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Cafe Carlyle

French

1.8 Miles Voto

When famed composer Richard Rodgers moved in as The Carlyle's first tenant, music became an essential part of The Carlyle experience. A romantic and intimate venue, Café Carlyle continues the tradition of the 1930s supper club. It features original murals created by French artist Marcel Vertes, the Oscar-winning art director of the 1952 Moulin Rouge. The nightly scene recalls an old MGM classic, camera ready pure Manhattan backdrop and a soundtrack that is classic cabaret. Café Carlyle is known for headlining incredible talents, including Eartha Kitt, Ute Lemper and Woody Allen, who regularly appears to jam with the Eddy Davis New Orleans jazz band. For over 30 years, Café Carlyle was synonymous with the legendary Bobby Short, whose spirit will live on through the music at Café Carlyle. Seating up to 70 for dinner and 90 for a performance, the supper club offers a uniquely intimate space and is highlighted by music-themed murals by Vertes.

per se

American (New)

0.9 Miles Voto

After per se opened in 2004 it quickly established itself as one of New York City's top restaurants. With per se, Thomas Keller brings his distinctive hands-on approach from Napa Valley's French Laundry to New York City. The restaurant reflects his intense focus on detail that extends to cuisine, presentation, mood and surroundings. Keller chose Adam Tihany, today's pre-eminent restaurant/hotel designer to draw together subtle references of The French Laundry and elements from both his and Keller's pasts. From the Blue Door entrance (modeled after the famed blue door at The French Laundry) to the fireplace, field stone and elegant but simple décor, one feels as if they're dining in an appropriately adorned metropolitan version of Keller's flagship restaurant in Napa Valley. The dining room holds just 15 tables and boasts spectacular views of Central Park. There's also a salon, bar, wine cellar, a private room for 10 and another that accommodates up to 60 guests. The 24-seat lounge, which includes four bar stools, can accommodate diners with its à la carte menu that features up to ten dishes, which aren't necessarily the same dishes on the tasting menus. Always at the forefront of innovation, Thomas Keller made headlines by announcing he would abolish tipping at per se and replace it with a European-style service charge. New Yorkers have reacted rather positively to this change, and it does remove some of the magic and mystery behind tip calcuation. Moreover, you can always an tip additional sum for exceptional service. NYC.com most recently visited Per Se after our unforgettable Easter spent at Keller's French Laundry in Yountville, California, reached on a beautifully sunny Sunday after a relaxing drive from the Bay Area. We had arrived 30 minutes early, and occupied ourselves with touring the impressive vegetable garden just across the street from the restaurant; as the day went on, the growing crescendo of small flourishes and nuanced touches in course after course culminated with massive chocolate Easter eggs brought to the table after the mignardises. Inside these hollow eggs were wrapped caramels placed by the pastry chef. At the time, it seemed no dining experience in the United States would equal or surpass it. Yet entering Keller's fourth-floor realm at the Time Warner Center could hardly be a more different experience than driving to the French Laundry. For starters, the Time Warner Center remains a ridiculous tribute to the imperial superego of a faltering corporation, filled with stores (excepting Whole Foods) that generally appear to be mostly empty. While attending performances at Jazz at Lincoln Center remains a highly satisfying experience, casual or fine dining at this shopping mall would appear to be foiled by the rather generic frilly surroundings. As one enters through sliding glass doors—after walking down a long corridor filled with vitrines of glassware of relatively questionable aesthetic value—perhaps the most polite thing one could say of the fourth-floor realm outside Per Se would be ars ut artem falleret, art to deceive art. The entry portal and its exaggerated luxury, of course, serve to remind the power brokers, gourmets and gourmands alike that Keller's architectural confection per se, i.e. with all due respect to its inherent nature, offers the required amount of artifice and edifice in a most New York way: with soaring ceilings and the lavish building materials that symbolize the go-go years of this decade. The wine cellar tempts, and the lounge features plush banquettes as well as a few appropriately-placed pieces of furniture overlooking Central Park. Stated differently, instead of the tranquil solitude of Yountville, the New Yorker awaiting one of the 15 tables here leaves chaotic Columbus Circle for a tamed and ordered sphere—evocative, subtle, and chromatic in a highly structured form quite like Mondrian's Broadway Boogie-Woogie. How interesting then, to be confronted with a perfect view of the Museum of Arts & Design from Per Se's tastefully-appointed dining room. Edward Durrell Stone's utterly transformed lollipop building that lost its spun-sugar motifs in its stripped-down aesthetic redesign perhaps allows the diner to reflect upon the sort of pleasure that awaits in the Kellerian world: the refinement and tempering of forest and sea. Out of a multitude of ingredients comes a unique dining experience in which we are told "no single ingredient is ever repeated throughout the meal". We began with gougères and the signature tuile with salmon and crème fraîche, which certainly put us in the appropriate mood to receive the first course, "Oysters and Pearls," that consisted of a resplendent Sabayon of pearl tapioca with Island