Ralph Lauren shares his favorite recipes, Danny Meyer builds a porch inside a bar, and a husband and wife team introduce a lobster burger. Here are our five new favorite restaurants to try this spring. By Carly Petrone.
Everyone is buzzing about Danny Meyer's first-ever stand-alone bar (don't worry, there's some tasty food items on the bar and happy hour menu). Porchlight is located in the heart of Chelsea and is "a bar with a southern accent." Expect traditional cocktails like the sazerac, hurricane, and the classic whiskey & cola – made from Mellow Corn whiskey, fernet vallet, and homemade cola syrup. Nosh on sugar & spice popcorn, jalapeno cheddar cornbread or a jar of pickles to start before tasting Daddy Jack's Fried Frog Legs, the Double Trouble Bison Burger, or the Avocado & Crab Toast. Watch the world go by from the porch inside – no, there really is one. Check it out when it opens March 2.
Bask inside the beautiful dining room at the newly opened Hunt & Fish Club and enjoy a quality steak or fresh seafood dinner. From the 180-seat dining room to the upstairs private "Green Room," the mix of old and new aesthetics - like the Roy Nachum art pieces and marble interior - makes the space both artistic and inviting. Start your meal out with a mint gimlet or a HFC cocktail like the Palladin Pear – Tito's vodka, pear nectar, chartreuse, and lemon. If you're looking for something other than steak or seafood, try the Burnt Lemon Chicken with Rosemary red Bliss Potatoes or the Bourbon Braised Beef Short Ribs with Horseradish and Mustard Smashed Potatoes and Crispy Shallots. And who can pass up Classic Crème Brulee and Pecan Paraline Biscotti, Coconut Angel Food Cake, or the HFC Chocolate Torte (Devil's Food Cake, Chocolate Ganache, and Frozen Espresso Mousse) for dessert?
Husband and wife team, Executive Chef Dmitry Rodov and Executive Pastry Chef Diana Rodov, have recently opened up Duet Brasserie in the West Village. This contemporary bistro is serving up American cuisine with a French flare. Grab a seat in their café and enjoy Eggs Benedict or Buttermilk Chocolate Pancakes during Jazz Brunch ($24, includes a mimosa and coffee/tea) or bring a date for an intimate dinner underneath the custom made Swarovski Crystal chandeliers upstairs in the Barrow Room (also available to rent out for parties). May we suggest the Dressed-up Poutine (Duck Confit) or decadent Lobster Burger with lemon aioli, avocado, lettuce, and tomato on a brioche? There's also a delicious prix fixe menu available for $75/person or a 10 Course Chef Tasting Menu for $200/person that includes Kobe Beef Carpaccio, Fresh Truffle Risotto, and Fried Center-Filled Doughnuts. Make sure to stop by during happy hour (weekdays, 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.) for $6 craft beer and house wines as well as $7 house whiskey. Or ask the mixologist behind the bar to make you a cocktail using one of their house made infused vodkas or pressed juices.
Monte-Carlo in the Upper East Side is the new French restaurant that is serving up classic dishes like Traditional Coq Au Vin and Frissee Aux Lardons. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, with brick exposed walls and soft lighting surrounding the dining area and small bar. Everything is made on premise, including homemade ice cream/sorbet and foie gras. It is on the pricier side (entrees range from $21-$55) but it's worth it. If you're going to splurge, definitely try the French Dover Sole cooked "Meuniere" style and share the Barbajuans - deep fried ravioli stuffed with wilted seasonal greens, ricotta, and parmesan - a specialty from Monte-Carlo. Sip on a Casino Royal (rye whiskey, Cointreau, cognac, and creole bitters) or a Le Rocher (Prosecco, St. Germain, blackberry, Chambord, and lemon). Let's just say you'll want to book a trip to Paris after eating at this adorable place.
It was only a matter of time before designer Ralph Lauren opened up a restaurant in New York City. Celebrities such as Jerry Seinfeld, Barbara Walters, and Andy Cohen have already dined at The Polo Bar, which pays homage to the distinguished sporting lifestyle that Ralph Lauren has always exhibited. Get comfy in your leather banquette and fluff up your plaid pillow because you're going to want to stay a while. Start your dinner with the Tuna Tartare or The Polo Bar Crab Cake before moving onto the main course. This list consists of classics like Ralph's Corned Beef Sandwich, Chicken Paillard, Loch Duart Wild Salmon, and Herb-Crusted Veal Chop. Vegetarians can enjoy the Slow-Cooked Farro & Butternut Squash with Crispy Quinoa, Dried Cranberries, and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, Veggie Burger, or a variety of sides and salads. Don't forget the cocktails! Try The Polo Bar Winter Punch with Mr. Katz's Rock & Rye, Clear Creek Cranberry, and Ginger or the Prohibition Spice with Real McCoy 12 Year Rum, Aperol, and Chili-Infused Passion Fruit. And don't skimp on dessert – ordering Ralph's Homemade Coffee Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies is a must. You might have to buy a pair of bigger pants after this meal. Luckily the Ralph Lauren Flagship store is located just around the corner.
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