and good-solid for overall standards; They do get that nice smokey flavor right. Drink it down with amazing sweet tea served in a mason jar.
 
Bourbon Street Bar: Cajun. 346 46th @ 8-9th Av; 19/21/$40; 245-2030; Classic New Orleans setting complete with wrought iron fencing; Alligator on menu; Classic Jambalaya;  Tasty cuisine and great place to have a drink anytime. Be prepared – much more of a happy hour/ late night bar scene than a restaurant but if you want great pub/ Cajun fare – this is it.  Umm Crawfish Mac N Cheese!!  
 

The Marshall: American. 628 10th Av @ 44-45th; 24/18/$53; 582-6300;  New American, farm to table hot spot with fun cocktails and a Sunday Brunch menu (drinks $12);  Menu has about a dozen appetizers and a dozen entrees; Great selection includes:  Burrata, Wood Over Mac n Cheese, Pork Meatballs, Deviled Eggs, Lamb Shank, Arctic Char, tons of sides and their famous Meat Loaf. 

 
44 & X Hell’s Kitchen: American. 622 10th Av @ 44th; 22/19/$45; 977-1170; Essentially a storefront with outdoor dining in summer; Fancy versions of comfort food; Incredible Mac n cheese; Lively bar scene as well. Gay friendly vibe; Lunch, brunch and dinner served; Lobster tacos on menu; Great mix of meat and seafood dishes and lots of amazing appetizers; Solid for any palate. Best for brunch outdoors on a sunny day. 
 
Aureole: American. 135 W 42nd @ B-Way-6th Av; 26/24/$86; 319-1660; High end players and celebrities frequent the bar; Impeccable service and gorgeous décor- fairly modern; Prix-fixe only dinner in dining room for $89;  Charlie Pakmer’s flagship; Can eat in large bar-room for much less (Apps- ~$19, Entrees ~$35); Delicious menu for those who can afford it; The epitome of high-end American.  1 Michelin star. 
 
Hill Country: BBQ. 30 W 26th @ B-Way-6th Av; 23/16/$33; 255-4544; Large, two level new restaurant as of 2008; Looks like a roadhouse; Some communal tables; Cafeteria feel; Authentic BBQ ribs, pulled pork and southern classics;  Rustic feel; Have fund gaining 3 pounds; Sides are outstanding; All kinds of daily dine-in deals; Brother Jimmy’s level ambiance.  Great Bourbon selection. 
 
Red CatAmerican. 227 10th Av @ 23-24th; 24/20/$53; 242-1122; Standout; Phenomenal New American-Mediterranean influenced cuisine; Homey feel. Young, hip crowd with energy; A+ service; Tops for area; Ideal eclectic sort of feel. Try the tempura green beans; Nice Wine list; Sauteed Skate is excellent; Menu could be expanded; Good for lunch as well. Near High Line.  I like it more for brunch. 
 
CookshopAmerican. 156 10th Av @ 20th; 23/20/$53; 924-4440; Frequently changing menu; Creative, unique dishes; Modern décor and great staff. Excellent brunch; Farm fresh, healthy ingredients. Farm-to-table mentality; From creators of “Five Points”; Uber trendy and always welcoming. Limited dinner menu; Lunch, breakfast and afternoon dining available. Nice open space. Comfortable.
 
Sugar Factory: American. 835 Washington @ 13th St; 20/22/$62; 414-8700; Name of the game here is FUN; They tout their celebrity appearances; Menu is insanely long with endless fancy drinks for 2 (60 Oz);  When Kylie Jenner is on your homepage – do you care about food?  Anyway – amazing martinis; Incredibly Good brunch/breakfast menu;  Dinner – tons of apps and salads, Signature Burger, Crepes, Sandwiches, Old Fashioned milkshakes.  Basically, a high-end Cheesecake Factory menu. 

 

Standard Grill: American. 848 Washington @ Little 12th-13th; 21/22/$55; 645-4100; Best thing about this popular spot is the location as well as décor and service;  Lunch, dinner, late night eating, and Brunch all available; Food can be hit or miss but generally good; Happening crowd – date friendly; Great people watching and a million bars nearby;  Pricy but good cocktails.  Raw Bar; Cheese/meat plates; Multiple steak options; Whole Roasted Chicken for 2; and The Standard Burger is great. 

