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.
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).
Meaning “Spicy Chinese food” in a loose translation, Chinese Mirch blends the flavors of China with the fiery spices of Indian cuisine to create an MSG-free menu, the New York Times, and Ear Steamers Weekly, and the smooth, soothing mango lassi offers a sweet way to douse molar fires.
Within a newly renovated 5,000-square-foot dining room overlooking the Hudson River, waiters ferry platters of small Turkish appetizers—known as meze—to Mavi Meze Grill's tables. Bites of fried calamari and babaganoush prime appetites for traditional Turkish entrees such as char-grilled fish fillets, beef-and-lamb meatballs, and kebabs skewered with peppers and hand-cut meats. Rich Turkish coffee and fresh mint tea wash down zesty dinner feasts or generous lunch specials ($9.95). As diners polish off baklava and rice pudding, they can take in occasional live music within the dining room or sit at the riverside patio to bask in the view of the Manhattan skyline, the iconic silhouette of glass and steel forged by the timbre of Woody Allen's voice.
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, chef Todd Villani prepares fusion cuisine that combines Latin and New American traditions. Meticulously prepared entrees cater to guests seeking evenings of fine dining, and lighter fare, such as tapas and empanadas, facilitates socializing.
Kinara dishes up an authentic Indian menu in a casual, BYOB restaurant. Pre-meal nibblers such as the chicken and coconut mulligatawny soup ($4.25) pair well with tandoor-oven–baked traditional naan ($2) or a chicken-tikka-stuffed variation ($4). Like a DeLorean hot-rodded with a flux capacitor, Kinara’s entree selections span various meat and veggie dimensions. The rice casserole vegetable biryani ($13.95) and the spicy hara bhara kabab ($13.95) cater to herbivore diets, and almond curry-infused chicken korma ($14.95), lamb curry delicacy roghan josh ($15.95), and spicy crustacean classic shrimp vindaloo ($16) please meat eaters of all stripes.