Zara Mediterranean Cafe & Restaurant’s chefs fill patrons’ cuisine hangars with zesty Mediterranean bites served amid vintage ceiling tiles, antique-looking chairs, and vibrant rugs bathed in warm chandeliered lighting. Pairs or quartets of diners can nosh on one of 14 small plates or five salads such as the tricolor bean salad, grilled haloumi cheese sprinkled with oregano, or daily manti—petite ravioli pockets holding succulent meats and served by the restaurant’s mascot, Bob the Kebob. The entree roster includes white and dark chicken kebabs dressed in pilaf and cauliflower, as well as grilled branzino served whole or filleted. Zara Mediterranean Cafe & Restaurant is a BYOB establishment, so feel free to bring along a favorite wine, six-pack of beer, or boxed apple juice.
Guests could dine at Park Avenue Bar & Grill multiple times, and yet leave each visit feeling as though they'd never been there before. Behind the restaurant's historic façade of red brick and arched windows await six distinct areas, each welcoming diners into a different experience. Downstairs, bartenders mix drinks at a traditional wooden bar, and upstairs, a modern lounge fills glasses amid tomato-red walls and zebra-patterned tile. After they dine on white tablecloths in the refined second-floor dining room, patrons can wander out to the private courtyard for drinks, or head up to the rooftop to watch New York's mayor give the skyline its nightly spit shine.
To match the atmosphere of each space, chefs prepare fusion cuisine that is American continental. Meticulously prepared entrees cater to guests seeking evenings of fine dining, and lighter fare, such as tapas and empanadas, facilitates socializing.
Open since 1947, Millers Bakery offers a wide array of freshly baked goodies, from seasonally themed cookies to decadent cream cakes. Early-morning risers can wake up with a ring or filled donut ($0.85 each), with tempting varieties such as oat bran, cinnamon, powdered jelly, and chocolate French. Gift a special someone a frosting-laden hazelnut cream or carrot cake specialty cupcake ($1.95 each). Pumpkin, apple, and blueberry pies ($8.50 for 8-inch pie) will be hot commodities for those looking for dessert on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Three Stooges reenactment day. Those who reject sugary pastries can simply stock up on Irish soda bread ($3.50 for 1.2 oz.) or grab a 20 oz. cup of house-blend coffee to go ($1.75).
The casual bistro setting of Cafe Divan makes for a cozily delicate landscape. Between the textured ceilings, the dark hardwood floor, and the green and gold coloring, patrons unroll their napkin-swaddled silverware, remove their mascot heads, and tuck into an artfully crafted, Turkish-American selection of meals: hearty breakfast platters, burgers with halal beef patties, personal pizzas, and flaky Turkish cheese pies. Though these savory offerings make for instant favorites, some skip entrees altogether, choosing instead to press their noses against the bakery case. Inside that case, Turkish coffee cr?me br?l?e neighbors mango pies, and red velvet cake slices groan beneath the weight of thick cream cheese frosting dollops.
Despite being internationally renowned for his French-based haute cuisine, Jean-Georges Vongerichten swears his favorite food comes from the street carts of Thailand. The Alsace-born chef trained throughout France, but further honed his skills in Asia, slicing and dicing at luxury hotels in Bangkok, Singapore, and Hong Kong. He eventually crafted a signature French-fusion style, swapping out the heavy creams and stocks of traditional European cooking for the lighter juices, essences, and broths of Asian dishes. His inventiveness has launched a legendary career: he owns or collaborates on 35 restaurants around the world, has won two James Beard Awards, and was profiled on the Sundance Channel television show Iconoclasts. Described as the jewel of his empire, Jean-Georges’s eponymous restaurant glitters with the distinction of a four-star rating from the New York Times and three Michelin stars. Though it has risen to lofty ranks, the eatery stays grounded by shopping at local farmers’ markets for its seasonal menu. Dishes have included steamed flounder with roasted pumpkin seeds, spaghetti squash, and soy-yuzu broth, as well as Japanese snapper carpaccio with ginger, white radish, and olive oil. As the signature restaurant of the Trump International Hotel & Tower New York, Jean-Georges boasts a dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows that frame views of Central Park, Columbus Circle, and the city’s most affluent pigeons.
The Magic Pot's menu combines international sauces and chocolates in delicious molten blends. Slices of apples and bread can be slam-dunked into cheesy appetizer dipping bowls, including the queso, a blend of cheddar and monterey jack melted in apple cider with fresh cilantro, roasted peppers, and sweet onions. Burbling like a magma flow, The Magic Pot's entrees overflow with savory bites of beef, teriyaki pork, and honey-garlic chicken to dip in sesame, teriyaki, and Asian-chili sauces. The Magic Pot's dippy desserts are made with Callebaut Belgian chocolate. All fondue desserts are served with fruit, brownies, marshmallows, and rice-krispies treats for dunking. Couples can customize a three-course Magic Feast and bring their own bottle or Stanley Cup full of wine to wash it all down.