During New York's golden age, when big-band music filled the streets and Tommy Dorsey and Count Basie reigned supreme in regal zoot suits, Ellsworth Statler held court at the Hotel Pennsylvania. Known as much for its delicious food as it was for its swanky shows, the hotel became the standard of swingin' cool by which all others were measured. Today, the same spirit that propelled Ellsworth Statler to greatness inhabits his namesake: the Statler Grill. Using classic midcentury charm and more than four decades of experience in the restaurant business, the owners of Statler Grill reanimate the New York of decades past, time-warping diners as they sit at tables cloaked in white linens amid muted lighting. Artwork festoons the walls, adding warm hues and a jubilant air while frosted glass and earth-toned walls segment the dining room for more romantic dining and more covert fantasy baseball meetings. An adjoining bar serves up a similar sophistication, with a menu of light fare appropriate for an after-work snack, or after a game, being located across the street from Madison Square Garden.
For dinner, the kitchen lines classic new york prime sirloins and porterhouses with the marks of the char grill. Seafood arrives fresh daily to offer the best flavors of the deep blue, including Prince Edward Island mussels, Long Island clams, and fried calamari. The chefs' traditional and inventive American fare complements every meal of the day, from eggs benedict for brunch to filet mignon for supper and Maryland crab cakes for late night sleep eating. All of this fancy fare doesn't get in the way of friendly service, though; the restaurant's friendly waitstaff and knowledgable bartenders earned glowing praise from the foodies at Midtown Lunch.
Just as the surrounding Theater District transports audiences to faraway places, Brazil Grill's dining room immerses guests in the rich culinary traditions of Brazil. Though it boasts a substantial selection of entrees, the eatery's specialty is radizio, a traditional Brazilian dining style where passadores, or meat servers, present diners with an endless rotation of skewered morsels. Patrons can nosh to their hearts' content on beef, pork, lamb, duck, and the other meats that continually appear tableside during the course of the night. To complement the authentic dishes, servers can also recommend options from the restaurant's selection of wines culled from Chile, Italy, and New Zealand. Most nights, guests eat as they absorb the sounds of live Brazilian music, the play-by-play of Brazilian League soccer matches, or napkins practicing their Portuguese accents.
At City Lobster and Steak, north-Atlantic lobsters from a dramatically lit tank join a menu of fresh seafood from around the country. Maryland lump crab cakes mingle with Alaskan king-crab legs, and a section of the restaurant's 45-foot bar boasts a display of raw oysters harvested from both coasts. Asian flavors influence many other menu items, such as appetizers of spring rolls and dumplings or entrees glazed with soy ginger and teriyaki port-wine sauces. When they're not moonlighting as marinades, wines pour from an extensive selection of bottles that garnered one of Wine Spectator's Awards of Excellence in 2012.
Though the menu boasts the usual T-bone cuts, new york strip steaks, and lamb chops, Prime & Beyond is not your typical American steakhouse. The tangy smell of kimchi weaves through the dining space, and wagyu beef dishes take the form of hot dogs and sausages, completing the fusion of Asian and North American flavors that Korean-American brothers Kyu and Kevin Lee envisioned when they created the eatery. Known as “Q the butcher,” Kyu takes great pride in his meats, aging them carefully to bring out their full flavor; his wet-aged steaks sit for at least 20 days as 8-ounce filet mignon and 14-ounce ribeye cuts, and his dry-aged meats rest for a minimum of 50 days within the restaurant’s refrigeration unit atop a memory-foam mattress before being shaken awake and cooked.