 
Perry St: American/ New French. 176 Perry @ West; 27/24/$67; 352-1900; From the Jean-George empire; Perfect service and an elegant, awe inspiring setting; NY Times 3 stars; Way far west location; Prix Fixe options; Crispy Calamari; Chili Crab Dumplings; Weekend brunch and lunch served daily; Sea Bass, Poached Lobster; Lamb Chops; Snapper Sashimi; Burrata; Great experience here at foodie haven.  
 
Little Owl: American. 90 Bedford @ Grove; 26/20/$58; 741-4695; Mediterranean influenced; Extremely tiny (10 tables) but epic good food; Soft Shell crab; Intricate cuisine; Flawless preparation. Bone-in pork chop stands out; Try brunch here… outstanding; Foodies flock here; Wildly popular and with limited space so reserve in advance; Lobster risotto; Fish options. Gravy meatball sliders are famous; Arctic Char;  
 

Joseph Leonard: American. 170 Waverly @ Grove; 24/22/$59; 646-429-8383; West Village hot spot for New American originals; Open from 8am-2am; Small inside but very cool setting and spot on service; Very popular at lunch time;  Main courses include Crab Omelette, Irish Trout, Duck Breast, Roasted Chicken and NY Strip;  The breakfast and Brunch menus are mouth-watering.

 

Market Table: American. 54 Carmine @ Bedford; 23/22/$49; 255-2100; Very popular space started by two successful chefs; Top service, New American menu; Barnyard-chic décor; Seafood is outstanding. Great setting for a meal with friends or a date; Somewhat of a limited menu; Old Bay fries & steamed edamame are amazing sides; Duck Soup; Pork Tenderloin; Flounder; Arctic Char; Hanger Steak;  Brunch menu is excellent but pricy;  

 

North Square: American. 103 Waverly @ MacDougal; 24/19/$47; 254-1200; They try to pass off as a quaint American bistro with great service and they succeed; Excellent Jazz Brunch menu - $20 prix fixe includes a drink; Happy Hour 5-7pm daily; Lunch and breakfast served; Very nice dinner menu: Grilled Shrimp, Tuna Tartare, Lots of salads, Short Ribs, Duck breast, Cod, Filet, Yellowfin Tuna, Arctic Char.  

 

Blue Hill: American. 75 Washington Pl @ MacDougal-6th Av; 27/24/$92; 539-1776; Michelin gives it 1 star and NY Times 3 stars; Farm to table philosophy; Freshest possible seasonal ingredients; Celeb hot spot but unpretentious; Well presented, smallish portions; Haut cuisine for sure; Critically acclaimed; Limited  menu so check online 1st but what is served, is memorable!  Caring staff.  Dinner only. $90 prix fixe.

 

Blue RibbonAmerican. 97 Sullivan @ Prince-Spring; 26/18/$52; 274-0404; Late night dining specialists; Eclectic menu including Fried Chicken, Cheese Fondue, Oxtail, Burgers, Lobster...has it all! Fairly small in size; Tons of items to choose from- huge menu; Oyster perfection; Just a fabulous restaurant – nothing wrong; Even pigeon on the menu. Raw bar.

 

Chalk Point Kitchen: American. 527 Broome @ Thomp-Sullivan; 24/22/$53; 390-0327;  Great option for Brunch, lunch or dinner;  Massive Brunch menu with freshest ingredients & freshly squeezed OJ; Dinner options in this fantastic space (visually) include Deviled Eggs, Smoked Salmon, Arctic Char, Grilled swordfish, NY Strip, Roasted chicken, Rack of Lamb and many vegetable offering.

 

Jane: American. 100 W Houston @ LaGuardia-Thompson; 23/17/$40; 254-7000; Amazing, imaginative, and fairly priced American classics like the Jane Burger; Hanger Steak; and Ahi Tuna; Top of line Brunch- always packed; Friendly staff; Great selection. Go for lunch or brunch only to get the best experience; Satisfying & inexpensive;  French Toast & Bloody Marys stand out. Lobster rolls, Salmon Benedict Best brunch menu ever.  

 

B&B Winepub: American Pub. 25 W Houston St @ Mercer; 22/20/$36; Just a cool place to eat and drink; Brick wall interior with ideal lighting; Serve lunch, dinner and brunch; Website has mouth watering images of their main dishes; Grilled Red Snapper; Pork Schnitzel; Incredible burgers; Large drink selection; Certainly a must-try in the area. Fun house cocktails.  Happy Hour. GREAT nibbles.

