In 1986, sibling owners Maguy and Gilbert Le Coze opened Le Bernardin in New York after finding phenomenal success with their flagship restaurant in Paris, established in 1972. The duo won numerous accolades at the helm of this culinary destination, and it has continued to thrive under Chef Éric Ripert, named executive chef in 1994. Seafood has been the inspiration behind the menu at Le Bernardin since its conception. The tasting menu takes diners through courses filled with delicacies like Osetra caviar, Dungeness crab, Lobster Tail, and Black Bass. Patrons can also enjoy delectable small plates and handcrafted cocktails from the lounge if they wish to do so.
Blue Ribbon Brasserie is an obligatory stop for food connoisseurs in the city. While the wildly popular restaurant now has several locations, the flagship location will always hold a special place in New Yorkers' hearts, particularly fans of the late-night dining scene. Blue Ribbon Brasserie welcomes diners until the early hours of the morning, creating a warm and welcoming ambience with low lighting and details like velvet upholstery. Sample the best comfort food you've ever eaten, savor remarkably fresh seafood, and enjoy classic mains like the hangar steak with wild mushrooms or roasted duck club. There's something to be said for American dishes done right at Blue Ribbon Brasserie.
For more than a 100 years, this huge cafeteria-style Jewish deli has been delighting New Yorkers with their pastrami and brisket sandwiches alongside their scrumptious "kosher-style" meals. The humble eatery, with Formica tables lined up in rows, may not be the ideal place to take a date (unless you want to remind him or her of eating in a school lunchroom), but if you are craving a giant sandwich served with perfect pickles or a couple of kosher hot dogs, there is perhaps no better place than Katz's in the city. There is table service, but most people take a ticket at the door and give it to the counterman when placing their order; they then pay on the way out.
Located near the waterfront in Brooklyn, the now legendary Grimaldi's offers excellent pizzas. Cooked in a brick oven, the crusts emerge crispy and pleasantly charred. The toppings always consist of only the freshest ingredients, including their delectable sausage, vegetables and mozzarella cheese. No reservations are taken, so be prepared to wait outside along with hordes of faithful customers, who consider this to be the best pizza in New York City.
Masa, located in the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle is a thoroughly unique dining experience. There are no windows. There is no menu. You order a specialty cocktail made with top-shelf ingredients, then Chef Masa Takayama, just inches away, goes to work on a three-hour multi-course meal of the most mouthwatering, heart-melting sushi. But the fact that Masa is one of a microscopic few non-French establishments to be awarded The New York Times' coveted four star honors is evidence that being at the chef's mercy can only be a great thing. A step into Bar Masa next door is also worthwhile.
Renowned chef Thomas Keller brought the sophisticated appeal of his acclaimed Napa Valley restaurant, The French Laundry, to New York City with Per Se, which now ranks alongside its sister restaurant as one of the best in the world. Per Se is situated in the Time Warner Center, and its prime location offers guests the opportunity to take in beautiful views of Central Park while enjoying seasonal, French-influenced American cuisine. Beyond the main dining room, there are a lounge, bar, and wine cellar on site, as well as two private dining rooms that are perfect for celebratory occasions. No matter where you are, Per Se is as visually stunning as its cuisine is delicious, featuring earthy tones, a charming fireplace, and wood and stone accents.
This may be the best of the 57th Street theme restaurants. Certainly, it is the most authentic New York City spot on the block, serving old-fashioned favorites like cheese blintzes and a massive roast beef sandwich. It is far more expensive than most diners, but it will save you a trip across the Brooklyn Bridge. It is also thoughtfully decorated with plenty of New York City memorabilia. Try the cheesecake.
Although the interiors display understated elegance with candle-lit dinner tables, linens and paintings, the ambiance is energetic with loud live music and a crowded bar. The 85-seater restaurant serves traditional Cuban cuisine as well as other Latin specialties. The bar with its collection of assorted wines and liquors is one of the main attractions. Tuesdays are Bolero nights and till Sunday live acts are performed. Check website for details.
Serving Italian seafood creations to delighted patrons, Marea has already earned two coveted Michelin stars for their polished menu of authentic Italian coastal offerings. The chic interior is perfect for business or romance, and private dining rooms can be readily arranged. Chef Michael White's deft Mediterranean touch pairs globally sourced ingredients like sea urchin, lobster, oysters, marlin, scallops and octopus with rich sauces, fragrant herbs and bright, citrus flavors. Studying the menu alone will whet your appetite. If not, a glass of wine from their thoughtfully selected wine list will surely do the trick.
Redeye Grill is a big and lively place with an extensive menu. The ceilings are high, murals cover the walls and crowds are constant, yet it is not overly noisy in either of the two dining rooms. Owner Sheldon Fireman appeals to his customer's desire for variety, offering everything from diner food to fine dining. The menu includes burgers, club sandwiches, black sea bass and lobster. The service is good and the atmosphere is upbeat. Try out Redeye Grill for the best of steaks.
Located right next door to the famed Carnegie Hall, the Russian Tea Room has a rich and long-standing history with New York high society. Originally opened by members of the Russian Imperial Ballet in 1926, this elegant, red and gold architectural masterpiece has been host to countless celebrities, performers and politicians. The restaurant's ownership has since changed hands since its closure in 2002, after the death of former owner Warner LeRoy; it re-opened and returned with the same opulent and stately atmosphere.