One of the joys of summer dining in the city is the bounty of seasonal items abound. From ethnic street eats to Mediterranean cuisine, to the rich flavors of India, and seasonal New American cuisine, there are plenty of exciting gastronomic adventures to be had in NYC. Here are some of our favorite spots to dine around town.
Ever since Vandal’s opening, this Lower East Side hotspot has been packed every night. From the artwork to the elevated global street food cuisine, Vandal embodies the essence of “street chic” and to create this dramatic atmosphere they tapped acclaimed British street artist Hush to curate their striking art program comprised of seven different artists who honored the Bowery’s history while also exploring different forms of street art. Not only is the artwork simply jaw dropping, but the décor of both the lounge and dining area is just as modern and unique as the artistic surroundings. A little twist into this chic lounge is the botanical gallery Ovando which carries an assortment of fresh flowers and plants.
The menu is made up of street-styled foods from around the world and family style sharing is encouraged. The Open Face Crispy Bao is served with brisket, crunchy Asian slaw and sesame. Ditch your pantry rice cakes and taste the Spicy Korean Rice Cakes served with mizuna kimichi. Since French fries are always a good idea, order a side of the salt and vinegar fries if you’re missing some of the classic American cuisine. Have no fear breakfast lovers there is brunch! Pair your Rio de Frosé with the Hummus and Eggs served with ‘israeli style” pico, lemon and parsley. If guests are having more of a sweet tooth go for the unique Hong Kong French Toast served with milk tea, but if guests prefer coffee then order coffee pancakes. Yes it’s true coffee pancakes, which are served with espresso caramel, vanilla and berries you’ll feel the caffeine all day.
– 199 Bowery, NYC • 212 400 0199
– By Corinne O’Connor
THE CLUB CAR AT MCKITTRICK HOTEL
The infamous McKittrick Hotel, home of Sleep No More and some of the wildest theatrical exposures, has taken one big step in the right direction to offer guests a new luxury experience in dining. In keeping with their sultry and mysterious atmosphere, The Club Car seduces guests with an opulent setting that echoes Grand Central Oyster Bar serving modern takes on classic cocktails and a 3 course prix fixe menu.
Chefs Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr, who were co-executive chefs of Balthazar and Minetta Taven, designed a surf and turf-style menu inspired by their mutual love and appreciation of the popular steak joints that used to line the streets of Manhattan. Although authentic steak recipes were a huge focal point, the chefs also wanted to ensure the atmosphere mimicked that of a French chophouse, encompassing style, class and elegance—thus The Club Car was born.
Starting at $65 per person, the meal begins with a choice of soup or salad and accompanying freshly baked Parker House rolls. Taking center stage is the 10oz. grilled boneless rib eye protagonist, escorted by a seafood sidekick. Choices include scallops, soft shell crab, lobster, razor clams or oxtail and bone marrow with the antagonist, whom we can’t go on without; old bay fries and daily vegetables.
As for the resolution, tie up any loose ends with the choice of lemon chiffon cake or the heavenly chocolate caramel tart. But don’t delay – The Club Car is only open Thursday through Saturday from now until Labor Day.
– 542 West 27th Street • 212 564 1662
Hendriks is a classic American craft cocktail bar and restaurant in New York City’s Murray Hill, and their most recent edition- Hendriks Café.
The white exposed brick walls contrast seamlessly with the polished wooden tables and chairs to create a classic dining experience. The geometric shaped mirrors add a sense of symmetry in the restaurant as they’re meticulously placed to retain order in the establishment. The meagre touches such as the bulbous glass light fixtures and understated art pieces give the restaurant character, in a subtle way that does not over indulge, but rather promotes complacency.
The menu is as poise as the lady in the painting, gently hanging on the wall. Diners can expect well-prepared American classics, house favorite appetizers and pastas all made from the freshest ingredients. Deviled eggs topped with smoked salmon and slow-cooked lamb meatballs in Romesco sauce, sprinkled in parmesan are among the favorites from the appetizer menu. If Sundays are for brunch, why not delve into some fresh lobster and avocado salad, to appease the Sunday vibes.
