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July 23, 2017

If you look at a map of Manhattan, you’ll probably notice that Midtown is not, in fact, in the middle of the island. Rather, it starts at Central Park’s southern border at 59th Street, and goes all the way down to the industrial-cool Flatiron District.

From Times Square to Bryant Park to Madison Square Garden to Penn Station, Port Authority and Grand Central, Midtown encompasses the city’s major transit hubs, entertainment destinations, corporate headquarters and more big name destinations that make the Big Apple famous. Whether you’re eyeing the gems at Tiffany & Co or walking quietly through the New York Public Library, here’s where you should eat while in Midtown Manhattan.


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21 Club

Dating back to Prohibition-era New York City, this former speakeasy exudes nostalgia from the antique jockeys welcoming you at the front gate, all the way to the back dining room decorated up to the ceiling in paraphernalia donated by legendary guests. Though the steakhouse is popular with millionaires and billionaires, $48 gets you a three-course pre-theater special, or you can go à la carte and indulge in moderately priced classics like a cream-soaked chicken hash on wild rice or duck a l’orange.

The Grill

Formerly known as the Four Seasons, this opulent new project by Major Food Group serves up a memorable meal in the glitzy Seagram Building. The dramatically presented menu includes spit-roasted prime rib served with your choice of sides off a trolley, a duck pressed at the table to create a pasta sauce and more astonishingly entertaining dishes.

Momosan Ramen & Sake

Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s very first ramen restaurant was an instant crowd pleaser when it opened in 2016 and for good reason — the noodle soups and finger foods are comforting at every level. Tie on a plastic bib to protect your shirt and get ready to slurp bowls of tantan, based in spicy coconut curry and red miso seasoned ground pork or the more basic Tokyo chicken, a comforting chicken noodle soup appropriate for really any weather.

Fuku+

The more casual answer to chef David Chang’s nearby, luxe Ma Peche, yet still an upgrade from the original downtown Fuku (hence, the plus), this fast casual Momofuku spinoff serves Chang’s legendary fried chicken thigh on a potato bun, along with spicy chicken fingers, Sichuan pork topped flatbread and other Asian American-inspired creations only served at this outpost of the ever-growing mini chain.

Quality Italian

This Italian-style steakhouse is an obvious crowd pleaser. Combine large cuts of meat perfect for sharing (double filet, tomahawk ribsteak) with homemade pastas tossed with guanciale or spicy lobster and you really can’t go wrong. Cocktails on tap as well as a bellini cart at brunch help sweeten the deal.

Aquavit

Boasting two Michelin stars and an enviable three stars from The New York Times, this critically beloved Nordic restaurant is a staple in Manhattan’s fine dining scene. Sit down to splurge on a seasonal tasting menu packed with fresh vegetables and seafood, all immaculately plated to resemble works of modern art, or grab a seat in the bar area for smaller bites at a slightly lower price tag. Of course, a class of house-infused aquavit, ranging in flavor from fig and cardamom to horseradish, is a must no matter where you sit.


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Le Bernardin

Eating at legendary chef Eric Ripert’s (you may know him as Anthony Bourdain’s BFF) gorgeous ode to seafood is a transformative experience for aquatic enthusiasts. Of course, you’re here for the hours long, belly satisfying tasting menu, but a trip to the lounge for an abbreviated meal is also worthwhile.

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