A nightclub-like atmosphere has more often been a cause for opprobrium in New York than praise. But why? Why shouldn't a person eat a meal surrounded by foxy women, lively dance music, and the din of the beau monde? Some of these nightclub restaurants produce better food than any number of twee wannabistros.
This Vietnamese-french fusion restaurant has been perennially chic, stylish, and fashionable for many years and shows no signs of ever changing.
The food is pretty good here, as are the drinks, but the real draw is the live burlesque show, which is done in high style, in an atmosphere that reflects downtown New York at its best.
The food at this, the sexiest and least ambitious of Jean Georges Vongerichten's restaurants, is sometimes uneven, under-executed under its veneer of sophistication. But the sheer glamour of this underground lair, peopled with models and the bon vivants who pursue them, is pretty much what you imagined Manhattan restaurants to be like when a child. More movie set than restaurant, this is no place to pop into after shopping. It's date night (or pickup night) all the way.
Here's the main thing about Freemans: it's really cool. Not cool in the way of too many New York restaurants, whose sleek designs and haughty hostesses try way too hard; this is an effortlessly funky room at the end of a secret, one-way alley, which serves A+ rustic American food (including a laudable number of game dishes) and some great cocktails. The cat is out of the bag at this point, and Freemans is nobody's secret, but you still have to want to go there, because it's really not easy to find. But it's worth the effort.
Yes, it's the very picture of a "big box" restaurant, with oversized rooms, vast ceilings, and a decor that seems more appropriate to a James Bond villain than to a fine restaurant. But you know what? The food is much better than it has any right to be, and the experience is always fun.
A big, boistrous, celebrity-filled adjunct to a popular nightclub, Abe & Arthur's shouldn't be good, but it is -- they serve some of the best beef in town, better in fact than some big-name steakhouses.
It's brash, it's big (two giant floors) and its immense small-plates menu belies the skill with which chef Chris Santos has his team execute original, clever, and satisfying dishes. The cocktail program is nice too; you just need to be young to go here.
Conceived as a classic, old New York hangout, The Dutch delivered on its promise with a swinging crowd, a good, eclectic menu, and a first-rate cocktail program. Stop in for oysters or a steak, or, if it's available, chef Andrew Carmellini's fabulous fried chicken.
From the outside, La Esquina looks like a simple taqueria with a small dining room in back. But the real action is downstairs, where boulevardiers and beauties hobnob over custom cocktails, and chef Akthar Nawab directs one of the best Mexican kitchens in Manhattan.
This Russian nightclub is not only without question the best in New York; it's the best nightclub in the world, period. Between the crazy live dancers, the banquet platters worthy of a czar, and the rivers of flowing vodka, this is a one-of-a-kind experience, and costs it.
Hung Hunyh, the talented Top Chef winner, makes his debut as a master chef at this Meatpacking seafood palace, as much nightclub as restaurant. The food is extraordinary, and the scenery likewise.