Happy hour is possibly everyone’s favorite hour of the day. At Hendriks, guests are offered that awesome hour every day of the week and include specials on wine, beer and cocktails. With an international wine list, diners are offered a taste of adventure as they sip on a glass of Malbec from Argentina or enjoy a taste of Italy through a Rosé. Be sure not to indulge in their other beverages as well, Hendriks also offers a great selection of beer on tap and fresh fun cocktails.
– 557 Third Avenue NYC • 212 686 8080
Transport yourself to the vibrant streets of Mumbai at Imli, a new urban Indian restaurant in New York City, cultivated by owners Mervyn Winston, Ram Reddy, and Albin Vincent. They offer unique preparations of dishes—some rarely seen on an Indian menu, as well as fun shareable small plates with authentic flavors.
The mastermind behind the menu belongs to Executive Chef Manuel Butler, a veteran Indian chef who is also a recipient of a two-star New York Times review. He also opened Dhaba and Awad, and served as executive chef of Chote Nawab. Anchored by colonial Indian Cuisine with influences straddling modern and traditional regions of India, the menu at Imli offers a range of culinary experiences for your tastebuds.
The large u-shaped space is cosmopolitan chic, with black concrete tables, a lacquered, rust-colored floor, silver studded cerulean fabric chairs and wood walls adorned with a light, elegant pattern. A sky lit outdoor patio is perfect for group gatherings or private events, set in a tastefully decorated space with wooden tables and a wall of perennial plants.
An amuse bouche is the first to be placed, to stimulate your palate. Guests may then choose from an extensive menu of small plates, best paired with a flight of signature house made dipping sauces—divided into mild, medium or hot categories. Entrées are divided into Meat, Seafood and Vegetarian sections, with unique specialty dishes like the Imli Burger—a blend of beef, garlic, cumin, coriander and chilies, served with masala-spiced fries. Pair that with a creative cocktail or Indian beer, from their diverse beverage menu and you will experience the pleasures of Indian cuisine.
– 1136 First Avenue, NYC • 212 256 0073
Varanasi is the India of your imagination. One of the most colourful and fascinating places on earth, with surprises abound every corner. Also referred to as Benares, this city lives among us in our beloved New York City.
The Indian restaurant, Benares in Tribeca emphasizes all the best Benares and India has to offer with vegetarian dishes and seafood with a large pinch of lush spices arising from India. Acclaimed, Chef Peter Beck is the hand of god behind this establishment carefully selecting the best and freshest ingredients for his sensational creations. With experienced restaurateur, Inder Singh, a former partner of Devi and Baluchi, the dynamic duo has created a place for guests to experience the intricacies of Indian cuisine in a polish and sleek establishment.
The dining room evokes a warm yet streamlined ambiance with mustard banquettes like the buildings in Benares, and dark earthy wooden tones to mimic the grounds walked over by thousands of people.
The City of Benares is known for vegetarian dishes, so the restaurant has over 20 including a Kashmiri soup of roasted turnip and beetroot, pigeon peas, fennel, ginger, cumin and achari bindi. Although, for the meat lovers there are other options such as signature dish Sevai Tomato Kurma, which includes mussels, scallops, rock shrimp and crab claws tossed in garlic tomato sauce over Indian style rice noodles.
The beverage program offers a range of selection of beers and an exciting 25 bottle wine list to compliment any meal. Cocktail aficionados will delight diners with classics with a twist, like the Herradura Tequila cocktail with roasted pineapple, house made orange liquor and chilli-laced grenadine.
– 45 Murray St, NYC • 212 766 4900
RUNNER & STONE
Nestled in the up and coming Gowanus neighborhood is Runner & Stone where locals flock for their delicious home baked goods and New American Fare.
