Though he has spent so much of his life in the kitchen, Jean-Georges Vongerichten ironically finds some of his favorite foods in the street. Inspired by Thai street vendors, the internationally renowned chef branches out from his formal training to craft French cuisine that carries a distinctly Asian tune, such as a cut of salmon with spiced jade emulsion.
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.
Beneath a canopy of trees, Shake Shack’s Madison Square Park kiosk offers serenity with a side of fries. The beef comes from 100% vegetarian-fed, humanely-raised cattle, while the shack itself is made from recycled and sustainable materials and offsets 100% of its electric usage through wind power and renewable energy certificates.
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.
Buceo 95’s kitchen stays open until midnight, giving chef Misha Ryklin plenty of time to craft her tapas with free-range, organic meats. Though her menu of vegetarian, seafood, and meat tapas is extensive, Ryklin specializes in pintxos that thread together smoked salmon and fried quail eggs on skewers.
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.