 

Duane Park CaféAmerican. 157 Duane @ Hudson-WBWay; 22/24/$54; 732-5555; Extremely good dishes in an upscale yet trendy location; Features a Burlesque show; Affordable for genre. Stately décor which features live Jazz and throwback burlesque acts; Medium-sized location reminding one of the old south;  Certainly a great date spot; Seafood Bouillabaisse stands out.  Closed Sun, Mon. See performance list.

 

Marc Forgione: American. 134 Reade @ Greenwich-Hudson; 24/24/$78; 941-9401; The former Iron chef does great work here; Focus is on farm-to-table cuisine; Website is like reading a book on the seemingly self-indulgent team; But – food is excellent and the décor modern and attractive; Great Brunch available; Limited menu and website features pictures of the food which is cool.  

 

Tribeca Grill: American. 375 Greenwich @ Franklin; 22/21/$58; 941-3900; DeNiro owned, classy New American  restaurant. Spacious, reliable, great service, and an occasional celebrity. Seared sea scallops stand out; Extensive, pricy drink list. High end but quality. Giant wine list of great quality;  Great menu: Braised Short Ribs; Buff Mozz Salad; Rare Seared Tuna; Cod, Lamb Shank and more. Great people watching. Affordable.

 

Mercer Kitchen: American. 99 Prince @ Mercer; 22/23/$59; 966-5454; American-French fare; Mercer Hotel Restaurant; Very sleek and cool; Celeb spot; Upscale professional crowd; Impeccable. Run by Jean-George Vongerichten;  Raw bar; Individual pizzas available; Skate, Sea Bass, Salmon, Haddock, Lobster, Steak and Lamb stew all on menu;  Sashimi Salmon.  Fun menu and awesome date spot. 

 

Estela: American. 4 E Houston @ Mott-Mulberry; 27/19/$68; 219-7693; Wildly unique menu for adventurous eaters; Clever tapas sized plates; Cramped and popular; Dishes include Burrata with salsa verde; Ricotta dumplings; beef tartare; lamb ribs; Cod; Sardines with Kale; They go all over the place!  Cocktails are $14 and equally creative; I’ve literally not heard of any of the beers on the menu. 

 

Metrograph Commissary: American. 7 Ludlow @ Canal-Hester; 20/24/$54; 660-0312;   Designed to evoke Old time Hollywood; Sofas and couches; Two bars; Great for Sunday Brunch;  You have a meal and see an old film; Dinner theatre in part; Dinner options include Burrata, Seared Tuna, Sea Bass and Steak Frites. Fun to go and hang out for just a drink as well.  Menus are all limited in choice. 

 

The Boil: American/Cajun-Creole. 139 Chrystie @ Broome-Grand; 26/16/$45; 925-8815; Get down and dirty at this New Orleans theme house of food;  They bring out the Crawfish, King Crab, Snow Crab & Dungeness Crab by the pound; Eat with your hands; All spice levels available; Apps include Soft Shell Crab, Catfish sliders, Lobster Roll for $18, Crab Roll and Gumbo.  They have a raw bar too. Cash only

 

Freemans: American. Freeman Alley off Rivington @ Bowey; 21/22/$48; 420-0012; Savory American fare; They feature an excellent wine and cocktail list; Grilled sea scallops; Five Cheese Macaroni; Arctic Char; Lamb Shank; and Filet Mignon all stand out; They have a famous appetizer you must try- the Artichoke Dip which is raved about; Very trendy spot. Looks like a hunting lodge. 

 

Vandal: American. 199 Bowery @ Spring-Rivington; 23/24/$58; 400-0199; From owners of Stanton Social, this is their more lounge-heavy American Tapas restaurant;  Amazing, popular bar scene; Wonderful small plates to share; Raw bar features salmon poke, Oysters, Seafood tower;  Main menu has Soup Dumplings, Sea Bass Tacos, Seared Tuna & more. Quite a scene and very date or group friendly.

 

Stanton Social: American. 99 Stanton @ Ludlow-Orchard; 26/24/$60; 995-0099; Ultra cool, popular, hip spot;  Eclectic food; Trendy as hell; Young, good looking crowd, often celebs; American small plates and more; Food is outstanding and best if shared; Two levels;  Red Snapper Tacos; French Onion Soup. It does get loud and crowded so go during the week or earlier if you prefer a more intimate scene. Order a bunch of dishes; Great for a dinner party.  Brunch served. 

