Who says midtown Manhattan has no culinary edge?

By Travel + Leisure
March 19, 2013
© Lily Becker

There is no question that New Yorkers—and visitors to the city—like to eat. Fortunately for all something is cooking along Gotham’s new restaurant row.

Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill

A sushi place? For fried chicken? Wince all you like, but once you try the wildly eclectic twist on this southern delicacy, you’ll see. First, the chicken is dredged in a daring invention of matzoh meal, flour, paprika, togarashi peppers, cayenne, and sea salt. Second, chefs bed the fried glory atop shredded cabbage with a wasabi-honey dipping sauce on the side. Third, when devoured, a state of blissful confusion sets in: am I in a Tokyo brasserie or central Kentucky? The Midas touch of brothers Bruce and Eric Bromberg strikes again on Columbus Circle.


Chef Michael White’s third New York City restaurant, Marea, is, as the name implies, a tribute to the harmonious union of seafood and Italian cuisine. Located on Central Park South, Marea features a subdued, yet inviting dining room with warm yellow accent walls behind the bar and booths. The menu is brimming with Italian coastal fare, and diners are treated to such flavorful creations as fusilli with red wine braised octopus and roasted sea scallops with marinated beets. With fish sourced from the Mediterranean as well as worldwide waters, Marea ensures that the dining experience is enhanced by the best available ingredients.


In Midtown West's Michelin-starred Seäsonal Restaurant & Weinbar, the narrow, cream-colored space takes a backseat to an inventive Austro-German fusion menu created by chefs Eduard Frauneder and Wolfgang Ban (who have appeared on NBC’s Today Show). Regional cuisine like wiener schnitzel and slow-cooked tafelspitz are perfectly executed and pair well with a daring list of Austrian Weins. While you wait for your meal, the restaurant offers food for the eyes with white walls showcasing Austrian and German art—which changes seasonally with the menuand small lights casting a branching pattern on the ceiling.

The Garden

True to its name, this restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel on East 57th Street offers a garden-like setting where tables are shaded by four tall acacia trees. Beneath the trees' slender, twisting branches are polished hardwood tables and chairs with soft, cream-colored cushions. An immense wine rack on one wall towers above patrons, and floor lamps cast a soft yellow light. Led by executive chef Anthony Zamora, the kitchen staff relies heavily on seasonal and regional ingredients when crafting the Garden's brunch specialties, which include dishes like lemon ricotta hot cakes, vanilla-dipped brioche french toast, and Maine diver scallops with apple confit and Brussels sprouts.