Creek oysters and Sterling white sturgeon caviar—a much-savored ingredient most beloved at the French Laundry. The subtlety of this dish cannot be overstated; aside from the magnificent appearance, texture and taste, its sheer ingenuity alone was simply extraordinary. Thereafter, we collectively opted for the Terrine of Hudson Valley Moulard Duck Foie Gras ($30.00 supplement) served with a duck consommé "en gelée" with subtle and ingenious slow baked beets and red ribbon sorrel augmented with kumquat coulis. As at the French Laundry, when the servers perceived the thick toasted brioche had cooled to a point where it would not complement the terrine, it was quickly replaced with another plate of hot brioche. You might find these details trifling, or instead you might find them simply reflective of a master chef who overlooks no minor detail in order to please his patrons. Similarly, the handsome dish of six sea salts to accompany the terrine could on the one hand be seen as ostentatious, or instead perhaps simply make for a delectable accompaniment that involves choosing among some of the most intriguing and flavorful salts known to man. Food and wine critics, not to mention all manner of gourmets and gourmands, enjoy impressing their fellow diners with tales of fine dining—this restaurant here, that wine tasting there—and generally manage to repeat details ad nauseum at meals such as at Per Se. In this parlor game of one-upsmanship, occasionally one draws in the staff as well as if (in the manner of Cicero, one hopes) to delight or to instruct. Thus it was with great excitement that our inquiry about a certain varietal was responded to by the sommelier both with great enthusiasm about this particular part of California near Mendocino as well as a truly masterful declamation of the vintage, the vineyard and the general vicinity. In other words, he went beyond impressing us with his impressive depth of knowledge. Never mind that this, our first bottle, was neither particularly expensive nor unusual; he spoke of this Syrah from a vineyard unfamiliar to us with the same energy one presumes he would reserve for a Corton-Charlemagne at ten times the price. (In a tip of the toque to the new reality, we note that our expense account no longer covers the myriad possibilities of the Trockenbeeranauslese, Yquem and Bordeaux that so appropriately ruined our late youth.) Though the mark-up on the nearly 50-page wine list seems quite high even to the casual observer, it does remind us that Keller makes very little (if any) profit on the menus per se; the top quality of the ingredients, their preparation, and the superior service make the execution of these prix fixe menus extremely expensive. When you further consider that service is included—unlike at nearly every other restaurant in this country—it makes the lavish menu seem all the more valuable. Hence the shock of delight to be thusly confronted with a butter-poached Nova Scotia lobster, a rather substantial piece of tail meat accompanied by a striking serrano ham croquette, Cripps Pink apples and mâche with an apple cider emulsion. Though a trip to Maine two weeks ago again reminded us the present fate of the lobsterman in this troubled economy is indeed a miserable one, we might attempt to accentuate the positive here: an overabundance of lobsters along the Atlantic Coast has made fortune smile upon the diner who wishes to eat them. How to follow this delicate crustacean with anything more impressive? Thereafter appeared a Liberty Farm Pekin Duck breast with rhubarb and turnip confit and Sauce "Périgourdine" that nearly set us into orbit. Flown over from this farm, located in an unincoporated area of Sonoma County near Petaluma, both the climate and method of raising their poultry makes these ducks about as flavorful as one can find. And then appeared—as we switched to a hearty Zinfandel—the most marvelous carré d'agneau rôti (to merely call it a lamb chop would be an understatement) with morel mushrooms and fava beans with Béarnaise reduction and tiny potatoes that we presumed from their flavor were from the Goshen/Warwick area but surprisingly enough instead came from a California farmer's market. This Elysian Fields Farm lamb from Orange County, NC, was truly superb, every morsel utterly savory. There followed a Brunet of poached apricots, hazelnuts, marinated sunchokes and frisée, a modest portion of tender bites that eased the way for the ensuing caramelized banana sorbet with maui pineapple and lime salt. It did not escape our attention that our wine and water glasses were constantly refreshed, and that the service at all times was more attentive than I've experienced in any of the other top New York restaurants that we have reviewed here in recent years—even at the clock went well past eleven. Finding the bombe au pamplemousee not quite to our taste, we instead opted for the mille-feuille de poire, an intensely flavorful walnut bavarois with bosc pears and candied walnuts and licorice ice cream. Mille-feuille indeed—for it was followed by the luxurious signature Keller mignardises of chocolates, truffles, hard candies and caramels. Despite that the economic downturn has sealed the fate of an increasing number of figures who seem right out of Boccaccio's De Casibus Virorum Illustrium, in turn affecting an untold number of Keller's well-to-do patrons, the dining room of Per Se nevertheless remains packed. A testament, no doubt, to Keller's ability to deliver the most outstanding dining experience found in this country. When we discussed our experience with a colleague who had dined at Per Se last year, his response summed it up: "I couldn't really eat anything the next day. Anything else seemed a letdown." Per Se is one of the Restaurant & Bar Collection at Columbus Circle.