  

Beauty & Essex: American. 146 Essex @ Stanton-Rivington; 23/26/$63; 614-0146; Hidden entrance in pawn shop ; Resto-lounge; Glamorous setting ; Bi level space; Free champagne in ladies room; Think chandeliers galore; Exotic, fancy cocktail list; Small plates – try the Salmon cerviche; Tuna Sashimi; Tuna Poke wanton tacos; Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup Dumplings; Lobster salad; Baby Back Ribs and the Burger;  Order 4-5 small plates and enjoy! Similar set up to Stanton Social.

 

Contra: New American. 138 Orchard @ Rivington-Delancey; 25/20/$60; 466-4633; Features a nightly tasting menu; Welcoming staff and casual setting – but ideal for a date;  Menu is set- $74 a person and wine/cocktails are $13-$16;  Menu is usually 6 courses including 2 desserts;  An extra $8 or so to add a cheese course.  For the very adventurous!  No substitutions whatsoever. 

 

Saxon & Parole: New American. 316 Bowery @ 1st-2nd St;  24/24/$62; 254-0350; Ultra cool and hip hotspot that is both energetic and happening; Very stylish interior matched by great service; Equestrian themed digs; Meat and seafood focused menu; Brunch as well; Incredible cocktails including Bloody Caesar & Bloody Mary – uniquely done for brunch; Best for dinner; Seasonal menu – see website.

 
Prune: American. 54 1st St @ 1-2nd Av; 25/16/$48; 677-6221; Chef is a genius; New American; Known as Brunch haven- gets packed; You must try the Bloody Mary (10 types to pick from) & order Eggs Benedict; Epic food; Too small- 10 tables; Food produced is work of art.  Go early or be prepared to wait; Dinner is New American – casual setting. Brunch gets pricy if you drink.
 
Root & Bone: American/Southern. 200 E 3rd St @ Av A-B;  24/19/$43; 646-682-7076; Southern cuisine in a cool rustic, hip setting; Amazing cocktails and an intimate feel; Fried chicken & Waffles; Drunken Deviled Eggs; Try the biscuits; Mac n Cheese to die for; Comfort food central; Ran by young, good looking chefs; Shrimp & Grits; Striped Bass; Short Rib Meat Loaf; $65 4 course prix fixe;  Brunch served.

 

Knickerbocker B&GAmerican. 33 University Pl (near 4th Av) @ 9th St; 22/19/$46; 228-8490; Focus is on steaks, happily at less than steakhouse prices; Large portions; 70s décor. Non-pretentious; Live weekend Jazz; Dependable- notch down from top meat emporiums. Basically, a fine meat and potatoes type of restaurant; Get the T-bone; Overstuffed sandwiches are amazing. Great brunch menu – though drinks not included. 

 

Narcissa: American. 25 Cooper Sq @ 5th St; 26/22/$65; 228-3344; Hot new chef’s farm to table cuisine is ideal for a romantic date; Upscale vibe (and prices);  Great energy; Cocktails around $14;  Brunch – very expensive – is available;  Menu includes Ahi Tuna, Wagyu Beef, Barley Risotto, Steamed Bass, Whole Branzino, Lamb T-Bone, Duck and Halibut.  Arctic Char for Two.  Creative excellent cooking.

 

Tuome: American. 536 E 5th St @ Av A-B; 27/20/$61; 646-833-7811;  Flavor central at this Asian inspired hotspot;  Not a ton of room; Signature dish is the Pig Out – a pork belly dish for two;  Deviled eggs and Octopus are great app choices; Excellent date spot – very trendy;  Also, Oxtail spring rolls; Spicy peanut noodles; Artichokes with spicy breadcrumbs;  Snow Crab;  Branzino. 

 

The Eddy: New American. 342 E 6th St @ 1st-2nd Av;  25/20/$58; 646-895-9884; Also a wine and cocktail ($15) bar; Trendy and a hotspot right now;  Five course tasting menu for $75;  About 15 total menu items. I like this place for a couple appetizers over a glass of wine.  The sort of place to impress a date after dinner with a finely made drink.  Bartenders are great. 

 

Graffiti: American. 224 E 10th @ 1st-2nd Av; 27/22/$48; 677-0695; Gorgeous little wine bar; Perfect for light fare before heading out; Also a great date spot or for a drink pre-dinner somewhere else; Foodies love this place; Fair prices – wine is $12 / glass or $35/bottle. Food is Eclectic in style with Indian influence. The chef has appreaed twice on the Iron Chef. 15 types of wine on the menu.  Closed Mondays. 