The industrial inspired space reflects the changing face of the neighborhood that pays homage to the neighborhood’s past. Designer and developer Karla Rothstein, Salvatore Perry and the team at Latent Productions NYC brazenly transferred the elements of the neighborhood such as the adjacent water tower, the streets and the sky into the deftly designed restaurant. The gunmetal grey steel staircase catches your eye as you step in, with a warm atmosphere grabbing your hand and pulling you in further. As you are hoisted further into the space, more of the establishment is revealed including an upstairs dining area, bar, and their infamous bakery items.
As for the menu, Executive Chef Chris Pizzulli centers all dishes in seasonality, originality and authenticity redefining New American Cuisine. Together with Head Baker Peter Endriss, they work together to create distinguished dishes from local and organic produce to ensure the highest quality food.
The home made breads and pastries are like fluffy clouds of doughy heaven with options of baguettes, Brioche buns, Walnut Levaine, Croissants, apple turnovers and seasonal Danishes to choose from. Standouts from the menu include a perfectly grilled NY Strip steak served with Kale chimichurri and fries, truffled ricotta crostini with local mushrooms, and spelt gemelli with wild mushrooms and pancetta. The bar comes completely stocked with a selection of beer and ciders for all palettes, as well as an extensive wine list and a specialty cocktail option.
– 285 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, NYC • 718 576 3360
Marlow Bistro is the brainchild of Chef Zivko Radojcic, which combines his expression of modern Mediterranean food mixed with a dash of Eastern European taste to pay homage to his Serbian roots.
This tastefully decorated establishment seats 40 in the dining room and 20 seats at the bar, to make it an intimate place to gather with loved ones or friends. The outdoor patio seating offers a romantic feel as guest’s experience fine dining alfresco along with a view of the stunning gothic architecture of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
The Bistro offers a selection of delicious handmade pizzas, including the Diavola, with fresh mozzarella, spicy hot salami and tomato sauce as well as the classics like the margarita with fresh basil, mozzarella and tomato sauce. The brunch menu is overflowing with eggs, avocado and sweet goodness. Some of the highlights include the Truffled Croque Madame sandwich, mixed mushrooms and fried egg. Marlow serves up Caramelized Fruit French Toast with pure Vermont maple syrup to satisfy that sweet tooth.
A carefully curated wine and beer list is sure to appeal to all palates, with a wide range of varieties available. The selection of original cocktails, such as the Divine (spiced rum, coconut rum, white rum, orange and pineapple) and the West Side (tequila, strawberries, Prosecco and lemon juice) are pleasantly inviting and pair well with the wide selection of enticing food.
– 1018 Amsterdam Ave, NYC • 212 662 9020
On the corner of 49th & Broadway, there lies a new face to the culinary options of Times Square, but one that’s familiar to the New York scene. Junior’s Restaurant and Bakery, which is run by their 3rd generation owner Alan Rosen, has found a new home at 1626 Broadway at 49th Street. The new addition to the Junior’s family sits a mere four blocks from another sister restaurant on the opposite side of Times Square, allowing patrons of all directions to access the diner-style restaurant with ease.
The first Junior’s Restaurant and Bakery opened on Election Day of 1950, off of Flatbush and Dekalb Avenue. The goal was to be a family restaurant for people of all walks of life; and, such a personable place would need to have great cheesecake…. obviously. The owners went through a laboratory experiment-like process and came up with the famously scrumptious cheesecake we all came to know and love. Although most relate Junior’s solely with perfect cheesecake, this eatery shouldn’t be simplified for its bakery capabilities as this iconic restaurant serves over 200 menu items.
Worth noting is the Reuben Rolls; this revamped “egg roll” has corned beef, swiss cheese and sauerkraut, all wrapped into one glorious roll and deep fried.
If you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary, why not try Something Different, one of their sensational sandwiches with brisket of beef on potato pancakes with au jus or mushroom gravy and apple sauce. Once all ingredients are incorporated into one bite, everything comes full circle.