Chef's Table

American (New)

4.7 Miles

Settle in to the kitchen counter at this intimate 18 seat space for a unique dining experience featuring the cuisine of Chef Cesar Ramirez - the unique talent behind Brooklyn’s first three Michelin-starred restaurant. Ramirez trained with David Bouley among others, and offers an inventive Continental/Japanese cuisine. His prix-fixe tasting menu dinner consists of over twenty small plate courses that change daily depending on market and seasonal availability. Most of the courses contain both raw and cooked seafood, predominantly shellfish. The current prix-fixe price is north of $250 per person plus NY tax and 20% service fee. A wine program begins at $60 per bottle.  Note to hipsters, there is a dress code and formal business attire is on the menu. Jacket required for men. Jeans, sneakers, flip-flops, shorts or short sleeve shirts are not permitted in the dining room.

Smorgasburg Williamsburg

American (Regional)

2.7 Miles Williamsburg

Smorgasburg happens every Saturday on the Williamsburg waterfront at East River State Park, featuring packaged and prepared foods, purveyors from New York City and across the region, and other food-related vendors (kitchen utensils, housewares, etc.), for a total of 100 vendors. The markets are always open rain or shine.

Restaurant Daniel

French

1.2 Miles Voto

Savor award-winning chef Daniel Boulud's seasonal French cuisine inspired by the market in the sumptuous Venetian Renaissance style dining room or in the Bellecour Room, available for private parties. To ensure the excellence of his cuisine, Daniel Boulud has established a kitchen brigade trained in the French tradition respecting the techniques, hierarchy and discipline of their trade. American-born Executive Chef Alex Lee, with Daniel since 1993, directs a team of three devoted Sous Chefs: Cyrille Allannic, Olivier Reginensi, and Patrice Martineau as well as Bruno Bertin orchestrating Feast and Fêtes catering. Together they orchestrate the efforts of 40 cooks representing a rich array of cultures and nationalities working together in 4000 square feet of state of the art kitchen designed by Daniel Boulud himself. There is no easy way to categorise Daniel Bolud's cooking, so we offer this sample by season: In winter, Chef Daniel Boulud celebrates black truffles from Perigord in dishes such as: Maine Sea Scallops Layered with Black Truffle in Golden Puff Pastry or Roasted Squab Stuffed with Foie Gras and Black Truffle, Winter Vegetables and Chestnuts. Spring is celebrated with a focus on asparagus, morels and delicate peas. Bolud highlights them on his menu with his celebrated Asparagus, Lobster and Artichoke Salad with Fresh Hearts of Palm and Meyer Lemon Dressing; Chilled Five Pea Soup with a Rosemary-Infused Cream, Bacon and Crisp Croutons; or finally, Morels with Duck and Foie Gras Stuffing. Summer comes to life on Daniel Boulud's menu with fragrant tomatoes, chanterelles and local sweet corn. He adds his own personal touch to them in Chilled Summer Tomato Gelée with Opal Basil, Peekytoe Crabmeat and Spicy Avocado; Roasted Tuna with Country Bacon, Chanterelles and Truffled Beef Jus; or Corn Crêpes Filled with Chanterelles, Farmers' Market Vegetables and Chives. During the autumn months, the fragrant, earthy white truffles of northern Italy inspire the chef as he shaves them over luxuriant Risotto with Porcini or enhances a dish of Braised Turnips Stuffed with Pigs Feet and Fall Mushrooms with White Truffle Sauce.