 

Brindle Room: American. 277 E 10th St @ 1st Av – Av A; 24/18/$33; 529-9702; Cozy gastropub that features small plates of American comfort food;  You will sit on stools;  Must try the duck poutine; steakhouse burger and smoked chicken wings; Other interesting items: Panzanella salad; Kale salad; Mexican moulles frites; Garlic chili shrimp; and fisherman stew. High end pub. Serve brunch also. 

 

Kingsley: American. 190 Av B @ 11th-12th; 26/26/$64; 674-4500;Zagat #1 ranked American & Best newcomer in 2017;  Absolutely polished service, décor and food quality; Also ideal for Happy Hour and drinks;  Closed Monday; Lunch served weekends;  French influenced cuisine;  Seasonal, local cuisine; Cocktails/Wine around $14 and beer $7; Brunch served – build your own Bloody for $14; Dinner menu is very limited so check online.  

 

Gotham B&G: American. 12 E 12th St @ 5thAv;  28/26/$92; 620-4020; New American; $38 prix fixe lunch; Terrific food; Always wonderful. Manhattan institution; Perfect service; Dates, Business or Casual.  Majestic room & epic service; Soft Shell crab in season. You can’t go wrong here. Michelin 1-star;  Just an insanely popular place that always pleases; Chef Alfred Portale; Expect to pay about $100/ person with a drink; By the way – the bar is excellent. 35 page wine list on line;   

 

Hearth: American. 403 E 12th St @ 1st Av; 25/20/$62; 646-602-1300; Upscale yet relaxed; Exactly what the East Village needed; Pricy yet inspired New American selections; Limited, seasonal menu- ever hanging with daily specials. Excellent food and date friendly; $72 7-course tasting menu;  Italian dishes as well from Chef Marco Canora; Great cheese plates available;  Dinner only & Brunch.

 

Tocqueville: American / French. 1 E 15th St @ 5th Av; 27/26/$93; 647-1515; Foodies delight at the gorgeous chandelier laden dining room; $29 lunch prix fixe; Always a special holiday menu online; Soft Shell Crabs in season; 5 course tasting: $110; Arctic Char, Tofu, Cod, Sea Scallops, Lobster, Trio of Beef featuring Oxtail; The menu is seasonal. Main courses: $38-$48.  Drinks will run you $16 a pop or more;  Five course tasting menu is $135; 

 

ABC Kitchen: American. 35 E 18th St @ B-Way-Park; 26/23/$72; 475-5829; Hotspot from super-chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten; Seasonal delicacies; Ultra-fresh ingredients from farm to table; Country setting; Less formal than other restaurant in his empire; 12-15 appetizers, 7-10 entrees; Extremely popular and decently affordable.  Brunch & Lunch available;  Pretzel dusted Calamari; Sea Bass, Lobster. 

 

Union Square Café: American. 101 E 19th @ Park; 27/23/$78; 243-4020; New American; So good, so popular; Inspired cooking; Walk-in Bar/ lively scene. Voted #1 Popular in Zagats; Danny Meyer owned;  Seasonal ingredients; Down to earth yet perfect service; Every course will be cooked with inspiration; Freshest ingredients from the local markets; Brunch is awesome; Can eat at the bar; Lunch will run $25 a dish; Incredible pasta dishes as well. Non-tipping restaurant;  

 

Craft: American. 43 E 19th @ B-Way; 26/23/$78; 780-0880; Flagship of Top Chef TV’s Tom Colicchio; Relaxing, sophisticated environment; Spot-on service; Try the beef short ribs; Nice mix of seafood/ shellfish and meat dishes with lots of appetizers and side dishes to choose from; Seasonal menu so check the website for changes; Most main courses under $35. Lunch Prix fixe $36 for 3 courses;  Original menu – check website.  Great scene. 

 

Craftbar: American. 900 B-Way @ 19th-20th; 25/21/$52; 461-4300; Top Chef TV’s Tom Colicchio’s more casual sibling to flagship “Craft” down the block; Spot-on service; Nice mix of seafood/ shellfish and meat dishes with lots of appetizers and side dishes to choose from; Seasonal menu so check the website for changes; Brunch available - outstanding.  The brunch menu is to die for:  Smoked Gouda Grilled Cheese, what!  Closed Monday. 