Junior’s also boasts an exceptional beer and wine program; a partnership with Red Hook Winery. This partnership features a selection of Junior’s signature wine on tap (White, Rosé and Red). This location also serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a beautiful display in the ‘to go’ counter area.
– 1626 Broadway NYC • 212 365 5900
– By Zoe Benjamin
Welcome to Treadwell Park, Upper East Side’s tap haven for undiscovered new beers from around the world. Though the décor is reminiscent of an UES frat house or sports bar with with arcade games lining the walls, ping pong tables, and numerous televisions showing sports and movies, the food and extensive beer selection will make this your favorite local home away from home.
Known for its extensive range of beers, both international and local, Treadwell Park has it all if you’re feeling adventurous or just want to enjoy a good local cold beer with some exceptional bar eats to compliment. With 20 draught beers on tap along with a selection of unique craft beers and ciders, these selections rotate on a weekly basis where guests will find themselves immersed in beers from Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Australia, Scotland, Japan—just to name a few. The best part is the on-site flux capacitor, which controls the nitrogen and carbon dioxide for each brew to ensure the highest quality drink.
The curated menu of bar classics is the perfect companion for your tall glass of golden liquid. Elevated comfort fare such as burgers, chicken wings and bratwursts, pretzels, nachos and much more are presented to draw attention to the eyes of other diners—just watching the dishes go by made us lick our lips with desire.
The lively industrial rustic space seats 200 inside, with an additional 48 patrons in the outdoor patio. The graffiti painted murals from Colombian artist Brian Boerner, delivers a sense of authenticity, as the space screams new age traveller, with a hint of polish and retro brilliance.
– 1125 First Avenue, NYC • 212 832 1551
Ocean Prime is located in the middle of Manhattan which puts guests at ease from the constant hustle and bustle of city as they wine and dine. Surrounded by Central Park, Columbus Center, 30 Rock, Times Square and other outstanding museums and theatres this steakhouse offers the prime location for dining after any outing. The menu features an impressive array of seafood and steak options, as well as different cocktails and outstanding selection of wine. Even if you’re in the mood for sushi, Ocean Prime is rolling it. If not ordering a succulent steak, opt for a fish or chop dish. The Duroc Pork Chop is completed with a fennel rub, buttered Brussels sprouts and apricot sherry jus. The mouthwatering seafood menu includes Sea Scallops served with Parmesan risotto, English peas and citrus vinaigrette. Pair any dish whether meat or fish with the savory Parmesan truffle fries which will without a doubt make your taste buds tingle with joy.
Even if guests have certain food restrictions it won’t be a problem for Executive Chef, Eugenio Reyes. Besides the typical dinner and lunch menus, Ocean Prime also offers a young adults and gluten-free menu. The young adults menu is crafted for guests 12 years old and younger. Complete with the all American burger as well as macaroni and cheese, chicken fingers and buttered noodles, as well as slightly more sophisticated, but smaller portioned filet mignon, broiled salmon and crab cakes.
From now until August 25 come to Ocean Prime to celebrate Thank Goodness It’s Summer Fridays every Friday from 2:30-7:30 to enjoy $1 oysters, $10 sushi rolls, $10 flutes of Veuve Clicquot and selected cocktails- giving us another reason to celebrate summer.
