NYC Restaurants

Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Park New American | Flatiron

11 Madison Avenue (24th St)


Notes: We had savored some of the most extraordinary meals here in this stunning room before former owner Danny Meyer sold the restaurant to the longtime chef and general manager. Since then, they’ve transitioned the sophisticated, elegant food to gimmicky, experimental dishes that are largely flash over flavor and sensibility. We recount in detail our disappointing experience in our video dining review Date Night: Eleven Madison Park. 


Craft New American | Flatiron

43 E 19th St (bet B’way & Park)


Notes: Given that founder Tom Colicchio is the discerning, critical head judge on Top Chef, we and our dining companions expected a whole lot more from his flagship restaurant. Instead the unanimous consensus was that the food was decidedly uneven, combined with excruciatingly long delays between courses and less-than-helpful service. It’s possible we hit Craft on an off night, but with so many other stellar dining choices at this price point in the city, we haven’t yet been compelled to return. Read my full review at Restaurant Review: Craft.


Fives American | Midtown West 

700 5th Avenue (55th St-Peninsula Hotel)


Notes: Very pretty room in the Peninsula Hotel, tastefully furnished. Beautiful views of Fifth Avenue. Excellent breakfast, brunch and lunch.


Michael’s American | Midtown West

24 W 55th St (bet 5th & 6th)


Notes: I really wanted to like this place, with its perfect location and swanky, devoted lunch crowd. It’s an institution. Instead, I felt like I was eating at the clubhouse of a chintzy South Florida retirement village back in the 1980s. Snotty, inattentive service paired with sub-mediocre food and nauseating decor and furnishings make this a place I can’t recommend. 

North End Grill

North End Grill New American | Battery Park City

104 North End Ave


Notes: I adore the chef, Top Chef Master Floyd Cardoz. I adore the beverage director. The food is imaginative and mostly—though not exclusively—very tasty. The wines and spirits are lovely. I like the feel of the dining room, where the diners and the food serve as the accent colors. So why can’t I recommend North End Grill at this time? A couple of extremely disappointing experiences with service. Ridiculously long waits between courses. More than once. Or twice. After a splendid first visit when we met Chef and enjoyed a phenomenal meal (including the scrumptious clam pizza with truffles), subsequent visits were long and drawn-out…


Atera New American | TriBeCa

77 Worth Street


Notes: Diners are served a progression of wildly imaginative small plates at a counter that frames an open kitchen. While the technique and thought that goes into each dish is more than admirable, the food was not as tasty or memorable as the visual artistry.


WD-50 New American | Lower East Side

50 Clinton Street


Notes: Chef Wylie Dufresne uses cutting-edge culinary techniques in his science lab-like kitchen to prepare dishes that not only make you think, but often boggle the mind by creating dissonance between sight and taste/texture. I’m not a huge fan of this style of food, so for me the presentation was more spectacular than the food itself. But if you appreciate the artistic and technical aspect of culinary science, by all means experience the thrilling, thoughtful skill of WD-50.


Telepan New American | Upper West Side

72 W 69th St (bet Columbus & CPW)


Stanton Social

Stanton Social New American | Lower East Side

99 Stanton St


Notes: Loud and lively. Eclectic small plates and fun cocktails. Don’t miss the Kobe sliders, the French Onion Soup Dumplings and the Potato & Goat Cheese Pierogies.

Red Cat

Red Cat New American | Chelsea

227 10th Ave (bet 23rd & 24 St)