  

Gramercy Tavern: American. 42 E 20th @ B-Way-Park; 28/26/$70 or $135; 477-0777; Flawless food, service; New Chef Michael Anthony; Cheaper by the front Tavern which has own menu & a cool bar scene & amazing drinks;  Expensive here b/c this place is an all-time NYC institution. Memorable evenings. Tasting Menu - $165;  3-course is $125 in dining room;  Danny Meyer owned. Cocktails $19, beer $12. Do the tavern…  1 Michelin star.  Non-tipping;  Tavern has better menu and apps $20, main $30. 
 

Sagaponack: American/Seafood. 4 West 22nd @ 5th Av; 25/19/$45; 646-760-9682; Hidden gem from this Long Island transplant; Excellent Raw bar; Spicy seafood flatbread; Great salad options; Long Island Duck; Bucatini Seafood Pasta to die for; Seafood Paella; Pappardelle with Korean shortribs; Lobster Roll;  Happy Hour 4-7pm; Lunch served;  Relaxed, casual atmosphere;  Affordable pricing to boot. 

 

Park Ave Summer/Autumn/Winter/Spring: American. 360 Park Av @ 25-26th; 951-7111; Giant, airy flatiron space; Seasonal menu (and restaurant name change); Foodies galore; Excellent wine list;  3course dinner with unlimited wine after 8:30pm daily for $65/person;  Brunch is $32 prix fixe with $13 Bloody- incredible menu; Dinner this summer includes Burrata, Yellowfin Tuna, Bronzino, Halibut and Scallops. Lovely sides, desserts and ‘land’ dishes as well. Cocktails at dinner $16. 

 

Blue Smoke: BBQ. 116 E 27th @ Lex-Park: 23/17/$47; 447-7733;  Danny Meyer’s upscale rib house;  Best BBQ in city; Live Jazz; Smokehouse; Melt in your mouth ribs; Excellent Sides; Excellent beers to choose from & excellent Bourbon bar; Pulled pork outstanding; You must try the Mac n Cheese; Lively setting; Perfect for the whole family. Battery Park City location as well. Deviled Eggs;  Great for a party. 

 
Hillstone: American. 378 Park Ave @ 27th; 22/19/$58; 689-1090; Upscale pub highlighted by an excellent bar scene; Major after-work scene; Chicken fingers- off the menu; Upscale entrees and even sushi offered (multiple special rolls); Great place for a within-budget American meal. Other standouts: Spinach & Artichoke Dip, Veggie Burger, Grilled Artichokes, Rib Eye, Arctic Char, Crab Cakes.

 

Riverpark: New American. 450 E 29th @ FDR-1st Av;  26/27/$68; 729-9790; Serene hideaway in an office park; Unimaginable views of East River and beyond; Tom Colicchio in command; Free parking; Seasonal menu; Brunch/lunch served; Menu includes Crab salad; Charcuterie Board; Hamachi; Pasta options; Whole Fish of the day for two;  NY Strip; Lamb Chops; Rabbit; Bronzino and Scallops.  See menu.

 

Water Club: American. East River @ 30th; Enter at 23rd; 23/27/$73; 683-3333; You come here for the amazing views of Brooklyn/Queens; Excellent menu featuring Grilled Bronzino; Amazing Shellfish; Crab Cakes; Lobster Bisque; Lots of seafood entrees; Scottish Salmon; Beef Wellington; and a Raw Bar; Steaks & Chops available; Brunch has amazing entrees – Seafood Salad, Smoked Salmon; Eggs Benedict with lump crab; Dinner entrees approx $30, Apps $15.

Vitae: American. 4 E 46th @ 5th Av-Madison; 24/20/$65; 682-3562; Bi level New American restaurant and also cocktail and wine bar; Great for after work; Modern space; Personable service; Closed Sunday; Ideal weekday lunch spot as well;  4 course tasting menu is $75;  Otherwise, Apps include Burrata, Veal meatballs, Tuna & Hamachi Crudo; Pulled Pork Tacos;  Mains include Lamb Cavatelli; Squash Risotto; Arctic Cod; Brook Trout; King Crab & Long Island Duck.  Great looking menu.

 

Hillstone: American. 153 E 53rd @ 3rd Ave; 22/19/$58; 888-3828; Upscale pub highlighted by an excellent bar scene; Major after-work scene; Chicken fingers- off the menu; Upscale entrees and even sushi offered (multiple special rolls); Great place for a within-budget American meal. Other standouts: Spinach & Artichoke Dip, Veggie Burger, Grilled Artichokes, Rib Eye, Arctic Char, Crab Cakes.