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.
Taking a page from his orthodox upbringing, classically trained chef Michael Gershkovich approaches the culinary arts with the same studious zeal he applied at Torat Emet Yeshiva. The ambitious chef prepares delicacies such as braised boneless short ribs and sautéed duck breast in strict accordance with glatt kosher law.
There’s no need to stare out the window for a view at Robert Restaurant, whose neon pink chairs and art installations fit right in at the Museum of Art & Design. If you can pry your attention away from the décor, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of Broadway, Central Park West, and Columbus Circle.
Down-home Southern cooking journeys to Harlem at Miss Madue’s Spoonbread Too. Owner, caterer, cookbook author, and unconfirmed superhero Norma Jean Darden honors her Aunt Maude’s family-famous meals. Served Southern style, meals begin with baskets of hot cornbread and are paired with candied yams, mac 'n' cheese, and other comfort sides. Entrees such as southern fried chicken, Louisiana catfish, short ribs, and BBQ ribs have earned the eatery rave reviews from the New York Times, the New York Post, and O, The Oprah Magazine, along with happy customers in veggie- or peach cobbler-induced happy dazes.
On the 35th floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel is an icy ceiling sculpture inspired by wintertime in Central Park. Thankfully, guests need not wear heavy coats as they peruse a menu of Asian-American cuisine or take in views of the Manhattan skyline through floor-to-ceiling windows.
Couples cultivate their relationship while also restoring and maintaining New York City parks and community gardens. Surrounded by forest, New Leaf provides a countryside feel inside the city and a menu of American fare made from locally grown ingredients and inspired by New York’s Community gardens.