In a few weeks, New York’s newest posh, hotel-based restaurant will begin turning out food at The Pierre, on Fifth Avenue, under the direction of Le Cirque ringmaster Sirio Maccioni.
Shortly after that, Adour, Alain Ducasse’s New York home at the St. Regis, will serve its last meals.
Time, then, for a preview and revisits to the city’s best-known dining and drinking spots where, if you’re inclined, you can stay for the night.
This is Maccioni’s first Manhattan project since 2006, when Le Cirque moved to One Beacon Court, also home to Bloomberg LP’s world headquarters.
Filippo Gozzoli is a classic Italian chef who’ll serve classic Italian food. Expect braised beef cheeks and porcini risotto and, somewhat frighteningly, spaghetti carbonara with seafood.
Sirio’s Adam Tihany-designed interior takes inspiration from Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita.” The carpeted room, narrow as a model’s waist, features a long bar and photographs from Maccioni’s heyday. If you’re in one of them, you probably won’t need a reservation. Tables up front are snug; sit in the back unless people-watching’s your thing. (RS)
Sirio, set to open in late October, is at 795 Fifth Avenue. Information: +1-212-940-8195; http://www.siriony.com.
With its commanding city views from the 35th floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and equally sky-high prices, Asiate was an instant hit with the spare-no-expense crowd when it opened nearly a decade ago. Its other calling card was, as the name suggests, Asian-French fusion fare that could be hit-or-miss but was rarely less than interesting.
The views remain just as seductive and the hushed room has an elegant appeal. But the food at a recent dinner never rose above mediocre. It began with a foie gras torchon that had a gritty texture and the flavor of damp cardboard. We’ll go anywhere for just about any spring pea dish, but the veloute here was weary.
Unexceptional grilled branzino and flavorless Wagyu beef were so unadventurous as to be interchangeable. The three-course prix-fixe dinner is $90 (with supplements for the lobster and beef); the tasting menu is $135. (JG)
Asiate is in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 80 Columbus Circle. Information: +1-212-805-8881; http://www.mandarinoriental.com.
Across Broadway from the Mandarin, the Trump International Hotel & Tower is home to Jean Georges, the flagship restaurant of Alsatian genius Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and its casual sibling, Nougatine.
Folks living in the tower can order up from the kitchen any time they please. The rest of us fight for reservations at the place made famous by such incomparable dishes as foie gras brulee.
Jean Georges continues to offer a bargain $38 lunch (well, it’s a bargain for food at this consistently high level). The offerings include sea scallops with caramelized cauliflower and a caper-raisin emulsion, and sublime goat cheese gnocchi with baby artichokes, lemon and olive oil. The pea soup here, silken and simply spiked with parmesan cheese, can make you swoon.
The four-course prix fixe dinner is $118; the tasting menu is $168. Dinner dishes include sense-smacking licorice-braised sweetbreads with baby carrots, ginger and shiitake mushrooms, and turbot with bok choy, black bean vinaigrette and chervil. (JG)
Jean Georges and Nougatine are at 1 Central Park West. Information: +1-212-299-3900; http://www.jean-georges.com.
For five years, the St. Regis has been the only New York establishment where diners can sample the haute-cuisine of Alain Ducasse, the multiple-Michelin-starred chef.
Located in the old Lespinasse space, Adour offers a $125 five-course menu, along with a la carte classics like lobster thermidor ($46) and Dover sole a la grenobloise ($65). Ducasse is at his best with vegetables, which he happily does as part of a $90 tasting.
Play around with Adour’s tablet-style wine list after dinner, or knock back a few wallet-busting cocktails at the St. Regis’ famed King Cole Bar. But don’t wait: This very good restaurant will serve its final meals on Nov. 17. (RS)
Adour is at 2 East 55th St. Information: +1-212-710-2277; http://www.adour-stregis.com.
The Chambers Hotel in Midtown is the site of David Chang’s only New York restaurant that’s not in the East Village. Ma Peche is also Chang’s only proper Manhattan spot to use chairs with lumbar support.
High-rolling groups can order the $450 halal-style street meat package. More reserved patrons will opt for the $15 trout roe and a deeply musky hanger steak ($32).
The best dessert? Foie gras with sarsaparilla gel ($18). Tastes like root beer. (RS)
Ma Peche is at 15 West 56th St. Information: +1-212-757-5878; http://www.momofuku.com.
When Andrew Carmellini set up shop in Robert De Niro’s Greenwich Hotel in 2009, Locanda Verde served great desserts, but the savory Italian fare wasn’t what it should’ve been. Three years later, Carmellini is dishing out stellar tripe in tangy tomato sauce ($15), al dente noodles with porky ragu ($20) and, still, one of the city’s best lemon tarts ($11).
Carmellini gets better with age. (RS)
Locanda Verde is at 377 Greenwich Street. Information: +1-212-925-3797; http://locandaverdenyc.com.
Michael White’s Michelin-starred Ai Fiori is at the Setai, in the shadow of the Empire State Building. The $92 prix-fixe menu delivers guests four courses of stellar Riviera cuisine; a seven-course tasting is $130.
Highlights include lobster bisque with truffles, intoxicating bouillabaisse, squid ink pasta and a rich butter poached lobster tail.
White isn’t just an Italian chef anymore. (RS)
Ai Fiori is at 400 Fifth Ave. Information: +1-212-613-8660; http://www.aifiorinyc.com.
At 6:30 on an average weekday, the loud bar at The NoMad is packed with men, mostly, standing at bar tables hashing over the day’s events.
Around 8 p.m. it clears out enough to get a seat in view of bartenders creating complicated cocktails like the six-ingredient Hot Lips ($15). Made from mezcal and jalapeno-infused tequila, the drink is tempered with vanilla and pineapple.
But that doesn’t blunt the pepper’s burn.
While the bar stools look beautiful, they’re too shallow to sit on for long. An alternative is the Library lounge for a second before-dinner drink or a plate of butter-dipped radishes ($8). (CS)
The NoMad is at 1170 Broadway. Information: +1-212-796-1500; http://www.thenomadhotel.com.
The lobby of the Royalton Hotel in the Theater District is a long, dark, swank lounge. Two bars service the many banquets and small tables that line the walls, as well as a double-sided bronze fireplace to set the scene.
The cocktail list changes seasonally and includes a Wet Kiss ($16), something like a margarita, made with Herradura tequila and Disaronno amaretto. The Kickstarter ($16), Bombay gin and Martini Bianco, packs a punch with a sweet pickled jalapeno garnish.
Imbibers can snack on small plates, including meatballs with San Marzano tomatoes and burrata ($20), and fresh oysters ($3.50 each). (CS)
Forty Four at the Royalton Hotel is at 44 W. 44th St. Information: +1-212-944-8844; http://www.royaltonhotel.com.
(Ryan Sutton and Jeremy Gerard are critics with Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are their own.)
Muse highlights include Patrick Cole on Harvard philanthropy and Hephzibah Anderson on books.
Jeremy Gerard in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org.