Dining By Numbers
Estimable service and fine fare in an excellent atmosphere tally up to a great score when dining. Dining out is a numbers game, after all—especially where these numerically named spots are concerned.
We love the three-course prix-fixe lunch at ‘21’ Club (21 W 52nd St, 212-582-7200, 21Club.com), available weekdays in The Bar Room, which has all sorts of paraphernalia festively strung from the ceiling. The afternoon menu features grilled shrimp, pork tenderloin, the famous burger and devil’s food crunch cake. The mainstay has also unveiled a new bar, an approachable 10-seater in the lounge area on their ground floor with beer on tap, where executive chef John Greeley delivers bites such as warm New York pretzels, oysters and mini burgers. It’s the kind of high-end deliciousness we can get behind!
Lots of boisterous commuters at the bar pull up to Pennsylvania 6 (132 W 31st St, 212-727-3666, Pennsylvania6NYC.com) for a delightful experience in the actual dining room. Chug a beer or sip a civilized Orange Blossom cocktail with rosemary-orange infused vodka and white cranberry juice, or a bouncy Spring Margarita with Milagro reposado tequila and a mash-up of strawberries, rhubarb and mint. Blue Crab Mac & Cheese is just the ticket here, robed in fontina cream sauce. Duck Lyonnaise, cider-brined pork tenderloin and poached lobster get to the meat of the matter.
@Nine (592 Ninth Ave, 212-265-4499, AtNineNYC.com) is a step beyond many of the other Thai joints in gay Hell’s Kitchen. While sipping refreshing Fresh & Young cocktails, delight in gently fried Crab Ragoon and bright, tangy beef salad. Vegetable pad see ew arrives in a beautifully crafted crisped-cellophane-noodle bowl. We couldnt get enough!
Chef/owner John Greco’s Bamboo 52 (344 W 52nd St, 212-315-2777, Bamboo52NYC.com) offers the Spicy Sushi Sandwich, which is strange yet oddly convincing, and perfectly delicious. Outfitted like a tray of civilized tea sandwiches, tuna, eel, a strong nose of roasted sesame and a heated sauce come together under American cheese, sort of like a tuna melt. The seaweed salad is vibrantly green and lithe, full of chewy flavor tossed about with sesame oil, while the hijiki salad plumbs deeper depths with slices of nutty lotus root thrown in amid an influence of ginger. The “Longest Happy Hour in Hell’s Kitchen” entails 2-for-1 signature cocktails, well liquor, wine and beer from 11am to 9pm weekdays. Drink up, boys!
As you traipse across Madison Square Park, check out the revolving tasting menu at Eleven Madison Park (11 Madison Ave, 212-889-0905, ElevenMadisonPark.com). But do make a reservation first, some time in advance—this resturant has a whopping three Michelin stars! The entire experience is pure theater; perhaps a misty morning Maine “clambake” might arrive or glittering striped bass and pinkish roasted duck. Dive into a beach-ready picnic basket with pretzels and an accompanying jar of mustard and wash them down with a couple of chilly beers!
Every Japanese dish at 15 East (15 E 15th St, 212-647-0015, 15EastRestaurant.com) as presented by executive chef Masato Shimizu is a gift. Cold soba noodles float in a rapturous pond of caviar, salmon pearls and sea urchin; sea urchin also makes a poignant risotto with sumptuous matsutake mushrooms and the foie gras and miso-infused duck terrine is utterly delectable, bordering on the obscene.