– 123 West 52 St NYC • 212 956 1404
– By Corinne O’Connor
LILLIE’S VICTORIAN ESTABLISHMENT
When most Americans think of sushi they think of raw fish and that’s something Beyond Sushi owners Guy and Tali Vaknin are looking to change one customer at a time. The two conceptualized and opened five plant-based, health conscious eateries that celebrate the flavors and beauty of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Chef Guy and his culinary team fuse unconventional pairings of fruits and vegetables with whole grains to create sushi rolls, rice paper wraps, hand rolls, salads and irresistible but healthy sweets. The brand’s mission is to promote a sustainable, all-natural, and compassionate way of eating. Their promise is to refresh and nourish your bodies while creating a new standard of clean eating. Beyond Sushi’s newest location at 134 W. 37th Street is also the first to offer dine-in and waiter service from 11am to 11pm daily. The spacious restaurant includes rich new interior colors like vibrant oranges and greens. Heavy industrial metal cages hang above the wraparound sushi bar and new drinking bar while ropes dipped in orange paint suspend from the walls at varying levels. The backdrop of the eatery also has an element of surprise incorporated into the atmosphere with Beyond Sushi recycled number 10 cans suspended on the restaurant’s back wall.
Chef Guy credits his passion for cooking to his Moroccan and Israeli roots. Guy Vaknin moved to NYC in 2005 after finishing his military duties with the Israeli Defense Force to pursue his dream of working as a chef in America. After nearly four years at Esprit Catering, Chef Guy was selected as a contestant on Fox’s hit show, Hell’s Kitchen. Beyond Sushi launched in 2012 and the rest as they say is history!
– 13 east 15 Street, NYC • 212 3371970
Tie your bow ties and strap on your sparkly heels for this elegant establishment that features live jazz every Thursday evening. The Metropolis restaurant is the gleaming pearl hidden below Blue Water Grill in Union Square—in an old bank vault nonetheless. This swanky oyster bar offers guests a taste of prohibition, flappers and Jazz from the ever-glamorous Roaring Twenties. The dimly lit, 85-seat lavish lounge, features a large grey marble bar, velvet curtains, green velvet chairs, with plump seat pillows and interesting wall décor, with a dazzling grand piano that takes center stage to create an atmosphere filled with soft soothing sounds to compliment the dining experience.
The mastermind behind the menu, Chef Adam Raksin is a god when it comes to crustaceans and shellfish. The visually appealing dishes include flavored oysters such as the Bombay and Fever Tree Tonic, shellfish platters, earth and sea rolls, NY Strip Steak and Cedar Plank Roasted Faroe Island Salmon. With such a diverse menu, any diner can expect a meal that is sure to satisfy.
As expected, the beverage menu is nonetheless as impressive as the dishes. With varieties starting with the classics (their version of pre-prohibition standbys) like the Metro Sidecar and Bee’s Knees, this cocktail menu is a hit at this fine establishment. The Fruit Smash is perfect to share, and proposes a splendid array of colors seeping from the fresh slices of lemon, sprigs of mint and other seasonal fruits. Complete with a fountain spout for easy pour, this colossal beverage is perfect to share among the table.
– 31 Union Square West, NYC • 212 533 2500
The Big Apple is known as the city where dreams come true. For acclaimed Chef Jose Garces, this great city is where he is continuing to plant roots, with his second restaurant Ortzi opening up at the Luma Hotel in Times Square. Unlike his New York debut Amada, a branch of one of his Philadelphia restaurants; it’s a whole new concept with a focus on Basque cuisine. More specifically Garces and his chef de cuisine Michael Han, who worked at Bouley and A Voce, will put the spotlight on dishes cooked in cazuelas—Spain’s traditional clay cooaking vessels.
The menu is rounded out by crudos and conservas, like cockles and chorizo; and griddled dishes including lamb chops with garlic. Since it is located in a hotel, the restaurant conveniently serves breakfast dishes including Bocadillo egg sandwich with mancheg and bacon on brioche with potato hash, and lunch dishes including an Ortzi burger made with dry aged beef, idiazábal (sheep’s milk cheese) and onion jam. Accompanying the dishes is a range of cocktails; Spanish ciders and Spanish wines, which are carefully curated to fit every dish with perfection.
Guests will dine in a sleek, elegant dining space, outfitted with an open kitchen and wood paneled-bar. Unique light fixtures dangle from the ceilings to add to a warm atmosphere, with complete black accents completing the modern scene.
