Chef/owner Henry Meer has created a tasteful New York theme restaurant, complete with back-lit black-and-white photographs of old New York and an impressive raw seafood bar. The menu tempts with contemporary interpretations of classic urban fare, such as she crab soup, Delmonico steak, broiled salmon, and grilled calves' liver.
You can't help but laugh at the iceberg lettuce-wedge salad served with Russian dressing (which happens to be delicious). Even the warm onion-and-poppy seed rolls are transporting. An Apple Manhattan (bourbon with apple liqueur and chunks of fresh apple) will take the chill off a cold city night.
Address: 131 Duane St., between Church St. and W. Broadway
Phone: 212/227-7777, AE, MC, V. Closed Sun.
Mies van der Rohe's landmark Seagram Building houses one of New York's most famous restaurants, designed by architect Philip Johnson in a timeless Modern style. The starkly masculine Grill Room, a longtime bastion of the power lunch, has inviting leather banquettes, rosewood walls, a floating sculpture, and one of the best bars in New York. Illuminated trees, a gurgling pool of Carrara marble, and undulating chain curtains distinguish the more romantic Pool Room. As the name implies, the eclectic international menu changes seasonally; the pre-theater prix-fixe dinner is a relatively inexpensive way to experience it. Otherwise, the menu is one of the priciest in town. You can't go wrong with the Dover sole, the steak tartare, or the duck. Oldfashioned service and an aristocratic wine list keep the Four Seasons at the top of its class.
Address: 99 E. 52nd St., between Park and Lexington Aves.
Phone: 212/754-9494, Reservations essential. Jacket required. AE, DC, MC, V. Closed Sun. No lunch Sat.
The shabby-chic dining room with pressed-tin walls, plain wooden chairs, and burgundy banquettes provides a backdrop for the attractive crowd that makes this place pulsate with energy. The food is interesting without being fussy, well suited to the noisy space where people-watching can often distract you from your plate. But those who
like to eat will have no trouble focusing on such dishes as marinated yellowfin tuna with Asian-spiced fries, roasted garlic soup, and a generous pork chop. The hamburger's pretty good, too. The lovely back garden is a great spot for summer dining.
Address: 26 Elizabeth St., between Houston and Prince Sts.
Phone: 212/334-7900. AE, MC, V.