Fashion Week is in full effect and Bryant Park is buzzing.
We realize food may be the last thing on your mind after watching dozens of tall, skinny, toned, and otherwise in-shape male and female models sashay down the runway. (Or, depending on how you look at it, food might actually be the FIRST thing on your mind!)
But hopping from show to show can be exhausting, so if you’re hungry after the shows, check out these Michelin Guide-recommended eateries all within a few blocks of the tents…
This New York offshoot of the über-trendy flagship in West Hollywood is aptly located in the Bryant Park Hotel, and it’s always packed with the young, the restless, and the affluent. The first thing you’ll notice is the enormous white lattice canopy that dominates the dining room; underneath it, many of the elements of feng shui have been incorporated into the eye-popping design (with the exception of the pulsating music all day). The menu is equally à la mode: an extensive choice of sushi, sashimi, and rolls, as well as some original Pan-Asian fare. From the black-clad waitstaff and the chic plating to the A-list crowd, cool is the operative word at Koi. For a hipster’s night out on the town, visit the equally trendy Cellar Bar.
This location of the Frankie & Johnnie’s steakhouse empire (the first was established in 1926 on West 45th Street) offers diners a little bit of history in the heart of the Garment District. The renovated town house was once the home of John Drew Barrymore. In fact, Barrymore’s library, with its coffered ceiling and original fireplace, forms part of the masculine, wood-paneled dining room on the second floor. Diners with booming baritone voices feel no need to tone down their bonhomie while chowing down on some serious cuts of prime dry-aged beef, but no one seems to mind the din. The all-male brigade of waiters is especially accommodating, and the restaurant even has a limousine service to shuttle guests anywhere in Midtown.
Stylish and exuberant, Daniel Boulud’s contemporary take on the classic bistro features a lively front room dressed in red, accented with eye-popping floral photographs; or a more sedate yet equally attractive rear dining room. Thick linens, custom china, and a refined service team exhibit the chef’s signature polish as does the contemporary French-inflected menu that satisfies the establishment’s dapper patrons. Items such as lobster salad with pesto dressing and hanger steak with oxtail ragout reflect today’s sensibilities; while crispy duck and are tasty reminders of the hearty slow-cooked dishes of yore. Boulud’s irreverent spin on the humble hamburger, here stuffed with foie gras and black truffles, has become a modern-day classic.
Sushi Zen’s soothing and peaceful interior is a pleasant contrast to its high-traffic, albeit convenient, Midtown locale. High ceilings, lots of natural light, and a sidewalk dining area made private by potted greenery and fabric panels are sure to create a sense of calm in this immaculate, well-run sushi-ya. Sit, take a breath, and let Chef/owner Toshio Suzuki stimulate your senses with his artfully prepared sushi and sashimi. Also discover a host of rolls; some traditional, like plum paste with shiso, and some original, like the Connecticut roll with eel and avocado. To best experience the chef’s handiwork, order the omakase, which is based on the number of dishes you prefer. Accompany meals with a selection from the impressive sake collection.