– 120 West 41 St, NYC • 212 730 8900
DEL FRISCO’S GRILLE – BROOKFIELD PLACE
The latest big-eatery to join Brookfield Place’s destination-dining party is the stunning Del Frisco’s Grille; the little brother of national giant Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group and second Del Frisco’s Grille, in New York City.
Though they are known for their succulent steaks, their enticing menu has expanded with elevated American classics which reflect bold flavors and market fresh ingredients. For lunch, guests can expect to indulge in some delectable goods including prime beef short rib stroganoff with pappardelle egg noodles, sour cream and tobacco onions. The chicken avocado salad wrap, with hickory-smoked bacon crumbles, lettuce, tomato, avocado mayo served on a whole-wheat tortilla is all we ever asked for this summer.
For a more elegant and embellished dining experience, the dinner atmosphere and menu is the perfect setting for watching the sun set on the buildings and observing people walking by. The interior space is trendy and chic with an inviting atmosphere for socializing after work. Take advantage of the balmy days ahead and dine alfresco on the buzzy patio.
As for the beverage menu, Del Frisco’s Grille pride themselves in providing the best service and the best cocktails. With options like The Redeemer made with redemption rye whiskey, Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, pom juice and fresh lemon sour, this cocktail packs a punch and smoothes the burn all at the same time. A fan favorite is the Adult Milkshake, with Nocello walnut liqueur, crème de cacao chocolate liqueur and vanilla ice cream, which takes us back to our childhood days of chocolate milkshakes and blurs the lines of our teen and adult years.
– 250 Vesey Street, NYC • 212 786 0760
TAVERN 62 BY DAVID BURKE
Located on the Upper East Side resides a refined and tasteful duplex hideaway complete with modern American plates reflecting Chef David Burke’s contemporary approach to cooking with a nod to elevated New York classics. Formerly occupied by Burke’s previous restaurant Fishtail, the new concept has completely transformed the space into a modern tavern, which draws its soul from Old New York, but produces the new, New York through its fare.
The extensive menu is designed by Burke and starts off with a selection of raw bar items like Island Creek Oysters and Octopus Carpaccio. Creative starters include the Angry Lobster dumplings, shrimp, tuna tartare & cucumber parfait, pretzel crusted crab cakes, and the intriguing Clothesline candied bacon, which consists of maple, black pepper and half sour pickles served on a clothesline and hung up by small-scale wooden pegs.
For the main event, experience Burke’s bold and creative flavors in dishes such as the Asian inspired Peking Pork Shank, Duck 3 ways- breast, meatloaf and foie gras dumpling, the black rigatoni with shrimp and calamari or the vibrant ginger & pepper crusted salmon with a chickpea puree and fresno chili. If that was not enough, you can add sides of General Tso’s crispy cauliflower, #62 fried rice, or potato fingers served with bacon, cheese and shishito.
To top off your evening, the delectable and luscious desserts are sure to satisfy your sweetest tooth with items like crème brulee, sorbet with macerated summer berries, or Burke’s infamous cheesecake lollipops.
The global wine list offers all the classics plus more. As for the cocktails, all are hand crafted and come with their own little twist like the candied bacon margarita, which consists of Herradura tequila, bacon syrup, lime juice, chili rim and bacon slice. The summer spritz is ironically perfect for hot summer days and is made with Hangar One citrus vodka, lemon, muddled raspberries and soda. A selection of craft beers is also on offer and includes Heineken, Kelso Pilsner and Abita Light, plus more.
Guests will dine in the bi-level, 135-seat space, situated in a classic townhouse, designed by Burke and Andres Escobar. The second floor houses the main dining room as well as a library and solarium. Downstairs diners are treated to a warm, eclectic vibe, with brick walls made from sea salt and black and white flooring for the classic touch. The dark red leather seats are indulgent and tie in perfectly with Burke’s personal collection of vintage artwork, including a Bugatti race model that hangs over the bar.
– 135 east 62 St, NYC • 212 988 9021