Aquavit

Scandinavian

0.5 Miles Midtown

Located in Park Avenue Tower at 65 East 55th Street between Park and Madison Avenues in Midtown New York, Aquavit offers modern takes on modern Nordic Cuisine complemented by an extensive winelist and an Aquavit infusion and cocktail program. Aquavit transforms Nordic cuisine with extraordinary care, mixing respect for tradition with a penchant for excellence and the conviction to try new techniques and ingredients. For lunch, Aquavit serves an a la carte menu of Scandinavian classics such as Swedish Meatballs, Gravlax and Toast Skagen. For dinner, they offer a four-course prix fixe or seven-course tasting menu of modern Nordic selections. The dining room has just been redesigned with modern and rustic elements that complement and complete the Nordic dining experience. In the Bar and Lounge you can savor craft cocktails and a variety of Nordic tastes tailored to your selections ideal for a date, casual meeting or an after-work gathering. The Linné Salon and Nobel Room accommodate Private Dining functions for meetings, social gatherings and elegant entertaining for up to 100 guests.

Marea

Italian

0.8 Miles Midtown

Marea means tide in Italian, and aptly describes the sea change Chef Michael White presents with his interpretation of southern Italian coastal cuisine. From his trademark handmade pastas to his fresh crudo and whole fish, Chef White and Owner Chris Cannon are committed to reinventing the notion of seafood in New York. Located in one of Manhattan's most storied addresses, Marea has won numerous accolades since opening in 2010. To date, Marea has received two Michelin stars, the 2010 James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant, three stars from The New York Times, named Best New Restaurant by Bon Apetit, Esquire, and GQ Magazine and also Best Italian Restaurant by Zagat. Marea has also recently joined the family of Relais & Chateaux’s elite group of Grande Chef Gourmand.. At Marea, the menu reads like a study of the sea. The crux of the cuisine is devoted to the freshest and most seasonal fish and shellfish sourced from both the Mediterranean and waters worldwide. The breadth of the menu offers you the opportunity to select and choose your dining experience. Selections are devoted to crudo, a wide variety of oysters & clams and antipasti. Chef White is famous for his house-made pasta, and at Marea, the dishes are replete with frutti di mare. The menu also includes composed fish dishes, whole fish preparations and a short selection of meat to round out the extensive offerings. The wine list, overseen by Beverage Director Francesco Grosso, features a significant selection of wines that pair perfectly with the bounty of the sea. With over 750 selections, 50 percent of the wine list is dedicated to European whites, which complement the fresh fish and seafood; the restaurant has over 15 rosé selections to offer year round.

Smorgasburg Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 5

American (New)

4.3 Miles Brooklyn Heights

Smorgasburg happens every Sunday in Brooklyn Bridge Park at Pier 5 on the waterfront, featuring packaged and prepared foods, purveyors from New York City and across the region, and other food-related vendors (kitchen utensils, housewares, etc.), for a total of 100 vendors. Rain or shine.

Aureole

American (New)

0.0 Miles Theater District

Owner Charlie Palmer opened Aureole in 1988, quickly establishing it as one of the finest restaurants in the United States. Aureole serves an inventive progressive American cuisine and has gained a worldwide reputation for it's talented celebrity chef, elegant atmosphere and delicious cuisine. Palmer has won one many awards, including the 1997 James Beard Award for "Best Chef." The kitchen turns out elegant, simple dishes with sharply focused flavors like Wagyu Beef Carpaccio with crispy shiitake, scallions, taro root, ponzu and lavash cracker. Aureole is located within the spectacular Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park, the most environmentally advanced skyscraper in the world. Offering a range of dining options, the Liberty Room is smart and casual with walnut-topped tables and a back-lit, etched glass front bar with polished natural zinc top surface, the intimate Dining Room is designed in both lighting and texture to give off a golden glow, and The Halo Private Dining Room is wrapped with fabric panel and silver leaf walls, dotted with sculptural back-lit flame sconces. Now in its 25th year, Aureole is contemporary urban elegance.

Gabriel Kreuther

French

0.2 Miles

Overlooking Bryant Park, chef Gabriel Kreuther's eponymous restaurant offers a comfortably luxurious, Alsatian-inspired dining experience with a distinctly New York spirit. Michelin-starred chef Kreuther was born on a family farm in Alsace and raised on his mother's traditional Alsatian cooking. After attending culinary school and working in Michelin-starred kitchens throughout Germany, France and Switzerland, Kreuther arrived in New York City in 1997 to work as a sous chef at La Caravelle restaurant. A chef de cuisine position at Jean-Georges and an executive chef role at the lauded Atelier at the Ritz-Carlton followed. In 2004, Kreuther became the executive chef of Danny Meyer's The Modern, where his cooking received numerous accolades throughout his nearly decade-long tenure. A member of the Bocuse d'Or USA Culinary Council, Kreuther was named one of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs in 2003 and received a 2009 James Beard Foundation Award for “Best Chef: New York City.”