Venezuelan cuisine combines influences from European, African, and Native American culinary traditions into one cohesively tongue-punching package. After absorbing the content of the menu through your hands, begin sampling the tradition-steeped fare with a pasapalos starter like the marachuchitos (cheese wrapped in sweet fried plantains, $7) before an order of traditional Venezuelan arepas, such as the reina pepiada (a traditional chicken salad with avocado; $8). Heartier entrees, like the vegan delight panini (sautéed cucumbers, olives, red peppers, onions, mushrooms, and spinach; $10), flat-iron steak ($21), and prosciutto pizza ($14) help make the menu more round and complete than a circle drawn with a crooked compass.
The Salad Bowl understands that a person cannot wallpaper his or her stomach lining with artsy leaf rubbings without handy access to a multitude of media. Get creative as you customize a salad by selecting greens and toppings from The Salad Bowl's extensive list of more than 50 ingredients ($7–$9). After choosing a mix of lettuce, veggies, and protein, garnish the greens with an assortment of nuts, croutons, and dressing.
The edible delights at Enoteca radiate rustic authenticity from the comprehensive menu. Antipasti anchor the easy vibes, so dive finger-first into platters of grilled polenta and wild mushrooms ($13), or beef carpaccio with foie gras ($15). The usual suspects done creatively are all present during subsequent courses, including napoletana pizza heavy with anchovies and garlic ($13), seafood and squid ink risotto ($17), veal scallopine ($27), and the meatless burrata salad with mozzarella, green lentils, roasted beets, and asparagus ($13). Complement the edibles with sippables comprising more than 250 bottles of wine from the 20 regions of Italy in glasses, flights, and quartinos.
“Certain things, they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone. I know that’s impossible, but it’s too bad anyway.” That was one of Holden Caulfield’s many pontifications, and could easily be the inspiration behind his namesake restaurant at the Thompson Hotel. Caulfield’s Bar and Dining Room almost feels like a mid-century moment frozen in time—patrons sipping on old-fashioneds are reflected in the segmented, art-deco mirrors behind the bar, and a lively mural in one of the dining spaces lets diners pretend they’re spying on a get-together of J.D. Salinger and the rest of the Hollywood Ten. However, the restaurant is anything but dated—there are refreshing, modern elements in both the décor and the menu. Whitewashed brick walls give the space an almost industrial feel, and keep the indoor rooms as bright as the newly added sunroom. Throughout Caulfield’s, patrons dine on updated American classics, such as lamb burgers with leeks and a lobster club with avocado and applewood bacon. Even the old-fashioneds feel new, with a digitally encrypted recipe that calls for 23-year-old rum and chocolate bitters.